Graham's Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 6, December 1852 by Various

GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE. Vol. XLI. December, 1852. No. 6.

Table of Contents

Pale Concluding Winter A History of the Art of Wood-Engraving Rivers Were I But With Thee Sonnet.--Iron. Nineveh, and Assyrian Art Fragment of a Poem Monde Hedelquiver Wellington Sonnet.--Homer. Grace Bartlett Sonnet Ups and Downs Father Bromley’s Tale Hours in August Annie The Useful Arts in Other Nations and Times Blind Sight-Seeing The Lucky Penny The Topmost City of the Earth Better Days Review of New Books Sips of Punch

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

[Illustration: PAINTED BY F. ROCHARD ENG’D BY EZEKIEL TEEL

=THE FAIREST FLOWER.=

Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine]

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[Illustration: =MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS ON HER WAY TO EXECUTION.=]

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[Illustration: =THE INUNDATION.=]

GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

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Vol. XLI. PHILADELPHIA, December, 1852. No. 6.

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[Illustration]

=“PALE CONCLUDING WINTER.”=

With howling fury Winter makes his bound Upon us, freezing Nature at a look. He dashes out the sweet and dreamy hues Of Indian Summer, so that where the eye The golden softness and the purple haze Beheld at noon, at sunset sees the mist Darken around the landscape, and the ear, Nestling upon its pillow, hears the sleet Ticking against the casement, whilst within The silvery cracking of the kindling coal Keeps merry chime. The morning rises up, And lo! the dazzling picture! Every tree Seems carved from steel, the silent hills are helm’d, And the broad fields have breastplates. Over all The sunshine flashes in a keen white blaze Of splendor, searing eyesight. Go abroad! The branches yield crisp cracklings, now and then Sending a shower of rattling diamonds down On the mailed earth, as freshens the light wind. The hemlock is a stooping bower of ice, And the oak seems as though a fairy’s wand Had, the past night, transformed its skeleton frame To a rich structure, trembling o’er with tints Of rainbow beauty. . . . . . . A. B. Street.

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=A HISTORY OF THE ART OF WOOD-ENGRAVING.=

=BY AN AMATEUR ARTIST.=

[Illustration]

With regard to the antiquity and origin of this most beautiful and most important of the early Christian arts--most important, because to it can be traced directly the invention of typography, as it now exists, bringing knowledge and truth within the reach of all who desire to attain them--there has been much difference and dispute among the literati. After the second restoration of letters--I mean after the dull and dreary interregnum between the era of the Stuarts and the Georgian era of literature, dating from the commencement of the present century--there seems to have arisen a strange habit of referring every thing, the origin of which was not distinctly known, to eras the most remote. Not to be able to say such a discovery was made by such a learned German or Venetian, by such a celebrated Gaul or Briton, in such a town, in such a year, of such a century, was sufficient cause for the drivelers of the time--the best scholars of whom knew, like Shakspeare, little Latin and less Greek, assuming, nevertheless, the possession of the deepest classic lore--to assert point-blank that it was made by such a wonderful Chinese philosopher during the reign of Wu-wang, emperor of China, or such a remarkable Egyptian sage, in the reign of Tathrak or Amenophis; or, that it was in common use in the days of Pericles, or perhaps even of the later Roman emperors.

The general knowledge of the classic languages was then so rare even among the authors of those days, that the _dictum_ of any dunce who grossly misconstrued a Greek or Latin text, or of any rogue, who chose to forge one in support of his theory--in those days a matter of daily occurrence--was, so far from being questioned, detected, refuted, and exposed, as would now be the case, within a week of its publication, quoted and requoted by successive schools of dunces, until it was received as a truth, and sent down as a grave authority to future generations.

Though no author of this day, thanks to the number and acumen of the literary and critical journals--we do not mean newspapers, which promulgate, not correct falsehoods--could _originate_ a blunder, much less a forgery, with a possibility of escaping detection; still, careless and hasty compilers following what they deem authorities, without themselves referring to the original authority cited, are constantly reproducing falsehood, promulgating it, and giving to it weight as truth, when nothing is more averse from their intention than to do so.

In nothing is this more the case than in the very class of works in which of all others accuracy and truth are most requisite--are, indeed, indispensable--we mean what are now called juvenile books, school-books for the use of the young. These works are, unfortunately, rarely or never composed by men of science, men of historical knowledge, men of high general information, or literary standing, although--embracing, as they pretend to do, the whole range of human knowledge from astronomy and the direct sciences, through universal history to political economy, physical and moral philosophy, and philology--they, above all beside, should be the work of men of unerring accuracy in the statement of facts. Since it is easier to teach three new ideas to a mind unimpressed, than to eradicate from it one preconceived opinion, false or true.

It is enough to say in this connection, that out of all the modern “histories for the young” we have ever seen--and we have seen scores, if not hundreds--we never read six successive pages which did not contain either a disgraceful blunder as to fact, or a more disgraceful perversion of facts to meet popular prejudices or popular passions. In the pseudoscientific text-books, sheer stupidity and ignorance produce the same effects.

All this class of books, as a rule, are worse than worthless; and we had far rather see the rising generation return to “Mother Goose,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Cinderella,” and thence to “Sandford and Merton,” Mrs. Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, and works and writers of the like calibre, until fit to commence the real study of real history and real science, than have them stuffed with such farragoes of imbecility, reckless assertion, and plausible falsehood--under the plea of knowledge made popular--as, for instance, most of “The Histories for the Young,” which afford a perfect type of the class of works, to which we have just alluded.

To this train of thought we have been led, by observing the pertinacious and absurd folly, on the part of all the writers on the subject before us, of ascribing the art of wood-engraving and printing, to every nation which never possessed it, and the invention of it to none knows who.

It really seems that to these worthies it is quite argument enough to say, because the Chinese, Egyptians, Phœnicians, Greeks, or Romans did _not_ possess such an art, but _did_ possess such another, therefore they _must_ have possessed that which they did not possess.

Thus--because the Egyptians made wooden moulds with reversed characters or figures, wherein to make fictile bricks, jars, or other implements--they possessed the art of wood-engraving and printing.

Because the Greeks and Romans used to engrave their laws and decrees on stone or metal, both in intaglio and relief, and even colored the depressed or prominent characters with various pigments, therefore the Greeks and Romans made use of printing and wood or metallic engraving--as understood in the present sense; that is to say, for the purpose of taking reversed impressions on paper, parchment, or the like, with ink or other pigments, from prepared blocks, or forms of movable types--the impressions, not the blocks or forms, being legible in the usual mode, from left to right, or the reverse, according to the nature of the character or language.

It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary now to state, not only that there is no reason for believing that any ancient nation was acquainted at all with any thing in the least degree approaching to the modern art of printing, but that there is a positive certainty that no people of antiquity was so acquainted.

In the same manner may be dismissed the Chinese claim to originality in this invention. So early as the 12th century, stamps, engraved with monograms, or fanciful figures, assumed by individuals as their signs manuals, wrought on them in relief, were in common use. They were made of wood or metal, dipped in ink or paint, and impressed on any document requiring signature; and they seem to have continued occasionally in use so late as to the reign of King Henry VIII. of England, whose warrant for the execution of the poet Surrey was signed by this method, and not by royal sign manual; the king being then in _articulo mortis_, and unable to sign his name.

At a much earlier period than this--so early, indeed, as the sixth century--the Emperor Justin I., in signing documents, made use of what is now called a stencil, a thin plate of wood or metal perforated with figures, characters, or other designs, which, when applied to a surface of blank paper or parchment, leaves the design on the exposed surface of the paper, all else being covered, open to the operation of a brush or pencil, which necessarily leaves the impress of the form invariably the same on all occasions.

From this practice of stenciling, perhaps, or more probably from the dipping of the signet-ring, which had been used for ages in impressing wax and the like, into ink, and impressing it on paper, was derived the idea of stamps engraved with monograms, and used as signatures--an invention of vast practical utility in an age when not one man of five hundred, even of kings and nobles, unless he were in holy orders, was capable of signing, or even reading, his own name. One of the earliest of these stamps is that of Gundisalvo Tellez, one of the Gothic invaders of Spain, affixed to a charter bearing date A. D. 840; and the same sign, after his death, was appended, by his widow, Flamula, to a grant for the good of her husband’s soul.

Now it has never been asserted or pretended that the Chinese, even at a much later period than this, had advanced beyond the use of monogram stamps impinged by hand.

In lack, therefore, of more direct evidence, this is enough to justify us in rejecting the claim put forward in behalf of the Chinese, to the invention of the art of wood-engraving or typography, and the idea of its having been imported from them into Europe.

But there is no lack of more direct evidence. For in the year of the Christian era 1271, Marco Polo, a Venetian trader, voyaged from Venice to Tartary and China, in the reign of the Emperor Rublai Khan, his uncle and father having visited the same countries some quarter of a century before. On his return, he published an account of his travels, very copious and very full of marvelous truths and marvelous errors--most of the latter having been since shown to be misconceptions of real truths, not falsehoods. In this work, Marco Polo makes no mention of the use of printing-blocks, or of cannon, or of the mariner’s compass by the Chinese. Hence it is morally certain, either that the Chinese did not at that period possess any one of these inventions-- all of which have been attributed to them--at all, or that the people for whom Marco Polo wrote, the Venetians in particular, and Europeans in general, possessed them in the same degree of perfection with the Chinese, at the same or at an earlier period.

It is, indeed, probable, that the Chinese claim was only put in by favorers of the Venetian claim to the European invention or introduction of this art, in order to account reasonably for their priority.

And it would be curious, were it not almost invariably the case, that the forged legend introduced to support a false claim, when analyzed and searched by a clear head, not only confutes itself, but that which it was intended to establish.

It is very satisfactorily proved that previous to the fourteenth century, although stencils and stamps had been in use for some time, perhaps for some centuries, as means for securing the invariability of monogram signatures, and of giving the power of signing papers to those who could not write, no use whatever had been made or attempted of either, for the purpose of reproduction from a single type and indefinite multiplication of copies.

This is what we mean by printing and engraving; and until it be shown that some nation of antiquity did invent and use such instruments for such purposes, all discussion is absurd.

It were just as rational to argue, that, because the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans possessed boilers, and boiling water, and steam, with which they might have propelled steamboats, had they known how, therefore they _had_ steamboats--as to assert, that, because they possessed reversed moulds and stamps, in relief or intaglio, for the making of pottery, with which they might have produced colored impressions on papyrus or linen, had they conceived the idea of doing so, therefore they _did_ reproduce works of art from plates or types.

It appears most probable that the first direct approach to this art was the practice, when playing cards were first introduced in Europe, of the German card-makers, to use stencils in order to draw, accurately and invariably, the outlines of the figures on their cards, which were then filled in with color by the hand. This, though not originally intended to facilitate multiplication so much as accuracy, would naturally suggest that idea.

The next known step, in progress, was the use of monogrammatic stamps, some of them of most elaborate and exquisite design and execution, for the impression on illuminated manuscripts, such as missals, breviaries, bibles and other religious works, of the large, beautiful and often many-colored initial letters.

And these, there is much reason to believe, were more or less in use so early as A. D. 1400.

The history of the first known wood-cut is as follows. From a convent within fifty miles of Augsburgh, where in 1418 the first mention of a kartenmacher, card-engraver, occurs, the earliest wood-cut known--the St. Christopher, now in the collection of the Earl of Spencer--was obtained. The outlines are engraved on wood, and thence taken off in dark coloring matter, resembling printer’s ink, on the paper; after which the impression appears to have been colored by means of a stencil.

This cut is extremely well-designed, as regards the principal figures, which, with the exception of the extremities, are executed in such style as would not disgrace Albert Durer himself. The perspective is--as usual, in old wood-cuts even of a later date than this, and executed by artists of high grade, such as Hans Burgmair and Hans Schaufflein, nearly a century afterward--utterly disregarded. It was, indeed, scarce understood.

The second and third cuts in existence, also in Lord Spencer’s collection, are an “Annunciation” and “St. Bridget,” both similarly printed in outline, and colored by stenciling, the last of these is curious, as showing, on examination of the back of the plate--for it is not, like the others, pasted into a book--that the impression was not taken by means of a press, but by friction on the paper superimposed to the block, by means of a burnisher or similar instrument, just as proofs are now taken by engravers.

From this period, the succession and progress of the art is clearly to be traced. First, through figure blocks, with letterings sculptured on them in relief, to solid blocks carved in wood and printing off entire pages, as is done by modern stereotypes, with or without pictures attached. At this stage of the work the idea of reproduction and multiplication had obtained as the primary objects of the art.

The next step was the invention of movable types capable of being combined at will into words and sentences, braced into the form of pages, and, the work completed, distributed, and combined anew for the composition of other and different works. From this period, wood-engraving proper, and type-cutting in wood, became separate arts; and ere long--metallic types engraved at first, and afterward cast, replacing the wooden letters--the latter passed into oblivion, while the former has increased gradually and steadily, though with occasional pauses and interruptions, until the present day; when it has attained its highest known perfection, while it is still so far progressive, that it is not easy to predict what may be expected of its future improvement and excellence.

And here it may be well, since few persons comparatively speaking, even of those who are admirers and more or less judges of the art, have a distinct idea of its precise character and nature, to explain briefly in what it consists and wherein it differs from engraving on copper or steel.

All engraving consists of cutting with a sharp instrument into a hard surface, whether of wood or metal, so that when the picture is perfected on the wood or metal, ink may be applied to the surface, from which fac-similies may be taken off by the impression of moistened paper on the block or plate by means either of friction or pressure.

The practice thus far is identical whether steel, copper or wood is to be the material engraved.

But with this all similarity ends.

In steel or copperplate-engravings the ink, when applied, is received into the engraved lines, and is wiped off from the prominent portions; so that, in the impressions taken on paper, the lines cut into the plate communicate the shades, the portions left in relief on the plate remain colorless and blank.

In wood-engravings, on the contrary, the ink, when applied, is taken up by the parts left prominent, and never penetrates into the engraved lines; so that, in the impressions taken on paper, the portions of the wood less prominent communicate the shades, the portions cut away, on the block, remain colorless and blank.

Thus the same process, pursued on the metallic plate, and on the wood-block, produces effects diametrically opposite, and to produce the same effects from the two materials converse processes must be pursued.

Thus we will engrave the word

[Illustration: =Printing=]

on a plate of metal, and on a block of wood, and let these two engravings be perfect fac-similies, line for line alike, in form, length, width and depth; then, the impression taken from the engraved plate of metal, being derived from the depressed lines, filled with ink, _into_ which the paper is forced by the action of the press, will present the appearance shown above.

But, the impression taken from the engraved block of wood, being derived from the elevated portions of the block, covered with ink, _upon_ which the paper is impinged by the action of the press, will give the appearance presented below.

[Illustration: =Printing=]

Observe, therefore, that as on the two engravings, the same work produces results exactly the reverse, one of the other; so to produce the same effect from each of the two engravings, we must have recourse to two different processes.

The former of the above two cuts, is the effect produced on paper from a metallic plate, into the surface of which the lines producing the shades are engraved or cut in.

The same effects precisely may be produced on paper from a wood-block; but, in order to produce it, all the portions of the wood-block, which now give solid black upon the paper, must be cut out of the wood; leaving the lines, which now give white on the paper, prominent, so as to receive the ink and make their impression on the surface to be printed.

The same end could be attained on the other side--that is to say, a light lettering on a dark ground--by cutting away all the metal, except the lines now producing dark impressions on a light ground, which would then give light lines on a dark ground; but the labor of doing this would be interminable, and the advantage gained, nothing.

This principle once understood, the whole system becomes comprehensible at a glance. If, in an engraving on metal, all the lines cut into the plate were of equal depth and capacity, all the impressions would be equal as to shade, and the print would display an impression in pure black and pure white only, without intermediate tints.

So, in cutting a wood block, if all the prominent parts be left equally prominent, the quantity of ink deposited by each and all will be identical, and the impression will be, as before, in simple black and white.

To produce greater depth of shadow in one part of a metallic engraving than in others, the lines must be cut deepest where the shadow is to be the blackest, and thence graduated, less and less deep, to the plain surface, which gives pure white.

To produce greater depth of shadows in one part of a wood-cut than in others, the prominent lines must be left most prominent where the shadow is to be the blackest; and thence shaved away more and more, as the shadows are to be less intense, until no lines at all are left on which the paper can impinge, and _there_ will be pure white.

The superiority of wood-blocks to metallic-plates consists in their superior capacity for impressing broad, solid masses of pure black, as contrasted with pure white. An effect which cannot be readily or effectually given on metal. Since in intaglio engraving the nearest approach to absolute blackness, extending over spaces, is obtained by the continual crossing and recrossing of slender black lines, until the white interstices become infinitesimal, and their effect is more or less swallowed up and lost. The superiority of metal to wood, on the other hand, consists in the greater readiness and facility with which it transfers to paper the finest and most delicate hair-strokes, such as could hardly be left to sustain themselves in wood when all surrounding lights are cut away.

This leads to a different mode of _handling_ in the two materials. Shadows in metallic engraving are produced, mainly, by what is called cross-hatching, or cutting lines, intersecting each other diagonally, with white, lozenge-shaped intersections between them. This method cannot be resorted to with any facility on wood, as any one may comprehend, who will consider, that in one case, on metal, the engraver has only to cut long, continuous lines intersecting each other, each line by a single stroke; leaving the interstices to take care of themselves; while in the other, on wood, every separate lozenge-shaped interstice has to be cut out in precise and regular form, and with such nicety as to leave the intersections, often no wider than a hair, in continuous and accurate lines.

The labor and waste of time in this method is enormous; and, although it is adhered to by some artists, the better and, in our opinion, more effective way of giving shadow is by leaving greater _breadth_ to the prominent lines where the heavier shadows are required, and so diminishing the size of the light spaces left, though in a different direction, and by a different method.

The finest cross-hatched wood-cut in existence, probably the finest ever executed, is a large cut of the death of Dentatus, engraved by Mr. Harvey from the design of Mr. R. B. Haydon. But, though it is unquestionably the most elaborately engraved large wood-cut that ever has appeared, and though parts of it are better than any thing earlier or later, in the same style, it cannot be regarded as a successful specimen of the art. It is, in fact, an attempt to rival a copperplate-engraving on wood; and, as such, has transcended the powers of the art, and the capabilities of the material.

That Mr. Harvey has effected with wood all that could be effected on wood in this manner, is undeniable; but that he could have produced much more with wood, in a different manner, is equally certain.

If the _ne plus ultra_ of wood-engraving were to produce imitations of metal-engraving of inferior effect, and with much greater labor, then Mr. Harvey’s Dentatus were the _ne plus ultra_ of wood-engraving.

But wood, within its own legitimate bounds, is greater and more effective, in some peculiarities, than copper. Just as copper, in other peculiarities, is greater than wood. Neither was ever intended to clash or contend with the other. Each in its own empire is supreme.

It should be added here, before quitting the technical portion of the subject, that one advantage possessed by wood-cuts is this--that giving their impression from the elevated surfaces precisely as metallic types, the wood-blocks can be inserted in the same forms among the types; so that the impressions can be worked by the same press, and printed on the same pages, while the reverse sides can also be printed, either with letter-press or other wood-cuts, so as to form part and parcel of one continuous narrative. Metallic-plates, on the contrary, must be worked by an entirely different press, and on separate pages, apart from the letter-press, and on one side of the paper only.

This gives a great superiority for purposes of illustration, whether by anagrams or slight sketches of things described in the body of the work, to the wood-cut, above the copper-plate. And, indeed, this admitted advantage, with the extreme comparative cheapness of wood-engraving, and the rare delicacy and beauty which has been attained by the more modern artists of the day, has led to the very general adoption of this style of illustration for ornamented volumes.

It is, in fact, rapidly gaining the preference over metallic engraving; the great expense and very inferior durability of copper, and the coldness, hardness, and absence of richness which seem to be inherent to steel, having gone far to banish both from general use as ornaments or additions to printed books.

As the finest of all methods of reproducing large pictures and fine productions of art; as affording exquisite adornments for the walls of ornamented apartments--vastly superior, would people but believe it, to second-rate oil-paintings--as the legitimate treasures of hoarded portfolios, fine copperplate-engravings will and _must_ ever hold their place. But for the illustration of books--as books must now be--accessible to the million, we fully believe that wood is the best, and soon to be almost the sole material.

The day of steel,[1] we think and hope, is already past, for though we have seen good things executed on that most thankless and intractable of substances, we never saw such that we did not regret the time, the talent, and the toil, so comparatively wasted.

Now, to return to the history of wood-cutting proper, we find that but little improvement was effected in the mechanical part, little filling in, very slight efforts at representing texture, and scarcely any chiaro-scuro having been attempted, previous to the invention of movable types and the use of the press.

It is probable that Gutenberg first conceived the idea of movable types, at Strasburg, in or about 1436; and that “with the aid of Faust’s money, and Sheffer’s ingenuity,”[2] the art was perfected at Mentz in or about 1452. “In the first book which appeared with a date and the printer’s name,” continues the author I have quoted above--“The Psalter printed by Faust and Scheffer at Mentz, in 1457--the large initial letters, engraved on wood, and printed in red and blue ink, are the most beautiful specimens of this kind of ornament which the united efforts of the wood-engraver and the pressman have produced. They have been imitated in modern times but not excelled. As they are the first letters, in point of time, printed with two colors, so are they likely to continue the first in point of excellence.”

From this time the art made rapid progress, as connected with the press, which in a very rude and primitive state now came generally into vogue, though the machine of 1460 was as far different from one of Hoe’s marvelous power-presses as is an Indian’s bark canoe from an Atlantic steamer.

Between this date and the conclusion of the century, we find one wood-engraving by an unknown author, the frontispiece of Breydenbach’s Travels, so infinitely superior to every thing that succeeded it for many years as to deserve special notice. It contains the first specimen of cross-hatching known to exist, and attempts both shade and color, not without considerable effect. It is said, by the author above quoted, “not to be only the finest wood-engraving up to that date, but to be in point of design and execution as far superior to the best cuts in the Nuremberg Chronicle, as Albert Durer’s designs are to the cuts in the oldest edition of the ”Poor Preacher’s Bible.“ The engraved frontispiece, in question, bears the date 1486, the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493; and the _Biblia Pauperum_, as it is--probably erroneously--called, in various editions from 1462 to 1475.”

The following cut is a representation of the press in use at this period, and for some considerable time afterward. It is a fac-simile of an engraving of “the press of Jodocus Badius Ascensianus, from the title page of a book printed by him in 1498.”

[Illustration]

The above engraving, although it is not inserted here as a specimen of the style of engraving at this date, but merely as a representation of the machinery in use at the time, may be regarded, on the whole, as about on an average with the ordinary work of the period, both as to design and execution; it is vastly superior to the cuts of the “_Biblia Pauperum_,” and “_Speculum Humanæ Salvationis_,” and yet more so to that of the Nuremberg Chronicles; it is inferior to the frontispiece of Breydenbach’s Travels, which, it has been stated above, is the _chef-d’œuvre_ of this epoch; but, although slight and sketchy, it is in all respects superior to the hideous monstrosities which disgrace, in lieu of ornamenting, four-fifths of the cheap publications of the day.

We have now, however, arrived at a period when wood-engraving became not merely a calling, but an art; when painters of the highest degree, higher than ever before or since, were proud and pleased, and, what is more, _able_ to be designers on wood for the engravers. From this date, until the troubles of the civil war and commonwealth in England, and religious conflicts on the continent of Europe, annihilated the arts, put the muses to flight--with one sublime exception--and almost overthrew society itself, such painters as Wolgemuth, and Pleydenwurth, Cranach, and Burgmair, and more famous yet, Albert Durer and Hans Holbein, became the chief patrons and promulgators of the art, constantly themselves designing and completing drawings on wood, for the engraver, although there is no reason for believing--but on the contrary every reason for denying--that these illustrious men ever employed themselves in actual cutting; which was then a process purely mechanical, practiced by persons utterly devoid of all knowledge either of composition or correct drawing. At this time, all the merit of the wood-cut rested with the designer and artist, none with the wood-cutter. Now it is shared by both alike, and to produce an excellent wood-engraving, excellence both in the artist and the engraver is indispensable. Of a bad or indifferent[3][3a] composition and design, the best engraver that ever lived cannot make a good picture. And in no smaller degree will the best picture ever composed and drawn by the best artist be ruined, and prove an utter failure, if intrusted to the hands of an ignorant, incompetent, or reckless engraver.

Albert Durer--of whom the following cut is a fac-simile likeness, from a wood-engraving designed by himself--was born at Nuremburg, May 20, 1471, the son of Albert Durer, a goldsmith by profession, a Hungarian by birth.

In those days goldsmiths were artists of the highest order; necessarily sculptors, designers and engravers--witness Benevenuto, Cellini, and others, such as Bandinelli, and various great Italians, whom it would be too long to note, scarcely inferior.

[Illustration]

Ambitious of greater things, Durer became apprentice to Michael Wolgemuth, the principal painter of his age and country; and, after having served his time, traveled, married unhappily, and died ere he reached old age, but not before he obtained world-wide, and time-defying renown, as a great painter, as more than a great copperplate-engraver--for it is only the greatest of the present day who are capable of producing fac-similes of his works--and, what most concerns us, as a great patron and promoter of wood-engraving.

That he was no wood-engraver himself, is we consider certainly proved, although by proofs negative.

They are briefly these.

The designs of the wood-cuts ascribed to Albert are in all respects equal to the designs of copper-engravings, known to be both designed and engraved by himself.

The execution and handling on his copperplates is superior to those of any other artist of his day.

Of his wood-cuts, while the designs are transcendent, the execution is ordinary; nor is there any perceptible variation between the execution of the cuts attributed to him, and those known to have been cut by Resch, from his designs.

The style of Durer’s drawing on wood shows the hand of a man used to copper; and is not that the best calculated for producing effects on wood.

Now it is scarcely credible, or even to be imagined, that an artist, who should have attained, himself almost untaught--for whoever they were, he manifestly surpasses all his teachers--such wonderful power and facility in _engraving_ on one substance, should not, with equal practice on a different substance, have evinced the same--or at least _some_--superiority in handling it.

“There are about two hundred subjects, engraved on wood,” we quote, as before, from Jackson’s History of Wood-Engraving, “which are marked with the initials of Albert Durer’s name, and the greater part of them, though evidently designed by the hand of a master, are engraved in a manner which certainly denotes no very great excellence. Of the remainder, which are better engraved, it would be difficult to point out one which displays execution so decidedly superior as to enable any person to say positively that it must have been cut by Durer. The earliest engravings on wood with Durer’s mark are sixteen cuts illustrative of the Apocalypse, first published in 1498; and between that and 1528, the year of his death, it is likely that nearly all the others were executed. The cuts of the Apocalypse generally are much superior to all wood-engravings that had previously appeared, both in design and execution; but if they be examined by any person conversant with the practice of the art, it will be perceived that their superiority is not owing to any delicacy in the lines, which would render them difficult to engrave, but from the ability of the person by whom they were drawn, and from his knowledge of the capabilities of the art. Looking at the state of wood-engraving at the period when those cuts were published, I cannot think that the artist who made the drawings would experience any difficulty in finding persons capable of engraving them.”

It matters not, however, to the history of the art, whether Durer engraved, or did not engrave, with his own hand; it is sufficient for us to know, that it was he, and his friends and successors, who raised it to the position which it in their time occupied, and which, after a dark interregnum, it now occupies again, how high to soar hereafter we know not.

The works of Durer, “The Triumphal Procession of Maximilian,” in which he was a collaborateur with Hans Burgmair, The “Dance Macaber,” ascribed improperly to Hans Holbein, all executed nearly at this period, if they did not attain the highest attainable pitch of perfection, fell not at least far short of it. If, in after days, the skill of the manual workman has increased, the excellence of the designer is less marked--or, what amounts to the same thing, the best designers have not, until within the last half century, applied their talents to this art. At all events, and all things considered, we may assume with Mr. Jackson, that “at no time does the art appear to have been more flourishing, or more highly esteemed, than in the reign of its great patron the Emperor Maximilian.”

From the date of the appearance of the Dance Macaber, which is considered by good judges equal at least to any wood-cuts ever executed, the art began to decline. In England--later, perhaps, to receive it than the more early refined nations of the continent--it lingered through the reign of Elizabeth; but during the reign of the bestial Scottish despot who succeeded her, and his unhappy race, went out, like an exhausted lamp, for want of nutriment. The Italian school yet for awhile clung to existence, distinguished by inferior vigor, but by superior finish and neatness both of drawing and workmanship, and then perished, effete before mature, and never, we believe, has again revived.

How low the art of wood-engraving sunk after the commencement of the seventeenth century, and how small appeared the chance of its ever rising again from its ashes, may be seen at a glance; by comparing the specimens above, none of them pretending to be exemplars of the _finest_ work of their several epochs, with the following miserable abortion, than which, it needs not now to say, no tolerable apprentice, of one year’s standing in a respectable office, could, unless he tried to do so, produce any thing worse either in design or execution.

[Illustration]

And yet this is a very fair example of the style of wood-engraving from the reign of Charles II. to that of George III., with few exceptions. In a word, for some unaccountable reason, this noble art, as an art, had fallen every where--though nowhere, as some persons have fancied, either disused or forgotten--into desuetude, neglect, and contempt, from about the year 1700, until near the close of the eighteenth century. This, too, occurred at a period when, in many other sister branches, art stood as high, perhaps higher than ever, when Antony Vandyke, and Peter Joly, and Godfrey Kneller, and Joshua Reynolds painted, and copper-engraving had shown no decadence, but the reverse, either on the Continent or in England.

On the 10th of August, 1753, at Cherryburn, near Newcastle on Tyne, in Northumberland, was born, the son of a poor owner of a small landsale colliery, Thomas Bewick, who, by his own almost unassisted talents, raised this art, single-handed, from utter disgrace, and all but oblivion, to its very highest pitch of excellence--for in generic drawing and engraving especially, he never has found, and probably never will find, an equal. Designer, draughtsman, engraver, three in one, he has produced wood-cuts which never have been approached, and of which it has been said by competent authority, that “every line that is to be perceived in this, is the best that could have been desired to express the engraver’s perfect idea of his subject.”

It is said that as a boy this great man was employed as a laborer at his father’s coal-pit; but this may be dismissed as improbable at least, since he was early sent to school by his father at the Parsonage House of Ovingham, in an adjoining parish, and was subsequently, in compliance with his own desire, apprenticed to Mr. Beilly, an engraver at Newcastle, where, having by a mere accident of the office been employed to cut some mathematical diagrams on wood, he acquired a taste for the art sufficient to urge him on, without much encouragement, to its prosecution. Shortly after the expiration of his apprenticeship, he returned to his father’s house, and there applied himself earnestly to the study of the art in which he was ultimately to gain so much renown.

[Illustration]

In 1775, when he was twenty-two years old, he received a premium from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufactures for a cut of “the Huntsman and the Old Hound,” which was first printed in an edition of Gay’s Fables, published by T. Saint, Newcastle, 1779--a fac-simile of which is given below.

[Illustration]

Although this juvenile engraving of the great master in no respect approaches the greatest, or even the average, of his mature works, it yet exhibits great talent and greater promise. The whole later tendency of wood-engraving, such as it was, had been toward conventional method, not toward the study and imitation of nature; and here at once, in his earliest success, we find the learner leaving all rules and precepts behind him, and dashing at once into the bold, free, and irregular imitations of nature, by which he was thereafter to achieve a reputation, create a school, and redeem a noble art from the disrepute into which it had fallen; not--as some foolishly have asserted--to revive a lost or forgotten art; for wood-cutting never had been, even in the worst times, _disused_, but only degraded from its high estate and abused to base purposes.

It must be evident that within the limits of an article, such as this, it must be impossible to enter fully into the merits and peculiarities of all the wood-engravers of four centuries; when at the present day alone there are living more than twenty, to each of whom more than an equal space were fairly due, if we but had the space to bestow in proportion to their deserts. As it is, even on Bewick, greatest, in our opinion, most original, most truthful to nature, and least a mannerist of all who have succeeded or preceded him, we can dwell long enough only to speak of him generally as the founder of the modern school, superior in delineation of texture, in force, in spirit, and in the true feeling and genius of the art of wood-cutting, to all the world beside. To those who are acquainted with his “British Birds,” we need only refer to his “woodcock” and his “partridge,” more especially, in justification of our unqualified praise and admiration; to those who are not, we can only give our earnest advice to become acquainted with them as soon as may be. Bewick had many scholars and pupils, who have brought down his reputation and much of his skill to the present day. Mr. Harvey, one of his most eminent successors, long considered his best pupil, has given up engraving for designing, still maintaining high character for ability; but, though a man of unquestioned talent, he is rather too much of a mannerist greatly to delight ourselves. The delicious foliage of Linton, king of all modern artists, is known to all our readers from the fine wood-cuts in the illustrated London papers; as are the traits and characteristics of Thompson, Foster, and half a dozen others, although their names may not be so familiar as their works. Beyond all doubt, the English school of wood-cutting, whether for loose, sketchy, landscape, or elaborate portraiture, is now the finest, freest, simplest, and most natural in the world; the French excel in a sort of bold pen and inky style of character and caste delineation--but it is national, not universal--tricky, not artistical, and lacking the “touch of nature which makes the whole world kin.”

No country has, however, made such wonderful strides in this art as America; for twenty years ago scarce twenty wood-engravings were published annually in America; now we should be afraid to say how many times twenty thousand.

Then, there were, to the best of our memory, but two wood-cutters of any great note or merit--certainly in New York, we believe in America. Dr. Alex’r. Anderson, supposed to be the first who produced any thing worthy of note in this profession, commenced the business, which he still pursues, in 1798 or 1799. Mr. J. A. Adams was the next, who applied himself to the art in 1826. He has now retired, it is understood, on a handsome competency earned by his talent and industry; chiefly, it is said, through his engagement on Harper’s illustrated Bible, a work which owes its celebrity to its prestige, as being the first thing of the kind issued in the United States, and by no means to its merits as a work of art. When issued, in the opinions of those who knew, it was barely tolerable for this country, in which the art was nearly unknown; were it to appear now, it would be merely contemptible.

Not to be over boastful of our own columns, we do not fear to challenge comparison between the generic cuts of game, which have appeared in Graham, within the last two years, from the gravers of Devereux and Brightly, against any thing of their character since the days of Bewick. The cuts of Orr--to whom we had intended to allude more fully--in this paper, as well as those of Devereux generally, prove what we shall do hereafter. But want of space, in this number, circumscribes much complimentary mention of these and many other artists.

[Illustration]

Note.--The head and tail-pieces of this article, without assuming to be splendid or unusual specimens of art, are given as characteristic examples of the modern style in the treatment of foliage and architecture.

-----

[1] It may not probably be known to ordinary readers that while a copperplate-engraving begins to fail after two or three thousand copies have been taken from it, and is worthless after six or eight thousand, fifty or sixty thousand can be taken from wood-blocks, and yet more from steel, without detriment.

[2] History Wood Engraving. Jackson. London.

[3] As an exemplication of the above statement, two wood-cuts are here submitted, with the view of proving the absolute necessity of a good artist-like drawing to enable the engraver to produce a handsome or even creditable wood-cut. Both the following cuts are from one sketch, by the great landscape-painter Morland--the one meagre, tame, unfilled, and presenting nothing beyond a bare, cold outline; the other a remarkably spirited and flowing sketch, not one of the extra or additional lines being supernumerary, but each tending to give both effect and support to the outline.

[Illustration]

[3a] And here it is well to point out to those seeking to obtain good wood-engravings, for the illustration of works which they propose to write or publish, that there are two absurdities, about equally great, usually committed by persons in their position. The one of which is the ordering and paying liberally for the work of a clever artist and designer, and then mulcting the engraver one half the price he ought to receive, if he do his duty and spend the requisite time on the work, and wondering why the product is a wretched botch and not a fine work of art. The other is the converse of this, paying an engraver well to cut, and grudging the extra expense of a good artist. For it must be remembered, that in wood-engraving the artist and designer, where they are not one, as in the case of Bewick and a few others--and this is a rare case--must work in unity of intent, with a perfect comprehension of, and a full sympathy in, the meaning and genius each of the other.

* * * * *

=RIVERS.=

=BY THOMAS MILNER, M. A.=

(_Concluded from page 463._)

Many rivers are subject to a considerable elevation of the level of their waters. This is periodical or irregular in its occurrence, according to the nature of the producing cause. Casual temporary floodings, as the effect of extraordinary rains, are common to the streams of most countries, and sometimes occasion great changes of the surface, and destruction of life and property. One of the most remarkable instances of this kind in modern times, occurred on the 4th of August, 1829, in Scotland, when the Nairn, Spey, and Findhorn rose above their natural boundaries, and spread a devastating deluge over the surrounding country. The rain which produced this flood fell chiefly on the Monadhleadh Mountains, where the rivers in question have their feeders, situated between the south of Loch Ness and the group of the Cairngorums. Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, in his interesting account of this inundation, considers the westerly winds, which prevailed for some time previously, after a season of unusual heat, to have produced a gradual accumulation of vapor, somewhere north of our island; and the column being suddenly impelled by a strong north-easterly blast, it was driven toward the south-west, till arrested in its course by the lofty mountains upon which it discharged itself in torrents perfectly unexampled. The rain fell occasionally in heavy drops, but was for the most part broken by the blast into extremely minute particles, so thick that the very air itself seemed to be descending in one mass of water upon the earth. It deluged every house whose windows were exposed to the south-east. The lesser animals, the birds, and especially game of all kinds, were destroyed in great numbers, by the rain alone; and the mother partridge, with her progeny and mate, were found chilled to death amidst the drenching wet. At Huntly Lodge, according to an accurate observation, between five o’clock of the morning of the 3d of August and the same hour of the succeeding day there fell 3¾ inches of rain, or about one-sixth of our annual allowance of rain descended there in twenty-four hours. This was at a considerable distance from the mountains--the central scene of the rain--where its quantity must have been prodigiously greater, sufficient to account for the tremendous flood that followed, far exceeding in its rise, duration, and havoc, any other that ever affected the same locality. The Findhorn and Spey assumed the appearance of inland seas; and, when the former began to ebb, a fine salmon was driven ashore and captured at an elevation of fifty feet above its ordinary level. Most of the rivers of the temperate zones are subject to these irregular floodings from the same cause, especially those which take their rise in high mountain regions, the St. Lawrence being the most remarkable exception, the level of which is not affected by either rains or drought. The vast lakes from which this river issues furnish its channel with an inexhaustible supply of water, and present a surface too extensive to be sensibly elevated by any extraordinary rains. A strong westerly wind, however, will affect the level of the St. Lawrence, and occasion a rise of six feet in the waters to the eastern extremity of Lake Erie. An easterly wind also upon the Orinoco will check its current, elevate the upper part of the stream, and force its waters into the channels of its tributaries, giving them a backward flow, and causing them to be flooded; and a northerly wind will drive the Baltic up the mouths of the Oder, and raise its level for a considerable distance. In a similar manner, the Neva rises when a strong wind blows from the Gulf of Finland; and that occurrence--taking place coincidently with high water and the breaking up of the ice, would create an inundation sufficient to drown the whole population of St. Petersburg, and convert that brilliant capital, with all its sumptuous palaces, into a chaotic mass of ruins. We have the materials of this statement from M. Kohl. The Gulf of Finland runs to a point as it approaches the mouth of the Neva, where the most violent gales are always those from the west; so that the mass of waters on such occasions is always forcibly impelled toward the city. The islands forming the delta of the Neva, on which St. Petersburg stands, are extremely low and flat; and the highest point in the city is probably not more than twelve or fourteen feet above the average level of the sea. A rise of fifteen feet is therefore enough to place all St. Petersburg under water, and a rise of thirty feet is enough to drown almost every human being in the place. Hence the inhabitants of the capital are in constant danger of destruction at the period referred to, and can never be certain that the 500,000 of them may not, within the next twenty-four hours, be driven out of their houses to find, in multitudes of instances, a watery grave. This is not a chimerical danger; for, during its short continuance, the city of the Czar has experienced some formidable inundations. The only hope of this apparently doomed city is that the three circumstances may never be coincident, namely, high water, the breaking up of the ice, and a gale of wind from the west. It is nevertheless true, that the wind is very often westerly during spring, and the ice floating in the Neva and the Gulf of Finland is of a bulk amply sufficient to oppose a formidable obstacle to the egress of the water; so that it will not be surprising if St. Petersburg, after suddenly rising like a meteor from the swamps of Finland, should still more suddenly be extinguished in them.

[Illustration: =Valley of the Concon, Chili.=]

The periodical rise of rivers is either diurnal, semi-annual, or annual, and proceeds from a variety of causes. Where streams descend immediately from mountains covered with snow, the heat of the sun melting the snow produces high water every day, the increase being the greatest in the hottest days. In Peru and Chili there are small rivers which flow only during the day, because they are fed entirely by the melting of the snow upon the summit of the Andes, which takes place only when the solar influence is in action. In Hindûstan, and some parts of Africa, rivers exist, which, though they flow night and day, are, from the accession of snow-water, the greatest by day. Those rivers also which fall into the sea have their level daily varied by the tidal wave for some distance from their mouths, the extent through which the influence of the tides is felt being modified by the breadth and shape of their channels and the force of their current. The wider and more direct the bed of a stream communicating with the ocean, and the slower its motion the farther the tide will penetrate; whereas a narrow and sinuous course, and a great velocity, offer obstructions to its progress. The tide of the Atlantic is perceived four hundred miles along the course of the Amazon, and that of the German Ocean extends about seventy miles up the Thames. Important facilities are afforded to the navigation of many rivers by this circumstance, for they are only accessible to vessels of large burden at high water. The rapid of Richelieu, on the St. Lawrence, where the river contracts, and has its course obstructed by rocks, impedes the navigation between Montreal and Quebec, except at high tide, when the water rises fifteen or eighteen feet, and the rapid entirely disappears. A semi-annual or annual rise alone distinguishes the rivers of inter-tropical regions, and of countries bordering on the torrid zone. The semi-annual rise is a feature of those rivers which drain high mountain ranges, and proceeds from the two independent causes, of the melting of the snows in spring or summer, and the great seasonal rains to which such districts are subject. The rivers which have only one annual rise are influenced by the latter cause alone, or by the two acting coincidently, and producing a grand periodical flood. The Tigris rises twice in the year--first, and most remarkably, in April, in consequence of the melting of the snows in the mountains of Armenia; and secondly, in November, through an accession from the periodical rains. The Mississippi likewise is subject to two rises in the year--one about January, occasioned by the periodical rains that fall toward the lower part of its course; but the grand flood commences in March, and continues till June, proceeding from the melting of the ice in the upper part of the continent, where the Missouri and other tributary streams have their origin. A very striking spectacle is exhibited by this river in the season of inundation. It rises from forty to fifty feet in some parts of its course, and is from thirty to a hundred miles wide, all overshaded with forest, except the interior stripe consisting of its bed. The water stands among the trees from ten to fifteen feet in height, and the appearance is exactly that of a forest rising from a lake, with its waters in rapid motion. For the protection of the cultivated lands, and to prevent their conversion into permanent swamps, an embankment, called the Levee, has been raised, which extends two hundred miles on the eastern shore of the river, and three hundred on the western. In Asia, the Ganges, Indus, and Euphrates exhibit inundations upon a similarly great scale. The Euphrates slightly increases in January, but the grand flood begins soon after the middle of March. It attains its height about the 20th of May, after which it falls rapidly till June. The decrease then proceeds gradually until the middle of November, when the stream is at its lowest. The rise of the water at Anah, above the site of ancient Babylon, occasionally amounts to eighteen feet, sometimes entering that town, running with a velocity exceeding five miles an hour. The moment that the waters of the river recede, the rice and grain crops are sown in the marshes, and villages of slightly made reed cottages are reared in their neighborhood. These last, in consequence of being suffered to remain too long, are often surprised by the returning inundation, and it is no uncommon spectacle for their occupants to be seen following the floating villages in canoes, for the purpose of recovering their property. But of all inundations that of the Nile, if not the most extensive, is the most regular, and has become the most celebrated, from the knowledge of it going back to the earliest periods to which history recurs. The rise of the river commences about the time of the summer solstice, attains its maximum height at the autumnal equinox, remains stationary for some days, and then gradually diminishes till the time of the winter solstice. The ancients, unacquainted with the climate of the interior country from which it descends, and not caring in general to inquire for physical causes, possessing also a very limited knowledge of terrestrial phenomena, deemed the annual overflow of the Nile a unique event, and attributed it to the special interference of a supernatural power. Lucretius, however, who soared in many respects above the prejudices of his age concerning the natural world, assigned it to a proper cause; though he ascribes too much influence to the Etesian wind, and shows his imperfect acquaintance with the geography of the globe, by supposing the occurrence without a parallel.

“The Nile now calls us, pride of Egypt’s plains: Sole stream on earth its boundaries that o’erflows Punctual, and scatters plenty. When the year Now glows with perfect summer, leaps its tide Proud o’er the champaign; for the north wind, now Th’ Etesian breeze, against its mouth direct Blows with perpetual winnow; every surge Hence loiters slow, the total current swells, And wave o’er wave its loftiest bank surmounts. For that the fixed monsoon that now prevails Flows from the cold stars of the northern pole None e’er can doubt; while rolls the Nile adverse Full from the south, from realms of torrid heat, Haunts of the Ethiop tribes; yet far beyond First bubbling, distant, o’er the burning line.

Then ocean, haply, by th’ undevious breeze Blown up the channel, heaves with every wave Heaps of high sand, and dams its wonted course; Whence, narrower, too, its exit to the main, And with less force the tardy stream descends.

Or, towards its fountain, ampler rains, perchance, Fall, as th’ Etesian fans, now wide unfurled, Ply the big clouds perpetual from the north Full o’er the red equator; where condensed, Ponderous and low, against the hills they strike, And shed their treasures o’er the rising flood. Or, from the Ethiop mountains, the bright sun Now full matured with deep-dissolving ray May melt th’ agglomerate snows, and down the plains Drive them, augmenting hence th’ incipient stream.”

[Illustration: =The Nile at the Pyramids.=]

The annual overflow of the Nile is now well known to proceed from the heavy periodical rains within the tropics. They fall in copious torrents upon the great plateau of Abyssinia, which rises, like a fortress, 6000 feet above the burning plains with which it is surrounded on every side, attracting the clouds, cold fogs, and tremendous showers, enveloping An Rober, the capital, while, whenever the curtain of mist is withdrawn, the strange contrast is presented of the sulphureous plains, visible below, where the heat is 90°, and the drought excessive. A peculiar character has been given to this district by the violence of the periodical rains. Bruce speaks of the mountains of this table-land, not remarkable for their height, but for their number and uncommon forms. “Some of them are flat, thin, and square, in shape of a hearth-stone or slab, that scarce would seem to have base sufficient to resist the winds. Some are like pyramids, others like obelisks or prisms, and some, the most extraordinary of all, pyramids pitched upon their points, with their base uppermost.” Mr. Salt confirms this delineation in the main. The peculiar shapes referred to have been formed by the action of the torrents discharged from the clouds, which have, for ages, been skeletonizing the country, dismantling the granite with its kindred masses of the softer deposits, gradually wearing away also these harder rocks, and carrying along the soil of Ethiopia, strewing it upon the valley of the Nile, to the shores of the Mediterranean. When Bruce was ascending Taranta, a sudden noise was heard on the heights louder than the loudest thunder, and, almost directly afterward, a river, the channel of which had been dry, came down in a stream several feet in depth, and as broad as the whole bed. Hence the steeple and obelisk form of the rocks, with their naked aspect--which has, not unaptly, been compared to bones stripped of their flesh.

In the tropical countries of South America, the seasonal rains are, perhaps, more intensely copious than in any other part of the torrid zone, and the floods of its rivers are of corresponding magnitude. At the mission of San Antonio de Javita, on the Orinoco, during the wet season, the sun and stars are seldom visible, and Humboldt was told by the padre, that it sometimes rained for four or five months without intermission. The traveler collected there, in five hours, 21 lines of water in height on the first of May, and 14 lines on the 3d, in three hours; whereas at Paris there fall only 28 or 30 lines in as many weeks. Humboldt traces the transition from the one great season of drought to that of rain, which divides the year, in an interesting manner, with the atmospheric phenomena which accompany the change. About the middle of February in the valleys of Araqua, he observed clouds forming in the evening, and in the beginning of March the accumulation of vesicular vapors became visible. “Nothing,” he remarks, in beautifully graphic style, “can equal the purity of the atmosphere from December to February. The sky is then constantly without clouds, and should one appear, it is a phenomenon that occupies all the attention of the inhabitants. The breeze from the east and north-east blows with violence. As it always carries with it air of the same temperature, the vapors cannot become visible by refrigeration. Toward the end of February and the beginning of March, the blue of the sky is less intense; the hygrometer gradually indicates greater humidity; the stars are sometimes veiled by a thin stratum of vapors; their light ceases to be tranquil and planetary; and they are seen to sparkle from time to time at the height of 20° above the horizon. At this period the breeze diminishes in strength, and becomes less regular, being more frequently interrupted by dead calms. Clouds accumulate toward the south-east, appearing like distant mountains with distinct outlines. From time to time they are seen to separate from the horizon, and traverse the celestial vault with a rapidity which has no correspondence with the feebleness of the wind that prevails in the lower strata of the air. At the end of March the southern region of the atmosphere is illuminated by small electric explosions, like phosphorescent gleams, confined to a single group of vapors. From this period the breeze shifts at intervals, and for several hours, to the west and south-west, affording a sure indication of the approach of the rainy season, which, on the Orinoco, commences about the end of April. The sky begins to be overcast, its azure color disappears, and a gray tint is uniformly diffused over it. At the same time the heat of the atmosphere gradually increases, and, instead of scattered clouds, the whole vault of the heavens is overspread with condensed vapors. The howling monkeys begin to utter their plaintive cries long before sunrise. The atmospheric electricity, which, during the period of the greatest drought, from December to March, had been almost constantly in the day-time from 1·7 to 2 lines to Volta’s electrometer, becomes extremely variable after March. During whole days it appears null, and again for some hours the pith-balls of the electrometer diverge from three to four lines. The atmosphere, which in the torrid as in the temperate zone is generally in a state of positive electricity, passes alternately, in the course of eight or ten minutes, to a negative state. The rainy season is that of thunder-storms. The storm rises in the plains two hours after the sun passes through the meridian, and therefore shortly after the period of the maximum of the diurnal heat in the tropics. In the inland districts it is exceedingly rare to hear thunder at night or in the morning--nocturnal thunder-storms being peculiar to certain valleys of rivers which have a particular climate.” The substance of the explanation of the preceding phenomena, by the philosophic writer of the statement, may be briefly given:

The season of rains and thunder in the northern equinoctial zone coincides with the passage of the sun through the zenith of the place, the cessation of the breezes or north-east winds, and the frequency of calms and furious currents of the atmosphere from the south-east and south-west, accompanied with a cloudy sky. While the breeze from the north-east blows, it prevents the atmosphere from being saturated with moisture. The hot and loaded air of the torrid zone rises, and flows off again toward the poles, while inferior currents from these last, bringing drier and colder strata, take the place of the ascending columns. In this manner, the humidity--being prevented from accumulating--passes off toward the temperate and colder regions, so that the sky is always clear. When the sun, entering the northern signs, rises toward the zenith, the breeze from the north-east softens, and at length ceases; this being the season at which the difference of temperature between the tropics and the contiguous zone is least. The column of air resting on the equinoctial zone becomes replete with vapors, because it is no longer renewed by the current from the pole: clouds form in this atmosphere, saturated and cooled by the effects of radiation and the dilatation of the ascending air, which increases its capacity for heat in proportion as it is rarefied. Electricity accumulates in the higher regions, in consequence of the formation of the vesicular vapors, the precipitation of which is constant during the day, but generally ceases at night. The showers are more violent and accompanied with electrical explosions, shortly after the maximum of the diurnal heat. These phenomena continue until the sun enters the southern signs, when the polar current is reëstablished, because the difference between the heat at the equinoctial and temperate regions is daily increasing. The air of the tropics being thus renewed, the rains cease, the vapors are dissolved, and the sky resumes its azure tint.

The Orinoco, when in flood, inundates a vast extent of country, six hundred miles in length, and from sixty to ninety in width. Its waters cover the savannas along its banks to the depth of twelve or fourteen feet, giving to them a lake-like appearance, in the midst of which farm-houses and villages are seen rising on islands but little elevated above the surface. The wild cattle perish in great numbers, and fall an easy prey to the carrion-vultures and alligators. In one part of the river Humboldt found marks of recent inundation at 45 feet above the ordinary level; but above the greatest height to which its waters are now elevated, he traced its ancient action at 106 or even 138 feet. “Is this river, then,” inquires he, “the Orinoco, which appears to us so imposing and majestic, merely the feeble remnant of those immense currents of fresh water which, swelled by Alpine snows or by more abundant rains, every where shaded by dense forests, and destitute of those beaches that favor evaporation, formerly traversed the regions to the east of the Andes, like arms of inland seas? What must then have been the state of those low countries of Guiana, which now experience the effects of annual inundations! What a prodigious number of crocodiles, lamartines, and boas must have inhabited these vast regions, alternately converted into pools of stagnant water and arid plains! The more peaceful world in which we live has succeeded to a tumultuous world. Bones of mastadons and real American elephants are found dispersed over the platforms of the Andes. The megatherium inhabited the plains of Uruguay. By digging the earth more deeply in high valleys, which at the present day are unable to nourish palms or tree-ferns, we discover strata of coal, containing gigantic remains of monocotyledonous plants. There was therefore a remote period when the tribes of vegetables were differently distributed, when the animals were larger, the rivers wider and deeper. There stop the monuments of nature which we can consult.”

The bifurcation of flowing waters is sufficiently illustrative of the physics of the earth to justify a few words:--Europe presents two instances of bifurcation--one in Italy, between the Arno and the Chiana; the other in Germany, between the Haase and the Else, in Westphalia. Asia also possesses, on the peninsula lying beyond India, two grand examples. What we know about them is principally founded upon the information gathered by Dr. Buchanan Hamilton, during his stay in Ava, the capital of the Birman empire. But it is to be observed, that the communications of these Indian rivers, at least as regards those in the country of the Jun-Shan, appear doubtful. British travelers have succeeded in penetrating, from Maulmain, at the mouth of the river Saluan, into the interior of the country of the Shan, which has been so long shut up; but Lieutenant M’Leod, who reached the river of Kambodja, says nothing to confirm the information Dr. Buchanan gives us. The most important of all known divisions in the form of a fork, however, is the bifurcation of the Orinoco, which communicates through the Cassiquiare with the Rio Negro, and through this river with the Amazon. It has already been remarked, that the observations of A. von Humboldt have put this bifurcation beyond a doubt; but the subject deserves a recurrence to it, as presenting to our attention a singular physical feature, and illustrating the energy of the great traveler of modern times.

He and Bonpland left Carracas in the year 1800, crossed the valleys of Aragua, and the Llanos of Calabozo--excellent pastures, which separate the cultivated part of Venezula from the region of the forests and missions--and embarked at San Fernando, on the Rio Apure, to follow its course downward to its discharge into the principal branch of Orinoco. They then ascended the Orinoco, passing its two great cataracts of Apures and Maypures, and reached the village of San Fernando de Atabapo, situated at the junction of the Guaviare and Atabapo, and near lat. 4° N. Here they left the river, and sailed up the Atabapo to the mouth of the Rio Temi, which latter they followed as far as its confluence with the Tuamini, and arrived at the village of San Antonio de Javita, formerly mentioned as remarkable for its amount of rain. From this point the Indians carried their boat across the isthmus which separates the Tuamini from the Rio Pimichin, the travelers following on foot, passing through dense forests, often in danger from the number of snakes that infested the marshes. Embarking on the Pimichin, they came in four hours and a half into the Rio Negro. “The morning,” says Humboldt, “was cool and beautiful. We had been confined thirty-six days in a narrow canoe, so unsteady that it would have been upset by any one rising imprudently from his seat, without warning the rowers to preserve its balance by leaning to the opposite side. We had suffered severely from the stings of insects, but had withstood the insalubrity of the climate; we had passed without accident the numerous falls and bars that impede the navigation of the rivers, and often render it more dangerous than long voyages by sea. After all we had endured, I may be allowed to mention the satisfaction which we felt in having reached the tributaries of the Amazon.” The Rio Negro, which flows into that river, was navigated downward as far as San Carlos, then supposed to lie under the equator, but actually about 2° N. From thence the travelers retraced the river, passed from it into the Cassiquiare, and again entered the main channel of the Orinoco, three leagues below the mission of Esmeralda; thus demonstrating a junction between the two great floods of the Amazon and Orinoco, which had been, in the year 1798, declared by Bauche to be a geographical monstrosity. The bifurcation of the Orinoco takes place in the following manner:--The river, issuing from among the mountains, reaches the opening of a valley or depression which terminates at the Rio Negro. Here it divides into two branches, the smaller, or the Cassiquiare, turning off to the south, while the main stream continues its original direction--west-north-west. A reference to Humboldt’s map, of which we give a translated copy, will render further explanation unnecessary.

The preceding notices refer to what have been appropriately styled the “might rivers,” and the “great rivers,” none of which are to be found in Europe. Its noblest running waters belong to a third grade. “These,” says Inglis, “I would designate the large rivers; for great and large are not entirely synonymous; and, to most minds, the term great river and large river, will present a distinct image. The lower we descend in the scale, the more numerous do we find the species. The continent of Europe abounds with examples of the third class--such as the Rhine, the Danube, the Rhone, the Elbe, the Tagus, the Ebro, and the Guadalquivir. The fourth class is still more numerous; and of this class, which I would call considerable rivers, we may find examples at home. Father Thames takes the lead; and the Severn, and perhaps the Trent, the Clyde, the Tweed, the Tyne, and the Tay, may be entitled to the same distinction. On the continent, it would be easy to name a hundred such; let me content myself with naming the Loire, the Meuse, the Soane, the Garonne, the Adige, and the Maine. Fifthly, come the small rivers. Multitudinous they are; but as examples, I may name the Wye, the Dart, the Derwent, the Dee, the Aire, the Spey, the Ex, and a thousand such; while on the continent, of the same class, may be mentioned the Gare, the Seine, the Reass, or the Sombre. The word river can no longer be employed, for now come the family of streams--nameless, except to those who live upon their banks: the rivulets follow; and, lastly, we close the enumeration with rills.” The small rivers, with the streams subordinate to them, are especially rife in countries where there is the vicinage of the sea, and high elevations on the land. This renders them so abundant in such districts as the Greek peninsula. There, Alpine tracts of territory collect from the atmosphere the vapors of the contiguous sea, arrest the castellated glories of cloudland, and awaken in the valleys and plains the refreshing music “of the voice of many waters.” The commerce of kingdoms distinguishes not the rivers of this classic soil, but they are familiar with the charms of nature, add effect to the sublime and wild in its scenery, and clothe with heightened grace the soft and pastoral. Following the course of the Angitas up to its source, we come to one of the most picturesque sites in Macedonia, supposed to be the nymphæum or grotto of Onocaris. Blocks of marble, rudely piled, as if tossed together by an earthquake, obstruct its entrance, which can only be passed in a crawling posture; but these difficulties being overcome, a cave like a temple appears, from the farther end of which runs the limpid stream, flowing silently over a sand bed, but rippling when it escapes from the grotto. In a recess, there are some remains of ancient masonry below an aperture, through which a mysterious light finds its way.

“Pure element of waters! wheresoe’er Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts, Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-bearing plants, Rise into life, and in thy train appear.”

Upon the large circular valley-plain of Bœotia, the heights of Parnassus on the west, Helicon on the south, and Cithæron on the east, send down streams, covering the undulating surface of this Classic Land with a life-sustaining vegetation.

The same physical causes--high lands and the contiguous sea--operate, in Judea as in Greece, to render it a well-watered country--a “land of brooks,” according to its Scripture designation. There are no considerable rivers, owing to the scanty extent of its hydrographical basins; but the melting of the snow on the high mountains of Syria, and the periodical sound of an “abundance of rain,” contribute to furnish an ample irrigation. Its principal stream--the Jordan--though only one of the fifth class, and not remarkable for picturesque beauty except in the upper part of its course, has a sacred and historic interest, which will always strongly attract attention to it, while it exhibits a singular physical peculiarity. This is the depression of the valley, in which it flows, below the level of the Mediterranean, through the whole distance between the Sea of Tiberias and the Dead Sea; and the great inclination of its descent from the one to the other, amounting at a mean to very nearly eighteen feet per mile. Hence the force of its current, notwithstanding a comparatively small volume of water, and the few windings that mark its channel. Speaking of its appearance near the site of Jericho, Dr. Robinson states: “There was a still though very rapid current. We estimated the breadth of the stream to be from eighty to one hundred feet. The guides supposed it now to be ten or twelve feet deep. The current was so strong, that even Komeh, a stout swimmer of the Nile, was carried down several yards in crossing.” Upon the authority of some phrases in the English version of the Scriptures, which, perhaps, do not express the sense of the original Hebrew, it has been generally supposed that the Jordan periodically inundated the country in its neighborhood, at, and for some time after, the Israelitish conquest of it. If this were so, either the river must have worn for itself a deeper bed, or the quantity of rain in Palestine must have largely diminished, for there is now no overflow of its banks. At present, the “swellings of Jordan”--one of the phrases alluded to--amount only to a slight annual rise. Copious rains descend upon the mountains round its sources, and the melting of the snows of Lebanon supply numerous temporary torrents; but these contributions are received into the capacious basins of the lakes Merom and Tiberias, and are there spread over an extensive surface, so as to prevent the level of the river from rising into inundation.

[Illustration: =Natural Bridge of Ain el Leban.=]

In exactly the same manner, the great Canadian lakes, prevent any rise to the St. Lawrence, by the immense floods that rush into them in the spring spreading over their vast beds, and producing only an almost inappreciable elevation of their level. Lebanon, the feeder of the Jordan from its internal reservoirs, along with “Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus,” and the Orontes, gives birth to many rapid and brawling streams, and a thousand cascades, when its snows melt, which strikingly display the erosive power of running water. Deep passages have been cut in the rocks, bestrided by natural arches, like the rock-bridge of Virginia. Of this description is the natural bridge over the Ain el Leban, rising nearly two hundred feet above the torrent which has gradually dug the excavation, as annually the spring has renewed its strength. The brook flows into the Beyrout river, and its channel would be quite dry in summer, were it not for the impediments its mountain course presents. It was the spring season, the time of the melting of the snow, when the monarch of Israel, during his temporary exile from the throne, retreated for a refuge toward the fastnesses of Lebanon. He saw the torrents falling from height to height into the valleys. He heard the voices of the waters as they leaped from rock to rock. His imagination converted this external scenery into a picture of the force of his adversities; and hence the allusion, in the plaintive elegiac, commemorative of his condition, to the “noise of cataracts,” and to “deep calling unto deep.”

In advancing toward their termination, and at their embouchure, the great rivers present several striking peculiarities. It has already been remarked, that a junction of two large streams often occurs without any expansion of the surface of their waters being the consequence, but a greater velocity of current and depth of channel. In some cases, instead of a wider course being created by increased volume of water, there is actually a narrower bed. Thus the Mississippi is a mile and a half wide, and the Missouri half a mile wide, at their confluence, yet from that point to the mouth of the Ohio, the medium width of the united rivers is but three-quarters of a mile, and through the lower parts of its course the main stream has, if any thing, a less surface-breadth, though vast accessions are made to it by the Arkansas, Red River, and others of great depth and body of water. Most of the tributaries of the Mississippi also, are wider a thousand miles apart from it than at the point of junction, and the same feature is characteristic of other great streams, that as they increase their volume of water and approach their termination, they flow in narrower though deeper channels. The Nile is not so broad at Cairo as at Siout, nor so broad at Siout as at Thebes. At Assouan, high up the stream, it is 3900 feet wide; at Oudi, 36 miles above Cairo, it is 2900; and at Rosetta, near its mouth, but 1800. This is one of the many examples of benign adjustment with which the realms of nature teem; for hereby a rich legacy of fertile soil, usually found at the mouths of rivers, is saved from submergence, and becomes the inheritance of man. In their junction with the sea, rivers display the diversity of sometimes pouring forth their waters through a single mouth, and distributing them into a variety of channels; circumstances mainly dependent upon the country through which they flow being easily susceptible of excavation or not, and upon the power of the stream. The Ganges pours its flood through the many channels here represented.

[Illustration]

The Volga is celebrated for its seventy mouths; and the Ganges, the Nile, Mississippi, and Orinoco pour out their current through several branches. The space inclosed within these various channels is called a delta, from its triangular form, and general resemblance to the shape of the Greek letter Δ. So powerfully do many of the great rivers rush into the ocean, that their waters are distinct from those of the briny deep, when out of sight of the land. A British fleet lying opposite to the mouth of the Rhone occasionally took up fresh water at a considerable distance from the shore; and Columbus found his vessel in the fresh water of the Orinoco before he discovered the continent of South America. The collision of a great river current and the opposing tide of the sea is sometimes so violent as to occasion an elevated ridge of waters, heaving and tossing in a tremendous manner, shattering to pieces the ill-fated vessel that comes into contact with it. The passage of the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay, and of the Ganges into the Bay of Bengal, exhibit this phenomenon.

In treating of the magnitude of rivers, some writers refer to the elevation of the range of mountains from which they descend; and it is obviously true, that the greater the height of the mountains, the more extensive are their snows and glaciers, and the larger the supply of water furnished by springs and torrents. But the magnitude of a stream is more especially regulated by the extent of country which forms the declivities of its basin, though there is no invariable proportion here, for a small basin in a humid region will yield a greater quantity of water than one much more considerable in a different situation. High mountains, a humid climate, and a wide superficial drainage, are the three physical circumstances which lead to the accumulation of vast bodies of water, the magnitude of which will be proportionate to the degree in which these causes are in combined operation. Upon the surface of the New World, we have these causes acting with greater intensity than upon that of the Old, which explains the superior character of the streams of the western continent. The following exhibits the extent of the hydrographical regions of the principal rivers of the globe, with the proportionate quantity of their waters:

─────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────┬─────────────── = Rivers.= │ = Area of │ =Proportional │ =Proportional │ Basin in │size of Basin.=│ Quantity of │English Miles.=│ │ Water │ │ │ discharged │ │ │ Annually.= ─────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────┴─────────────── =Europe=: ─────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────┬─────────────── Thames │ 5,500 │ 1 │ 1 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Rhine │ 70,000 │ 12½ │ 13 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Loire │ 48,000 │ 8½ │ 10 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Po │ 27,000 │ 5 │ 6 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Elbe │ 50,000 │ 9 │ 8 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Vistula │ 76,000 │ 13½ │ 12 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Danube │ 310,000 │ 56 │ 65 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Dnieper │ 200,000 │ 36 │ 36 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Don │ 205,000 │ 37 │ 38 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Volga │ 520,000 │ 94 │ 80 ─────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────┴─────────────── =Asia=: ─────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────┬─────────────── Euphrates │ 230,000 │ 42 │ 60 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Indus │ 400,000 │ 72½ │ 133 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Ganges │ 420,000 │ 76 │ 148 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Yang-tse-kiang │ 760,000 │ 138 │ 258 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Amour │ 900,000 │ 164 │ 166 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Lena │ 960,000 │ 174 │ 125 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Obi │ 1,300,000 │ 236 │ 179 ─────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────┴─────────────── =Africa=: ─────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────┬─────────────── Nile │ 500,000 │ 90 │ 250 ─────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────┴─────────────── =America=: ─────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────┬─────────────── St. Lawrence │ 600,000 │ 109 │ 112 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Mississippi │ 1,368,000 │ 249 │ 338 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Rio de la Plata │ 1,240,000 │ 225 │ 490 ─────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────┼─────────────── Amazon, not │ 2,177,000 │ 395 │ 1280 including Araguay│ │ │ ─────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────

Malte Brun estimates that, representing all the waters discharged by the European rivers by unity, the Black Sea receives 0·273; the Caspian, 0·165; the Mediterranean, Sea of Marmora, and Archipelago, 0·144; the Atlantic Ocean, 0·131; the Baltic, 0·129; the North Sea, 0·110; the Arctic Frozen Ocean, 0·048. The annexed table has a character of universal interest, and naturally finds a place here.

─────────────────┬────────────┬─────────────────┬──────────────┬───── =RIVERS.= │=LOCALITY.= │=RISE.= │=DISCHARGE.= │=L’GTH= ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Amazon. │Brazil. │Andes. │Atlantic. │ 3200 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Amour. │Mongolia. │Khan Ola │Sea of Okotsk.│ 2240 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Brahmapootra. │Thibet. │Himalaya │Bay of Bengal.│ 1500 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Bravo del Norte. │Mexico. │Sierra Verde. │Gulf of │ 1250 │ │ │Mexico. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Colorado. │North │Unknown. │Gulf of │ 700 │America. │ │California. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Columbia. │North │Rocky Mountains. │Pacific Ocean.│ 1090 │America. │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Congo. │Africa. │Lake Aquilunda. │Atlantic │ 1400 │ │ │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Danube. │Germany. │Black Forest. │Black Sea. │ 1630 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Dnieper. │Russia. │Heights of │Black Sea. │ 1050 │ │Smolensk. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Dniester. │Russia. │Carpathian │Black Sea. │ 480 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Don. │Russia. │Lake Ivanhof. │Sea of Azof. │ 860 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Douro. │Spain and │Mountains of │Atlantic │ 455 │Portugal. │Sovia. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Dwina. │Russia. │Heights of │White Sea. │ 490 │ │Vologda. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Ebro. │Spain. │Mountains of │Mediterranean.│ 410 │ │Asturias. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── El Asi, the │Syria. │East side of │Mediterranean │ 225 ancient Orontes. │ │Anti Libanus. │Sea. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Elbe. │Germany. │Elb-brunnen, in │German Ocean. │ 770 │ │Bohemia. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Euphrates. │Asiatic │Mountains of │Persian Gulf. │ 1360 │Turkey. │Armenia. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Forth. │Scotland. │East side of Ben │German Ocean. │ 110 │ │Lomond. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Gambia. │Senegambia. │Plateau of Fouta │Atlantic │ 700 │ │Toro. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Ganges. │Hindustan. │Bed of snow │Bay of Bengal.│ 1350 │ │above │ │ │ │Gangoutri, in │ │ │ │the Himalaya. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Garonne. │France. │Valley of Aran, │Bay of Biscay.│ 400 │ │in Spain. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Glomman. │Norway. │Mountains │Baltic Sea. │ 400 │ │south-east of │ │ │ │Trondheim. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Godavery. │Hindustan. │Western Ghauts. │Bay of Bengal.│ 850 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Guadalquivir. │Spain. │Mountains on the │Gulf of Cadiz.│ 280 │ │frontiers of │ │ │ │Murcia and │ │ │ │Granada. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Guadiana. │Spain. │Pools of Ruideva │Gulf of Cadiz.│ 460 │ │in La Mancha. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Hoang-Ho. │China. │Koulkoun │Yellow Sea. │ 3000 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Hudson. │United │Marsh near Lake │Bay of New │ 325 │States. │Champlain. │York. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Humber (Trent │England. │Moorlands of │German Ocean. │ 230 Branch.) │ │Staffordshire. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Indus. │Hindustan. │Little Thibet, │Arabian Sea. │ 1700 │ │north of the │ │ │ │Himalaya │ │ │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Irawady. │Birman │Mountains east │Bay of Bengal.│ 1200 │Empire. │of Assam. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Jaxartes, or │Turkestan. │Country of the │Sea of Aral. │ 1200 Sihoun. │ │Highland │ │ │ │Kirghiz. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── James River. │United │Alleghany │Chesapeake │ 500 │States. │Mountains. │Bay. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Jordan. │Palestine. │Mount Hermon. │Dead Sea. │ 100 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Jumnah. │Hindustan. │Himalaya │Ganges. │ 1600 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Kizil-Irmak, the │Asia Minor. │Frontiers of │Black Sea. │ 570 ancient Halys. │ │Sisas. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Krishna, or │Hindustan. │Western Ghauts. │Bay of Bengal.│ 650 Kistna. │ │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Kodos, or │Asia Minor. │Murad-tagh. │Gulf of │ 190 Sarahat, the │ │ │Smyrna. │ ancient Hermus. │ │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Kouban. │Russian │Valley near │Black Sea. │ 480 │Asia. │Mount Elburz. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Lawrence, St. │Canada. │River St. Louis, │Atlantic │ 1960 │ │east of Lake │Ocean. │ │ │Superior. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Lena. │Siberia. │Heights of │Arctic Ocean. │ 2500 │ │Irkutsk. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Loire. │France. │Mount Gerbier, │Bay of Biscay.│ 620 │ │in the Cevennes.│ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Mackenzie. │North │River Athabasca, │Arctic Ocean. │ 1600 │America. │in the Rocky │ │ │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Mæander. │Asia Minor. │West side of │Archipelago. │ 180 │ │Central Plateau. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Magdalena. │South │Andes. │Caribbean Sea.│ 840 │America. │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── May-kuang. │Birman │Thibet. │Chinese Sea. │ 1700 │Empire. │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Meinam. │Birman │Yunnaw. │Gulf of Siam. │ 850 │Empire. │ │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Meuse, or Maas. │Holland. │Limburg. │German Ocean. │ 520 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Mississippi. │North │Lake Itaska. │Gulf of │ 3200 │America. │ │Mexico. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Missouri. │North │Rocky Mountains. │Gulf of │ 4500 │America. │ │Mexico. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Murray. │Australasia.│Australian Alps. │Encounter Bay.│ 3000 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Niger. │Soudan. │Base of Mount │Gulf of │ 2300 │ │Loma. │Guinea. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Nile. │Egypt and │Blue Nile, in │Mediterranean │ 2750 │Nubia. │the Plateau of │Sea. │ │ │Abyssinia; │ │ │ │source of the │ │ │ │White Nile │ │ │ │unknown. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Obi. │Siberia. │Altaian │Arctic Ocean. │ 2800 │ │Mountains. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Oder. │Germany. │Mountains of │Baltic Sea. │ 460 │ │Moravia. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Orange, or │South │Mountains N. W. │Atlantic │ 1050 Gareep. │Africa. │of Port Natal. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Orinoco. │South │Mountains of │Atlantic │ 1150 │America. │Spanish Guiana. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Oxus, or Jihoun. │Turkestan. │Siri-kol, a lake │Sea of Aral. │ 1300 │ │in Khunduz. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Plata, Paraguay │South │South-west of │Atlantic │ 2130 branch. │America. │Brazil. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Po. │Italy. │Crottian Alps. │Adriatic Sea. │ 500 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Potomac. │United │Great Back-bone │Chesapeake │ 400 │States. │Mountain. │Bay. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Rhine. │Germany. │Rhetian Alps. │German Ocean. │ 830 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Rhone. │France. │Glacier of Mount │Mediterranean │ 540 │ │Furca. │Sea. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Seine. │France. │Plateau of │British │ 480 │ │Langres. │Channel. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Senegal. │Africa. │Heights near │Atlantic │ 950 │ │Teembo. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Severn. │England. │East side of │Bristol │ 210 │ │Plinlimmon. │Channel. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Shannon. │Ireland. │Loch Allen. │Atlantic. │ 220 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Susquehanna. │United │Lake to the │Chesapeake │ 500 │States. │South of │Bay. │ │ │Ontario. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Tagus. │Spain and │Mountains of New │Atlantic │ 520 │Portugal. │Castile. │Ocean. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Terek. │Russian │Foot of Mount │Caspian Sea. │ 300 │Asia. │Kasibec. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Thames. │England. │Cotswold Hills. │German Ocean. │ 240 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Tiber. │Italy. │East border of │Mediterranean │ 210 │ │Tuscany. │Sea. │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Tigris. │Turkey in │Mountains of │Persian Gulf. │ 920 │Asia. │Armenia. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Vistula. │Poland. │Austrian Silesia.│Baltic Sea. │ 650 ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Volga. │Russia. │Lake in the │Caspian Sea. │ 1900 │ │forest of │ │ │ │Volhonsky. │ │ ─────────────────┼────────────┼─────────────────┼──────────────┼───── Yang-tse-Kiang. │China. │Thibet. │Chinese Sea. │ 2700 ─────────────────┴────────────┴─────────────────┴──────────────┴─────

The first place among the rivers of the globe is due to the Amazon, if not for the length of its course, yet for the volume of its waters. It traverses the equatorial regions of South America, chiefly in a direction from west to east, and has its embouchure nearly under the equator. Its mouth was discovered in the year 1500 by Pinzon, one of the captains who sailed with Columbus on his first voyage; and thirty nine years afterward, the stream was traced downward from Peru by Francisco Orellana, whose name was given to the river by his countrymen, to preserve the memory of his bold enterprise. But the Spaniard’s report of having met with armed women on its banks, deprived him of the honor, for it originated the common title of the river of the Amazon. Its principal affluents rival the largest rivers of the Eastern continent, as appears from the following statement of their supposed lengths--

Miles. Ucayali 1350 Yutai 750 Jaura 750 Madeira 1800 Topayos 1000 Xingu 1080 Napo 800 Rio Negro 1400

The width of the Amazon averages from one to two miles in the upper parts of its course, but toward its termination its opposite banks are seen with difficulty, and it widens to between twenty and thirty miles, which is about its breadth upon joining the Atlantic. For two thousand miles in a direct line from the ocean, the river is navigable by vessels of any burden; for, at the confluence of the Tunguragua and Ucayali, where the Amazon--properly so called--commences, no bottom was found in March, 1836, with a line of 35 fathoms, or 210 feet. The tide rushes up its channel with immense violence at the period of the full moon, in two, three and sometimes four successive waves, each presenting a perpendicular front of from ten to fifteen feet. When the tide ebbs in the rainy season, the liberated waters of the river rush out of their channel with tremendous force, and create a current in the ocean, which is perceptible five hundred miles from its mouth. It is difficult to sound the river, owing to the rapidity of its current, which runs commonly at the rate of from three to four miles an hour--a momentum not arising from the inclination of its bed, the fall of which is very gradual, but from the immense quantity of water which descends in it. The climate of its basin is, perhaps, the most humid to which any country is subject. The quantity of rain which annually descends upon this region, has not been ascertained with precision; but taking that at the town of Maranhão as a sample, which is not less than two hundred inches, the amount of rain poured upon the district of the Amazon every year must be prodigious. The heat also is excessive through the whole year, the thermometer in the shade frequently rising to 106° when the sun is near the line, a degree of heat not much inferior to that experienced in the Sahara; and as moisture and heat are the most efficient agents in promoting vegetation, hence the luxuriance and energy of vegetable life in the fertile soil on the banks of the river, where the noblest woodland scenery in the world is to be found. Notwithstanding the rapid current of the Amazon, its navigation is easy to vessels both descending and ascending its course, the ascent being facilitated by the far-penetrating tide of the Atlantic, assisted by the wind, which is always blowing from the east, a direction contrary to that of the stream. But the effect of the presence and absence of civilization is nowhere more strikingly exhibited than on the waters of the South American river, and those of its rivals, the Mississippi, and the Yang-tse-Kiang of the Chinese empire. The vessels that annually appear upon the surface of the Amazon are, probably, not more than those which monthly navigate the Mississippi, or daily pass along the course of the Yang-tse-Kiang.

At the head of rivers, classed according to their length, the Mississippi is to be placed, taking the Missouri branch, which ought to be the name of the united stream, not only on account of its longer course, but because it brings down a greater body of water, and imparts its turbid character to its rival. Geographers have, however, given the former name to the joint rivers, the “Father of Waters,” according to its Indian signification, which may be aptly applied to the great central valley of North America, furnishing the following streams, which unite in the channel of the Lower Mississippi, and pour down through it into the Gulf of Mexico--

Miles. St. Peter’s 500 Penaca, or Turkey 200 Iowa 350 Chacaguar 200 Des-moines 600 St. Croix 300 Chippewa 300 Wisconsin 600 Rock River 450 Illinois 500 Salt 250 Missouri 3300 Yellow-stone 1000 Little Missouri 300 Shienne 300 Quicourt 500 Platte 1200 Kansas 800 Osage 500 Gasconade 300 Jacques 600 Sioux 500 Grand 500 Chariton 200 Kaskaskia 300 Maramec 200 St. Francis 450 White 600 Arkansas 2500 Canadian 1000 Neosho 800 Red River 2000 Washita 800 Ohio 1250 Alleghany 350 Monongahela 300 Kanawha 450 Kentucky 360 Green 300 Cumberland 600 Tennessee 1500 Muskingum 200 Scioto 200 Wabash 550 White River 200 Hatchy 200 Yazoo 300 Big Black 200

The most beautiful tributary of the Mississippi is the Ohio, the _Belle rivière_ of the early French settlers, the only large river it receives from the east. No stream rolls for the same distance so uniformly and peacefully; its banks are adorned with the largest sycamores, its waters clear, and studded with islands covered with the finest trees. All the other great tributaries flow from the west: its confluence with the Missouri, which enters it like a conqueror, and carries its white waves to the opposite shore, presenting one of the most extraordinary views in the world. The country around these vast watercourses is of the most varied description, alternately exhibiting wild rice-lakes and swamps, lime-stone bluffs and craggy hills, deep pine forests and beautiful prairies, the prairies showing an almost perfect level, in summer covered with a luxuriant growth of grass and flowers, without a tree or a bush, the only tenants of which are elks and buffaloes, bears and deer, and the savages that pursue them. The bluffs of the Mississippi are for the most part perpendicular masses of limestone, often shooting up into towers and pinnacles, presenting at a distance the aspect of the battlements and turrets of an ancient city. In the season of inundation, below the mouth of the Ohio, the river presents a very striking spectacle. It sweeps along in curves or sections of circles, from six to twelve miles in extent, measured from point to point, and not far from the medial width of a mile. On a calm spring morning, and under a bright sun, this sheet of water shines like a mass of burnished silver, its edges being distinctly marked by a magnificent outline of cotton-wood trees, at this time of the year of the brightest verdure, among which those brilliant birds of the country, the black and red bird, and the blue jay, flit to and fro, or wheel their flight over them, forming a scene which has all of grandeur or beauty that nature can furnish, to soothe or enrapture the beholder. The curvilinear course of the Mississippi is one of its most striking peculiarities. It meanders in uniform bends, which, in many instances, are described with a precision equal to that obtained by the point of a compass. The river sweeps round the half of a circle, and is then precipitated in a diagonal direction across its own channel, to another curve of the same regularity upon the opposite shore. Instead of calculating distances by miles or leagues, the boatmen and Indians estimate their progress by the number of bends which they have passed. This conformation, which distinguishes most of the streams of the Mississippi valley, must have transpired under the operation of some law; but hitherto no solution of the problem has been given which is quite satisfactory. Geological appearances indicate that this stream, like the Orinoco, had in former ages a much broader volume, though a shorter course; that, in fact, it once found its estuary not far below the present mouth of the Ohio; the alluvial country now stretching from thence to the south, near a thousand miles, being then an arm of the sea. “No thinking mind,” says Flint, “can contemplate this mighty and resistless wave, sweeping its proud course from point to point, curving round its bends through the dark forests, without a feeling of sublimity. The hundred shores, laved by its waters; the long course of its tributaries, some of which are already the abodes of cultivation, and others pursuing an immense course without a solitary dwelling of civilized man on their banks; the numerous tribes of savages that now roam on its borders; the affecting and imperishable traces of generations that are gone, leaving no other memorial of their existence, or materials for their history than their tombs, that rise at frequent intervals along its banks; the dim, but glorious anticipations of the future--these are subjects of contemplation that cannot but associate themselves with a view of this river.”

Though far inferior to these streams of the western world in point of length and volume, the Nile of the ancient continent may be placed at the head of remarkable rivers. One of its chief peculiarities is the solitary grandeur of its flow; for not a single affluent enters it from the junction of the Tacazze to the sea, a distance of 1500 miles--a circumstance without a parallel in the physical condition of rivers. Another of its striking features is its long course through a desert, dry, barren, and hideous, depositing by its annual inundation the richest soil on those portions of it which lie contiguous to its banks; and hence has originated the apt comparison of its career to the path of a good man amidst an evil generation. Egypt would be completely sterile were it not for the periodical overflow of its only stream, which both covers a large part of its surface with a layer of alluvion, and imparts to it the requisite moisture.

“Rich king of floods! o’erflows the swelling Nile-- ----glad to quit The joyless desert, down the Nubian rocks From thund’ring steep to steep he pours his urn, And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave.”

It requires the river to attain a medium rise in order to benefit the country: too little, involving scarcity and famine; too much, compromising the safety of the people and their dwellings. Wilkinson calls a rise of 19 cubits, tolerable; 20, good; 21, sufficient; while a rise of 22 cubits is abundant enough to fill every canal, and a rise of 24 cubits would overwhelm and ruin the villages. A cubit is rather more than 21 inches; so that, in order fully to meet the wants of the country, a perpendicular rise of 38 feet is necessary. The Nile is also distinguished among rivers for the pleasant taste and salubrity of its waters when not in flood; properties highly extolled by the ancients, and acknowledged to belong to it by modern travelers. It is a common saying with the Egyptians, that if Mahomet had tasted of its stream, he would have sought a terrestrial immortality in order to enjoy it forever. The physical circumstances of the river easily account for the possession of this attribute. The air above is pure and serene. But little rain falls upon the country through which the greater part of its course is prosecuted, and no snow or hail. Hence there is little drainage into it from the surrounding land, and its waters are kept free from any noxious taint derived from earths and minerals, except from those in its immediate channel. The same property of being remarkably pure and salutary is ascribed by Herodotus to one of the Susianic rivers, of which alone, according to tradition, none but the kings of Persia drank.

“There Susa, by Choaspes’ amber stream, The drink of none but kings.”

The Susianic streams, along with the Nile, may not improperly be styled the oldest rivers of the globe, because of their place in its most ancient traditions and histories; and however subordinate to the gigantic currents of the western hemisphere, those of the eastern, in general, present higher points of interest, in their long-known identification with the destinies of mankind. If not the actual birthplace of man, the great plains on the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates were the abode of the founders of the diluvian race. There, the two greatest cities of the ancient world--Nineveh and Babylon--rose into magnificence. There, a supernatural finger traced the doom of the latter upon the palace wall of its trembling monarch, while an exiled Jew, in the majesty of inspiration, gave him the interpretation of the mystic writing. There, too, the splendid empire of the Medes and Persians fell a prey to the Macedonian on the field of Arbela, while, in later ages, the same neighborhood witnessed the catastrophe of Cunaxa, and the bold bearing of the indomitable ten thousand--the defeat and death of Crassus--the retreat of Mark Antony--the fall of the apostate Julian--and the short-lived glory of Bagdad. How different the associations connected with the Arkansas and the Osage to those of the Euphrates and Tigris!

* * * * *

=WERE I BUT WITH THEE.=

=BY CAROLINE F. ORNE.=

Hours of lonely musing Sometimes thou must have, When, of toil a-weary, Rest thy soul doth crave. Then, if I were near thee, Care would be forgot, And obtrusive sorrows Be as they were not. Thoughts and themes of beauty, Rising wild and free, Would our converse gladden Were I but with thee! Thou wouldst bear my spirit To thy shadow-land, Where bright shapes of beauty Spring, a glorious band. Their harmonious motions, As the wild waves free, Would enchain our spirits Were I but with thee! I would bear thee onward To my realms of life, Where with joy transcendent All the scenes are rife, In that glorious dream-land, On that magic sea, It were nearer heaven Were I but with thee!

* * * * *

=SONNET.--IRON.=

=BY WM. ALEXANDER.=

Thy worth, O Iron! can be never told! Thou art the richest treasure of the mine! By thee great nations polished are and shine, And using thee contemn, may glittering gold-- Hail! ever useful one! Art were now dead If wanting thee. Thou in our life-blood flowest; Where run streams, fountains, there thou likewise goest; War claims thee, for thy presence makes him red; The mariner his needle forms of thee, To guide him pilot-like across the main; From thee old oaks solidity, too, gain; In cinders, clay thou art found continually-- Earth’s mineral strata yield to thee the palm; Thou canst make war--and mak’st the nations calm.

* * * * *

=NINEVEH, AND ASSYRIAN ART.=

=[WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.]=

Among the recent developments of the remains of ancient art, by far the most important and interesting are those of Mr. Layard at the site of Nineveh, a full account of which is given in the volumes recently published by George P. Putnam, of New York, entitled “Nineveh and its Remains; with an account of a visit to the Chaldean Christians of Kurdiston, and the Yezidis, or Devil-Worshipers; and an inquiry into the Manners and Arts of the Ancient Assyrians.”

Mr. Layard’s work contains an account of the labors carried on by him at Nimroud, from November 1845 until April 1847; and also of the less extensive excavations which he caused to be made at Kalah Sherghat and Kouyunjik. The narrative has all the liveliness and glow of a romance; the incidents are highly characteristic of oriental life; and many of them are of tragic and thrilling interest. His account of the difficulties which he had to overcome with the Arabs, Turks and Chaldeans, in securing their aid toward the accomplishment of his grand design, is very curious, and evinces a wonderful amount of coolness, ability and tact. Not less remarkable are the energy and perseverence which he exerted in conducting his noble enterprise to a successful termination.

Toward the close of his book, Mr. Layard gives a summary of the result of his investigations and of their bearing on the history of the Assyrians. They add an immense amount of information, to that which was already in possession of the learned world, respecting the progress of art and civilization among this ancient people and dissipate many errors. The discovery of the _arch_, of glass, and of the pulley, among the mines, evince the high antiquity of these inventions, which have been supposed to be of comparatively modern origin; and the very remarkable fact that the most ancient among the Assyrian works of art are by far the best executed, lead to the conviction that there is an unwritten ancient history of far greater extent and interest than that which has been preserved. All that portion of history which relates to the origin and rise of Assyrian art of course remains unknown. This is probably the case, too, with reference to Babylon and the other ancient empires of Asia.

We proceed to give some extracts from Mr. Layard’s work, which, by the courtesy of the publisher, we are permitted to illustrate with engravings. We commence where he records some of his earliest operations at the great mound of Nimroud:

“No sculptures had hitherto been discovered in a perfect state of preservation, and only one or two could bear removal. I determined, therefore, to abandon this corner, and to resume excavations near the chamber first opened, where the slabs had in no way been injured. The workmen were directed to dig behind the small lions, which appeared to form an entrance, and to be connected with other walls. After removing much earth, a few unsculptured slabs were discovered, fallen from their places, and broken in many pieces. The sides of the room of which they had originally formed a part could not be traced.

“As these ruins occurred on the edge of the mound, it was probable that they had been more exposed than the rest, and consequently had sustained more injury than other parts of the building. As there was a ravine running far into the mound, apparently formed by the winter rains, I determined to open a trench in the centre of it. In two days the workmen reached the top of a slab, which appeared to be both well preserved, and to be still standing in its original position. On the south side I discovered, to my great satisfaction, two human figures, considerably above the natural size, sculptured in low relief, and still exhibiting all the freshness of a recent work. This was No. 30 of chamber B in the third plan. In a few hours the earth and rubbish had been completely removed from the face of the slab, no part of which had been injured. The ornaments delicately graven on the robes, the tassels and fringes, the bracelets and armlets, the elaborate curls of the hair and beard, were all entire. The figures were back to back, and furnished with wings. They appeared to represent divinities, presiding over the seasons, or over particular religious ceremonies. The one, whose face was turned to the East, carried a fallow deer on his right arm, and in his left hand a branch bearing five flowers. Around his temples was a fillet, adorned in front with a rosette. The other held a square vessel, or basket, in the left hand, and an object resembling a fir cone in the right. On his head he wore a rounded cap, at the base of which was a horn. The garments of both, consisting of a stole falling from the shoulders to the ankles, and a short tunic underneath, descending to the knee, were richly and tastefully decorated with embroideries and fringes, whilst the hair and beard were arranged with study and art. Although the relief was lower, yet the outline was perhaps more careful, and true, than that of the Assyrian sculptures of Khorsabad. The limbs were delineated with peculiar accuracy, and the muscles and bones faithfully, though somewhat too strongly, marked. An inscription ran across the sculpture.

“To the west of this slab, and fitting to it, was a corner-stone ornamented with flowers and scrollwork, tastefully arranged, and resembling in detail those graven on the injured tablet, near entrance _d_ of the S. W. building. I recognized at once from whence many of the sculptures, employed in the construction of that edifice, had been brought; and it was evident that I had at length discovered the earliest palace of Nimroud.

“The corner-stone led me to a figure of singular form. A human body, clothed in robes similar to those of the winged men on the previous slab, was surmounted by the head of an eagle or of a vulture. The curved beak, of considerable length, was half open, and displayed a narrow, pointed tongue, which was still covered with red paint. On the shoulders fell the usual curled and bushy hair of the Assyrian mages, and a comb of feathers rose on the top of the head. Two wings sprang from the back, and in either hand was the square vessel and fir cone.

“On all these figures paint could be faintly distinguished, particularly on the hair, beard, eyes, and sandals. The slabs on which they were sculptured had sustained no injury, and could be without difficulty packed and moved to any distance. There could no longer be any doubt that they formed part of a chamber, and that, to explore it completely, I had only to continue along the wall, now partly uncovered.

[Illustration: =Eagle-Headed Figure. (N. W. Palace. Nimroud.)=]

“On the morning following these discoveries, I rode to the encampment of Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, and was returning to the mound, when I saw two Arabs of his tribe urging their mares to the top of their speed. On approaching me they stopped. ‘Hasten, O Bey,’ exclaimed one of them--‘hasten to the diggers, for they have found Nimrod himself. Wallah, it is wonderful, but it is true! we have seen him with our eyes. There is no God but God;’ and both joining in this pious exclamation, they galloped off, without further words, in the direction of their tents.

“On reaching the ruins I descended into the new trench, and found the workmen, who had already seen me, as I approached, standing near a heap of baskets and cloaks. Whilst Awad advanced, and asked for a present to celebrate the occasion, the Arabs withdrew the screen they had hastily constructed, and disclosed an enormous human head sculptured in full out of the alabaster of the country. They had uncovered the upper part of the figure, the remainder of which was still buried in the earth. I saw at once that the head must belong to a winged lion or bull, similar to those of Khorsabad and Persepolis. It was in admirable preservation. The expression was calm, yet majestic, and the outline of the features showed a freedom and knowledge of art, scarcely to be looked for in the works of so remote a period. The cap had three horns, and, unlike that of the human-headed bulls hitherto found in Assyria, was rounded and without ornament at the top.

“I was not surprised that the Arabs had been amazed and terrified at this apparition. It required no stretch of imagination to conjure up the most strange fancies. This gigantic head, blanched with age, thus rising from the bowels of the earth, might well have belonged to one of those fearful beings which are pictured in the traditions of the country, as appearing to mortals, slowly ascending from the regions below. One of the workmen, on catching the first glimpse of the monster, had thrown down his basket and ran off toward Mosul as fast as his legs could carry him. I learnt this with regret, as I anticipated the consequences.

“Whilst I was superintending the removal of the earth, which still clung to the sculpture, and giving directions for the continuation of the work, a noise of horsemen was heard, and presently Abd-ur-rahman, followed by half his tribe, appeared on the edge of the trench. As soon as the two Arabs had reached the tents, and published the wonders they had seen, every one mounted his mare and rode to the mound, to satisfy himself of the truth of these inconceivable reports. When they beheld the head they all cried out together, ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet!’ It was some time before the sheikh could be prevailed upon to descend into the pit, and convince himself that the image he saw was of stone. ‘This is not the work of men’s hands,’ exclaimed he, ‘but of those infidel giants of whom the Prophet, peace be with him! has said, that they were higher than the tallest date tree; this is one of the idols which Noah, peace be with him! cursed before the flood.’ In this opinion, the result of a careful examination, all the bystanders concurred.

“I now ordered a trench to be dug due south from the head, in the expectation of finding a corresponding figure, and before night-fall reached the object of my search about twelve feet distant. Engaging two or three men to sleep near the sculptures, I returned to the village, and celebrated the day’s discovery by a slaughter of sheep, of which all the Arabs near partook. As some wandering musicians chanced to be at Selamiyah, I sent for them, and dances were kept up during the greater part of the night. On the following morning Arabs from the other side of the Tigris, and the inhabitants of the surrounding villages congregated on the mound. Even the women could not repress their curiosity, and came in crowds, with their children, from afar. My cawass was stationed during the day in the trench, into which I would not allow the multitude to descend.

“As I had expected, the report of the discovery of the gigantic head, carried by the terrified Arab to Mosul, had thrown the town into commotion. He had scarcely checked his speed before reaching the bridge. Entering breathless into the bazars, he announced to every one he met that Nimrod had appeared. The news soon got to the ears of the cadi, who, anxious for a fresh opportunity to annoy me, called the mufti and the elema together, to consult upon this unexpected occurrence. Their deliberations ended in a procession to the governor, and a formal protest, on the part of the Musulmans of the town, against proceedings so directly contrary to the laws of the Koran. The cadi had no distinct idea whether the bones of the mighty hunter had been uncovered, or only his image; nor did Ismail Pasha very clearly remember whether Nimrod was a true-believing prophet or an infidel. I consequently received a somewhat unintelligible message from his excellency, to the effect that the remains should be treated with respect, and be by no means further disturbed, and that he wished the excavations to be stopped at once, and desired to confer with me on the subject.

“I called upon him accordingly, and had some difficulty in making him understand the nature of my discovery. As he requested me to discontinue my operations until the sensation in the town had somewhat subsided, I returned to Nimroud and dismissed the workmen, retaining only two men to dig leisurely along the walls without giving cause for further interference. I ascertained by the end of March the existence of a second pair of winged human-headed lions,[4] differing from those previously discovered in form, the human shape being continued to the waist and furnished with arms. In one hand each figure carried a goat or stag, and in the other, which hung down by the side, a branch with three flowers. They formed a northern entrance into the chamber of which the lions previously described were the southern portal. I completely uncovered the latter, and found them to be entire. They were about twelve feet in height, and the same number in length. The body and limbs were admirably portrayed; the muscles and bones, although strongly developed to display the strength of the animal, showed at the same time a correct knowledge of its anatomy and form. Expanded wings sprung from the shoulder and spread over the back; a knotted girdle, ending in tassels, encircled the loins. These sculptures, forming an entrance, were partly in full and partly in relief. The head and fore-part, facing the chamber, were in full; but only one side of the rest of the slab was sculptured, the back being placed against the wall of sun-dried bricks. That the spectator might have both a perfect front and side view of the figures, they were furnished with five legs; two were carved on the end of the slab to face the chamber, and three on the side. The relief of the body and three limbs was high and bold, and the slab was covered, in all parts not occupied by the image, with inscriptions in the cuneiform character. These magnificent specimens of Assyrian art were in perfect preservation; the most minute lines in the details of the wings and in the ornaments had been retained with their original freshness. Not a character was wanting in the inscriptions.

“I used to contemplate for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history. What more noble forms could have ushered the people into the temple of their gods! What more sublime images could have been borrowed from nature, by men who sought, unaided by the light of revealed religion, to embody their conception of the wisdom, power, and ubiquity of a Supreme Being? They could find no better type of intellect and knowledge than the head of the man; of strength, than the body of the lion; of rapidity of motion, than the wings of the bird. These winged human-headed lions were not idle creations, the offspring of mere fancy; their meaning was written upon them. They had awed and instructed races which flourished 3000 years ago. Through the portals which they guarded, kings, priests, and warriors had borne sacrifices to their altars, long before the wisdom of the East had penetrated to Greece, and had furnished its mythology with symbols long recognized by the Assyrian votaries. They may have been buried, and their existence may have been unknown, before the foundation of the eternal city. For twenty-five centuries they had been hidden from the eye of man, and they now stood forth once more in their ancient majesty. But how changed was the scene around them! The luxury and civilization of a mighty nation had given place to the wretchedness and ignorance of a few half-barbarous tribes. The wealth of temples, and the riches of great cities, had been succeeded by ruins and shapeless heaps of earth. Above the spacious hall in which they stood, the plough had passed and the corn now waved. Egypt has monuments no less ancient and no less wonderful; but they have stood forth for ages to testify her early power and renown; whilst those before me had but now appeared to bear witness in the words of the prophet, that once ‘the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs . . . . his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations;’ for now is ‘Nineveh a desolation and dry like a wilderness, and flocks lie down in the midst of her; all the beasts of the nations, both the cormorant and bittern, lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice sings in the windows; and desolation is in the thresholds.’[5]

[Illustration: =Winged Human-Headed Lion. (N. W. Palace, Nimroud.)=]

“Behind the lions was another chamber.[6] I uncovered about fifty feet of its northern wall. On each slab was carved the winged figure with the horned cap, fir cone, and square vessel or basket. They were in pairs facing one another, and divided by an emblematic tree, similar to that on the corner-stone in chamber B. All these bas-reliefs were inferior in execution, and finish, to those previously discovered.”

The following extract shows the great variety of objects which present themselves among the buried ruins of Nimroud, and the large scale on which the Assyrian works of art were projected and executed.

“The change to summer had been as rapid as that which ushered in the spring. The verdure of the plain had perished almost in a day. Hot winds, coming from the desert, had burnt up and carried away the shrubs; flights of locusts, darkening the air, had destroyed a few patches of cultivation, and had completed the havoc commenced by the heat of the sun. The Abou-Salman Arabs, having struck their black tents, were now living in ozailis, or sheds, constructed of reeds and grass along the banks of the river. The Shemutti and Jehesh had returned to their villages, and the plain presented the same naked and desolate aspect that it wore in the month of November. The heat, however, was now almost intolerable. Violent whirlwinds occasionally swept over the face of the country. They could be seen as they advanced from the desert, carrying along with them clouds of sand and dust. Almost utter darkness prevailed during their passage, which lasted generally about an hour, and nothing could resist their fury. On returning home one afternoon after a tempest of this kind, I found no traces of my dwellings; they had been completely carried away. Ponderous wooden frameworks had been borne over the bank, and hurled some hundred yards distant; the tents had disappeared, and my furniture was scattered over the plain. When on the mound, my only secure place of refuge was beneath the fallen lion, where I could defy the fury of the whirlwind; the Arabs ceased from their work and crouched in the trenches, almost suffocated and blinded by the dense cloud of fine dust and sand which nothing could exclude.[7]

“Although the number of my workmen was small, the excavations were carried on as actively as possible. The two human-headed lions, forming the entrance _d_,[8] led into another chamber, or to sculptured walls, which, as it will hereafter be explained, may have formed an outward facing to the building. The slabs to the right and left, on issuing from this portal, had fallen from their original position, and all of them, except one, were broken. I had some difficulty in raising the pieces from the ground. As the face of the slabs was downward, the sculpture had been well preserved.

“On the slabs Nos. 2 and 3 was represented the king holding a bow in one hand and two arrows in the other. He was followed by his attendant eunuch, who carried a mace, a second bow and a quiver for his use. Facing him was his vizir, his hands crossed before him, also followed by an eunuch. These figures were about eight feet high; the relief very low, and the ornaments rich and elaborately carved. The bracelets, armlets, and weapons, were all adorned with the heads of bulls and rams; color still remained on the hair, beard, and sandals.

“No. 1, forming a corner wall, was a slab of enormous dimensions; it had been broken in two: the upper part was on the floor, the lower was still standing in its place. It was only after many ineffectual attempts that I succeeded in raising the fallen part sufficiently to ascertain the nature of the sculpture. It was a winged figure, with a three-horned cap, carrying the fir cone and square utensil; in other respects, similar to those already described, except that it had two wings rising from both sides of the back and inclosing the person. Its dimensions were gigantic, the height being about sixteen feet and a half, but the relief was low.

“The first slab on the other side of the entrance contained a vizir and his attendant, similar to No. 3. The succeeding slabs were occupied by figures, differing altogether in costume from those previously discovered, and apparently representing people of another race; some carrying presents or offerings, consisting of armlets, bracelets, and ear-rings, on trays; others elevating their clinched hands, either in token of submission, or in the attitude still peculiar to Easterns when they dance. One figure was accompanied by two monkeys, held by ropes; the one raising itself on its hind legs in front, the other sitting on the shoulders of the man, and supporting itself by placing its fore-paws on his head.[9] The dresses of all these figures are singular. They have high boots turned up at the toes, somewhat resembling those still in use in Turkey and Persia. Their caps, although conical, appear to have been made up of bands, or folds of felt or linen. Their tunics vary in shape, and in the fringes, from those of the high-capped warriors and attendants represented in other bas-reliefs. The figure with the monkeys wears a tunic descending to the calf of the leg. His hair is simply fastened by a fillet. There were traces of black color all over the face, and it is not improbable that it was painted to represent a negro: it is, however, possible that the paint of the hair has been washed down by water over other parts of the sculpture. These peculiarities of dress suggest that the persons represented were captives from some distant country, bringing tribute to the conquerors.

“In chamber B the wall was continued to the south, or to the left facing the great lion,[10] by an eagle-headed figure resembling that already described; adjoining it was a corner-stone, occupied by the sacred tree; beyond, the wall ceased altogether. On digging downward, it was found that the slabs had fallen in; and although they were broken, the sculptures, representing battles, sieges, and other historical subjects, were, as far as it could be ascertained by the examination of one or two, in admirable preservation. The sun-dried brick wall, against which they were placed, was still distinctly visible to the height of twelve or fourteen feet; and I could trace, by the accumulation of ashes, the places where beams had been inserted to support the roof, or for other purposes. This wall served as my guide in digging onward, as, to the distance of 100 feet, the slabs had all fallen in. I was unwilling to raise them at present, as I had neither the means of packing nor moving them.

“The first sculpture, still standing in its original position, which was uncovered after following this wall, was a winged human-headed bull of yellow limestone. On the previous day the detached head, now in the British Museum, had been found. The bull, to which it belonged, had fallen against the opposite sculpture, and had been broken by the fall into several pieces. I lifted the body with difficulty; and, to my surprise, discovered under it sixteen copper lions, admirably designed, and forming a regular series, diminishing in size from the largest, which was above one foot in length, to the smallest, which scarcely exceeded an inch. To their backs was affixed a ring, giving them the appearance of weights. Here I also discovered a broken earthen vase, on which were represented two Priapean human figures, with the wings and claws of a bird, the breast of a woman, and the tail of a scorpion, or some similar reptile. I carefully collected and packed the fragments.

[Illustration: =Winged Human-Headed Bull. (N. W. Palace, Nimroud.)=]

“Beyond the winged bull the slabs were still entire, and occupied their original positions. On the first was sculptured a winged human figure, carrying a branch with five flowers in the raised right hand, and the usual square vessel in the left. Around his temples was a fillet adorned with three rosettes. On each of the four adjoining slabs were two bas-reliefs, separated by a band of inscriptions. The upper, on the first slab, represented a castle built by the side of a river, or on an island. One tower is defended by an armed man, two others are occupied by females. Three warriors, probably escaping from the enemy, are swimming across the stream; two of them on inflated skins, in the mode practiced to this day by the Arabs inhabiting the banks of the rivers of Assyria and Mesopotamia; except that, in the bas-relief, the swimmers are pictured as retaining the aperture, through which the air is forced, in their mouths. The third, pierced by arrows discharged from the bows of two high-capped warriors kneeling on the bank, is struggling, without the support of a skin, against the current. Three rudely designed trees complete the background.

“In the upper compartment of the next slab was the siege of the city, with the battering-ram and moveable tower, now in the British Museum. The lower part of the two slabs was occupied by one subject, a king receiving prisoners brought before him by his vizir. The sculpture, representing the king followed by his attendants and chariot, is already in the national collection. The prisoners were on the adjoining slab. Above their heads are vases and various objects, amongst which appear to be shawls and elephants’ tusks, probably representing the spoil carried away from the conquered nation.

“Upon the third slab were, in the upper compartment, the king hunting, and in the lower, the king standing over the lion, both deposited in the British Museum; and on the fourth the bull hunt, now also in England, and the king standing over the prostrate bull.

“The most remarkable of the sculptures hitherto discovered was the lion hunt; which, from the knowledge of art displayed in the treatment and composition, the correct and effective delineation of the men and animals, the spirit of the grouping, and its extraordinary preservation, is probably the finest specimen of Assyrian art in existence.

“On the flooring, below the sculptures, were discovered considerable remains of painted plaster still adhering to the sun-dried bricks, which had fallen in masses from the upper part of the wall. The colors, particularly the blues and reds, were as brilliant and vivid when the earth was removed from them, as they could have been when first used. On exposure to the air they faded rapidly. The designs were elegant and elaborate. It was found almost impossible to preserve any portion of these ornaments, the earth crumbling to pieces when an attempt was made to raise it.”

Our next extract describes, in Mr. Layard’s graphic style, the discovery of the beautiful obelisk, now in the British Museum.

[Illustration: =The Obelisk.=]

“It was in the centre of the mound, however, that one of the most remarkable discoveries awaited me. I have already mentioned the pair of gigantic winged bulls, first found there. They appeared to form an entrance and to be only part of a large building. The inscriptions upon them contained a name, differing from that of the king, who had built the palace in the north-west corner. On digging further I found a brick, on which was a genealogy, the new name occurring first, and as that of the son of the founder of the earlier edifice. This was, to a certain extent, a clue to the comparative date of the newly discovered building.

“I now sought for the wall, which must have been connected with the bulls. I dug round these sculptures, and found no other traces of building, except a few squared stones, fallen from their original places. As the backs of the bulls were completely covered with inscriptions, in large and well-formed cuneiform characters, I was led to believe that they might originally have stood alone. Still there must have been other slabs near them. I directed a deep trench to be carried, at right angles, behind the northern bull. After digging about ten feet, the workmen found a slab lying flat on the brick pavement, and having a gigantic winged figure sculptured in relief upon it. It resembled some already described; and carried the fir-cone, and the square basket or utensil, but there was no inscription across it. Beyond was a similar figure, still more gigantic in its proportions, being about fourteen feet in height. The relief was low, and the execution inferior to that of the sculptures discovered in the other palaces. The beard and part of the legs of a winged bull, in yellow limestone, were next found. These remains, imperfect as they were, promised better things. The trench was carried on in the same direction for several days; but nothing more appeared. It had reached about fifty feet in length, and still without any new discovery. I had business in Mosul, and was giving directions to the workmen to guide them during my absence. Standing on the edge of the hitherto unprofitable trench, I doubted whether I should carry it any farther; but made up my mind at last, not to abandon it until my return, which would be on the following day. I mounted my horse, but had scarcely left the mound when a corner of black marble was uncovered, lying on the very edge of the trench. This attracted the notice of the superintendent of the party digging, who ordered the place to be further examined. The corner was part of an obelisk, about seven feet high, lying on its side, ten feet below the surface.

“An Arab was sent after me without delay, to announce the discovery, and on my return I found the obelisk completely exposed to view. I descended eagerly into the trench, and was immediately struck by the singular appearance, and evident antiquity, of the remarkable monument before me. We raised it from its recumbent position, and, with the aid of ropes, speedily dragged it out of the ruins. Although its shape was that of an obelisk, yet it was flat at the top and cut into three gradines. It was sculptured on the four sides; there were in all twenty small bas-reliefs, and above, below, and between them was carved an inscription 210 lines in length. The whole was in the best preservation; scarcely a character of the inscription was wanting; and the figures were as sharp and well defined as if they had been carved but a few days before. The king is twice represented, followed by his attendants; a prisoner is at his feet, and his vizir and eunuchs are introducing men leading various animals, and carrying vases and other objects of tribute on their shoulders, or in their hands. The animals are the elephant, the rhinoceros, the Bactrian, or two-humped camel, the wild bull, the lion, a stag, and various kinds of monkeys. Amongst the objects carried by the tribute-bearers, may perhaps be distinguished the tusks of the elephant, shawls, and some bundles of precious wood. From the nature, therefore, of the bas-reliefs, it is natural to conjecture that the monument was erected to commemorate the conquest of India, or of some country far to the east of Assyria, and on the confines of the Indian peninsula. The name of the king, whose deeds it appears to record, is the same as that on the centre bulls; and it is introduced by a genealogical list containing many other royal names.

“I lost no time in copying the inscriptions, and drawing the bas-reliefs, upon this precious relic. It was then carefully packed, to be transported at once to Baghdad. A party of trustworthy Arabs were chosen to sleep near it at night; and I took every precaution that the superstitions and prejudices of the natives of the country, and the jealousy of rival antiquaries, could suggest.”

[Illustration: =The King. (N. W. Palace, Nimroud.)=]

Among the numerous other sculptures which Mr. Layard, with great trouble and expense, succeeded in forwarding to England, was the figure of a king, one of the most carefully executed and best preserved in the palace. He is represented with one hand on the hilt of his sword, the other being supported by a long wand or sword. It was found in the north-west palace at Nimroud.

When Mr. Layard had expended the funds appropriated by the Trustees of the British Museum for the excavations, and sent a large number of sculptures down the Tigris to Busrah, to be shipped to England, he caused the excavations to be carefully filled up, and leaving for a season the scene of his labors, returned to England. Another expedition has since been sent to Nimroud, further excavations have been made, and Mr. Putnam will ere long publish their results. In the meantime, we feel that we cannot too cordially commend to the reading public, the first work of Mr. Layard, as affording the most interesting and important revelations concerning the actual state of the ancient world, which have been made public since the Egyptian discoveries of Champollion.

-----

[4] Entrance of chamber B, plan 3.

[5] Ezekiel, xxxi. 3, _etc._; Zephaniah, ii. 13 and 14.

[6] Chamber C.

[7] Storms of this nature are frequent during the early part of summer throughout Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Susiana. It is difficult to convey an idea of their violence. They appear suddenly and without any previous sign, and seldom last above an hour. It was during one of them that the Tigris steamer, under the command of Colonel Chesney, was wrecked in the Euphrates; and so darkened was the atmosphere, that, although the vessel was within a short distance of the bank of the river, several persons who were in her are supposed to have lost their lives from not knowing in what direction to swim.

[8] Chamber B, plan 3.

[9] This bas-relief will be placed in the British Museum.

[10] Entrance A, chamber B, plan 3.

* * * * *

=FRAGMENT OF A POEM.=

=BY WM. ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=

It was the twilight, and we sat alone. We sat alone beside the winter fire-- My friend and I--a fire that crackled well, And sounded through the stillness as a flame Shoots through the dark. The embers of the sun Had died to ashes. While it sunk we talked Of Love, of Beauty, Poetry and Hope, Which are religion. For, is Beauty loved, Then God is loved, and in our loving we Do emulate his noblest attribute. But all our words had failed to silentness, And memories clustered in the heart’s twilight, As shadows in a wood; and all was still. But in the quietness there seemed to grow A sympathetic mood, and we to look, As through glass, into each other’s mind, Calm reading, while our thoughts and feelings verged In a soft sadness to one common point. Then low I spoke:--“Were it not sweet and well To die from out this chaos of a life Into the waiting dark, and leave our toil To stronger minds and hands? To spurn the clay, And mount the crystal air in spiral gyre, Glad-voiced, and angel-winged, like bird uncaged? I think it sweet! or so it seemeth now, When I look back, as down a charnel-vault, Into the retrospect, and see it all;-- See every should-be that was never done, And every would-be that has died its death, And my hot dreams, and my distempered hopes, Pictured in light and dark as on a wall.” Then in the dusk I ceased, and so we sat, With hearthward faces, but with upward thought. I saw my words drop, pebble-like, down deep Into his inmost mind, and there they lay, While he, with careful quiet, shaped response, And then, abstract, as to himself, replied:-- “’Tis speaking well, and yet not speaking well! For in the web of life are golden threads-- And in the sky of life are brilliant stars-- And on the sea of life are favoring gales-- Or we should wither all as flowers in drought. He who doth pilot the great universe, Doth mete and parcel out the light and dark, Strange, varicolored, like a wanderer’s dream;-- And He that made the man hath made his work. And in the bark of life hath given the oar At which to tug and toil until the death; Nor yet all toil; for oft the summer sea Ripples on bloomy shores, whence balmy winds Bring a rich, spicy life to make one glad. We thrid wild mazes not without a clue-- We sink again to soar as eagles do-- We deeply quaff at the rare desert founts, And so plod on to fair oases green, Where rustling palms nod to the welcome wind-- While with the sun of our own minds we shine On planetary minds, and light, and cheer, And lead then to a loftier, brighter end. All this is well: So let the creature’s wish Circle its scanty orbit round and round With borrowed light from the Creator’s will.” Then I again:--“We are but merest drops That swell a deathward torrent, or as grains Of sand, which make up a conglobéd sphere, And he that is fore’er undoes the work Of him that has been, through the whirl of time. What profits it to weave a golden web Which all our heirs may rend above our grave! To pile our treasuries with yellow dust That every reckless future wind may blow! To think to be unthought in coming years! To write to be the jest of fresher times! All this is emptiness! I wish the end.”

What he had said I know not, for the wind, Which had blown fitful since the red sun sunk, Came in fierce gusts against the window now-- Bringing large drops that pattered chill and loud. Then our talk changed to what might be afar-- To the rude ocean, and the mariners Driven by windy war on unknown coasts, To sin and sorrow in this poor, poor world, And all those dreary themes akin to tears.

So mused we in the dusk a gentle space, A cloudy dreamer I--my friend, that trod The green hills of his own complacency Like any king.

* * * * *

=MONDE HEDELQUIVER.=

=A TALE OF WINTER-LIFE IN NEW ENGLAND.=

=BY THE AUTHOR OF “SUSY L----’S DIARY.”=

CHAPTER I.

ROSAMONDE HEDELQUIVER TO EDITH MANNERS.

_Danville, December 2, 1851._

At last, I have found a spot where, for myself, there can be no want; where I can sit and write in peace letters to you, my friend, and stories for the magazines. By the last, I shall win money, and, perhaps, laurels; although, I confess, I care little now for them--that is, for the laurels--if I can earn money. If I have genius, this may truly seem a poor aim; but, if I have genius, so have I along with it such a dread of what is heavy, and sordid, and perpetually toilsome--of extreme poverty; in short, so have I a longing for beauty, for ease, for a still home of plenty, so that sometimes I could stretch out my hands and cry, with an imploring voice--not as good Agar did, but--“Give me riches, oh! give me riches.” Yet, Heaven knows that it is not to be greatly rich that I desire; but to be so far supplied, that there need be no forebodings whenever it is seen that my parents’ steps begin already to be slow, and their eyes dull; so that there may be beautiful things in our home, and land about it which is ours, on which we may tread with independence, on which we may see the trees and the plants growing, on which God’s sunshine shall fall, and His rain, and His dews, so that we may feel him near, and know that our mother Earth is to us a good mother.

This is what I long for, when shut up in our close rooms in the city, morning, noon, and night. In the night, tears of yearning--mingled with the fear that it is never to be satisfied--go drop, drop on my pillow, until my head is ready to burst. Then I brush them away, and say--“God forgive me, his poor child, if, in my longing for what I have not, I forget the gratitude due for what I have.” Then come penitential feelings and, again weeping, I say--“Father, do with me as seemeth good in thy sight!” I would be able to say this at all seasons, working still with cheerfulness and trust in God’s ways: but He knows I cannot; that often when I would praise Him I can only pray, and beg Him to do that for me which I _feel_ to be my great need.

But hear! I complain, I sigh. I sit here, buried in my own egotism, while the bright sunshine lies on the pure white fields, hills, and mountains, and the troops of merriest birds play with the new-fallen snow. I shall go and see them, and feed them with crumbs, as once a brown-haired boy, who now is gray-headed--my father--used to do.

* * * * *

_Evening._

Uncle Hedelquiver said this morning, as he folded his paper, after breakfast was over--

“You had better ride this morning, Monde. Take Kate, she is hard on the bit; but all the better. I like this grappling with tough-bitted circumstances. It is exactly what you need to do. You have the name your old grandmother Hedelquiver had in her day. You can see yourself that you are like that portrait up there; and I want you to get hold of her energy--her kind of life. You have been an idle child compared with her, I fancy.”

“No doubt of it, uncle,” said I, with tears choking me. “But, because I have been so penned up there in the city, and by our bad circumstances, I could not do any thing but fold my hands and sigh, and long for better things to come to me.”

“Well, well, there is room here you see,” tossing his hand a little toward the window, through which we see the pine-covered Green Mountains that are near, and the snowy White Hills that are far, but gigantic and splendid to see. “You had better go the road we went yesterday,” preparing to leave the room, “over the hills. It is stinging cold up there, but all the better for that.”

Aunt dreaded the hills--

“I would let her go down the other way,” begged she.

“No--if she is wise, she will face the cold and wind--see the snow-birds out there!--and you are a little bit wise aint you, Monde?” with a smile the sweetest and most beaming one ever sees on mortal face. It is the more enlivening to see, because his brow when he is grave is so dark, heavy, and over-arching. It is pleasant therefore that he smiles often, when he is talking--that is, if he talks of the things that he values.

“O, I don’t know, uncle,” I replied. “I fear I have little wisdom or little any thing worth having. But I would like the bracing wind and this gleaming sunshine on the hills, at any rate. It must be glorious!--Is Kate fond of being mounted? Has any one ever rode her?”

“Many times. As I said before, she is hard-bited, but kind.” This is all uncle would have said; for he looks forward, leaving the dead to bury their dead. But aunt said, with drooping figure and dreamy voice--

“Poor Alice used to ride her very often when Alfred was here--at any other time she was afraid. But, then, he used to ride John, and urge her out. He was always anxious that she should ride often, although I am sure I don’t know why.” No, aunt seldom knows why things are thus and so, which is something of an annoyance to uncle, to whom most things in physics and metaphysics are merest transparencies. “John was such a headstrong horse,” resumed aunt, looking dreamily down on the crumb of bread she was rolling along the table-cover; “he was so headstrong, and Alfred not accustomed to the saddle--living in the city, as he has, for so many years. I was never easy when they were gone. I was always expecting that something bad would happen to them in some way.”

“There was never the least danger--not the least danger!” said uncle. “They were much too cautious for this. It was laughable, seeing the jog-trot they kept. Monde, your aunt will make a coward of you, if she can. She, for her own part, gets ten thousand needless hurts as she goes along in dread of their coming upon herself, or some of the rest of us. Isn’t this true, Alice?”

“I don’t know, I am sure. Perhaps I do,” replied aunt.

“You certainly do. Say, Monde, will you ride?” with an impatient jerk of his fine shaggy head.

“Yes, sir,” said I, springing promptly to my feet; for I felt, as I often do when he speaks to me, as if the current of his own electrical force ran through my brain and limbs--“over the hills, uncle mine, or anywhere!”

“That’s sensible,” replied he, with a look of hearty approbation. “Put on your things--I will have Kate at the door in five minutes.”

Heavens! how gorgeous is the winter landscape, when our sky is as blue as Italy’s, when the sun is on hills and mountains, and the blue shadows are in all the valleys and beside all the little knolls; when the dark firs, and pines, and hemlocks, and the black-hazel-blossoms are fringed and tufted with the new-fallen snow, and the crows and jays go screaming, and the blood in all one’s veins is astir with the new life that comes on every breath.

“Father,” I said, lifting reverently upward the eyes that had been wandering over the beautified scene, “Father, accept Thou the love of Thy child. Help her to be always thankful to Thee.”

But, directly, between me and the Father, between me and His glorious earth came dark visions of my poor home, and of my parents, held back from a clear strong life, by their shame-faced poverty and pride. For you must be told, friend of mine, that we are much poorer than even you, who have seen us all and our home many and many a time, believe; and that we grow really poorer every day, because, with all our pains-taking and studiously-contrived appearances of competency, my father makes no head-way in engrossing popularity, and, therewith, the business that pays liberally. We brush and brush--or papa and mamma do--to move the dust and bring back the old polish and prime, and then go forth with lofty heads and independent feet; and papa talks in a brisk way of “My client A--; my clients, Messrs. B-- and C--;” of the case of D-- _versus_ E--, and F-- _versus_ G--. Meanwhile, you have seen what mamma does--with what care she preserves her fine complexion, her natural graceful curls, into which the threads of silver are already coming; her cashmere long shawl and black silk gown, that were hers at her marriage--they look no older than most shawls and gowns do after five years’ service, and they have seen twenty-five. In these she goes out to the shops, and looks at carpets and mirrors and _tête-à-têtes_, as if she were a duchess. And she lets it be known, if it will come in gracefully in any way, that she is Mrs. Hedelquiver, and that her husband is Jerome Hedelquiver, Attorney at Law, V-- Street. My father really did get a case, worth a hundred dollars to him, of a dealer, who hoped that, in compliment thereto, my mother would spend all the fee and other additional fees for his upholstery.

We laughed over it. My father called it “capital;” but he and my mother both sighed after it. I presume their souls--so deep within them, so gentle toned as seldom to be heard above the clamor that “the strong circumstances” make in controlling the hands, the lips, and the brain--spake then so as to be heeded, though not long. The hands, the lips, and the brain soon took up again their worldly, time-serving ways. My father talked again of his clients, my mother priced velvets and Axminsters. I would not say this to you, dear Edith, but that you have already seen the same when visiting us; and but that you are the friend of my soul, to whom I must speak of that which is so poor and so sorrowful to me, especially now that I have looked attentively upon uncle’s sincere, manly life.

Uncle’s circumstances are very different to my father’s--this is true. He is a very wealthy and distinguished man. Yet if he were as poor as my father--he would never mind this--he would keep Truth close beside him wherever he went, in whatever action he performed, in whatever words he spake. This would make him free and strong, indeed; and the freedom and strength would lay hold on success. Thus, in seeking first the kingdom of heaven, all these things for which the poor man seeks now first, and last, and at all times, would without pains-taking on his part, be added unto him. Would that he could see it--would that he were more quiet--happier! for I pity him so!

And I have seen men poorer than he, and less distinguished in learning and in an agreeable exterior, whom I cannot, by any view of their condition, bring myself to commiserate, any more than I can commiserate Christ. And you know, dear Edith, we may look at his life on earth as we will, at the hunger, the dusty journeyings, the thorns, the spear, the bitter cup, the blind revilings that came with them all, and the death of shame and lengthened agony, still it fills our hearts with praise--it is the sublimest destiny ever fulfilled on the earth! I will tell you what I desire more and more; what I desire now, at this still hour, above every other thing--and this is, to be so much like Christ, as to attain a _perfect_ mastery of myself, so that none of the outward things shall move me. Christ’s excellence lay in this--did you ever think of it? Proffered crowns and kingdoms, the trammels of time-honored usages, threats at his side and a cross before him, all fell short of moving his soul. This never swerved a hair’s breadth from its high purpose, from beginning to end. And I would be able to look out from a quiet, inward life, and say to the world--“Poor world! enslaved and enslaving! Struggling, vain world; we love thee, we pity thee--poor world! We would die for thee, if the time might come when our blood would have the efficacy of a good martyr’s in healing thee. But we bow to thee, we follow thee, take up thy mummeries no more. For within us, the life breathed into us of God, the life that is divine and glorious--far beyond all that thou hast to offer, comes gently forward for its development into our daily thought and action. Poor world! _dear_ world! after this, the God of the true life helping us, while with thee we are above thee!”

But, my dear child Edith, I remember that you like short sermons, while, on the other hand, tales may be ever so long, ever so often told. I have no tale for you yet. We will wait and see what will come hereafter. Thine, dear,

Monde Hedelquiver.

CHAPTER II.

MONDE HEDELQUIVER TO EDITH MANNERS.

_Danville, Dec. 15, 1851._

“Rosamonde,” said Aunt Alice one morning, as she sat stitching a wristband; and her voice had an ominous cadence.

“What would you say to me, aunt?”

I looked up from my paper, but she had turned her face from me a little, and bent it low over her work, as if what she was going to say had a certain sort of wickedness in it that made her ashamed. “What would you say, aunt?” I repeated.

“Why it isn’t much; but I was thinking that if Alfred Cullen comes up while you are here--and I have an idea that he will--I hope you will try to like him.”

“Or rather, aunt, you hope I will like him without trying, don’t you?”

By the way, I wonder if you remember that Alfred Cullen was the betrothed of Cousin Alice. He still wears his weeds for her; still comes up here every few months, and sits at her piano playing the airs that she used to play most. Uncle and aunt say that he is very pale and very noble, with the air of one who follows Christ close at his feet; that he is gentle and loving like a child; always forgetful of himself, never forgetful of others. You see he is quite a miracle of goodness. If he comes, I fear I shall have a panic as long as he stays.

“That _would_ be better,” aunt replied; “I didn’t think of that. Yes, I hope you will like him with ease--if poor Alice had lived, he would have been her husband. As it is, I can’t wish him to be single always on her account; and, somehow, when I think of his marrying another, I want it to be one who would be a sort of daughter to me and your uncle as well as a wife to Alfred.”

“Yes, that would be pleasant for you,” answered I, feeling something of a panic beforehand. I feel the more of it, because aunt never sees through things that go on clearly, or understands how they go, or how they had best go. So she is always lending a word here and a word there for their adjustment, according to her idea. I thought this all over--covering a piece of waste paper with dashes, dots, and initials--while she considered what must next be said.

She said next, that Alfred is attentive to every body, especially--as she has sometimes thought--to Paulina Monroe, aunt’s niece, who lives in the neighborhood, who was Cousin Alice’s dearest companion, and who is now, as it were, a daughter in the house. Aunt’s “ideas,” of which she has so much to say, are not clear on this head. She has thought that it would not be strange if Alfred were to transfer his affections to Paulina; but she is sure she don’t know how it will terminate. He certainly sits by her a great deal; and when he is here, in summer, walks with her a great deal in the roads and paths she and Alice used to frequent--such as down the hill, through the back lane and the pasture to the old, deserted Fifield house, by the brook, where, as aunt says, the pinks and the roses still bloom, and the apples ripen, albeit the old couple that used to look on their growth have been mouldering this many a year under a hedge close by.

“If he does come while you are here,” again said aunt. “But you are done thinking about it, Rosamonde, and going on with your writing.” She looked as if she were deprecating some hurt I had given her.

“Oh, well, aunt, I am only writing a letter, and can write and talk at the same time.”

“This is strange; but your uncle can do just so, while I can never think of but one thing at a time. What I was going to say was, that you ought to stay longer than you say. Alfred will surely be up in the spring, if he don’t come this winter; and you ought to see our New England scenery in the summer, now that you are old enough to appreciate it. ‘The Switzerland of America’ you know our state has been called, although your uncle says ‘Poh!’ to this. He and Alfred both seem to think New England as good as Switzerland; or, at any rate, good enough without borrowing names for it.”

“As it certainly is, aunt.”

Finding that this was all I had to say, that I had no remark to make respecting Alfred Cullen, she added, hesitatingly--

“Paulina is, to be sure, my own niece--she and Alice were like twins, almost. She is a good little girl as ever was; but, somehow, it seems to me, ever since you came, that Alfred would like you best.” Again aunt’s voice became a little husky, and again a little panic ran along my nerves. “Still, I do think,” added aunt, “that he grows more particular in his attentions to Paulina every time he comes up. And, lately, they correspond occasionally, although Paulina keeps a close mouth about it, so that neither her mother nor I know what it amounts to. Paulina is reckoned very pretty.”

“She is very pretty, indeed, aunt, with a beautiful complexion.”

“Yes, this is true; but, somehow, her beauty is of a very common kind. Alice’s wasn’t; yours isn’t. You and Alice are alike, or were, only you have a better form for those who like dignity. And you have more courage: you are all Hedelquiver; she was half Monroe.”

“You estimate me very kindly, dear aunt,” said I, grateful for the cordial words and tones.

“Well, I like you, somehow, better and better every day. You are calm and strong, like your uncle. I always like to have such people with me, I suppose because I am so nervous and weak myself. Alfred is nervous, too, I think, although he commands himself perfectly.”

Thus it was Alfred, Alfred, all day, and for, many days, until I was quite tired of it; until I wished that there was no Alfred Cullen in the universe. She said to me this morning, in a way as if she were doubtful whether it would recommend him to me--“Alfred writes beautiful poetry, they say. I saw a piece he wrote on ‘Night,’ and it was very beautiful I thought.”

“Writes poetry, does he!” said I, determined to exorcise him and his praises. “I am sorry! I can never bear a man to be always scribbling poetry, whenever the moon shines, or any thing happens.”

Dismayed now, in her turn, aunt put in numberless disclaimers, which amounted to this--Why, she has heard, to be sure, that he does sometimes write very pretty poetry, and that some of it comes out in the “Tribune;” that, in fact, she has seen one piece with her own eyes--Paulina had it, she cut it out of the Tribune. But, for all that, he has as much energy and manliness as those have who never touch a pen but in keeping their accounts. She wouldn’t have me think, for a thousand worlds, that he is an effeminate, moon-struck young man. She hopes he will come up: she has no doubt he will while I am here, and then I shall see with my own eyes!

Yes, then I shall see, Edith mine, and then you shall hear about it. One thing troubles me--I fear aunt will be bumping our heads together every five minutes, in the way of making us like each other; that is, if he comes, as I presume he will by some device of aunt’s. If she does manœuvre in a way the least bit gross, I foresee--that I can live through it, to be sure, as one can live through every sort of vexation and grievance if one will. But I shall be very still, and very tall; and, moreover, so repulsive in various ways, that he will be propelled with something of a shock to the far corners of the room, as often as he meditates approach to me.

You should see how I thrive. The hardiest imp out at the red school-house on the corner, who does not once cease to turn sommersets, snow-ball, make pyramids and snow-images, and beat the snow from his iron-like boots, is hardly stronger, browner, hungrier than I am. For you see, I ride out often with uncle and aunt to call on substantial families, where are warm fires in two or three rooms, where great red and green apples and snapped-corn go round, if we can stay no more than fifteen minutes, and where, at any rate, a few lively jokes fly right and left, and a few earnest, friendly things are spoken, and promises of an early “visit” interchanged. We meet other sleighs, we pass them; they pass us, like lightning, with young village gents in them, and I am ready to go over the moon at the sound of the merry bells. Kate and I go up hill and down, let the weather be as it will. Yesterday, as if we were one feature of the storm, we went on and on, chasing the snow-clouds that were trooping over the fields and roads, and the snow-clouds that were trooping, chasing us. This morning it was still and splendid for a feathery hoar-frost clung to every branch and spray, and glittered in the early sun. It was stinging cold, as aunt forwarned me, the air “cut like a knife.” But I liked it--I felt it invigorate me every moment and prepare me for the rest of the day--for the rest of life; for I see it plainer and plainer, that every wholesome pleasure, and every wholesome sorrow, not the less, is such a preparation. Therefore, welcome all experiences, I will accept them as the loving child of Him who metes them out.

I am up early. This is easy for me here, for kitchen, dining-room and back-parlor are warm before six o’clock, and all in the house are moving. So that I write a great deal, and write well, as I believe you will say when you read what I have written. The publishers’ praise me and--pay me. Twenty-five dollars came from Philadelphia yesterday. Every cent of this (for I can have no wants of my own here) I shall send to my dear father. If he has only a few bits of silver in his purse, and no business, twenty-five dollars will go quite a long way in purchasing comforts. I am thine, dearest,

Rosa.

CHAPTER III.

MONDE TO EDITH.

_Wednesday, Dec. 24th._

Blessed Edith! Guess who said this to-day, after I had been reading aloud in the Westminster Review--“I don’t understand a word, hardly, about this constructive policy and conservative elements, or what sort of difference there is between them. It indeed, seems to me that they must mean really the same thing. Don’t it to you?”

“Oh no, aunt.”

“No, I suppose not; for you are like your uncle. He talks about these things a great deal, and about the political economists, too, as if they were something like gods--or very mischievous men, for I am sure, now I think about it, I can’t tell which it is--whether he approves them or not. At any rate, if they are wise and good men, I think he is as good as the best of them can be, I am sure”--with a long sigh, and listlessly drawing the point of her needle along the hem she was making--“there isn’t an hour, hardly, that I am not wondering at all he knows, and wishing that I were a hundredth part as wise.”

“I wouldn’t mind this, aunt. You are good and kind, and everybody loves you. Aunt! aunt! see! Ponto has upset your basket; he is eating your spools, isn’t he? What a naughty dog.”

Ponto took the reproof for so much coaxing, and came scrambling over me. Aunt half-sighed, half-laughed, and said--

“This is the way Ponto serves me, if I don’t see to him. And I never do see to him, or any thing else, when I am talking or trying to think closely, never; I am discouraged sometimes, especially when I think how different you and your uncle are; and Mother Hedelquiver would see to twenty things, as if they were but one--I would give all the world that I could do the same. Ponto, Ponto, be still, or I will box your ears!”

But he didn’t be still, nor did aunt box his ears. He slipped off from beneath her hand and ran over the carpet like a bewitched thing, with a sleeve of the dress aunt was making in his mouth. He is a splendid little spaniel, the pet of all in the house, and I believe the fellow knows it.

I have had letters from home since I wrote before, and see what my mother says--“You are right, my good Rosamonde, truth is best for us; not only for its own great sake, but, as you, say, we feel so much better and nobler every way when speaking and acting it; and, besides, it serves us best in the end. It has been serving us a good turn, as you shall hear presently.

“Mrs. Hayden called here the day that we got your last. You know I have always tried to keep up appearances before her more than almost any other, she has things in such style at home. If she has ever called when I was feeling discouraged about our affairs I brushed the depression all away, you know, and was as lively and full of this and that thing that was going on, as if I hadn’t a care in the world. I was, in fact, never myself for one minute in her company until that day. Well, when she came in I was alone, your father was going here and there in the city, to make it appear that he had a great deal on his hands I have no doubt, and I was in tears over your letter--I brushed the tears off a little, but they ran again as soon as she began to speak kindly to me; and she was really as kind as a woman could be, Rose--so I told her all about our discouragements, how long they have lasted, how they were growing deeper, and all; and read her your letter and showed her the bank-bills. She was very sober, and as I had never seen her so before, it didn’t seem to me that it could be the same Mrs. Hayden that usually comes in once in six months, and after sitting fifteen minutes, talking of the weather, crotchet-work, her domestics and the like, goes out again as cold and stately as she came. She sat close beside me, and threw off her bonnet when she found the strings troublesome. She said she wished I had spoken of these things before, for that your father might have been helped to a good business in the first of it, as well as not. She told me to be of good courage, to be thankful that I have such a daughter. Here her tears started and mine ran again--she said she would speak to her husband, his brother, and hers, and all would soon be right.

“And all _is_ right. Two retainers have already come in, one of fifty dollars, another of twenty. Old Judge Bailey sent for your father the other day--the judge is uncle to Mrs. Hayden; your father read with him six months, but never had put himself in his way, and so the judge had quite lost sight of him. He told your father that he would be in need of him often, and that if he--the judge, I mean--does sometimes scold and send the chairs against the wall when the gout is on him, your father must let it go as if it were a little rain and hail; he will give him, at the same time that he scolds, good work and good pay. I hope he wont scold, for I think your father is too proud to bear much--he would sooner sacrifice the work and the pay. I am afraid that nearly all these energetic patrons are either cross or whimsical, or have some troublesome fault. Your father says that, according to your Uncle Frederick’s philosophy of compensation, they are likely to have. Well, we must wait and see.

“P. S. I left this for your father to write a little, if he could find time; but he can’t, as true as you live. He is busy early and late with great books, and pens, and sheets of paper, and parcels of documents tied up with red tape. You don’t know how good this seems. He is as happy with it as a child, and proud of being all fagged out. You would be delighted to see him; he looks younger by ten years than he did a fortnight ago. He wants you to come home now. He says he couldn’t have consented to your going to stay so long but that he thought it might be pleasanter for you there. I couldn’t certainly. _I_ hope you will try to come sooner, for, guess who comes in to inquire about you--Esquire Charles Hayden; _our_ Mr. Hayden’s youngest brother, you know, just home from California when you went away. He has established himself here; has his office close by your father’s; was in last evening, and didn’t want to talk of anybody but you. Mrs. Hayden had been telling him about you.

“Good-bye, dear. Mrs. Hayden has just sent me word that she will call in an hour, with Charles, to take me out to ride with them. I believe it more and more, that truth is best. Don’t you, Rose?”

No, my mother! I should believe it all the same, if, in following after it, you had been led into countless difficulties and tribulations, I should still believe it altogether best, because best for the soul, let what will come--come to the body.

Mr. Marsden, one of the village merchants, went to Boston yesterday, and aunt commissioned him to tell Alfred Cullen, with whom he deals largely, to come up and spend New Year with her and uncle. Now heaven forbid!

Uncle says--“Come, Monde, come and hear what that rascally Louis Napoleon is doing.” I go, for France is, as it were, our next door neighbor in these days.

CHAPTER IV.

MONDE TO EDITH.

_Danville, Dec. 29, 1851._

Isn’t this outrageous bad, Edith? Mr. Marsden brought along, when he came back, a note from Alfred Cullen, saying that he will come to D----; a box of oysters from him for uncle, another of figs for aunt, (and she wants to see me eat them every five minutes; I think it is much the same as if she saw me eating the giver.)

Aunt is so glad to have him come that she hardly knows her head from her feet. She is in danger of stumbling over Ponto, or a foot-cushion, at every turn. She gives more directions to Bessy and Hamlet than ten Bessys and Hamlets could follow. It is well for them that she revokes half of them on the spot; that she modifies the rest according to their liking, and ends with telling them both to go on and do just what they see needs to be done, and to do it in the way they think best. She has no doubt, she says, that it will be done better than she can advise. And so it will assuredly. Bessy has been in the family ten years, Hamlet three; they both have clear brains and strong hands, and, as Bessy says, “have got the hang of every thing from garret to cellar.” This is no light achievement, for one does not often see so large a house, or such overflowing abundance. By the by, do you know that uncle has paid our house rent for the last ten years, and given us money and other things beside? I am thinking that, if you do not, you may be calling him “a miserly old fellow.” He has offered my father land, but my mother dreads leaving the city where she was reared. Now I hope you think, as Aunt Alice and I do, that uncle is the best man on earth, except Kossuth--I must say, except Kossuth always; for I believe he is the best man that breathes, or that has breathed, since the days of Christ. Uncle and I talk about him, we read his speeches, and I keep saying in my heart--“the Christ of the nations! the Christ of the nations!” And often a great fear comes over me, that, in another sense than his truth, his self-immolating goodness, his destiny is to be like that of the Christ. My heart is aching for him now--still I can put back the pain, and say, “Father, let it be as seemeth good in Thy sight; for, whether he lives or dies, in him the great cause of freedom and human progress shall be glorified; and he is strong and patient to drink of the cup that Thou givest him.”

* * * * *

_Tuesday, 30th._

I think this Alfred Cullen, who will come to D---- to-morrow or next day, must be altogether precious. Even uncle is moved a little. He gives Hamlet orders touching John, and John’s harness, and the oats John must have, that he and his trappings may be in good condition for Alfred’s use. Aunt looks at me and adds some suggestions about Kate. Kate must be fed well and made sleek as can be; for--perhaps--. Aunt goes no further than this “perhaps” of hers, lately--she has seen, I presume, that her plans which embrace Alfred Cullen and me jointly, annoy me. Indeed, I was quite savage over them before she gave them up. Bessy bakes pies, and loaves of all sorts of cake and ginger-bread, without number, and wipes the dust out of every corner. Aunt praises all that she does and all that Hamlet does, puts her caps in order and sponges her dresses. Paulina Monroe, meanwhile, comes in often to look at my collars, under-sleeves and cuffs, that she may make her some like them. Her dress-maker hurries her sewing on a brown Thibet like mine, made like mine, that it may be finished before to-morrow night. Paulina smiles incessantly, has flutter in her manner, and a red spot on each cheek; so that Ponto and I are the only two who go our ways precisely in the usual mode. In truth, I am not sure that Ponto and I are entirely unaffected; we are out of doors more than heretofore, and when in the house are a little less sedate; I can’t bring my mind to my writing as usual, and I shall be glad when his face is set again toward Boston.

Good-night! I shall finish my letter after he comes. I shall tell you now, however, what a beautiful gift I had yesterday from uncle--a plumed Kossuth hat. This is for me to wear when riding. I wore it to-day, and uncle walked round it and me, saying with kindling eyes--“That is splendid! You never looked half so well, Monde, in any thing!” And according to the revelations of the long mirror, I think I never did. But it is a fact, Edith, my fair one, that I am as brown as a berry. Good-bye.

* * * * *

_Wednesday, 31st._

Well! Alfred Cullen came this morning while I was gone to ride. We did not expect him until evening, because it is a day’s journey from Boston. But he stopped last evening at St. C----, where he had friends and business, and this morning was brought over.

“Guess who’s in the sitting-room with your uncle and aunt,” said Hamlet, with a broad smile, as he came to help me out of the saddle.

“Paulina, I dare say, Hamlet.”

“No. You go in an’ see who ’t is. Come, Katy.”

I came in straightway, expecting to see Hamlet’s pretty sister, Fanny; but saw, instead, a man of about thirty years; by no means tall, (for a man, that is; he is a little above me,) by no means large, but noble and graceful, and with a look in the highest degree animated and gentle. He and uncle stood face to face, talking energetically and laughing.

“Here she is!” said uncle, as soon as he saw me. “Here’s Monde. Monde, our friend, Mr. Cullen. Our niece, Miss Hedelquiver, Alfred. Ponto, be still; behave yourself, Ponto.”

Ponto wouldn’t behave himself at all, in the way uncle proposed; he was quite too glad to see me. When I would have stepped forward a little to meet Mr. Cullen, he was jumping on my long skirts and catching them in his teeth; and when I would have shaken hands with him, he sprang up between us, and was so unmanageable, that we were forced to dispense with the hand’s-shaking altogether. We called him a vicious puppy and boxed his soft ears a little; but, as we laughed all the while, he only dragged my skirts the more pertinaciously and jumped the higher. And judge you whether I was not glad that he did; glad that I must be busy scolding him and getting my skirts and gloves and riding-stick away from him; for uncle said, turning to Mr. Cullen--

“How do you like Monde’s hat, Alfred?”

“I was just thinking that it is the most becoming thing I ever saw,” replied he.

“I think so,” said uncle.

I can’t very well bear having any thing about my person commended, you know; especially if it brings such eyes as uncle’s and Mr. Cullen’s to bear upon my figure; and so I was glad enough to have aunt come into the room, and forward into our midst, that the survey might be broken.

But it was not long, for aunt looked down on my long train, and then said:

“Paulina has been trying to persuade Rosamonde to put on a Bloomer with her, she didn’t like to adopt it alone. But I think Rosamonde is wise in clinging to the long skirts, especially for riding. Do you like the Bloomers, Alfred?”

“Not at all! not at all!” and his eye ran over my figure again.

“Nor I,” said uncle. “To tell the truth,”--with his eyes on my face--“Monde wrote us spirited letters; I remembered a certain sort of dash and courage in her character, and I was more than half afraid that she would come amongst us looking up out of a Bloomer, and that the first thing she began to talk about would be Women’s Rights. Not, as Heaven knows,” added uncle, with increasing seriousness, “because there is not need of changes here, as every where else; but because the changes proposed are, as it appears to me, poor, one-sided things. I would not, therefore, like to hear so thoroughly sensible a girl as Monde, clamoring for them.”

“You will make Monde blush,” said aunt.

“Not at all,” Aunt Alice, replied I, doffing my hat, “I can bear very well having my brain praised, you know, at any time. Ponto--Ponto, bring me my glove.”

“Yes, that is true,” said aunt. And added, after a moment’s pause--“_I_ can never make much out of this Woman’s Rights business. With sister Eunice it is ‘equal rights, equal privileges, equal pantaloons,’ and some more, I don’t know what else. I never pretend to understand a word of it.”

This was cunning in aunt. We all had a hearty laugh over it. But good-night, dearest; I will finish in the morning.

* * * * *

_Morning._

When I returned to the parlor, after changing my dress, yesterday, uncle and Mr. Cullen sat in their arm-chairs, face to face, talking with thoughtful eyes of Congress and Hungary. If Congress would do thus and so, then Hungary could do so and thus, so and thus. If Congress would not, then God help Hungary. They had their eyes on each other’s face; they appeared as if they two could sit there and talk forever, never once lacking themes of interest, never once tiring of each other’s discourse. And uncle--dear, good man that he is!--let me have a part now and then, by saying--“Yes, this is what I was saying to you yesterday, you remember, Monde.” And then again--“And Monde, I see, thinks the same.” So that he and Mr. Cullen soon came to speak as much to me as to each other.

Aunt came in, in a jet black dress, and rich black lace cap, with scarlet trimmings. She looked happy, and was as fresh and graceful as a girl--only her cap and collar were both awry, and a lock of hair straggled. Her eyes sought Mr. Cullen’s directly.

“Mother,” said he, answering her smile with one as genial, “I am as hungry as a wolf. What are you going to have for dinner, I wonder.”

“Guess.”

“A chicken-pie.”

“Yes! as true as you live. I remembered how you liked them, and we made this on purpose for you.”

“Thank you! you are always kind. What else have you? I am so hungry!”

“Pumpkin pies and toasted brown bread; it will be ready in less than five minutes.”

“Ah, this is good! there is nothing I love so well. But, Ponto, let this paper alone. Here, you little rascal!” (For Ponto was running off with the “Era;” going sideways in a highly comical way, that he might not step on it.) “Ponto grows more roguish: I am afraid you help to spoil him, Miss Hedelquiver.”

And in all that he said and did--I mean Mr. Cullen, of course--he was like a good son, running over with delight and sociability at finding himself beneath the home-roof once more.

“The handsomest pie I ever saw,” said he, as uncle was beginning to carve it.

I looked at aunt, but she would not look at me. She would say--“I think so too. Rosamonde put on the cross and border. Neither Bessy nor I should ever have thought of such a thing.”

Mr. Cullen looked up to me, I know, and uncle, too; but I was drinking, and kept my eyes down in my tumbler of water. “I am vexed,” thought I, for one moment, “for this is what she will keep doing.” But the next moment I looked about me undauntedly, and thought--“Yet, if she does, I wont be vexed. I will only do those things that I do in such a way that she can’t hold me up for admiration. Good! I fancy Mr. Cullen will see something not quite so pretty as that chicken-pie, before many days.” And I was full of mirth at thought of the hodge-podge I will perpetrate if I am troubled.

Mr. Cullen went over to Mr. Monroe’s after dinner, and brought Paulina back with him to take her supper with us and spend the evening. She was in the new Thibet, the new collar and under-sleeves, so that she was rather stiff, rather careful about her ways, but pretty as a rose and lily tied together, and Mr. Cullen evidently thought the same. He ate a part of her Baldwin apple, when she complained of its being so large that she could neither hold it with both her hands (and she spread them before him to let him see how much too small they were for that) nor eat it if she could hold it. She didn’t allow Ponto to come very near her new Thibet, or new under-sleeves, and so Mr. Cullen let the little fellow run over himself and me. He played backgammon with her, game after game, as he talked with the rest, and allowed her to beat him in every game; whereupon she patted his shoulder with her dice-box and called him a careless goose.

“Rosamonde Hedelquiver,” said she to me, as she was putting on her furs to go, “what made you keep on this common-looking dress, and these plain duds,” touching her finger to my linen cuffs and collar. “I thought you would be all dressed up in your best, and so I put these on. I was mad with myself for my pains when I saw you.”

“Ah, this is nothing, any way, Paulina. Here is your hood; it is a beauty.”

“Yes, I like it pretty well. I suppose you’ll ride every day on horseback, just as you have done?”

“I presume so. Let me tie your hood for you. You can’t find the strings, can you?”

“No, my fingers are all thumbs to-night. I suppose Alfred will ride with you. Aunt will teaze him to. He used to ride with Alice; but he never liked it so well as walking, or going in a carriage. But he is one of those who will do every thing that is required of him.”

She was putting on her over-shoes, so that I could not see what sort of expression accompanied these words.

“You needn’t expect to see him here again to-night, Aunt Alice,” said she, hanging on his arm, at the parlor door. “I shall keep him. We’re going to have something for breakfast that he likes best of any thing; and I know he’ll stay for this, if not for any thing else. Wont you, Alfred?”

“No, no, Paulina. Let him come back,” said aunt. “We want him here to-night. Don’t stay, Alfred.”

“No, I will not, mother,” bowing to go.

“Then I will call you an obstinate and real cross pig, if you don’t,” I heard Paulina say, in tones half-laughing, half-pouting, in the hall.

Uncle took up the Tribune; aunt and I drew near the stove to toast our feet a little.

“I think he attends to her and humors her more and more,” said aunt at length, in a dreamy tone. She had been watching a chink in the stove where the flickering blaze was seen. “Don’t you think he does, Frederic? Frederic, don’t you think Alfred really means to make a wife of Paulina?”

“I think likely he does,” replied uncle, at the same time that he went on with his reading, as if he had not spoken, or aunt either.

Aunt kept her eyes on the stove after this until I rose to leave the room. “Good-night dear,” said she then, kissing me lovingly. She looked as if the last of ever so many cherished hopes was on its flight.

I write in a little library that opens out of the back-parlor, and is warmed by the book-parlor stove. Mr. Cullen has just entered the parlor; where he talks softly to Ponto, and rummages the newspapers. Now aunt comes in, and after the morning greetings, she says, clearing her throat--“So you think Paulina improves?”

“In some respects; don’t you?”

“Yes, I suppose she does. But breakfast is quite ready, Alfred. Monde, dear--” coming this way.

“Yes, dear aunt, I come.”

* * * * *

_Evening._

This has been the busiest day! I couldn’t even find time to get this already longest of all letters ready for the mail. I will therefore sit here, now that it is all over, now that all have gone to rest but me, and tell you about it; and let me do it in little skirmishing scenes like this.

Scene 1. _The Breakfast Table._

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “So Burchard & Bean are lending their interests to the Nicaragua route?”

_Mr. Cullen._ “Yes; and so are Cornish & Brothers. They are much more substantial.”

_Mrs. Hedelquiver._ “The Nicaragua route, the Panama rail-road, free trade, and so on--Frederic and Rosamonde think that these are going to do not a little toward making this world all over new. They think they are going to do their part in putting down wars and every sort of thing that isn’t brotherly and according to what the gospel enjoins. Monde, have you water? Oh yes, I see. Now I’ve tried again and again to see what connection there can possibly be between peace and the Panama rail-road, for instance; and I can’t. I don’t half believe there is any--do you, Alfred?”

_Mr. Cullen, laughing._ “Oh yes, mother?”

_Mrs. Hedelquiver._ “Yes, I suppose you do. You and Frederic, and Monde think just alike about every thing, I see. Have some more chocolate, Alfred.”

Scene 2. _The Hall._

_Mrs. Hedelquiver._ “What do you want to say to me, dear?”

_Monde._ “I want to tell you--why, aunt, you see I want to write mornings, and then ride when I am tired of it--just as I have done all along. And I have been thinking that Mr. Cullen may feel that it belongs to him to--why, to see to me some, perhaps sometimes to ride with me. But it don’t, you know. I would rather attend to myself, and go alone, as I have done. So you wont let him think, will you, dear aunt, that it is necessary for him on any account, or at any time, to go with me any where.”

_Mrs. Hedelquiver._ “Why?”

_Monde._ “Because, if you do, aunt, it will put a disagreeable restraint upon him, and make me very unhappy. I have always been used, you know, to depending upon myself. I have never been a favorite of the gentlemen, or of anybody, except a few kind people who would see that there was something in me somewhere that deserved to be loved.”

_Mrs. Hedelquiver._ “And this has been a grief to you, dear, Monde? and is at this minute, as I know by the sound of your voice.”

_Monde._ “Sometimes it grieves me; and then again I am thankful. For it has made me self-reliant, and very loving toward Him who will always be near His child, and love her. Aunt, dear, you will promise not to hint it to him, in the remotest way, that he ought to ride with me, or wait on me at any time?”

_Mrs. Hedelquiver, dreamily, and as if again hopes were flying._ “Yes, I will promise. But I can’t see what objections you can have to his riding with you. There’s John almost always, you know, in the stable. There is nothing to hinder his going.”

_Monde._ “Nothing to hinder, if it is his own spontaneous will and wish; otherwise, every thing, in my way of thinking. Come, aunt, you are freezing.”

Scene 3. _Outside the Gate._

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “Ready, Monde?”

_Monde._ “Ready, uncle.”

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “Wait a moment. I want to tell you, Monde, that I overheard what you said to your aunt in the hall, this morning.”

_Monde._ “Did you, uncle?”

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “Yes; but never mind it: It was only a new proof that you are the most sensible girl in creation. It is just the way you ought to feel about it. What he will do of his own accord, let him do; but I will help you in this. I will take care that he don’t do any thing for you because he sees you in need of him.”

_Monde._ “You are the dearest, best uncle that any poor child ever had! Now, if you will help me.”

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “There you are! You mount as if you had some little wings up there among the plumes of your hat. I will bet you have.”

_Mr. Cullen, appearing at the door with a book in his hand._ “What, are you going to ride this morning, Miss Hedelquiver?”

_Monde._ “Yes, Mr. Cullen.”

_Mr. Cullen._ “And alone?”

_Monde._ “Yes, sir. Uncle, my stick, if you please.”

_Mr. Cullen, springing forward to pick up the stick._ “Now I protest against this! I have been thinking that I wanted to ride--and (laughing a little) that I wanted to ride with you. Let me help you off, now, for a few minutes. I will have John ready in--John is in the stable, isn’t he, judge?”

_Judge Hedelquiver._ “Yes, and at your service, if Monde will wait--if she wants you to go. You haven’t asked her.”

_Mr. Cullen._ “No! presuming blockhead that I am! Do you want me to go with you, Monde?”

_Monde._ “If you want to.”

_Mr. Cullen._ “As I most certainly do. Let me help you. Only I am sorry to give you so much trouble. I am sorry I didn’t know, in the first of it, that you were going. You will tell me next time, wont you?” (opening the gate for Monde to pass in.)

_Monde._ “I--I believe I sha’n’t promise you.”

_Mr. Cullen._ “Promise at any rate to let me know it, whenever you are willing to have me with you.”

_Monde, with the door half shut between her and him._ “I believe I sha’n’t promise that either.”

_Mr. Cullen, on his way, with the Judge, to the stable._ “Then I will always make you wait for me like this.”

Well, well! I see I might write all night, with my scenes first to twentieth, inclusive. But I sha’n’t. I shall go to bed, after I have told you that the morning ride was altogether delightful. I never knew such a splendid morning. I never had so agreeable a companion in ride, or ramble, or--I shall say it, Edith, for it is the truth--or any where. And I fancy that he found me--quite tolerable. One could not well be otherwise with him about.

We found company here when we returned--two of the professors from Woodstock, together with Judge Brentwood, and his wife and daughter, from Craftsburg. They all dined here; and things never went off so strongly. I sat by aunt, and helped her serve the guests. When I do this, and she can now and then look over the table into uncle’s always clear, calm face, and listen to his manly expression, she can know pretty well what she is doing, even if she does sometimes venture upon a little conversation.

While we were giving them our adieus at the door, two other sleighs came up with high-headed horses and loud-jingling bells, taking along fresh visitors to spend the rest of the day and the evening with us. They were wealthy farmers, who wanted to talk of horses and oxen, and different breeds of sheep, with uncle; and farmers’ wives, who talked with most interest with aunt, when it was upon butter and cheese, and preserves and bread-making. This, as you must see, left Mr. Cullen and me pretty much to ourselves. But we were at no loss. I can’t see how one can ever be at a loss with him; for his vigorous and fresh thought readily comprehends all the philosophy of nature, of morals, and of life; and he communicates himself, as it were, and all that is in him, so magically that--

But, see if I am going to write all night! A happy New Year, dearest. Extend the greetings of the season to all in your house.

Thy Loving Monde.

CHAPTER V.

MONDE TO EDITH.

_Danville, Jan. 12, 1852._

Edith, dear, how often I write to you. But it relieves me to throw my story by, and gossip in this careless way. And, moreover, I must be telling somebody how happy I am; and how the days go, day after day, as if on the wings of the morning. I would not have believed that there was any thing like it on this earth; that I, or any one, could ever be so thoroughly comfortable. I suppose it is because uncle and Mr. Cullen talk so much of those excellent things that keep us close by Heaven. I don’t suppose it is any thing else. Only it is pleasant riding every day, sometimes twice a day; sometimes on Kate’s back, sometimes in a sleigh; oftenest, of late, in a sleigh. It is good seeing aunt so kind, so attentive to all our wishes, and so happy--and so facetious, too, in her way. Hear what a curious thing she said to-day, when uncle and Dr. Ponchard were discussing the medical systems. Uncle, by the by, is a homoeopathist. “Husband seems to think, as you see, Dr. Ponchard, that the practice of medicine must needs change with all other practices; that the great pills, for instance, as large as bullets, belong to the almost by-gone age of bullets. I don’t know, I am sure, but he believes that people will be so refined by the time the transition state is fairly over, that nothing but rarefied air will be thought of for remedies. And if he does, I shall think he is right, doctor.”

“Ha! no doubt whatever of that,” said the doctor, who is a sort of witty bear. “No doubt you will have implicit faith in the rarefied-air system, if the judge ever comes to preach it. You’ll be found with a tube in your mouth, breathing it whenever you have a little indigestion or headache.”

Aunt laughed, and filled the huge pockets of the doctor’s fur overcoat with apples for his wife and children.

Hear how diligent I am. I have been writing since five o’clock. I began an hour earlier than usual, because we are to have visitors from Barnet to spend the day, so that I must be hindered.

Mr. Cullen has been reading in the parlor since six; now it is almost seven. He yawns, he moves about; I fancy he is tired of his books. I do not allow him to come into the library in the morning, because then it disturbs me having him near. After they are stirring in all the rest of the rooms, I don’t mind it; and he sits here by the hour. He yawns again, says, “Heigho!” and sees to the fire. “Monde!” he says, as if there were something that he will no longer try to bear.

“What say, sir?”

“It is so hot and stupid here, a fellow can have no comfort.” (Shutting the stove door.) “I am coming into your cool room. May I?”

“Yes.”

“Shall I disturb you?”--coming.

“No, sir.”

“‘No, sir!’ so I see. You can write, and talk, and have me about--it isn’t so much as if Ponto had come into the room instead of me. I have a good mind to try whether there is a way of disturbing you a little. I shall sit here close by you, and keep scolding. Yes, I see. You only smile quietly at this, and go on writing. I am provoked! I want you to talk with me; want you to care more about me than about this old ‘commercial pen’ of yours. Will you?”

“I can’t,” laughing.

“Then I will steal your pen. I will hold your hand--thus--”

* * * * *

_Evening._

He stole my pen, and threw it to the other side of the table. He held my hand, and called me “an obstinate thing! but a dear good girl--a _dear_ good girl, for all that.” He would keep my hand; and soon I ceased trying to regain it--for he was telling me, in the dearest voice, what he had been reading and thinking; so that I forgot every thing but that I was happy enough to go straight away to Heaven. And I wish at this moment, Edith, that I might die--for I cannot believe that such happiness as this can last; and I would rather die than have it broken.

I know what you will say. You will say that I love Mr. Cullen; and I expect that I do. I expect that I have loved him since the day that he came. And I shall never regret this, even if I find that it is only friendliness he feels for me, if I find that he loves and marries another--for my life is enriched and beautified by the new emotions, by the love of one so noble, so pure!

For the present, aunt looks smilingly on, takes Mr. Cullen’s part when he and uncle are both going to ride, and both lay claims to my company. She adjusts the matter by saying, “Frederic, let her go with Alfred! He isn’t going to stay long, you know. And, besides, I want to go with you myself. So just bring my hood and cloak in from the hall, while I am finding the rest of my things.”

“Yes, ‘finding the rest of your things!’ this takes a week; and this is why I like it best having Monde go with me.” But, notwithstanding uncle contends I can see that he likes best seeing me go and come with Mr. Cullen. Notwithstanding he and aunt send Mr. Cullen or me in every morning to see how it is with Paulina’s neuralgia, they are neither of them much sorry to be told that her face is still swelled out of all comeliness of shape with it, so that she will not see either of us. Her mother, by the way, says she took cold wearing such thin stockings over here the day that Mr. Cullen came. She would wear them, she says, because she wanted to pinch her feet up in her tight summer boots.

“A silly puss!” said uncle, when aunt told him about it. “I wonder how a woman can imagine that any person of sense cares a fig whether her foot is like an elephant or a mouse.”

We rode a long way to-day, for our visitors were old people, who cared more for talking with uncle and aunt about their fathers and grandfathers and great-uncles, than for all Mr. Cullen and I had to say to them. And the day and the scenery were magnificent. I wonder if you know, Edith, mine, that one never needs go to Italy because one is longing to look upon deep blue skies, sunsets, and moonlights splendid enough to bewitch one; and upon mountains, great and small, ranging off like troops of living monsters. One needs only come to New England; here, to this hilly town, Danville. And one should come, at least once in one’s life, in the winter of the year; for the so much bepraised summer glory must yield to the winter, if many mountains are in the scene, and such noble ones as Mount Washington and its kindred. Their snowy lights are softened by the distance, and their shades deepened, so that, at midday, it is as if they were all of pearl. They lie along the whole eastern horizon; and when the sun takes a golden setting, there can hardly be any thing much finer of its kind in all Italy, in all Switzerland, I imagine; for a reflected glory is upon the mountains as varied nearly, nearly as intense as that which immediately surrounds the sun.

We talked of Alice to-day as we rode; and Mr. Cullen had serious eyes and hushed tones, as if he had infinite tenderness for her memory.

“I think as your uncle and aunt do, that you are like Alice in many respects, dear Monde,” said he, leaning a little toward me, as if he felt tenderness for me, in that he felt it for the dead Alice. “Only,” he added, “as the judge says, you have much the superior character. You have, I see, the pliancy of the reed, when you need to bend, and the consistency of the oak, when you need to stand erect. I like the way you bear praise,” added he, after a little pause. “I suppose you would bear the same amount of fault-finding as quietly.”

“Try me, and see.”

“Yes; for instance, if I tell you that you have a certain obstinate self-reliance, piquant to see.”

“Well?”

“And then if I were to tell you that I like the little wickedness, like to close hands with it, and master it.”

“Then I would tell you that you are downright vicious! But you don’t master it; you never can!”

“Yes; you ride with me when you have just been saying that you certainly will stay at home. I throw away your pen and hold you fast, when you have just been saying that you will write, that you care less for me than for your old pen. Don’t you remember it?”

“Yes.”

“So do I. I like to remember it, because, for some reason, it is better mastering you once, than any other woman that I know ten times.”

I turned the conversation by showing him the beautiful little brook that went leaping and tinkling amongst the rocks, and icicles, and fairy-like frost-work close by the road. One finds such little brooks at every turn among the hills here at Danville. He looked at the brook, calling it “beautiful!” He took my hand into his, and kept it until we reached home.

He must go home in a few days; he has stayed already twice as long as he intended when he came. I wonder how I can get along without him. I foresee that I shall want him as a child wants its mother.

I will write again soon after he goes. Heigho! says

Your Loving Monde.

CHAPTER VI.

MONDE TO EDITH.

_Danville, Jan. 20, 1852._

He went yesterday morning early; and since that time I go from one chair to another, or from one window to another, sighing, and with untold quantities of lead in my heart. I am disposed not to write, not to talk, or do any thing, but turn my eyes Boston-ward, and think of him.

But I shall not be so stupid! I shall put a little stiff barrier--my own flinty will, of course--between me and him, so that he shall be there at Boston, and I here, following diligently my duty. I shall lay this letter by, and finish my story for Mr. S----. Then I shall ask uncle to ride with me over to see Bessy’s feeble sister, Mrs. Thornton, who has a whole roomfull of little children to see to; and to whom an hour’s service, now and then, at making or mending, is a blessed godsend. Then I will take my sewing in, and sit a few hours with Paulina, whose neuralgia still afflicts her. I will stay and take supper with her; and if she is cross, as she is often of late, it shall not hurt me, since I will be good-natured.

In the long evening I will be here; I will snap corn, pass round apples; sit now at aunt’s feet, help her in her sewing-plans, and then at uncle’s, talking with him of Kossuth, Clay, Cass, and Webster.

When they go, if I am in wakeful mood, I will write here until I am in a drowsy one, and then go to my rest, humbly commending myself to God as his servant, his follower; not the servant, not the follower of any mortal idol whatever. Thus shall my soul be kept loyal unto itself and unto Him--and not the less loyal unto the good one who has chosen me.

* * * * *

_Ten o’clock, evening._

Uncle set us and our great basket, full of good things, down at the door of the Thorntons, and himself rode on to Hardwick, where he had business that must keep him until after dinner, as he believed. The pale mother was “glad and thankful to see us,” but a little flurried to have us find her children in such disorderly array; and her house, too--it is a bit of a house to hold ten people, and made of logs. But we took the children to us, gave them apples and doughnuts, and soon had Mrs. Thornton’s great work-basket between us. We finished off three little garments that were on the way, and put on ten patches here and there; Alice, aunt’s bright-eyed namesake, counted them. We cut off the long hair of the girl’s, and made the short hair of the boys shorter; and then, when they had all been washed and combed, saw that there is nowhere a prettier, brighter family of children. Aunt, meantime, was like a bee, dipping into this and into that; dragging roll after roll of pieces from her basket, whenever a patch was needed; and helping Mrs. Thornton warm up the pudding and the pies we had brought, and fry the sausages and broil the steak.

Mr. Thornton and his eldest boy came in from the woods just at the right moment--just as all the steaming dishes were ready to go to the table. Uncle, too, came in the right time; in fact there was never so lucky a day; every thing happened at the right time, and in the right way. There was never so good a dinner; or, at any rate, this was what we all said, smacking our lips a little, and holding out our plates for more.

“This will do us all a great deal of good,” said Mrs. Thornton, when we were putting on our things.

“And us, too, Mrs. Thornton!” said aunt; in a hearty way. “I havn’t had a pleasanter time for many a day. And I don’t believe Monde has.”

“No, aunt, I havn’t.”

And it was the truth, Edith. Happy as I have been with Alfred Cullen, I was as happy without him--just thinking of him now and then, as I sat there putting on patches, and doing with right good will whatever came into my way to do.

Let me tell you a little story, dear Edith, and then I am done. Two or three days ago, at about this time of the evening, there sat on this spot, a gentleman of fine features, of easy, manly bearing, and a lady. The lady was not beautiful. The best that could be said of her on the score of beauty, her sincere friend, Edith Manners, had said to her one day; “You are not so homely as you think, Miss Monde. You have beautiful hair, beautiful teeth--and I think a great deal of one’s having pretty teeth. Your form is excellent; and your ways have an abundance of grace and ease in them.”

This was all Edith Manners could say to her friend; and more than many others would have said, who knew her less familiarly; for she had, in truth, grace and ease in her manners only when she had grace and quietness in her soul; that it was sometimes said of her by those she would gladly have pleased, “I don’t fancy her; she has a hard manner.”

Well, they sat here, those two, in their easy-chairs, and rocked and talked, with their eyes steadily on each other’s face. He held her hand in his, and kissed the fingers ever and anon as he talked and listened. At length he folded her close to his heart, and, with his lips on hers, called her--his “beloved!”

The next morning, when they met here, on the spot so sacred and dear to them both now, he took her to him once more, and said, “When will my Monde be _all_ my own?”

She, “pliant as a reed,” and with her arms clinging to him, answered, “Any time, dear Alfred--any time!” because, you see, she felt then, Edith, that she could not well live without him a day.

But it seems to have been demonstrated that she can--for he left her the following morning, after it had been agreed that they will both write immediately to her parents; that, their replies being propitious, he will accompany her to them in one month, and, in six months more, he will receive her at their hands; that, after two or three weeks spent there, he will bring her to his own home, to pass the rest of her happy life by his side.

And here ends my story. Only I must tell you how good uncle and aunt are. Aunt wept for joy, as if she would suffocate, when Alfred, standing close before me, with my hand in his, told her and uncle our resolves. Uncle, also, had moist eyes. He stood one moment near us, the next he walked the floor. I presume he thought of the dear Alice. I did; and longed that the blessings of her glorified spirit might be upon our union.

“You shall be as a daughter to me in all respects, Monde,” said uncle, speaking with difficulty. “I have loved you as if you were my daughter, ever since you came. Whatever you need to have done, I shall attend to--if you will come to me always, as though I were your father. And you will, Monde?”

I answered the imploring voice, the imploring eyes, by catching the hand extended to me in both my own, and covering it with grateful tears and kisses.

I have had letters from home within a few days. And mother wrote--“You will feel quite lost when you come. We’ve moved into a large and beautiful tenement on B. street, close by the Haydens, and fitted the front parlor all up new, taking the old parlor furniture for the sitting-room. I hope you’ll like these changes better than poor Kit does. Your father brought her over here in a basket, covered, that she might not see the way and be running back. But we missed her, and your father went over to see if he could find her at the old rooms, and there the poor creature was, prowling about the open cellar window, as lean and hungry-looking as a wolf. Your father worries half of his time about her, when he is in the house. I really think he wishes he had stayed there too. Now that it is becoming an old thing, I see that he is often tired of so much to do. He gets the best of business, I mean business that pays the best; but his responsibilities wear him, and he has trouble with some of his clients. When he has been working day and night for them, they are as likely as any way to think that he hasn’t done enough.

“I have my troubles, too. I ought to be ashamed to complain, I suppose, now we are doing so well, but when you come you will see, as I do, that there are vexations for those who have enough of every thing, as well as for the poor. Perhaps you will think, as your father and I are sometimes inclined to, that it isn’t worth while to look for much real, lasting happiness in this world, or for any benefit that hasn’t its tax.”

Yes, one sees how it is with my poor parents; poor in their adversity, poor now in their prosperity. They look to the _outward_ conditions of their lot for a great good that shall be final; for a life serene and well-satisfied that shall make its way into them, from without; from the new friends, the fast-filling purse, the freshly adorned home. Would that they and all the world could know that every good, every real enjoyment of life, is born of God _in the soul_. There Love, the Divine Life, the Artist-Life, the Blessed Life, whatever we call it, has its genial, its beloved home. Ah, Heaven! to have this love within us, so that we must burst forth into singing; to have it beaming thence upon our friends, our home, upon the earth, crowning them all with glory and light!--this is to know how good God is, in that He made and endowed us specially for this kind of life. Only we have sought out many inventions; have picked up one thing and another on our right hand and on our left, calling the laborious, unseemly patch-work we have in this way made up, Life. That we _must_ pay a tax grievous to be borne on this, is one of the merciful dispensations, for it brings us to look for that to come, which will come without price, which will surely come, if we will accept nothing else, if we will wait for it, and receive it like little children.

Thine, dear, Monde Hedelquiver.

* * * * *

=WELLINGTON.=

=A MILITARY BIOGRAPHY.=

=BY WILLIAM DOWE.=

Le tambour d’en Haut a bat le rappel. Soult, Duke of Dalmatia.

There’s a lean fellow beats all conquerors. Dekkar.

The last survivor of those celebrated chieftains who flashed their swords and waved their crests on the great battle-field of Europe in the Napoleonic war, has gone to his place. Half a pound of indigestible venison has done what the hostile bayonets and bullets of the French and the Mahrattas failed to do, in a military career of twenty years. Arthur, Duke of Wellington, born in the same year with the greater Corsican, outlived him over thirty years, and died at Walmer Castle, on the 14th of September last. He witnessed a great many of the most extraordinary doings of the last half century, and was, himself--a great portion of them--_quorum pars magna fuit_. He hurried on the current of events which led to the fall of the great Mongol throne of Tamerlane and Arungzebe; and his hand gave the last bloody stroke which overthrew that of Napoleon.

Arthur Wesley or Wellesley--for the name seems to have been elongated, as a matter of dignity, like that of Abram of old--was born at Dangan, in Ireland, on the first of May, 1769--a fortnight before Bonaparte saw the light upon the sheet of Gobelin tapestry which represented “the tale of Troy divine.” His grandfather was Garret Wesley, an Irish gentleman of good family, made Baron of Mornington by George II., in 1747. The Wesley family has given the world another great man. It is stated that John Wesley, the preacher, belonged to it; a man whose evangelical renown is as immortal as that of the soldier. The earldom of Mornington was not a wealthy one; and, after the death of her husband, the countess--mother of the British Gracchi (for the Marquis Wellesley was also famous)--brought up her four children, of whom Arthur was the youngest, in very narrow circumstances.

At an early age the latter, not having benefited much from his education, said he would be a soldier, and was sent to Angiers in France, where he studied the science of military engineering, under the famous Pignerol, about the time Napoleon was doing the same at Brienne. Great elements of future storms were at that moment fomenting in the kingdom of France! At the age of eighteen, Arthur Wellesley having returned home, got his ensigncy. By purchase and quick promotion, he was lieutenant-colonel in his twenty-fourth year. The first campaign he engaged in was as disastrous as his last was fortunate. The enemy was the same. In 1794 he joined the army of the Duke of York, then striving to drive the French republicans out of the Netherlands. But his royal highness was driven out himself in 1795. The soft young bishop of Osnaburg was not the man to cope with the fiery generals of the Convention. Thus ended Arthur Wellesley’s first campaign.

The scene now changes to India. From a mere foothold and factory, on the shore, the English had in half a century won, thanks to Lord Clive, a vast extent of territory round the three Presidencies of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. A company of merchants had done all this--the East India Company--whose chartered monopoly existed up to 1814. At the close of the last century the empire of the Mongols had dwindled away, and the Mahrattas, a wild people who rose fifty years before, possessed a large portion of the appanage of the Great Mogul. This last was dozing out his life in the palace of his renowned ancestors at Delhi. His empire in falling had broken into pieces. The Mahrattas formed one of these, and another, was the kingdom of Mysore, made so famous by the usurpation and bravery of Hyder Alee and his son, the Sultaun Tippoo Saib.

In 1798 the Earl of Mornington went out to India as governor-general, and his brother, the colonel, accompanied him. Their earliest attention was given to Tippoo, who, from the table-land of Mysore made the Carnatic tremble at the name of his formidable cavalry. He was also in close connection with the French, and had given them repeated assurances that he would join his forces with theirs and annihilate the British power in India. Therefore, in March 1799, the Anglo-Indian army under General Harris, 37,000 strong, marched toward Tippoo, fully determined to put him out of the way. The advance was fiercely obstructed by the spahis of Mysore till, manœuvring and skirmishing repeatedly, the invading army had reached the walls of Tippoo’s capital, Seringapatam. Between the British camp and the city lay some ruined villages, an aqueduct and a grove of cocoas and bamboos, which were desperately defended, and taken with great difficulty and loss. After a month’s delay outside the city, the besiegers prepared to get into it, by storm, through a breach made in the wall. French troops and engineers in the pay of Tippoo made the siege of Seringapatam a formidable undertaking. But a forlorn hope, crossing a ditch under fire, scrambled into the breach, and, other troops following, Seringapatam was taken, resisting furiously. Tippoo had gone out early in the morning to the outer rampart, to look at the camp. While there, he was surprised to hear that the English were entering the breach. Calling for his carbine, he hurried with his guard to the place, and on the rampart met his soldiers running before the stormers. He bid them stop, with a loud voice, and ordered them to rush back again; at the same time he fired his carbine repeatedly on the English. But the fugitives went by, and left him with a small body of officers and attendants, still firing on the assaulters. At last he turned to fly from the rampart to the gate of the inner fort. Hurrying through this he saw the English within and received two balls in the breast. He fell from his horse, and was then dragged from the crowd and put upon a palanquin. The Europeans soon rushed in, and a soldier laying hold of the diamond-studded sword-belt worn by the sultaun, attempted to drag it off. A servant, as he was making his escape, turned and saw Tippoo make a sweep of his sword at the man and cut him on the knee, whereupon the latter put his piece to his shoulder and shot the sultaun dead through the temple. More carnage followed in this spot till at last the fort was won. When Tippoo’s palace and his sons were taken, the conquerors sought the chief himself; the cry went that he was dead; and that night, by torchlight, General Baird and his officers proceeded to search for the body in the gateway. About three hundred dead bodies were dragged away, and then the _killedar_ of the palace recognized the half-stripped body of Tippoo. His splendid turban, jacket and sword-belt were gone. When dragged out, the body was so warm, and the open eyes looked so life-like, that Colonel Wellesley laid his hands on the heart and the wrist before he could believe it was a corpse. An officer present cut off from the right arm a _talisman_ in fine flowered silk--inclosing an amulet of a silvery substance, and a piece of parchment with Persian and Arabic words. Napoleon also wore an amulet, said to be that of Charlemagne.

After the fall of Tippoo, the little grandson of the rajah whom Hyder Alee had deposed, forty years before, was put in his place, and held his throne in subserviency to the English. A Mysore chief named Doondhia still attempted to hold out, but Colonel Wellesley defeated and killed him.

Next came the Mahratta war. The chief of the Mahratta confederacy--the Peishwa--resided at Poonah, his capital; acknowledging, in a shadowy and nominal way the supremacy of the shadowy Mogul emperor, Shah Allum, who dozed away his life at Delhi. But the peishwa’s authority was over-shadowed by his powerful subject, Ras Scindiah, who wielded the military power of the Mahrattas to make war or peace with the English. The latter, now, either thought he had been assisting Tippoo, or feared he might be a troublesome neighbor in connection with the French; so they prepared to take advantage of events. Holkar, another Mahratta chief, having gone to war against Scindiah and thrown the kingdom into confusion, the poor peishwa ran away from Poonah and put himself under British protection. The case was therefore a clear one. In 1803 General Wellesley proceeded, at the head of an army, into the Mahratta territory and restored the peishwa. In the same year, Lord Lake marched northward to Delhi, drove out the French, who had there exercised a certain influence over Shah Allum and bringing forth that poor, blind monarch (one of his Mahratta rebels had scooped out his eyes with a dagger!) placed him on the imperial _musnud_ of India, under British protection! Meantime, the Mahratta chiefs who would not submit to the Anglified fled pieshwa, were to be punished. Wellesley marched against Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar, and overthrew them at Assaye; and Lord Lake demolished the armies of Holkar. The whole peninsula of India was now virtually subject to the British.

The East India Company gave Wellesley a sword worth one thousand guineas, for his services, and William Pitt made him a knight. In 1805 he returned to England with his brother, now _Marquis_ Wellesley. In that year he became a member of the House of Commons. In 1806 he was again engaged in hot work. He married Elisabeth Pakenham, daughter of Lord Longford and sister of the general who fell at New Orleans; and was then sent on the Copenhagen expedition. England, dreading that Napoleon, who now bestrode Europe like a colossus, would lay hands on the fleet of Denmark for the purposes of invasion, resolved, with the promptness and decision which distinguish her in difficult emergencies, to lay hands on it first. An armament under Lord Cathcart and Admiral Gambier went for the ships, and receiving a refusal bombarded Copenhagen in the most terrible manner; while Sir Arthur Wellesley manœuvred and beat the Danes on shore. In the midst of a general conflagration of the city the fleet was surrendered and carried away. All Europe--Napoleon and the French particularly--cried out against this high-handed business. It is still a great theme of discussion at historical societies in England, where it is not yet decided.

We have now come to the Peninsular War. Napoleon had declared all Europe in a state of blockade and forbade the nations to trade with England. But they would trade. He then resolved to take the coast kingdoms of Spain and Portugal into his own power; and seized his opportunity. In 1807, in consequence of the household quarrels of the imbecile Spanish Bourbons, he marched his troops into Spain under pretence of assisting Charles IV. against his son Ferdinand. Charles was induced to abdicate. Napoleon sent for Ferdinand; and in April 1808, Charles, his queen, Ferdinand, Don Carlos and Godoy were together, in a room at Bayonne, in presence of Napoleon; all the family in his clutches! The queen abused Ferdinand in the most shocking manner for his conduct to his father, who, she said, was not his father, after all! The interview was a terrible one--the calm, imperturbable face of Napoleon looking sternly on. Modern annals do not furnish the painter with a finer historic subject. Napoleon took the father and son, sent them to separate prisons in France, and put his brother Joseph on the throne. But, as Delavigne says:

“The hope was vain: stoled priests and belted chiefs Roused each the other up, and proudly woke To loftier thought the popular beliefs, And fired a nation’s spirit as they spoke.”

The haughty people of Spain ran to arms to expel the foreign garrisons. England loudly cheered on the furies of insurrection in the Peninsula, and sent Sir Arthur Wellesley, in 1808, with an army of 9000 men to coöperate with the Spaniards. When he reached Corunna he found that the Junta, relying upon the strength of the patriots, were not desirous to receive the troops. But they advised the general to proceed to Portugal and attempt to drive the French from that country, which they had likewise occupied. Sir Arthur proceeded to Mondego Bay, a little to the north of Lisbon, then garrisoned by the French. It was of this landing that Sir Walter Scott sung, in his “Vision of Don Roderick:”

“It was a dread, yet spirit-stirring sight: The billows foamed beneath a thousand oars, Fast as they land, the red-cross ranks unite, Legions on legions brightening all the shores. Then banners rise, the cannon-signal roars, Then peels the warlike thunder of the drum, Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet’s flourish pours, And patriot hopes awake and doubts are dumb, For, bold in Freedom’s name, the bands of ocean come.”

Sir Arthur repulsed the French in the engagement of Rolica. He also beat them at the battle of Vimiera, during which Sir Harry Burrard, his superior in command, arrived on the ground; but left the honor of the day to Wellesley. Junot, Duke of Abrantes, then sent a flag of truce and offered to evacuate Portugal. The convention of Cintra followed, signed by Sir Hew Dalrymple, Sir H. Burrard and Wellesley, on the part of England; and the French army was sent home in British vessels. This treaty was vehemently denounced in England, and public opinion pelted the three generals. Byron alludes to the matter in Childe Harold:

“Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foiled the knights in Marialva’s dome Of brains, if brains they had he them beguiled And turned a nation’s shallow joy to gloom.”

Byron was mistaken in supposing the treaty was signed in the house of the Marquis of Marialva. Another and a greater disaster was mourned, soon after, in England. Sir John Moore who had marched, at the close of 1808, at the head of a small army into the heart of Spain, where he was disappointed in the Spanish assistance he expected, and threatened with destruction by the victorious French armies who had taken Madrid, began his disastrous retreat of 250 miles toward the sea, and arrived, at last, at Corunna, where his harassed and tormented spirit found rest.

“Slowly and sadly they laid him down From the field of his fame fresh and gory; They carved not a line, they raised not a stone, But they left him alone with his glory.”

A couple of months after this event--in April 1809--Sir Arthur Wellesley was at Lisbon, in command of the British and Portuguese armies. Marching rapidly northward he made the passage of the Douro in face of the enemy--one of the most remarkable achievements of the war--and entered the city of Oporto. The French fled away in such a hurry that Sir Arthur ate the dinner cooked for Marshal Soult. Following up his success immediately, he drove the marshal precipitately out of Portugal. In July, he crossed the frontier into Spain; where, having formed a junction with Cuesta--a respectable old general who always moved about in a carriage--he marched to Talavera. Here the allied armies met the French, under King Joseph, Jourdain, Victor and Sabastiani. The latter were the assailants in a series of brilliant and desperate movements; but they were boldly confronted and baffled by the admirable strategy of the English commander. The French fell back on the night of the battle. But Sir Arthur fell back in a week, and left all his wounded to the care of Mortier, at Talavera. Dreading that the junction of Soult and Ney might cut off his communication with Portugal, he retired to the frontiers of Spain by the Tagus.

Byron has celebrated or satirised Talavera in Childe Harold:

“Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice; Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high; Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies; The shouts are, France, Spain, Albion, Victory! The foe, the victim, and the fond ally That fights for all, but ever fights in vain, Are met, as if at home they could not die, To feed the crow on Talavera plain And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain!”

Sir Arthur was now created Lord Wellington--though the English did not like to hear of the retreating movements. The French generals were victorious in Spain, and the year 1809 closed darkly on the hopes of the junta.

In the beginning of 1810, they were almost driven into the sea. Upon the shore of it the enemy besieged them in Cadiz. Lord Wellington was with the allied army on the frontiers of Portugal; and when Massena, having taken Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, advanced upon the latter kingdom, the English general retired, but with his face to the marshal. In this attitude, he hurled back the French, in the brilliant affair of Busaco; and so continued to retire till he reached the sea, which, every where seems to wear a friendly face for the English. Here Wellington fortified himself within the impregnable mountain lines of Torres Vedras--extending thirty miles along the coast, from the Tagus to the mouth of the Sissandro. In this position he had the English fleet at his back. During his retreat he had laid waste Portugal--cleared the country of every thing that could support or assist Massena. The sufferings of the poor Portuguese--burghers and peasantry--were pitiable. But the French army suffered most. At the close of the year, weakened by want of provisions and desertion, Massena struck his camp and retired. In the beginning of March, Wellington quitted his mountain fortress and followed him. The country was extensively wasted by Massena in his retreat, and in April, 1811, the French were forced out of Portugal.

This year was consumed in a series of bloody and fruitless movements.

In the beginning of 1812, Wellington besieged and took Ciudad Rodrigo, and, on the 6th of April, he stormed Badajos--one of the most sanguinary affairs of the kind in modern warfare. Soult, who was advancing to relieve that fortress, retired on hearing of its fall, and, being followed by the allies, the great battle of Salamanca was fought in July. Marmont was defeated and lost his right arm; his dispatches to the minister at war were signed with his left hand. The blockade of Cadiz was now raised, at the end of twenty-one months, and the junta felt more at ease. Lord Wellington made a splendid entry into Madrid, and was hailed as the deliverer of the Peninsula. But it was not yet delivered. He pursued the French northward as far as Burgos, which place he besieged and tried to take by assault. But hearing that the French were greatly reinforced and fearing his communication with Portugal might be cut off, he raised the siege and retraced his steps in October, pursued in turn by Soult.

Then began the English retreat to the Douro; disgraceful as well as disastrous. The confusion, bad conduct, and insubordination of the army were extraordinary; it seemed completely demoralized by the reverse. The soldiers thought they were advancing to the French frontiers; instead of which, they were carried back again across Spain and Portugal. Thousands of the men deserted; and Wellington said his troops were “more ill-behaved and undisciplined than any army he ever read or heard of.” At the same time the Spanish general, Ballasteros, refused to listen to or obey him--a heretic foreigner--for which, on Wellington’s complaint, the Cortes cashiered and imprisoned him. The English general, leaving his army in Portuguese cantonments, went down to the junta at Cadiz, and there made such representations of the evils of a divided command, and told them so plainly his determination not to act without receiving the plenary powers he needed, that he was made generalissimo of the united armies of England and the Peninsula.

In 1813 the terrible effects of the Russian campaign began to be felt in Spain. French armies were withdrawn to fill the place of “those veteran hearts that were wasted” beside the Berezina. Wellington, the supreme chief, again advanced, and for the last time, from his base of operations in Portugal. But for this sea-washed position, he would have been driven out of the Peninsula long before. The giant Antreus, when overthrown, instantly recovered when he touched mother earth. Wellington, in his defeats, recovered whenever he touched the sea. He now turned his back upon it, and marched for the Pyrenees. From the frontiers of Portugal he followed the French, who retreated on Burgos. In June he beat King Joseph at Vittoria, and following the French to Pamplona, forced them to enter France by the Bidassoa and other points. But France was not to be invaded without a bloody struggle. Soult, who had received reinforcements from those terrific conscriptions with which Napoleon was decimating France, once more turned upon Wellington. He attacked and beat the English generals in several desperate engagements in the defile of Puerto Maya, and the pass of Roncesvalles.

Where Charlemagne with all his peerage fell, By Fontarrabia.

The French fought desperately--as they were doing at the same moment, to protect the German frontiers of France against the Russians and Austrians. At the close of 1813, San Sebastian was besieged and taken; and the English soldiery rioted over the fallen city, with the most horrible brutality and license.

Napoleon now seeing his affairs desperate, took Ferdinand of Spain out of prison, and made a treaty of peace and friendship with him. But the Cortes refused to sanction it. In the beginning of 1814 Lord Wellington entered France, and dispatched General Beresford to Bourdeaux, which city he entered in triumph, accompanied by the Duc d’Angouleme. On the 14th of April was fought the battle of Thoulouse, in which Soult endeavored to oppose the progress of Wellington.

In the meantime, Napoleon, who had fought like a wild animal at bay, against the advance of the allies, was forced to abdicate at Fontainbleau, and go away to Elba. Returning thence to Paris, in the beginning of 1815, by one of the most daring and brilliant marches ever made by any soldier, he reached the Thuilleries, while the French princes hurried in consternation along the road to Ghent. At the end of three months the French emperor proceeded into Belgium to annihilate the nearest of his enemies--the Anglo-Belgian and Prussian armies, before the others should come up. It has been said Wellington was taken by surprise. This might have been so--as regarded the exact hour of Napoleon’s coming; but he was not disconcerted. He and many of his officers were at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball, in Brussels, when they heard of the sudden advance of the French.

And then was mounting in hot haste; the steed, The mustering squadron, and the clattering car, Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, And swiftly forming in the ranks of war; As the deep thunder, peal on peal afar, And near, the beat of the alarming drum Roused up the soldier ere the morning star; While thronged the citizens, with terror dumb, Or whispering with white lips, the foe, they come, they come!

Meantime, the emperor, moving rapidly on Brussels, drove in the English at the battle of Quatre Bras, on the 10th, and the Prussians, at Ligny, on the 17th of June. But, on the 18th, he was checked by the memorable hollow squares of Waterloo. On that day was fought one of the most renowned battles of the world--the most decisive of modern times. In antiquity, the battles most resembling it seem to have been Platæa, where Mardonius and the Persians were overthrown, and the fight of Cannæ, in Italy, where the Napoleon of the Punic War prostrated the military strength, but not the republican courage of Rome. For nearly the entire day the British squares withstood the vehement cavalry charges of the French, and so rough-handled and weakened them, that when, toward evening, the Prussians came up in great force, the emperor’s army was wearied, and ready for a repulse. He ordered one more charge in column--that of his Young Guard--(the Old Guard was asleep in Russia)--headed by Ney. But it was broken by the firmness of the English guards. Wellington himself was with these last, and doubtless his presence gave them increased spirit and steadiness. The column--the last forlorn hope of empire--was struck and scattered by the musketry in front, and the flank charges of cavalry; and then the career of Napoleon was at an end. And, for one great tyrant beaten down, a dozen others, great and small, reigned in his stead--their unholy alliance sitting like an incubus on the rights and hopes of exhausted Europe.

After the return of the Bourbons, the Duke of Wellington remained for three years in France, at the head of the Army of Occupation. His residence in Paris was the Elysee Bourbon--that lately occupied by Louis Napoleon. He has been blamed for not saving the life of Marshal Ney, who had in 1814 sworn fidelity to the Bourbons, and, in 1815, gone back to the emperor. Byron, who was always fierce on the duke, says, addressing him,

Glory like yours, should any dare gainsay, Humanity would rise and thunder, _Nay_!

Wellington, when speaking to his intimate friends concerning the execution of Marshal Ney--which he undoubtedly could have prevented--merely said, “It was no concern of his.” It never was part of Wellington’s character to give way to any sentimental feeling. In 1818 his army left Paris; which occasion Beranger has signalised in one of the finest of his lyrics: _La Sainte Alliance des Peuples_:

O peoples! forgetting all by-gone defiance, Join hands, for yourselves, in a Holy Alliance!

The renown of Wellington was now only inferior to that of the late emperor: He was a prince, a noble, or a knight, in almost all the European codes of honor;

His honorable titles Would crack an elephant’s back,

as Shirley says. Thenceforward he sat in the English House of Peers--a moderate politician, and a wealthy man. He had got a dukedom, and nearly a million and a half pounds sterling from parliament, and his pensions and other emoluments from successive offices he held were not less than £15,000 a year. In 1819, being First Lord of the Treasury, in Peel’s ministry, he advised that the Catholics should be emancipated--as they were insisting on it so furiously. For this a good many Tory missiles were sent rattling about his laureled head. But he did not mind them; he had heard the rattling of more deadly things. During the agitation for reform, to which he had opposed himself, the London mob, in 1831, pelted Apsley House, situated at the corner of Hyde Park, and broke several of his windows. Instead of mending them he got iron shutters to them, and they have remained closed ever since--a tacit reproach to the commonality of the capital. But that gust soon blew over, and, latterly, Englishmen of all classes were proud of the old duke--such a distinguished champion and evidence of their military glory. Wherever he went, he was stared at or cheered. Riding along the streets of the West End, followed by a single groom, his stooping figure and white head were well known. Hats would fly off as he passed, and he always raised his finger to the rim of his own in return. He was one of the most regular attendants on his duties in Parliament, and mingled in all the amusements and ceremonies of the aristocracy, as if he was no more than one of themselves. His growing years seemed to trouble his mind very little. Like Frederick the Great, he appeared to put aside all thoughts of senility and death, by the closeness of his attention to his daily duties and occupations of all sorts. He did not ponder on that “fell sergeant;” or, if he did, he probably thought of him as an old acquaintance he had seen somewhere in either of the two peninsulas--the Indian or the Iberian; a sergeant, in fact, who did duty under himself, along with the rest of the sergeants! Latterly, his son, Lord Charles, and his daughter-in-law, kept house for him in Piccadilly; and thus left the _insouciant_ old militaire at liberty to attend all the galas of the court, and all the balls and reunions of Belgravia. On great court occasions, the stooping old Warrior would be seen--something like Achilles in the disguise--dressed in the showy ceremonial costume of his rank or office, in the midst of all the pageantries of royalty. At festive parties he would generally remain among the latest guests, enjoy himself with as much apparent cheerfulness as any body present, and go home to bed, like an old rake, in the small hours of the morning. He liked the gayeties of fashionable life. He would stand godfather for noble infants at the font, and give away noble brides at the altar. He would also go to christenings, and eat caudle with infinite good nature; gratified, doubtless, by the homage that awaited him everywhere.

On the 18th of June, he gave yearly, at Apsley House, a grand entertainment to all those officers who had been at Waterloo. People said he should have discontinued it--seeing it tended to keep up ill-feeling between England and France. But the feelings of the French were not worth respecting. They have as much levity and slavishness as their ancestry in the time of Louis Quatorze; a sad thing to say. The duke would interest himself in every thing considered important to society; and from his high character and his supposed influence with the ruling powers, at all times, he had crowds of volunteer correspondents in his time, asking all sorts of questions, and begging all sorts of interferences and favors. The first general sensation created by the Irish starvations at Skibbereen, in 1847, was produced by a letter addressed to the duke, and printed in the London _Times_. He almost invariably sent an autograph answer to his correspondents, beginning: “F. M. the Duke of Wellington presents, etc.” His replies were succinct and _ad rem_; some very trenchant, and some, which we have seen, very courteous.

Wellington was a man of cold thought and calculation. There was very little generous impulse or fine feeling in his character. Any thing like sentimental talk of glory he would smile at as stuff and nonsense. He knew that all the British glories of the Peninsula were won by the greatest scamps and blackguards in the three kingdoms, who composed the strength of the regiments. He was simple and matter-of-fact; his thoughts were subdued and hardened by the drilling of a lifetime. His style of writing was as disciplined and calm as his mind. He could never have written any of those bulletins with which Napoleon used to fire the blood of his soldiers, and in which he could show himself as impassioned as Mirabeau, as condensed as Tacitus. It is said Wellington cried out: “Up, guards, and at them!” when Ney had climbed the ridge at Waterloo. But on being asked about it, by a painter to whom he sat for his portrait, the duke smiled, and said he did not remember saying any such thing. He did not understand any melo-dramatic un-British balderdash! He loved the simple vernacular, and even slang of old England. At Salamanca, he turned to General Leith, and pointing to a height, said, “Push on, and drive them to the devil!” O Sallust, Tacitus, Polybius, how should you have got over the battle-speeches of such a man! After the battle of Salamanca, he said: “Marmont has forced me to lick him.” At Waterloo, with his watch in his hand, and his keen, cold glance bent through the rolling smoke, in the direction of Warre, he said: “This is hard pounding, gentlemen; we must only see who will pound the longest!” using, in that sublime and trying moment, the language of a London prize ring! Thus, cool and courageous as a steel blade, he never exhibited any of that glowing, impressible temperament, so characteristic of his native isle. He had, in fact, very little sympathy with Ireland in any thing, and seemed to forget he was ever born there. He never came forward in Parliament, or out of it, with any motion respecting its distress, or the relief of it, and, indeed, showed himself undeserving of any attachment on the part of Irishmen. Ireland had no sympathy with him, nor prided herself in him; which, seeing how forgivingly grateful she always was for the slightest show of kindness, speaks very unfavorably for the heart of the Duke of Wellington.

Wellington was a great general--not a great man. His was far inferior to the comprehensive, imperial genius of Napoleon, who, though a thorough-paced homicide, yet possessed the broad vision and faculty which distinguish the mightier rulers of men. In the latter years of his life, the emperor exchanged his soldierly statesmanship for fatalism--goaded to this by the fierce opposition of legitimacy--and that renounced and falsified the glorious _prestige_ of his early career. But, take him all in all,--looking at the astonishing picture of his life, in all its breadth and all its magnificent effects of light and shadow--we feel that the Corsican was of a higher order of spirit than the renowned and admirable soldier whose obituary we write.

The duke’s decease was caused by apoplectic fits; and took place at Walmer Castle, where he was attending his duty as Warden of the Cinque Ports. On Sunday, 12th September, he felt very well, and dined heartily on venison. On Tuesday morning he seemed to feel the effects of indigestion, and had an apothecary sent for. He spoke to the latter on his arrival; but afterward lost the power of speech, and died imperceptibly at three o’clock. Wellington was of low stature, like Napoleon; as for his aspect, there is as little need to describe it as that of the emperor. He was simple in his habits, and economic in his household, and usually slept on a little hard camp bed. A friend of his once complained that he had not room to turn in his bed. “Sir,” said the duke, “when a man begins to think of turning in his bed, it is high time for him to turn out of it.” He survived his duchess about twenty years.

He has been succeeded by Arthur, Marquis of Douro, born in 1807, and married in 1839 to the lady Elisabeth Hay, daughter of the Marquis of Tweedale. He has no children. We believe Lord Charles Wellesley has a son. But the English apprehend a failure of the heirs male, and wish to have the dukedom entailed on the issue of the females of the family.

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=SONNET.--HOMER.=

=BY WM. ALEXANDER.=

Great Melesigenes! erst, poor and blind, A wanderer didst thou sing thy Epic verse, Which peasants, princes equally rehearse, And act thy characters of lofty mind-- War’s trump Calliope aloud doth blow, When telling of fair Ilium’s famous towers, Which Greece beleaguered with her mighty powers, Led by Pelides, Hector’s sternest foe-- Fair Helen’s beauty thou dost there portray, Whom gallant, bold old generals admire; Speaking, too, of his rovings wild and ire, Whose bended bow doth the wild suitors slay-- The story of thy heroes; scenes of old, Demands, by right, a shining case of gold.

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=GRACE BARTLETT.=

=AN AMERICAN TRADITION.=

=BY MARY J. WINDLE.=

CHAPTER I.

Light of the new-born verdure! Glory of the jocund May! What gladness is out in leafy lanes! What joy in the fields to-day! W. C. Bennet.

Sunshine and storm--the alternate checker-work Of human fortune! Shelley.

A lover of the picturesque, whether poet, painter, or simply an enjoyer of Nature’s works, may be justified, perhaps, in extending his quest after the sublime and beautiful beyond the rich and varied landscapes of New England. Yet it is in this unpretending region that we are about to lay the opening incidents of our tale, rather than amid the cloud-capt rocks of Niagara, or upon the indented shores of our romantic lakes.

In the early days of our pilgrim forefathers, ere luxury and fashion had tarnished with their deceptive but defacing touch the primitive customs of the land--and, at the crisis referred to, neat but unpretending villages were beginning to dot at intervals the surface of the adopted country.

It is to the heart of one of these models of rural beauty that we now invite the attention of the reader. The immediate location of the village was in a sort of valley, close within the verge of an immense forest, and surrounded by an intervening underwood, which Nature had fashioned as a sort of defensive barrier. The cottages were without the underwood, and thickly distributed on that side of the forest which skirted the open country, forming, as it were, a slight chain of protection against the inroads of the Indians. So much in the light of a defensive fortress had these indeed come to be regarded by the dusky tribes, that latterly their invasions in the place had been few and far between. Even these occasional attacks had at length seemed completely repressed through the energetic measures of one of the colonists, who had acted on each occasion of surprise with a firmness and self-possession that at once overpowered and dispelled the savages.

This man, Deacon Winthrop, had, however, by the strenuous efforts referred to, incurred the revengeful feelings of the adjacent tribes, and an impending evil at this moment hung over him, unsuspected by himself or any of the villagers.

The beautiful English custom of celebrating the first of May, by a festival of roses, had been preserved in the colonies. To the morning of as lovely a day as ever ushered in that month of flowers, we now revert. It was a day of days--not a cloud to alarm even the most fearful, and holyday dresses were donned without the slightest dread lest they should be spoiled. The weather was neither too hot nor too cold; the old failed to anticipate coughs, and the young anticipated pleasures innumerable. A poetic fancy might have deemed that the trees, the flowers, the grass, were endowed with a brighter beauty in honor of the day. This festival, though nominally and by custom given to children, was witnessed and enjoyed, we may say fairly participated in, by those of older growth. At almost every cottage door might be seen some grandmother singing to the crowing infant in her lap, and old men leaning on their sticks peering out to catch a share of the general joy.

Opposite the pastor’s dwelling was reared the May-pole, gay with flowers and streaming with ribbons, while around it was collecting the limited juvenile population of the little place.

The lively ceremonies of the occasion formed no pompous pageant nor idle mockery--the smiles of the children alone shed a glow over the spot, and their merry peals of laughter rendered their sports hilarious and exhilarating to the more sober and advanced inhabitants, who acted only as spectators of this portion of the festivities.

Several hours passed thus in sportive amusements and in the crowning of the May Queen, Grace Bartlett, the pastor’s only child, who was elected by the unanimous voice of her companions to the honors of the occasion.

A banquet followed, spread upon the grass, and composed of contributions from every cottage matron. When this was ended, the long train of youthful forms, each garlanded with a trimming of flowers, swept up a vast avenue of beech to the village church. There the oration of the day was pronounced by one of their number robed in white. It was a simple and heart-touching sentence that last came from those childish lips--a word of faith to be preserved when all the bright twisted garlands of the day should be withered; when that last tribute, a chaplet bound by cypress leaves, should be laid upon each bier.

Hark! now from the young circle before the low pulpit arise the simple tones of a psalm, swelling on the air in rich gradations, interrupted only by the throbbing of those tender hearts, in the fullness of their innocent joy. Their rosy cheeks and glistening eyes at that moment, what need have these of record? Are they not written still in the memories of the surviving throng? The gushing melody from those infantile voices at length ceased, and the assemblage dispersed from the building.

Again out in the open air, again on the broad common, again scattered hitherward and thitherward, the children sought their homes, many of them possibly regretting that the festival of roses had not to begin again, but all solaced by the thought that it had become for once more an event in their personal history. And so to all intents the events of the day seemed ended. Several of the children had lingered in the meeting-house, after the general crowd had left it. By degrees, however, these few loiterers all departed, either singly or by pairs, excepting young Frank Winthrop and Grace Bartlett, who lingered to collect and garner up a few of those perishable wreaths that garlanded and adorned the modest sanctuary.

The platform in front of the pulpit, erected for the accommodation of the children, was completely hidden in leaves and flowers. Laurel branches as graceful as stooping seraphims swept over the surface of the clerk’s desk; the supporters of the pulpit lifted to its floor long, slender lines of jessamine; while from the rafters of the roof hung rich festoons of daffodil--making altogether a completely new interior; the high-backed chair of the clerk beneath was so richly adorned with roses that one kneeling before it might, without any great effort of imagination, have been mistaken for a votary of Flora.

For some time our young pair amused themselves tripping from spot to spot, their sweet, childish voices waking the echoes of the humble building. At length, tired of the day’s exertion, little Grace Bartlett threw herself into the huge arm-chair behind the desk. She was a lovely child, with large, soft eyes, and fair hair, which fell in light waves, rather than curls, nearly to her waist. Although the special pet of the whole settlement, she was not spoiled, owing to the remarkable sweetness of her disposition, which caused her to receive indulgence as the flower drinks dew, only to become more light and fragrant from the rich overflow of nutriment. Oh! if you could have seen her sitting in that old chair, raised some three feet above the floor, her petite figure vainly endeavoring to accommodate itself to the stiff, high back, one bare arm dimpling its dark covering, as if like some pleasant old gentleman, it could not help laughing at so dainty a thing, and the tips of her tiny fingers finding themselves an agreeable resting-place upon the soft coloring of her cheek.

Her male companion, Frank Winthrop, was a laughing boy, who was two years her senior. He was a plump urchin, welcome to the hearts and arms of all. His life was one long holyday of fun and frolick. He was ever fain to chat with the old, laugh with the young, nor was there even a dog in the village that did not wag its ears knowingly as the pretty fellow drew near.

From under a rude, arched porch outside, the clear laugh and ringing shout of a troop of happy children, who still loitered near, might be heard. One was romping in baby-frock and pinafore among the trees, now thrusting his arm in the leaves to grasp the bared shoulder of a little sister, then, creeping away under the green shadows, as a hare will hide itself, and raising his ringing voice to challenge pursuit, clapping his hands and laughing--scampering off finally on his chubby little feet, to plunge headlong in the fragrant grass, with a happy joyousness truly refreshing. At the farthest extremity of this rustic shed, three or four were playing, with noise enough for Christmas holydays; two boys at football, while the rest were testifying their feelings by sporting around them with the extremest merriment. One of the girls, at a little distance, was going through the A, B, C-dom of a mimic school, now kissing one, patting another, coaxing a third, crying “Oh, for shame!” to a fourth, and then dismissing with gravity the geography and history classes. Although some of the young rebels were larger than she was, and though they did mischievously contrive to loosen the comb with which she had tucked up her tresses, until the whole glittering mass came sweeping round her dimpled shoulders; and though some of the lesser girls would pelt her with clover tops, yet for all that she was as demure as a kitten--not a muscle moved. Ah, childhood! beautiful spring-time of the heart, when deception and suspicion are alike unknown, while yet the flowers of trustfulness bloom side by side with budding hope and fancy--ere the germs of envy and selfishness have come to shadow this bright little Eden of life’s imaginings--how lovely thou art in thy freshness and purity!

Little dreamed the guileless young gambolers at this moment that a savage eye was peering upon them from behind the eves of the meeting-house. An enemy was lurking near, unknown to those innocent hearts, who, ere the village clock should have pointed to the hour of nightly repose succeeding that day of glee, was destined to shed a gloom over the late happy region.

The pretty May Queen, Grace Bartlett, tired at length of her seat in the tall chair under the pulpit and jumping down with a bound and a run, was soon out upon the green amidst the merry group we have described. Frank Winthrop, the other little loiterer, had fallen asleep in one of the high pews, with a large Psalm-book for his pillow, and consequently he took no heed of her departure. There he lay in the calm, beautiful sleep of his young time of life, a model fit for the painter’s or the sculptor’s hand. How beautiful that boyish dreamer looked!--the round, fair outline, the fresh bloom of the features--his dark hair falling aside from his forehead, leaving its surface visible, and bland and fair.

Meantime, the shades of evening drew on, and the pennon of the hour began to bestar the heavens. A signal from the parents now brought the truant children to their homes--all but this reposing boy. It was the moment looked for by the lurking foe. Stealthily emerging from his retreat, he gazed around a moment to convince himself that his way was clear, and then advanced softly to the door of the meeting-house. From his late place of secretion he had caught a glimpse, through the window, of the sleeper, thus opportunely for his purpose, left alone in the building, and he deemed that his moment of revenge had come.

An instant he stood at the threshold--then advanced with measured tread along the aisles. So light were his footsteps, that the very scattered garlands and stray flowers of the late pageant rebounded unharmed beneath his moccason tread.

The space which divided him from the slumberer was soon past, and he stood before the child’s smiling and outstretched form. For a moment a compunctious feeling stole over the warrior. He held his breath as he gazed, and his heart swelled with love and pity. It was an evanescent feeling, however, for in another instant he had raised the boy in his arms, and bearing him gently away, he retraced his steps to the green sward. Another moment, and his retreating feet pressed an opening in the underwood bordering the forest, and in a moment more he was lost in the densely-wooded scenery.

CHAPTER II.

Alas! my noble boy, that thou shouldst die! Thou wert made so beautifully fair! That death should settle in that glorious eye, And leave his stillness in that clustering hair. Willis.

Cursed be my tribe If I forgive him. Shylock.

We must now use an author’s privilege and transport the reader to a lofty room in a spacious mansion attached to a fortress. It was far more commodious and gorgeously furnished than might have been looked for in such an isolated spot, though it was now silent and imperfectly lighted by a single wax-taper. The air was fraught with the fine exotics adorning the flower-stands, and the light, dim as it was, fell upon a hundred objects of splendid luxury.

The solitary occupant of this apartment had the air of one accustomed to action, and yet not a stranger to habits of thought. He was of no more than middle height, but in his air and gesture there was a tone of decision and command which no advantage of stature could bestow. The features were graceful, the color, that which exposure to the air increases in a skin originally soft and fresh. There was altogether a military appearance in the full and fiery eye which plainly showed the character of his adventurous life.

General Lincoln had been sent by the government of England to occupy a fortress on the borders of Canada. Whatever might be the stern peculiarities of his disposition, he was a man well calculated for the important trust reposed in him--for, combining experience with judgment in all matters relating to diplomacy, and being fully conversant with the character and habits of both Indians and settlers, he possessed singular aptitude to seize whatever advantages might present themselves. His policy was to conciliate the adjacent tribes of savages, and through them to destroy the few colonial settlements yet formed. His first object was now in the full tide of successful accomplishment, and when it should be fully ripe, the last would naturally follow.

It was midnight, and General Lincoln was pacing the floor of his luxurious apartment, seemingly insensible of the downy softness of the rich carpets under his feet, or the glitter of the splendid lustres over his head. At length, as he turned at the extreme end of the room, his eyes fell on the frame of a large painting, and for some minutes they were riveted to the picture it contained as by a master-spell. It was a portrait--a full-length portrait representing a female at the climax of youthful loveliness, with a charming infant boy resting upon her knees. Well did the gazer remember how fondly he had assisted in keeping the child quiet during the tedious task of sitting, by holding before his little laughing eyes the very toy now figuring in the hands of the mother in the picture before him.

The power of association brought back with life-like force to the father’s mind the soft, warm grasp of those dimpled, baby hands. Alas! they were now cold in death. The past arose before him--his early ambition--his happy marriage--his rapid and flattering success--his hope for higher honors--his wish for a son to transmit the pride of his name--his gratified desire. Before its fulfillment, the strongest principle of his mind was the longing for a son. Afterward, he had coveted worldly honors--he had garnered wealth that he might transmit to him the one and the other. Often, after the duties of the day, had he repaired to that child’s chamber and watched his slumber. How often for hours had he nursed it in his arms with all a woman’s tenderness and gushing joy. All his softer feelings--all his holier and better ones--such as even in the proudest bosom find root, turned toward this child.

From the soft and sinuous outline of the half-naked babe in the picture, his eye wandered to the face of the angel-like mother. Those clustering curls, those sparkling eyes, those blooming cheeks--for a moment they appeared before him, joyous, brilliant, beautiful and beloved. He pressed his hand hard with the clinch of suppressed emotion over his eyes, as the heavy tears fell upon the rich carpet, evidencing that under the crust of worldly intrigues was a heart that beat strongly. The grave had claimed both the dear ones whose likeness he looked upon--and now only a daughter was left to him. This daughter he loved, it is true, but she could not inherit his name, and every new acquisition of fortune or fame rendered him only the more anxious to perpetuate those empty distinctions to his race.

“My son, my son!” murmured the worldly man, “would to God that I could have died for thee.”

At that instant the great hall bell sounded, and an attendant shortly afterward entered the apartment, saying, “The Indian chief Tuscalameetah is below, and would speak with Gen. Lincoln on business of private import.”

“Let him come up,” was the reply.

In a few moments, a man entered in the wild accoutrements of a native of the woods. His closely-shaven head was without ornament of any kind, with the exception of a solitary plume that crossed his crown and hung over his shoulders. A tomahawk and scalping-knife were in his belt. He wore a hunting suit of forest green, with moccasons gayly ornamented, and his buckskin leggings laced at the side were gartered above the knee. His eye was quick and restless, roaming on every side of him, as from the habit of mistrusting the sudden approach of an enemy.

Notwithstanding these symptoms of suspicion at the moment of his entrance, his countenance was not only without guile, but wore an expression of honesty. He passed from the door, and approached Gen. Lincoln with the dignified tread of his race.

“What bringeth thee here?” asked the proud man of the savage. “Hast thou accomplished the errand I entrusted thee with?”

“Tuscalameetah hath done thy bidding, and with the same arrow he has made sure his own revenge,” answered the other.

“I trust thou hast not committed butchery in this work,” said his employer. “The moment of extermination has not yet come, and I pray God it never may be our last resource. I but desired you to find me an orphan boy among the settlements whom I could make the heir of my name and wealth.”

“The red man acteth as he will, and cometh back as he sees fit,” replied the chief, haughtily. “But the son of the clearings shall bless thy hearth; yet the tomahawk and scalping-knife have not left their resting-place.”

“It is well,” responded Lincoln, “that thou hast shed no blood. And the child, is he fair? and wherefore doth he linger?”

“He shall be in thy wigwam ere the sun setteth again,” said Tuscalameetah. “The lily of the valley cannot compare with him in whiteness.”

“See that thou bringest him hither by the time thou hast specified,” rejoined the general, as opening an escritoir which stood on one side of the room, he handed the Indian a purse of gold. In a few moments he was again alone.

CHAPTER III.

The child?-- Ay, that strikes home--my child--my child. Love and Hatred. By ----.

----Lose I not With him what fortune could in life allot? Lose I not hope, life’s cordial. Crabbe.

The morning following the mysterious disappearance of little Frank Winthrop, unusual symptoms of gloom might have been discerned in the village. The may-pole still stood trimmed with ribbons, but no children gamboled around it. There was a party of lads and a group of girls standing talking to each other--not merrily, but earnestly, on what appeared to be a subject of grave import. There were neither shouts nor laughs to be heard. And at almost every cottage door mothers might be seen with their infants in their arms, or old men and women shaking their heads sadly, and whispering to one another.

One called to mind how he had seen the child at the festival on the day previous, and what a pensive, half-ominous air his childish features wore. Another told that he had wondered much that one so young as he, should be bold enough to remain alone in the meeting-house with his baby companion. And the children went thither in little knots, and with half-fearful steps entered the pew where Ruth had left the lost boy sleeping.

As to the bereft mother, for many hours they had little expectation of her surviving, but grief is strong and she recovered. Some faint hope of his ultimate discovery seemed to animate her heart in this season of agony. The father took an active and energetic part in the search that was made by the villagers. It was a trait in his character to conceal deep grief, which with him, in this case, seemed to lead to action, not despair or despondency.

For weeks an investigation and search, led by himself, was followed up; but it proved without success. Those who have known the blank that follows the death of an idolized child--the uneasy void, the sense of desolation that will come when something beloved is missed at every turn--they can faintly guess how those unhappy parents pined as their faint and shadowy hope deferred from day to day till their hearts grew sick. With the mother, a removal from the scene of her late bereavement was tried, in order to discover whether change of place would rouse or cheer her. But alas! she was henceforth the same--a broken-hearted woman. The sympathy felt for her in the village was profound. As she appeared among them those who met her drew back to make way for her, and give her a softened greeting. Some shook her kindly by the hand, some stood uncovered as she glided by, and many cried, “God help you!” as she passed along.

Months passed on, and still no tidings of Frank Winthrop cheered the ears of the villagers. Years, too, in their course, gradually rolled on, and many changes were witnessed in the settlement--the old died and were buried--new children were added to the colonists--the young began to approach the season of maturity--yet still the vanished one was seen not, and tidings of him were heard in that place no more.

CHAPTER IV.

I struck in a pathway half-worn o’er the sod By the feet that went up to the worship of God.

* * * * *

Such language as his I may never recall, But his theme was salvation, salvation to all-- And the souls of his hearers in ecstacy hung On the manna-like sweetness that fell from his tongue Not alone on the ear his wild eloquence stole; Enforced by each gesture, it sunk to the soul, Till it seemed that an angel had brightened the sod, And brought to each bosom a message from God. Mrs. Amelia Welby.

Seem’st thou dimly to remember Some sweet spot ne’er seen before, To have visited or known it, Or in dreams or times of yore? Doth a word send waking fancies, Ringing thought’s familiar brain, Faint and distant, yet familiar, Where and when we seek in vain. Mrs. Acton Tindal.

We must allow an interval of sixteen years to pass away ere we again appear before our readers. To the quiet meeting-house mentioned in our opening chapter, we now revert. The chaplets and flowers we described previously, had long since withered away and returned to their parent dust, and with them, except in faint tradition and in the hearts of the bereaved parents, the name of the lost boy.

The humble building was now half-covered with ivy, and the small, secluded grave-yard was studded with simple stones and heaped with grassy mounds; showing that Time had not been idle in his allotted work. On one side lay the garden of the little house belonging to the pastor--a quiet dwelling shaded with sycamores, which threw large branches over the wall, and heavily shaded that side of the grave-yard.

The low bell had done ringing some time, and the congregation had all assembled. The small house overflowed with numbers, and what cannot be said of many such assemblies, contained but one class of human beings--all meeting on equal terms--none striving after the highest seat--difference of station having never been so much as named among them. These consisted chiefly of old men dressed in the respectable garb of the colonists, and women of different ages.

Opposite the reading-desk was Pastor Bartlett’s pew. The only occupants were his wife and daughter. The latter would have attracted attention in any assembly, for her beauty was of an uncommon cast. Her face was of that kind which is our ideal of a cherub’s--rounded, pure, innocent and happy. The long, golden hair absolutely sparkled in the light, while her skin realized the old poet’s exquisite description:

“Fair as the snow whose fleeces clothe Our Alpine hills;--sweet the rose’s spirit Or violet’s cheek, on which the morning leaves A tear at parting.”

Altogether nothing could be more peaceful and soothing than the effect produced by the congregation assembled in that little, unadorned place of worship, set off alone by the deep and expressive tones which proceeded from the reading-desk. The venerable Pastor Bartlett was a thin, pale, reverend looking person, with his locks thickly sprinkled with gray. He was reading a psalm from David, in the most beautiful and deeply earnest manner. His voice and pronunciation were those of a man of education, and his countenance refined and intellectual. But that which struck the beholder particularly about him, was the deep and unaffected seriousness with which he performed the holy office he was engaged in.

Whether it was the peaceful quiet and seclusion of the scene--whether it was their frame of mind, or whether it was the teaching voice of the reader we know not, but all paid the most devout attention. On the conclusion of the psalm, the preacher went up into his little, worm-eaten pulpit, and began. His text was, “Why will ye labor for that which is not bread?” There was something so seriously in earnest in his manner that the words seemed to go to the hearts of his hearers. He spoke of the emptiness, the insufficiency of pleasures which terminated here to satisfy a spirit created for an hereafter. He represented the powerlessness of those aids to support and tranquilize the heart in its sufferings and its dangers. He drew a living picture of the human heart--its secret restlessness and disquiet, its sense of the hollowness of all things. He then told them of that which was the true bread--of fountains whence flowed living waters--their immortal relations--their high destiny--their sonship and communion with the infinite God.

The clergyman was in the midst of his solemn discourse, when the attention of his hearers was attracted by loud and unusual sounds in the churchyard. There were the galloping of a horse, the clang of spurs, and the crack of a whip. The suspense was brief, for in a few moments a stranger entered the sanctuary.

The intruder was a young man of some twenty years of age. He had that air which, if not embodied in the words _high bred_, is beyond the reach of words; and his whole countenance was one to rivet attention in a crowd--the whole marking him no common person.

He paused at the entrance, for the crowded state of the little building rendered it somewhat difficult for him to perceive a vacant seat. Another moment, and the stalwort form of Deacon Winthrop was seen to arise and beckon the embarrassed stranger to a place by his side.

The slight interruption to which the intrusion of the young man had given rise subsided, and in another moment he was listening with the most respectful attention to the resumed discourse. At its close, supposing the services ended, he arose to withdraw. He had turned slowly to the door, when a doxology arose, led by a voice in the pastor’s pew in front of him, that arrested his steps. He listened, charmed and spell-bound--words came o’er his ear, words long unfamiliar to him, and but imperfectly remembered--words connected with his early and childish years--words that seemed as the ghosts of the past. He lingered after these had ended to catch a glimpse of the singer. Grace Bartlett was, indeed, a beautiful vision, as she thus stood among the now erect congregation, with her delicate bloom and rounded form, a picture of youth and hope. Her thoughts seemed turned from earth to heaven, and her eyes took the same direction. There was a something so pure, so spiritual about her at that moment, that an enthusiast might have thought her an inhabitant of upper air.

The stranger stood rooted to the spot as she turned. It was a face whose expression had long unconsciously haunted his young dreams. It was one that he had seen before, though where, he could not recall. Her eyes encountered his, and she blushed to her temples, an enchanting picture of bashful confusion.

Turning away embarrassed, the young man said to Deacon Winthrop, “I am to blame for having trespassed upon the hospitalities of your place of worship.”

“Nay, not so, young man,” replied the excellent deacon, “the word of God is free to all. But if you will allow me to offer you those of my house, we will be glad if thou wilt accompany us home, and dine with myself and my wife.”

The youth accepted the offer--and they left the place together.

Much conjecture was afloat that day at the various dinner-tables of the village, respecting the young stranger who was sharing Deacon Winthrop’s hospitality. The sudden appearance of any stranger in this primitive spot was sure to produce a sensation; and in this case, where the intruder was young and handsome, that sensation was proportionably increased.

Deacon Winthrop was beset by questions, to which he replied with a benign affability, “We must show this young man every attention. His religion is not ours, it is true, but he has a right to his own opinion.”

Many more of the villagers, through this advice, had soon an opportunity of judging of the stranger for themselves, for he remained for some time among them; and the curiosity respecting him at first evinced, if it continued any longer, ceased to be expressed in the admiration his courteous manners and agreeable conversation excited in the minds of all.

CHAPTER V.

_Viola._ And dost thou love me?

_Lysander._ . . . Love thee, Viola? Do I not fly thee when my being drinks Light from thine eyes?--that flight is all my answer! The Bride, Act 2.

It was one of the loveliest evenings in the loveliest month of a New England autumn. One of those delicious _pet days_, as they are fondly called, which, perhaps, from the uncertainty of their continuance, sometimes elevate the spirits more than the “long, sunny lapse of a summer day’s light.” Birds had been clamorous in melody, rare flowers had confidingly expanded their delicate petals to the genial glow that was abroad, and there seemed to be more light in the world than we are accustomed to enjoy. Yet that day had passed away--the warmer beams were gone, but their delightful influence still was felt in the soft, balmy temperature that remained. The birds had all vanished; yet even of them one would have said some soft charm still lingered in the dreamy hum which, though gradually becoming fainter, was still afloat; and if some delicate flowers had closed their bosoms from the breath of evening, others there were which gave out their fragrance.

On this delightful and balmy evening we introduce our readers to the cottage of Pastor Bartlett, adjoining the village church. It was remote from the main village, and shut out from its bustle and occupation--in this suiting the character and taste of its occupants. From its porch, where they were sitting, the pious man and his wife feasted their eyes with the refreshing green of the woods, whose boughs bent gracefully down to kiss the beautiful verdure that grew beneath, while the whole was softly bathed in a rich, warm flood of purple light.

The sunset hung lingering over the village, as if to contrast its own chamelion-like and gorgeous beauty with the fixed and placid scenery below. Many of the settlers might have been seen seated at the vine-clad doors of their simple dwellings, watching its fading splendor as it sunk behind the tall trees which almost hid from view the pastor’s cottage at the considerable distance we have described.

The excellent clergyman and his partner were sitting on a bench on the left of the porch, screened from observation by the cool boughs of a sycamore, the shadows of which half covered the little lawn that separated the precincts of the cottage from those of silent death. Above the white-washed pailings rose the village church. The old man and his wife were, as we have said before, calmly enjoying the beauty of the evening, the freshness of the air, and not least, perhaps, their own peaceful thoughts--the spontaneous children of a contemplative spirit, and a quiet conscience. Theirs was the age in which we most sensitively enjoy the mere sense of existence, when the face of nature, and a passive conviction of the benevolence of our Great Father, suffice to create a serene and ineffable happiness which rarely visits us till we have done with the passions; till memories, if more alive than heretofore, are yet mellowed in the hues of time, and Faith softens into harmony all their asperity and harshness; till nothing within us remains to cast a shadow over the things without; and on the verge of life, the angels are nearer to us than of yore. There is an old age which has more youth of heart than youth itself!

At length the pair simultaneously arose, and withdrew into the cottage, for sunset was their appointed season for evening devotion. The old man seated himself in his large arm-chair, but his wife lingered standing near the open lattice, until the gloom of twilight was gathering over the sky, and continued to gaze down the path leading to the village with intentness and eagerness. At last, as though weary of her employment, she turned away with a smothered sigh, saying, “Husband, what can detain Grace?”

“I know not,” was the disturbed reply of the venerable man at this suggestion. “There is no fear that bodily harm can have come to her, for it is now a long time since we have had any incursions from the Indians. But I am inclined to fear for her soul’s happiness. Has it not occurred to you, wife,” he continued, “that Grace’s relaxed interest in the duties of religion, together with her repeated absences from home, originate in some cause not purely accidental. For myself, my suspicions have been attracted toward the stranger who in the last few weeks has appeared among us. She has already informed us of their having had more than one interview at the dwellings of some of my people in the village. We must see to it that they meet no more. He must have no further opportunity of awakening an interest in the unsuspecting bosom of our daughter.”

There was a tone of deep despondency in the voice which spoke these words--for recently the change in their child had become marked. Unusual absences from her home--a sadness foreign to her natural cheerfulness of manner--a sudden and frequent outbreaking of tenderness toward her mother and himself--tears often springing overflowingly to her eyes--all these circumstances could do no more than excite uneasiness and anxiety in the minds of her parents.

A low murmuring sound was presently heard at the little wicket-gate outside, and immediately after the door was softly unlatched, and Grace Bartlett glided into the room.

The anxious glances of the pastor and his wife at once discovered by the light of the fire, which blazed brightly upon the hearth-stone, that the young girl’s eyes were dimmed with a slight expression of sorrow, and that her lovely cheek was a shade paler than its wont. She moved gently forward, knelt down at her father’s side, and kissed his brow.

“Grace,” said the old man, sadly, as he laid his hand among her beautiful tresses, “we have awaited your return, my child; it is past our customary hour for prayer. Do you tire of the happiness of home, that you seek for enjoyment elsewhere?” he added, as he gazed down on the face of the lovely being so emphatically the light of his home.

The girl’s countenance betrayed a confused consciousness as her beautiful “forget-me-not” eyes encountered those of her parent; but she made no reply, and a moment after arose from her knees. Untying her bonnet and hanging it against the wall, while her golden hair, disobedient to previous arrangement in modest bands by its owner, fell luxuriantly around her neck, she took a seat to signify that she was now prepared to join her parents in the devotions of the evening.

At that moment the little low-roofed apartment, so unostentatious in its old-fashioned furniture, so exact in its modest neatness--its bare walls unornamented with ought save a piece of faded tapestry, or an occasional nail whereon was hung sundry bunches of dried herbs and bags of rose-leaves--this, with the girl in her youthful simplicity and grace, kneeling by the side of her venerable parents, the eyes of all closed, and their hands clasped in devotion, while the old man’s lips were parted in the act of prayer, formed altogether as complete a picture as possible of colonial economy and piety.

The aspect of the room was homely but pleasant, with its low casement, beneath which stood the dark shining table that supported the large Bible in its green-baize cover, the Concordance, and the last Sunday’s sermon in its ebon case. By the fire-place stood the elbow-chair, before which the minister was kneeling, with its needle-work cushion at the back. Fifty or sixty volumes ranged in neat shelves on one end of the wall, and a half-a-dozen chairs, and a table, completed the furniture of the apartment. But it was the occupants who made the effect of the scene, in their pious act of evening devotion.

When the prayer was ended, Grace hastily withdrew, as if to avoid all further questions. But her anxious mother was not long in following her. She entered the little chamber of the young girl softly. Her daughter heard her, and started from the chair she had taken.

The gentle matron drew her affectionately to her side as she seated herself on the low bedstead, saying, “Grace, thou wast not educated to have any secrets from thy fond parents. Tell me, then, my child, who accompanied thee to the gate this evening?”

The girl hesitated for some moments, during which a momentary blush suffused her face and neck. Then, hiding her face in her mother’s bosom, she timidly replied, “It was the young stranger; he met me on the path leading from the village, and attended me home.”

The mother’s face evinced a troubled expression. “Oh, Grace, my daughter,” she said, “thou shouldst not have permitted him to do so. Thy father hath ever said since that young man’s arrival in the village, that it did not become any of our sect to hold ungodly converse with the sons of Baal.”

“But, mother,” urged the fair transgressor, “the stranger belongs not to that impious race. Every Sabbath, since his sojourn in the settlement, his attendance at the place of weekly worship has been regular and respectful.”

“My child!” ejaculated her mother, in a voice tremulous with sorrow, “thou hast yet to learn to beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Satan sometimes transformeth himself into an angel of light to steal away the affections of the innocent. But,” added the pious matron, “I will chide thee no more for the present. Thy father and I will henceforth be more watchful of thee. Commend thyself to God, and seek thy pillow for the night.” So saying, she kissed her daughter and withdrew.

On the present evening, Grace had agreed to meet her lover, after the family worship in her father’s cottage, for the young man was about to depart from the village on the following day. The moment she was alone in the room, the struggle in her mind, increased by the words of her mother, depicted itself on her sweet face in an expression of doubtful agony, such as never had sat upon her countenance before--for its ordinary expression was that of the most seraphic serenity. She took up her little Bible to find some word of excuse for her contemplated act of disobedience, but it was only to turn over the leaves with a throbbing heart and wandering brain, that would not permit her attention to be arrested by the words before her. Laying the holy book down again, she sunk upon her knees to pray. The ordinary words of her devotions were not urged, but she asked God to forgive her for the sin she was about to commit, and rose confirmed and strengthened in her purpose.

Sitting down by her lattice, she listened for every sound within the cottage to die away. At length, when all was still and dark, she lifted the latch of her door and stole to the threshold of her father’s room. Finding all quiet, she retraced her steps, and raised the sash of her low window with the caution of one who fears danger in the beating of her own heart. Jumping through this, she alighted on the garden plot below. She proceeded to steal along under the shadow until she reached a rustic arbor, which she hurried into, and was welcomed in the arms of her lover.

“So you have come at last!” he said, joyfully. But as he spoke, he saw her eyes were filled with tears.

She buried her face in his bosom, and her sobs became audible. Raising her head gently and kissing her through her tears, he smoothed the golden hair back from her forehead. “What aileth thee, my beloved?” he asked, after he had soothed the first outburst of her emotion.

“Charles,” she sighed, as she looked up at him eagerly and endearingly, “I fear I do wrong to meet you here against my parents’ wishes.”

“Your conscience is too tender, sweet innocence,” was his reply. “God is more lenient in his judgment than thou deemest him. He hath implanted in thy bosom the very love for me and inclination to meet me here which thou art now afraid he will condemn; and thine own immaculate virtue and purity are thy sure safeguards from greater harm than he who now speaks could ever bring upon thee. Dearest, I would not hurt a hair of your beloved head, still less bring upon thee the judgments of Heaven. Dost thou not believe it, Grace?”

“Nay, but your religion?” she urged timidly--

“Is easily changed,” replied the lover. “Why, Grace, I will turn Puritan in garb, habits, worship, every thing, to win thee. At present I am on an embassy of diplomacy; but, in a few weeks, when I return, I shall have nothing to do but to court you in the guise that shall most please your scrupulous parents. You know how from the first moment I saw you”--and he lowered his voice to the soft, musical key of impassioned devotion--“you became dearer to me than aught in this world besides. I love you, Grace, better than all words can tell, and shall live until we meet but in the hope of coming to reclaim you, with arguments fitted to disarm all the objections of your father and mother. You will not forget me, will you?” he asked.

She laid her hand trustingly in his, and in a look of unalterable love gave him her reply.

The stolen interview did not last much longer, and in another half hour Grace Bartlett slept sweetly on her pillow, and the stranger was at his quarters in the village.

CHAPTER VI.

They linger yet. Avengers of their native land. Gray.

A month passed away, the stranger had departed, and whatever had been the original object of his visit, it never was made known to the villagers. Grace had as yet received no letter or token from her lover. The suspense had paled her cheek, and dimmed the soft light of her eyes. It gave also a sad plaintiveness to her voice, and a languor and debility to her movements, which awoke the anxiety of her parents to a painful degree.

They also, in common with the rest of the villagers, were, however, suffering during this time apprehensions from another cause.

At this period in the progress of the American colonies, Britain had one or two powerful emissaries on the borders, whom she had sent to crush the settlements. To disguise their purpose, or perhaps to embrace another equally important, these emissaries were officers of the army, sent with a military force to establish forts on the borders, for defense against the encroachments of the Indian tribes. As the reader has received some intimation in the course of our tale, it became the policy of these men to direct their chief efforts against the settlers, and for this end, when it was practicable, they won by bribery the co-exertion of the savages.

Very recently, the little settlement in which a portion of our tale is laid, had received intimations of an intended attack from the Indians. Considerable alarm had been felt, and the fire-arms long in disuse, were burnished and prepared for operation in every family.

Things were in this state when, one calm and cloudless night, when the moon shone with her brightest effulgence, quenching the stars in their radiance, and bringing out into clear and softened perspective the scenery below. Within the peaceful village of our story reigned the most profound repose. Its inhabitants, unconscious of impending danger, had long since offered up the nightly incense of their pious hearts, and resigned themselves to sleep--sleep in the old, deep, undisturbed and dreamless; in the young, light, peaceful and visionary--in all, the unfeverish, refreshing rest which was the natural reward of their simple habits, and the rectitude of their lives.

The silence was suddenly broken by sounds that curdled the blood of those who heard them, and made them spring to their feet as if a lightning flash had stricken them. Before any one could find words, the appalling war-cry of the savages burst from every quarter, startling the very air through which it passed, and falling like a blight upon the spirit. The devoted villagers beheld throughout the settlement lines of streaming torches moved by dusky forms. These torch-lights carried high above their heads showed not only the grim faces of those who bore them, but also those of others who were partly concealed by the foliage of the forest in which they stood. With that forethought and cunning so remarkable in their race, they had conveyed firebrands and straw to the doors of each dwelling in the early part of the evening. The yell already noticed was the signal for firing their previous preparations, and, ere many moments had elapsed, a number of the cottages were in flames. Glancing instinctively toward their pastor’s home, the terrified settlers found that it shared in the general fate. To hold a short conclave, and then dispatch a few of the more fearless and active of their number to the assistance of its helpless inmates was the work of a moment.

Hurrying along the little path, the heroic men reached the spot as the high and agonizing scream of a woman arose far above the discordant yell even of the savages. It came from Grace Bartlett. Scarcely conscious of what she did, the unhappy girl, leaving her chamber, gained the top of the stair-case, and loudly as she could, called upon the name of her parents.

Her piteous accents were responded to only by a shout from the crowd. Bounding footsteps mingled with shouts reached her, approaching momently nearer, and ascending the stair-case.

With all the instinct of self-preservation, the affrighted Grace rushed back again into her own apartment. There, sinking on her knees, she reposed her forehead against the side of the windowsill, and nearly suffocated with smoke, and in a state of indescribable agony, awaited the consummation of her fate.

The ascending feet had now reached the passage without, and in another instant a man rushed fearlessly into the room. The blood of the young girl curdled in her veins. She mechanically caught the ledge of the casement on which her aching head rested, and closing her eyes awaited in trembling the blow which should put an end at once to her misery and her life. But in another moment she felt herself firmly secured in the grasp of an encircling arm, and speedily carried through the chamber. Instinctively, a sense of something more dreadful even than death now flashed across her mind, as the unhappy girl opened her eyes wildly upon her captor.

A heart-rending shriek escaped her as she did so. She was in the arms of a gigantic savage. His long, raven hair was matted with blood, and hung loosely and disfiguringly over his eyes, while his face and brow were marked with crimson spots--doubtless spatterings from the wounds of others--and a slight stream that trickled from his cheek gave evidence that he himself had been hurt in the affray.

“Oh, my God, save me!” exclaimed the shuddering girl, raising her eyes imploringly to heaven. From that moment she was insensible to all that was passing.

CHAPTER VII.

And was this, then, the end of those sweet dreams Of home, and happiness, and quiet years? Miss Landon.

Darkness was about to throw her veil over the earth, when a lofty tent might have been seen pitched on the extreme summit of a ridge beyond which lay the horizon in golden beauty. Buffalo skins formed a floor to the inclosure, and upon these reposed the forms of three human beings. One was an Indian, evidently of the rank of a chief. He lay on one of the skins at his lazy length, his feet reaching beyond the opening of the tent, and his head reposing on a rude pillow, formed of the furry hides of other wild animals. He smoked a pipe, while his roving eye often rested upon the farthest of his companions.

At a little distance from the savage we have described sat a female, whose hair, complexion, and whole looks bespoke her Indian birth. Her dress, likewise, was that of her tribe, and was of the quality and texture to mark her as the probable wife of the chief whose company she bore. A wooden bowl was at her side, and from this she was now in the act of feeding herself with a spoon of the same material, but with a slovenly negligence indicative of her origin.

The farthest extremity of the tent revealed another woman, whose appearance denoted her to be of European extraction. She was blue-eyed, and of surpassing fairness of skin. Her attitude indicated a mind too powerfully absorbed in grief to be heedful of appearances, for she sat with her limbs contracted, and rocking her body to and fro with a motion that seemed to have its origin in no efforts of her own. Her long, golden hair hung negligently over a neck of dazzling whiteness; and a blanket drawn over the top of her head like a veil, and extending partly around her person, disclosed here and there portions of an apparel which was strictly American, though much torn. A bowl similar to that of the Indian female, and filled with the same food, was at her side, but this was untasted.

“Why does the pale-face refuse to eat?” asked the warrior of her next to him, as he rolled a volume of smoke from his lips. “Make her eat, for I would speak to her afterward.”

“Why does she refuse to eat?” echoed the woman, dropping her spoon as she spoke, and turning to the object of remark, “It is good,” she continued, as she touched the arm of the heedless sufferer. “Daughter of the pale-faces, eat.”

A cry of distress burst from the lips of the unhappy girl, as apparently roused from her abstraction, she suffered the blanket to fall from her head, and stared wildly at her questioner.

“Is the air of the tent not pleasant to the blossom of the clearings?” asked the warrior, evidently touched by her seeming misery.

Seeing that she made no answer, he continued, “What is written is written. The Red-man cannot lie. We must bear thee to the great white father at a distance. But perchance the door may one day be left open, and the bird can escape from its nest.”

“Ah! whither can I fly?” exclaimed Grace Bartlett, at length bursting into tears. “My native village is destroyed, my home is burned, and my parents and neighbors have fallen victims to the general ruin.” She wept for some moments bitter tears, which seemed to relieve her overcharged heart--the chief and his squaw looking on her with more of pity than is usual in their race.

The next morning their march commenced again through the interminable forest. The Indian traveled on foot, while the two females were mounted on mules. The wretchedness of the unfortunate prisoner seemed to increase throughout the whole route, her companions wearing the stolid indifference of the North American tribes, except when momently touched by her situation: For the most part, during the slow ride, Grace Bartlett was left to her own miserable reflections, receiving only at rare intervals some rude attentions from the female, who accompanied her.

The slow pace of the travelers, with various other causes of delay which it is needless to mention, detained them three nights upon their road. As soon as darkness approached the tent was again spread, and a halt was made until the morning. On the fourth evening, instead of encamping as before, they continued their journey until a late hour, when the eyes of the captive maiden, wearied with a succession of wild wood scenery, gazed with something like pleasure upon the scene that now opened before her.

The object that thus met the gaze of Grace Bartlett as they emerged from the forest, was one of those stern fortresses of which so many, in our early history, seemed to accuse England of designs against the Indians. It had external pretensions to the name by which we call it, for it looked strong enough to bid defiance to any attempts against it by siege or storm. A deep moat surrounded the lofty stone turrets on all sides, and a drawbridge was the only means of crossing to the entrance of the fort. To Grace, the sight of the fortification, though she gazed on it at first with pleasure, immediately after brought feelings of pain and apprehension; and however confident she might be in the good providence and protection of God, it cannot be denied that she felt deeply and with an anxious and sickening heart her entrance in a place which might prove to her a final prison.

After assisting his companions to dismount, the Indian blew a loud, shrill whistle. He was answered by a sentinel, who carried on a brief conversation with him, and withdrew to an inner lodge for the key of the great gate. He soon returned, it creaked upon its hinges, and the heavy drawbridge swung slowly up with a jarring sound of chains and huge iron-work--sadly harmonious with the uses of the building which they shut out. The bell, communicating with the mansion connected with the fortress, rung, and the chief, with his prisoner, passed slowly in to an inner court, leaving the squaw standing without.

The glare of light, the sound of music, mingled with the tones of the human voice in merry laughter and light conversation reached her ear, and startled the wretched girl with wonder. The Indian, with the utmost tranquillity and with slow and important steps, led the way toward this portion of the large and heavy mass of gloomy masonry, which, with its tall chimneys, loomed up before them. An immense doorway opened upon a broad staircase that seemed formed to make the head dizzy with its many windings. Up this the savage proceeded with his prisoner, whom he held by the arm, half-supporting her weight as she moved passively and like a piece of mechanism in his fingers. On the first landing they passed a drawing-room, splendidly illuminated and filled with revelers, from whence the noise that had reached the court-yard proceeded. Continuing up the various turnings until they had accomplished another flight, the savage paused, and opened a door communicating with a single chamber handsomely furnished.

Its solitary occupant was a man past the prime of life. He seemed immersed in business, examining documents and reading letters which were strewn on a table before him. He arose as our party entered, held out his hand to the Indian, and asked, “Any prisoners?”

“We have taken a daughter of the pale-faces, a blossom of the clearings,” was the reply of the savage as he pointed to his captive. “But the air of the woods is not pleasant to her: she pines after the wigwam of her fathers.”

Grace Bartlett had no sooner entered the apartment than her whole frame trembled violently, and the color leaving her cheeks, she sank down on the floor, resting her elbows on her knees and pressing her hands to her forehead.

The appearance and attitude, indicative at once of extreme fatigue and the abandonment of despair, did not fail to move the compassionate feelings of General Lincoln, who raised her gently and seated her in a large arm-chair.

“Alas!” said he to the warrior, when he had performed this act, “why did you bring so frail a creature? It were a pity to have made her a sacrifice to my courtly intrigues and ambitious plans: she is only fit to be the darling of her parents.”

“My parents!” exclaimed the unhappy girl at this mention of them, “would to God that I knew their fate!”

“You shall be treated kindly,” said the general to her with much considerateness of manner, and in a gentle tone. “Every thing shall be done to make your residence here pleasant. You are fatigued,” he continued, “sweet maiden,” as he turned to a bell that was suspended near.

A servant in livery appeared, and after a few brief words from his master again vanished. He returned presently, followed by a neat maid-servant.

“Go now,” said Lincoln to Grace, in tones of encouragement, as he gently assisted her from the chair whereon he had placed her, “to the chamber provided for you. Susette will perform the offices of your toilet for you, and furnish you with nourishment suited to your weak condition.”

When left alone with the Indian he paced the room with a disturbed air and gigantic strides. Suddenly he paused short, and glanced his eye toward his dusky companion. He beheld the savage regarding him with the calm but sullen attention which marks the expression of this subtle people. Instantly recollecting himself, he asked in a friendly tone--

“Tuscalameetah, is the settlement wholly exterminated?”

“It is,” replied the chief. “The pale-faced daughter of her people is left to mourn over the ashes of her wigwam. In the morning the sun rose upon the white men as they trod the grass happy and strong, and when the night came, only their bones were left among the ashes. Tuscalameetah has done thy bidding.”

“And the youth, called Charles Lincoln, what of him?” inquired the other. “It is some months since he went to scour the settlements as a spy. Have any of the tribes met with him?”

“Before the moon go her course,” answered Tuscalameetah, “the stolen bird will tread the halls of the great white man who is to him as a father. He is now left with no kindred and no people. The man that drove back the tribe of Tuscalameetah’s brethren,” continued the Indian, and his eyes flashed with successful revenge, “is brought to have his tent destroyed, and his own dust scattered by the whirlwinds.”

Again General Lincoln paced the room, and there was a silence. “You can depart,” he said at length to the savage.

“It is hard,” muttered he, as he was left alone, “to be stretched on the rack of a responsibility such as this. But things prosper, and my royal master is gliding through life enjoying the fruits of my joyless days, and sleepless nights, and periled salvation, while I am wearing myself down to the grave. He has none of the remorse which haunts me, making the dying looks of these massacred people pursue me to my fireside, and molest the joys of my home.”

“And the poor boy’s parents are dead,” he continued, after a pause. “Since blood had to be shed, better theirs than that of others, for there is now naught to come between him and his heirship to my titles and estates. God be thanked for this, for I love him as if he were the son whose place I have given him and whose name he bears.”

CHAPTER VIII.

Tear follows tear where long no tear hath been; I see the present on a distant goal, The past, revived, is present to my soul. Blackie’s Faust.

Supported by the very power of sorrow, And faith, that comes a solemn comforter. Wilson.

Our poor heroine made the necessary effort, and languidly followed her conductor into a long passage which led to a lofty chamber, carefully furnished with a luxurious bed and every appliance of elegance and comfort. Throwing herself on a sofa, Grace heeded nothing around her, different as every minute article was in its adaptation to the refinements of life from the simple arrangements of her former home.

Her attendant was assiduous in her cares. She wiped her face and hands with a damp towel, bathed her feet, and held a bottle of perfume to her nostrils to revive her failing strength. Then, bringing a salver containing wine and light nutriment, she put the glass and spoon alternately to the lips of the sufferer, who mechanically tasted again and again of their contents, seemingly having at length lost all power of resistance. Then, assisting her to the bed, Susette departed, at a faint request from her lips to be left alone.

Passive and immovable she lay for some moments after the departure of the hand-maiden. With revived strength, she at length arose and locked the door of her apartment. There are cases in which the necessity for calm contemplation forces itself upon us, and she now nerved herself to a view of her situation. Her prospects were gloomy and sad. She was cut off from her family and friends at a moment when their lives were endangered, and doubtless they lived no more. The sentiment of love, too, had touched her bosom for the young stranger who had appeared for a time in their little village, and who might return thither only to find it an ashy ruin, and supposing her to have perished with the rest of the inhabitants, forget her memory and devote himself to another. Oh! had she had one only friend to whom she could have appealed for sympathy in this moment of agony! Alone--alone--the unutterable anguish of that word!

But at this moment the child-like faith and trust of her girlhood stole over her, leading her to the one unfailing friend who could aid and guide her. The power of prayer had heretofore since her affliction seemed denied to her, but now an inward voice called her to her Father’s throne.

She knelt, and pushing her hair from her throbbing temples, as if its weight were insupportable, she prayed for resignation to her situation. The anguish she suffered was deep and terrible, known only to the Reader of all hearts: but at length the heavy weight on her spirit gave way, and though her tears fell fast and unrestrainedly, her gentle heart was comforted. There was a holy hush in that lone chamber, as if the late anguish she had felt was soothed by the soft fluttering of an angel’s wing, as it wafted her petitions above on its heavenward flight. That help which to all who seek it is given was granted, and her yearning heart was lifted to Heaven. In after years, she looked back upon the speedy answer which had been vouchsafed to her prayer in that hour, almost with awe.

Inexpressibly comforted, she rose from her knees, extinguished the light, and lay down to seek repose. Weariness soon overcame her, and she fell asleep to dream of one whose image was impressed on her young heart. Again in her visions she was pressed to his breast, and words and protestations poured like a strain of rich and soothing music on her ear. Oh, gladly would she have died in that blissful dream.

But through the window of her apartment the sun streamed, announcing that the morning was far advanced, and she opened her eyes to behold the appearance of a young female, of high rank, attired in a rich morning-dress. She made an effort to rise, but her strength had been overtasked by the intense emotions of her mind. In the exertion, she fell forward fainting and powerless at the intruder’s feet.

When Grace Bartlett recovered, she found herself on the bed partially undressed, the young lady holding a bottle of smelling-salts, which had evidently been used, and the attendant, Susette, bathing her temples and hands with cold water. For nearly an hour she hovered between sense and consciousness. Her head felt as if bound to the pillow by weights of lead, and she had an incessant burning and throbbing of all her pulses, accompanied by sharp pain. Her eyes closed upon the light, and she was in dreamland again. Still her consciousness was not lost, but there were, for a few passing moments, sounds in her ear like those of which she had dreamed.

It seemed almost as if an angel’s voice now roused her, for the strange lady, bending over her, said in accents of almost unearthly tenderness, “You are ill, sweet maiden, speak to me.”

She paused, and her tones fell musically on the senses of the unhappy guest, for those notes of sympathy had reached even to her apathetic ear. Grace attempted to reply, but utter exhaustion followed, and tears alone attested all she felt. These proved no relief, however, and before night Georgiana Lincoln watched over her in the strong paroxysms of a brain fever.

CHAPTER IX.

A cloud of darkest gloom has wrapt The remnant of my brief career. Margaret Davidson.

It would be equally needless and painful to linger over the sufferings of the sick maiden. The fever, which the terrible and agitating scenes she had passed through had excited, was so long in being subdued that those who watched her trembled lest the loss of either life or reason should ensue. When this was overcome it seemed as if she must sink under the exhaustion which followed. Her constitution, however, though delicate was good, and after weeks of unconscious agony, she did indeed appear sensible of the fond cares of the young, high-bred lady who was continually by her side.

Georgiana Lincoln was exactly opposite in appearance to the Puritan girl. A high polish and elegance of tone and manner marked her at once as the English lady of rank. Her style of beauty was one uncommon in America. A bright, sunny brunette, the soft brown of her skin was warmed with a rich crimson--the dewy coral has its freshness but not its brightness. Her tall figure was almost concealed by a white robe which still revealed the most exquisite proportions of her figure.

Grace Bartlett gazed on her with admiration, and endeavored to prove her gratitude by some expressions of thankfulness; but the touching mournfulness of her sweet face too painfully revealed that the causes she had for sorrow were not forgotten with her returning consciousness.

A settled melancholy followed her recovery. Every thing was done to arouse her from this. Among other resources that were adopted, she was taken to the boudoir of her hostess and companion, where birds and flowers formed the ornaments. But not the singing of the one, nor the odor of the other brought delight to her heart. What were music and perfume to her but agony?

To all Georgiana Lincoln’s attempts at consolation she listened with a calm look of hopeless misery which plainly told how incapable she was of receiving condolence. But despite all her causes for grief, and the deep melancholy that consumed her, Grace could not but be touched with the kindness lavished on her by the wealthy lady. Insensibly the poor girl wound her feelings around her, and bestowed on her all that she had of affection that was left from the grave of her parents, and the memory of her lover.

One evening, when the unhappy maiden was unusually depressed, she was seated in the boudoir of her new acquaintance.

“Thou art sadder than thy wont, sweet one,” said the latter, kissing the brow of the young Puritan. “But if naught in thy own situation can add to thy happiness, gladly as any change should be made in it at thy slightest bidding, I feel sure at least that one shadow will pass from thy sympathetic nature at hearing of thy friend’s prospect of happiness. Rejoice with me, Grace, my brother is expected home.”

“It doth, indeed, please me that thou art about to have any contribution to thy fullness of joy,” replied the poor girl, with a faint smile, and a pressure of her companion’s hand.

“We will have a series of festivities in honor of his arrival,” resumed the other; “and if you will not participate, dear Grace, in the dancing and merriment, you can at any rate be present to observe the company, and listen to the music. No wonder that thou weariest without other society than that of thy tedious friend.”

Our heroine smiled again, but more faintly than before, as if the tidings of the expected fêtes had little or no interest for her.

At that moment Gen. Lincoln appeared on the balcony upon which the window opened, exclaiming, “Georgiana, my love, I have brought you a visitor--a truant; yet one you will be glad to see. Come in, my son--what do you remain there for?” he added, turning to his companion.

But the latter hesitated. His glance rested on the figure of Grace, so graceful and almost spiritual, as it was brought forward in the shadowy moonlight.

“My brother, my own dear brother! What joy!” cried Georgiana, springing out eagerly to meet him; while Grace, startled and terrified at the idea of a stranger, hastily withdrew. General Lincoln at the same instant received a summons from below.

“Dearest Georgiana,” said the young man, “I am glad to see you again; looking, too, as lovely as ever, or else this evening hour deceives me. I fear me, though, you will deem yourself but little fortunate in my return, for I come back in no agreeable mood, I assure you.” So saying he entered, and threw himself listlessly on a lounge in the room.

“But I do rejoice to see you, dear Charles,” replied his sister, seating herself by his side, and gently stroking back the dark hair from his brow. “You will remain with us for a time, and we will be so happy.”

“Happy!” he exclaimed, with bitterness, “I see little prospect of my ever being happy in this life; or at least whilst our father continues this unjust persecution of the unpretending and religious settlers on the borders.”

He then proceeded to pour out to Georgiana the miserable intrigues in which Gen. Lincoln was engaged, and the embassy on which he had himself been absent. “But, my sister,” he continued, “I have resolved to take no further part in this accursed policy toward a defenseless and religious people. I have long enough worked out the will of others--a mere machine in the hands of my ambitious parent, who is striving by the course of heartless persecution I have described, to please a jealous monarch and a scheming court. The instigating of the Indians to massacre the Puritans, and exterminate their settlements, will cry aloud for vengeance.”

“Yes,” continued Charles, in an excited tone, “their death-shrieks are ever in my ears--in the dark night their massacre is ever before my eyes, in the day, heavy and dark upon my spirits--never away from me can it be in the future, but will haunt me throughout my desolate life, and seem to be calling on me to take vengeance against my father.”

“You talk wildly, dearest brother,” said Georgiana, looking at him in some alarm. “How canst thou be desolate with thy sister to love thee. And speak not of taking vengeance against our father, for that is God’s, even toward the humblest adversary, and not to be named by a son against his father.”

“Nay,” he answered, “hear me. I have just come from one of their exterminated villages, where, in the character of a spy, I resided among them some months ago, unsuspected by their guileless simplicity, and receiving their humble hospitalities. On my return thither recently, to visit one to whom I had become dearly attached, I found the place in ruins, and the hapless villagers destroyed by the firebrands of Gen. Lincoln’s emissaries.” He seemed overcome with his emotions, and rested his head on his hand for some moments in deep reflection.

His sister appeared not less affected with sadness, and held his hand silently.

By an effort, at length, arousing himself, he asked suddenly, “Who was that graceful figure that I saw sitting at your side, when papa would have hurried me so unceremoniously through the window. She could not have thrown herself into a more becoming attitude for effect as the moonlight streamed upon her.”

“Effect! poor maiden!” was the reply. “It was the last thing in her mind at that moment. She is a prisoner, brought hither by the Indians, for what purpose, originally, I know not. But whatever were his first intentions with regard to her, our father has abandoned them, and permitted me to treat her with the consideration due to her loveliness and her unhappy situation.” The announcement of company in the drawing-room here interrupted the conversation between the brother and sister.

CHAPTER X.

Lo! they muster--lord and lady-- Brow of pride and cheek of bloom, Pointed beard and tresses shady-- Velvet robe and waving plume. Henry William Herbert.

Weeks passed on, and a round of festive entertainments took place in the mansion of Gen. Lincoln. In all these Charles Lincoln mingled with a discontented and gloomy air of abstraction.

Georgiana’s natural gayety seemed somewhat dimmed by this change in her brother. Their society consisted of the officers of the fort, but it was nevertheless of a kind to be grateful and pleasing to one of her temperament; and her predilections had furthermore been awakened in favor of a gallant young general in the service--so that there was still a source of interest to her unconnected with the brother, whose strange moodiness still gave her pain.

The fair colonist continued to decline mingling with the family, though with a gentle steadfastness that her friend might not at any time have found it difficult to disarm; but she did not insist, lest she should give pain to the sensitive nature of the timid and heart-sick stranger.

It was on a pleasant evening in June that, by the open window of Georgiana Lincoln’s apartment, Grace Bartlett was sitting languidly. Her thoughts were evidently of the past--for at intervals the faint color would fade from her cheeks, and an expression of deep mental pain pass over her countenance--her soft eyes assuming a fixed look, as if her remembrances were fraught with agony. As she sat in the dim twilight in that state, her thoughts broke forth into pensive song, and she almost unconsciously chanted the words,

Oh, the home of my childhood! my desolate heart! Its merciless loss bids the warm tears to start.

Her voice gradually died away, and by degrees she closed her eyes and slumbered. And now naught was heard save the gentle breeze waving the branches outside the window near which she reclined. But ere her tones ceased, they had reached other ears.

Charles Lincoln had stretched his lazy length on one of the couches in the balcony below; and those musical tones came to him laden with associations of other days--of a brief but transient period of bliss. With a magic power they arrested his attention, and he continued to ponder on them long after they had ceased, until he was filled with an ardent curiosity to behold once more the young stranger of whom he had caught a glimpse on the evening of his return, and whose position in his father’s house had afterward been described to him by his sister.

Whilst his curiosity was thus at work, his sister approached him, accompanied by the young officer above referred to, with whom she had been enjoying an evening stroll.

“Georgiana,” said her brother, starting up to meet her, and drawing her aside, “can you not prevail on your fair colonial guest to appear at the masquerade this evening? I am dying to see her, for the melody of her voice, just now wafted to my ears on the air, has reminded me of one who was dear to me, and is lost forever. I would fain hear its tones in conversation.”

“I have heretofore refrained from urging it on poor Grace to appear in the drawing-room,” replied the young lady; “she seemed so averse to the mention of such a thing. But I have do doubt that I could bring her yielding nature to comply, if I were to put the effort in the light of a favor toward me, whom she loves as a sister. It might do her good, too, poor thing, if she could only be induced to make the exertion. It shall be as you wish, dear brother; you may depend upon me.”

A few hours afterward more than ordinary excitement was passing in the mansion. A masquerade was given to the officers--and the scene was gay and picturesque. The main wing was lighted up, and gay with the festivities. The sounds of merriment and laughter were heard.

Grace Bartlett had at length yielded to the request of her hostess that she would be present, and had quietly submitted to be attired in a graceful robe of India Muslin, so transparent in its texture as to look like gauze. Her beautiful hair received a new grace from the single white camellia with its drooping bud, which gleamed like a star amid those golden tresses, so purely, so freshly beautiful, that it seemed a fit emblem of her it adorned.

Georgiana Lincoln appeared a fairy vision of beauty and brightness; the diamonds sparkling among her shining braids, and the graceful folds of her lace robe falling around her like drapery around a Grecian statue.

The masqueraders were intent on their amusement as the two females entered. Then, for a few moments, all merriment ceased, and murmurs of undisguised admiration went round. The Puritan was seated at once by her friend in a recess upon a couch raised a little above the floor, and immediately after Miss Lincoln proceeded to mix among the company. In a moment, a gentleman of elegant figure and handsome face pressed forward, and saluted her with marked _empressement_. “My dear Miss Lincoln, to-night carries me back to London refinement and fashion--dress-- scenery--company--beauty--fascination. This evening will be impressed on our English hearts indelibly, to the utter forgetfulness of our rusticated state in these American forests.”

“Do be grateful, then,” the lady answered, “to me for giving you some taste of London and its fashion. Papa is much too solemn for any thing but those great, pompous dinners, which I detest.”

“But tell me,” rejoined her companion, “how did you induce that lovely flower” (and he turned his masked visage toward Grace Bartlett) “to shed its perfume on our scentless hearts?”

“By exhausting all that irresistible eloquence of which you speak so highly,” she replied; “for I recognize my complimentary acquaintance, Lieut. R----.”

“Indeed! Well, she is perfectly lovely, and with a touch of sadness so interesting,” said the gentleman. “I’ll exert myself to flirt with her.”

“I am not quite sure you will find that task so easy as you imagine,” was the laughing rejoinder.

“Very likely,” responded Lieut. R. “But in a good cause I am prepared to go great lengths, and as she is very pretty I’ll take my chance at any rate.”

At that moment, another individual approached, and after the ordinary civilities of the evening, said to her gently, “Miss Lincoln, will you not walk on the gallery by moonlight?”

The words, as they were pronounced in a somewhat tremulous tone, sounded musically in her ear, and taking the arm of the speaker she proceeded with him to the place alluded to.

For one or two turns they promenaded in silence. The gentleman seemed strangely agitated. He tried to say something indifferent, but it would not do, and he plunged at once into the subject near his heart.

“I thought,” he said, hurriedly and timidly, “that I could have waited calmly the answer which I requested in the early part of this evening; but I overrated my own powers of endurance, and I come now to hear my doom from your lips. Speak to me, Georgiana; I have dared to hope that the regard I feel for you is not wholly unreturned, and that you prefer me above some others around you. Is this so, dear girl, or must I teach my heart to forego all its hopes of happiness, all those blissful feelings of which, until I knew you, I was ignorant. Oh! do not condemn me to disappointment,” he exclaimed, passionately. “Give me at least hope. Georgiana, dearest Georgiana, am I too presumptuous?”

He spoke with strong emotion, and his was a voice, when in deep persuasion, difficult to resist: his arm was still encircling his companion, and she had not removed it, as she heard that the happiness or misery of a life depended on her decision.

“Speak, dearest, but one little word,” urged her lover, in a whispered voice of intense suspense.

Georgiana did not speak that word, little as it was, but she lifted up her truthful face, and fixed her clear, dark orbs for one brief moment fully upon his, and the next instant that lovely head was bent down, and the rich, mantling blushes hidden on his bosom.

“It is enough, my own one,” murmured the enraptured suitor, in all the ecstasy of that instant of first accepted love.

At length, remembering that they had deserted the drawing-room very unceremoniously, they returned to find the company in some surprise at their absence, but their excuses soon proved satisfactory, and they at once mingled separately amongst the various guests.

Shortly after, Charles Lincoln sauntered languidly into the apartment, closely masked. On first entering, he had for a moment fixed an almost startled gaze of admiration upon the Puritan. To a close observer, deep emotion would have been discernible beneath that mask. But a powerful will struggled against the display of it, as, half concealed behind a pillar, he retreated to look more intently, and without being observed. He wished to discover whether or no his sense of vision had deceived him. But no--it must be she whom he beheld--the same grace in the drooping form, but how fragile did it appear; how painfully changed in the character of its loveliness were the faultless features of that face--when the hair, combed carelessly back from her brow, displayed their delicate outlines. Her countenance spoke with truth of the ravages sorrow had occasioned.

Lincoln gazed until he had convinced himself, rushed forward and reached the astonished girl: then tearing off his mask, he exclaimed, “Grace! dearest Grace, you live yet, and I find you in my father’s halls!”

The astonished and bewildered girl gave one cry, and fell fainting at his feet.

CHAPTER XI.

Weave we the woof. The thread is spun. The web is wove. The work is done. Gray.

It was on a lovely summer’s evening, rather more than ten years after the events last recorded, that two persons were sitting in the spacious drawing-room of a noble mansion in Canada, opening on a park. They had, it appeared by the lady’s attire, been walking, but as their conversation deepened in interest, the repose of home had again been unconsciously sought. She had thrown aside her bonnet, and as she sat, her face upturned to her male companion, her features disclosed a loveliness that would have irresistibly attracted attention. The repose of her features was so soft and gentle that the eye would have fallen there with the same delight, and turned away with the same regret which it experiences in regard to other things which are found to harmonize with its vision. In her the period of girlhood had merged into the epoch of woman’s maturity, when, nearer her prime than her bloom, she unites all the truth and freshness of early youth with those calm and more finished graces which come not to pass away, but to deepen and endure.

But one glance at the sweet Madonna countenance, the unequaled expression of the placid features, the golden hair, shaded now to something of a chestnut, will suffice for her recognition by all those whose interest in Grace Bartlett has sketched her image in their minds.

To the Grace Bartlett of our opening chapter, she bore indeed only the outward resemblance that the opening flower does to the early bud. But even as the full blown rose reveals the luscious scent and glowing beauty which the blossom contained, so did her character, as it now shone forth beneath the bright and dazzling sun of affluence, confirm and strengthen the promise of its dawn.

The gay, playful child of our first chapter, the timid, shrinking Puritan girl of our after history, was now the modestly dignified, though still retiring, wife of the Governor General of Canada. The pure and holy sentiments of religion which had formerly been spoken timidly, as hardly daring to find expression lest the high-born should mock or pity, were now avowed calmly, unostentatiously as they had been acted upon in the deep trials of her girlhood.

Her love for her husband was intense and absorbing, but it came not between herself and heaven. The fruits of her holy life were gentleness and self-denial, meekness and charity--plainly showing at whose feet she laid the offering of her heart.

In the polished circle in which she now moved, she had preserved within her that pure light which, when the sun is growing dim and waxing faint, alone can guide through the dark valley of the shadow of death. The heart of that lovely flower of a Puritan village--a heart that had throbbed and quivered at the faintest touch of kindness, and which a silken thread could lead in all other matters, had stood firm where her religion was concerned, and this very firmness had won her husband to her faith.

The importance which Frank Winthrop had acquired as the son of Gen. Lincoln, added to his personal merit--under the name of his adopted father, which he always retained, ignorant of his real origin, had attracted the attention of the government. He was soon employed in various situations of responsibility and importance. By the same progression in fortune which first elevated him, another and a later change had brought him in Canada to the rank of Governor General.

The conversation between the two had been continued for some time, when the voice of a young child was heard on the stair-case.

“Oh, there is my little bird singing,” exclaimed Grace Lincoln. She sprang to the door and returned, bearing in her arms a lovely boy, exquisitely fair, with deep blue eyes, and clustering curls of gold. The bright complexion and golden hair were hers, but his features were the miniature likeness of his handsome father at her side.

Over them we now drop the curtain, and in so doing, let them take their farewell of the reader.

* * * * *

=SONNET.=

=BY CAROLINE F. ORNE.=

Hid in the bosom of life-giving earth, In darkness and in silence deep and still, The buried seed to springing roots gives birth, That fix them in the mold with firmest will; Strong hold have they below there in the soil Before the leaves upshoot them to the light, And beauty crowns the deep and hidden toil With blossomed boughs that charm the gazer’s sight. So thou, oh soul, obscure and hidden long, Uncared for and unknown must bide thy time, And like the aspiring seed strike, deep and strong, Roots that shall bear thee upward in thy prime, So firm sustained, thou shalt the worthier be For life’s fair flower that all men honor thee.

* * * * *

=UPS AND DOWNS.=

CHAPTER I.

“I trust Mrs. Davidson is at last satisfied.”

“In what?”

“Why, have you not heard the news of the engagement of Maria with Henry Dawson?”

“No, I have not before. But when did it occur, and are you positive it is so?”

“As to the when, sometime within a day or two; and as to the positive, the lady herself is my authority.”

“She is certainly very fortunate with her daughters.”

“So she thinks, at least this time. But I am not clear that the three former connections with Law, Physic and Divinity were exactly to her mind.”

“Certainly no three men occupy more respectable positions for their age in the community than her three sons-in-law, and as she had no fortune to give with her daughters, she should be thankful.”

“I imagine few will be inclined to differ from you; but that very want of fortune causes her to be peculiarly alive to its advantages, and hence her delight at her daughter’s engagement to young Dawson.”

“Is he so very rich?”

“Not having any marriageable daughters of my own to dispose of, I never asked him for a schedule of his effects. But I supposed you to have been well posted on that point.”

“Me! Bless you, my dear--I never trouble myself about such matters. Why should you think so?”

“Oh, I know not. A mere random remark of mine. I thought I had some faint recollection of his flirtation with Laura last winter, and knowing your prudence, supposed you had made the necessary inquiries.”

“You are much mistaken. There never was any thing between them. He is music-mad, and used frequently to come to listen to Laura’s harp. I suppose he thought it but right therefore to show her some attention in public, and hence the world interpreted it into something else. But, I assure you, there was never any thing in it.”

“I never supposed there was. I always thought Laura was merely amusing herself. But how remarkably well she is looking to-night. Who is that distinguished looking man who is paying her such marked attention?”

“That is a Mr. Ernest, who has recently returned from abroad, and has come home a perfect virtuoso, and you know that Laura’s taste lies in the same way.”

“Yes, she certainly admires a mustache, for I notice that of late she encourages no one without that fashionable appendage.”

Whilst Miss Laura Bridgeman was listening complacently to the remarks of the mustached beau by her side, and her mother and Mrs. Grayson, a fashionable widow of no particular age, and childless, were discussing things as above, in another part of the room, where lights and music added to the witchery which bright eyes and lovely forms make, young Dawson was hanging over his newly betrothed.

In the meantime her mother was receiving the congratulations of troops of friends, for Henry Dawson was, in the phrase matrimonial, “the catch of the season.” He had long been an orphan--his fortune was large, his intellect fair and well cultivated, his person and address good, and his whole appearance decidedly gentlemanly and prepossessing. That he should have “fallen in love,” as the phrase goes, with his lively fiancée, none wondered, and save a few anxious mothers, who, like Mrs. Bridgeman, had marriageable daughters, all heartily congratulated him.

The family connection of Mrs. Davidson was most respectable; but left a widow, with limited means and a family of young daughters, she had been condemned to much and close economy to maintain appearances and give her daughters an education to fit them for their proper positions in the world. The three eldest were, as we have seen above, respectably married, and now it is not to be wondered that she rejoiced that her youngest was to be transferred from the narrow economy of her house to the comforts and luxuries which a wealthy husband could bestow.

Did our fair heroine entertain like views? They may have crossed her mind in some of her reveries, but they were but shadows. She had given a young, pure heart with all its rich, unworked mine of virgin gold, without one thought of earthly dross about it. She loved with all the ardent devotion of young love, the handsome, intelligent youth who wooed her with soft words and pleading looks. She loved him for what he was, or what she thought he was, and not for what he had. She knew that his love for her must be most disinterested, for she had naught but herself to give, and she was happy in the feeling of loving and of being beloved.

Oh, this love! what a strange power it exercises over the actions and the minds of the human race. What blindness it produces in our mental visions--how it changes defects into beauties, and magnifies ant-hillocks to mountains--what floods of blood and floods of ink it has shed in this world, and is doomed still to shed--how it makes virtue vice and vice virtue--how it lights the torch of discord, and yet throws around the soft and beaming light of harmony--how it makes wise men idiots, and converts brave men into cowards. In a word, how it agitates, distracts, soothes, but generally succeeds best in causing men to stultify themselves, at any rate for a given time.

The evening sped joyously on. Few envied, more rejoiced in the apparent future happiness, and, as it was termed, rare good fortune of the bride elect, whose cheeks maintained a constant rivalry with the rich roses of the fragrant boquet, as time and again some sly inuendo or more open remark reached her ear. Her mother received the more direct congratulations which were lavished upon her, with a quiet ease, in which she endeavored to veil the entire satisfaction which the prospective nuptials afforded her. Thus almost all were pleased. The mother, that her maternal cares were so soon to cease, and the gay pleasure-seekers were satisfied that a new and splendid establishment would in another season be opened to them, and if a feeling of any kind crossed the heart of Laura Bridgeman, that the prize which she once thought within her grasp had fallen to another, she turned to her new admirer, and in the contemplation of his superb mustache forgot, or tried to do so, the vision of the beautiful establishment which had once flitted through her imagination.

* * * * *

Shift we the scene. A few months have passed--the gay festivities of the winter are over--summer now usurps her sway, and nature, decked in her holiday attire, woos to contemplation and quiet enjoyment. The magic words which were to fix for life the destinies of the fair Maria had been spoken; the nuptial benediction pronounced, and in a beautiful villa, a few miles removed from the city, she was passing the first weeks of her bridal life, a loved and loving wife. There are few things in the world more touching than the love of a young, pure wife. The feelings which she entertained for the lover were constrained by a sense of propriety, but now they may pour themselves forth unchecked, in one o’ergushing flood of tenderness. Then she must await his approach, now she may go forth to meet him--then she must check her feelings as they rose, lest, forsooth, she might be thought forward, indelicate. Now she may take the initiative, and her soft hand may push back the locks from the brow on which she may implant a kiss of pure, almost unearthly love. Now she may watch to gratify those little tastes or fancies which then were passed unnoticed.

And never were the gushings of a warm, devoted heart poured forth more tenderly than they were by Maria Dawson for her husband. Nor on his part was the devotion less entire. The villa had been fitted up in every way to gratify her taste and fancy; and between the ride, or the drive, or the wandering about the grounds or in the garden, or music and reading and conversation, the summer passed all too rapidly away, and she almost sighed when the frosts of autumn notified her to prepare to take possession of her luxurious mansion in the city.

Marriage seems to be necessary, as a general rule, to the full development of the characters of women. Circumstances of course have a large share in it, but still it seems almost necessary to the full development of the perfect character of woman that she should be seen in her double position of wife and mother. Germs which have lain dormant are then brought into life; new faculties are called into play; the disposition is fully unfolded, and she exhibits herself frequently in a new and entirely different light from what she was regarded in the days of her girlhood. The timid girl becomes self-reliant; far from being dependent on the views and wishes of those to whom she has been accustomed to look for counsel and guidance, she finds herself called upon to act and decide for others now dependent on her--this gives a vigor to her mind, a firmness to her views, a decision to her actions, which, without some such cause for their development, they would in all probability never have attained.

CHAPTER II.

“Things look blue.”

“Yes; never saw such unpromising appearances.”

“The best paper in town was done yesterday at 2 per cent. per month,” pursued Mr. John Sharp to his brother broker Mr. Growlem, as they cogitated over their morning’s correspondence. “My letters throw out some inuendoes about certain houses heretofore considered undoubted,” pursued that gentleman, as with a keen glance he peered over his spectacles at his companion.

“Hum--don’t know. In such cases caution is desirable, and so don’t say much; but if stocks continue to fall as they have done for a few weeks past, shan’t consider any man undoubted unless I know him to be short of the whole list, and even then he may be caught.”

“As how, pray?” suggested his companion.

“By buying in before delivery day, and then finding his man smashed, gone, and he himself likely to be in the same pleasant position.”

“You always look at the bright side of things.”

“Certainly I do; especially when the prospect is so charming all round as it is now. Thank God I am pretty well up. I haven’t a contract that has not security up. ‘My man,’ you know, always required it. And as for any stocks I hold, why they are all paid for and I may as well hold on for better times, as I don’t see how I can better myself by putting them in some fellow’s note, who will, in all probability, pay just five cents in the dollar.”

“I am a good deal of your way of thinking. But if this crash goes on when will the revival come?”

“Just as soon as the banks break, and not before.”

“But how can their breakage benefit the matter? I confess my ignorance.”

“My dear fellow, considering your name and experience, I consider you very flat this morning. Are you so green as to think I mean them to stop, as you and I would if we could not meet our engagements. By no means. They will do no such vulgar thing as fail--they will merely suspend; and then, you know, as paper is cheap and engraving not very expensive, we shall have money as plenty as dirt; that is, as soon as presidents and cashiers can sign their names to pieces of paper promising to pay--in what? I don’t know. Do you? Certainly not in the ‘current coin of the realm.’ And yet, by the way, these promises will be the current coin. Mark what I say. He that can hold on until this time will get through--plucked, ringed, well battered--but still he will get through. He that can’t must go to the wall, there to be ground between the upper and the nether mill-stone.”

The brokers parted. It was a time to make the stoutest heart quail. The commercial world was then going through one of those dreadful convulsions which so frequently happen to it, aggravated on this occasion by the most reckless, improvident and profligate expansion of the paper currency known for a century. The consequence was, that the fury of the storm fell upon the heads not of a portion only of the community, but upon the whole. Persons dependent upon the incomes arising from stock investments were suddenly cut off; and all classes, from the laborer deprived of the work which afforded him his daily pittance for the support of his family, upward, felt the blow. Stocks were tumbling down at from one to five per cent. a day; money was not to be had on securities which in ordinary times would have been more than ample, and universal distrust and dismay abounded.

How fared it in all this commotion with the personages of our story? They had been several years wedded, and heaven seemed to smile most benignantly on their union. Three lovely children were grouped around them. Every comfort, every luxury that wealth could procure were lavished by Henry Dawson on his young wife, whose loveliness appeared, in his eyes at least, to increase with each succeeding year. The girlish beauty had passed away, but the matronly grace and elegance and beauty which had succeeded, were only as yet the first full developments of the lovely bud of promise. Nothing had however occurred to test in any way the young mother’s character, and except when occupied with the young family in the nursery at home, she was to all outward appearance the polished, elegant woman of the world, one of fortune’s spoiled children. The richer qualities of head and heart, if indeed she possessed any, had never yet seen the light. Her husband was proud of her in every way--proud of the fine mind which her rich conversational powers showed; proud of the faultless taste which governed all the arrangements of her drawing-rooms and her a own personal appearance--but beyond these he knew nothing of her--nor perhaps did she of herself. The world flocked in crowds to her splendid balls, and gave her the tribute of admiration which her personal graces and loveliness demanded as their right. But this was all that the husband of her choice or the world in which she dwelt knew of Maria Dawson. Her full character was not yet developed, the circumstances had not arisen.

It was about the time of the conversation that we have recorded above, that Henry Dawson one day returned home rather earlier than was his habit. Maria was in the drawing-room when he entered. She noted that his brow was clouded, but this had been the case for several days; and when, on a former occasion, she had spoken to him of it, he had put her off with what she felt was but a pretext, and she determined to abstain from questioning until he was ready to give her his confidence. It had however worried her. Between them, since their marriage, confidence had been entire. They had no secrets from each other, and hence she argued this could not concern Henry alone or he would have communicated with her; the affairs of some friend which he was not at liberty to disclose even to her must be preying upon him, and she would wait until the cloud had been removed, or he was ready of his own accord to disclose it to her.

He had been standing by a table with his back turned to her for a few minutes, engaged apparently in an attentive examination of something on it, when he turned suddenly to her--

“Maria,” and his voice was wanting in all the softness with which he usually addressed her, and was pitched in the key-note of one who has some desperate communication to make--“Maria, you must nerve yourself for ill news. I am a ruined man,” he rather jerked out than said, and as he spoke the strong man sank into a chair by his side.

Not one word did she speak. She sat for a moment as one stunned by a sudden blow; then rising she passed softly to his side, and resting one hand on his shoulder, with the other she drew gently from his face the hands in which he strove to hide it, then stooping down pressed her lips upon his forehead.

“Cheer up, dear husband,” was her first words. “Poor though we may be in earth’s substances, yet in one thing are we still rich--our mutual love. Think not, dearest Henry, that for myself I care for all the glittering baubles around me, so that I still retain your love.” And again were those soft lips pressed upon his forehead, and a flood of tears relieved the anguish of his mind.

Think him not unmanly because he thus wept. This proud man who thus gave way, was in all probability one who on the field of strife could with curling lip, and flashing eye, and with sword or bat waving wildly o’er his head, have led a band of the most reckless and daring who ever trod a battle-field “to do or die;” could have again, as he had done that morning, met his fellow men with cheek unblanched and eye unwandering, and with a ready smile upon his lip, whilst the vulture was gnawing at his heart. But this conduct of his wife, so pure, so heavenly, so devoted--it was too much for his manhood--it touched the inmost chords of deepest sensibility within him, and the strong man wept.

Maria, for a few moments, did not attempt to assuage or interrupt him. She knew that nature was thus affording a relief to his pent-up and restrained feelings, but as soon as the paroxysm began to subside again she leaned over him, and said softly to him--

“Cheer up, dearest Henry. Be not so cast down, love. The worst cannot be so bad as your imagination paints; or let the worst be as bad as may be, it is light to me compared with your distress. Cheer up then, dearest--remember we have others beside ourselves to care for, and if you allow yourself to be so overcome you will be unable to do aught for them.”

He raised an arm, passed it round her waist, and drawing her toward him pressed her to his heart.

“Perhaps, Maria, I should rejoice in my calamities, as it has served to show me what an angel I posses in you.”

“Oh no,” she replied, anxious to divert his thoughts; “not an angel, only a loving, trusting wife. Remember, dearest, I took you for worse as well as better, for poorer as well as richer, and would you have me break my promise? Fie on you, Henry, I thought you had more confidence in my veracity.”

“Nay, Maria, speak not thus to me; treat me not thus. Had you met my avowal with a cold look, or with words of worldly wisdom have arraigned me for my conduct, I could have borne all like a man; but now--thus--such conduct has unmanned me--and our children, too, dearest! When I think of them and of you--and of what my madness--my folly has deprived them and you--it almost distracts me.”

“But, my dear husband, you still can give to your children the bright legacy of an untarnished name, and your wife will bear it more proudly for your sake, than in the days of your greatest prosperity.”

“Yes, Maria, I have, thank Heaven, that consolation. Poor though we are, our name is untarnished by any act of mine. Madman, fool, I may have been, but not a knave.”

“Unburthen yourself to me, Henry, and tell me all, I am a child in matters of business, I know. Your kindness has never let me suspect that any thing was wrong, or that you were at all embarrassed for money, since I have been your wife. Nay, I did not even know that you were engaged in business at all, but thought the income from your property supported us.”

“So it did for a time, and so it should and would have continued to have done but for my own folly--I always lived up to the extreme limit of my income--but extravagance begets extravagance. I was proud of you, your beauty, your accomplishments, your acquirements, and I determined that no money should be spared to place you in possession of every thing your fancy or your taste might dictate. It gratified my vanity to see you arrayed in the richest robes and glittering in the most costly gems. It also gratified the same mean passion, for such I now admit it to be, that your balls and parties should be the most elegant, the dinners and suppers of the house the most _recherché_ in all respects our society could boast. You appeared to take pleasure in them, and hence I rushed madly on until I found my fortune seriously impaired. What should I have done? Prudence and propriety now tell me, have retrenched at once and have gone to you and told you all. In fact they told me so then, and the struggle between them and false pride might have resulted in their favor and spared us this, but for one thing--I never was a gambler. I mean by that, I never ventured at games of chance any sum whose loss would have been worth a passing thought. But whilst I was thus hesitating, I heard among the men with whom I associated, how much this one and that one had cleared in a short time by ”operations“ in certain stocks. This was not gambling. It was the result of an observation of the probable rise and fall of the stock-market. It is unnecessary to my tale, love, to enter into the minute particulars, or to explain at length what is meant by the phrase ‘bulls and bears;’ suffice it to say, I saw the best men in the community, men esteemed in all the various relations of society, vestrymen of churches, elders, trustees, church members, all deeply embarked in these transactions, and of their morality then there could be no doubt, nor do I now mean to impugn it. I heard of the gains of different individuals--I _heard nothing of any man’s losses_. I consulted a broker, a man of keen business habits, and like almost all the members of the broker’s board, of highly honorable character in his avocation. I pointed out to him what I wanted. For the first time I heard of something beside profits. He pointed out to me clearly all the dangers of the business, and how immeasurably greater they were to one who, like myself, had been educated to spend money, not to make it. Few, he told me, were in the long run successful speculators, and they were usually men of cool, calculating temperament, sagacious and far-seeing in watching the signs of the times, and of an iron-nerve that nothing could shake; and yet, he said, such were the uncertainties, that at times even the most experienced of such men were deceived. I left him fully intending to avoid the dangerous experiment--come to you, and tell you all. Unfortunately, I fell in with a friend who had just embarked in an operation. We had talked the matter over before, we did so again, and before we parted I had given an order to another broker to operate for me. I was successful. This was sufficient. Several other small operations followed, in which I had continued success. I soon formed an exalted opinion of my own judgment; voted the broker who had advised me ‘an old granny’ and embarked much more deeply. Losses now began to accrue--the embarrassments of the times thickened; I fancied them only temporary and that they would soon pass away--I plunged in more deeply and madly than ever, and the result has been, that having to-day settled all my contracts, save the furniture of our houses, our plate, and your jewels, we have not a thousand dollars upon earth.”

He went through his tale firmly, almost calmly. When it was finished, he looked into his wife’s face with a smile so ghastly, so unnatural, that an ice chill fell upon her heart. Rallying in a moment, she again bent to caress him, and then said to him,

“Thank you, dearest Henry, that I now know all. It is a melancholy tale; and how much pain might you have spared yourself, had you known me better. Think you that I cared so much for the splendor with which you have surrounded me or the glittering baubles with which you have decked me, as to have enjoyed the one or worn the other, had I known all I now do. Oh! why, Henry, was not confidence in me so entire as to have advised with me concerning these things. If husbands would only counsel in such matters freely with their wives; if the situation of their affairs was always freely and fully laid before them, much might be spared. I rejoiced in the splendor, I decked myself in costly robes and rich jewels, more from the pleasure I saw that my doing so gave you, than from any positive pleasure they afforded me; though,” she added, with a faint attempt at a smile, “jewels and velvets are things which, in common with most women, I do not affect to despise. But the jewel which I value above all others, is my husband’s love--to see him happy, is to me a source of more exquisite enjoyment than all the splendor earth can give. But, I repeat, cheer up, dear Henry; the past is gone beyond recall, leaving behind it but the lessons of experience which it gives--from them we can derive wisdom. The future is all before us--we are young--trustful in each other--blessed with those objects which will call forth all our energies. There must be no more false pride. My jewels, all, save one or two tokens of your young love, our plate and rich furniture will give us something on which to start afresh in life. Our experience of the past must be our beacon for the future. Compose yourself, dearest. Leave the management of these trifles to me. You must let me have a beginning,” she continued, seconding her appeal with a kiss that was irresistible, as she saw a refusal gathering on his brow. “Keep yourself quiet and contented for a few days, and see how well I will manage. Add now, dearest, let us go see the children.”

Our heroine had not yet fully developed--the process was but commencing.

CHAPTER III.

Pass we by the scenes of the few succeeding days. In them, however, Maria was all efficiency. Her cheerfulness and the buoyancy of her spirits seemed never to forsake her, at least in her husband’s presence. She had determined that no act, nor look, nor word of her’s should add to the poignancy of the regret, almost remorse, which agitated him. When alone, the serenity of that young brow might be clouded; but it was more from anxious thought for the future, than from regret for the past; or a tear might dim the brightness of her eye, as she bent over her sleeping children, and thought of their altered prospects.

Fortunately there were no debts, and, best of all, no small debts. No tradesman, no mechanic suffered from this mishap. There was enough left to settle all these accounts, and the stock contracts had all been “met;” but there was nothing left, save the furniture of the two mansions. How rapid was her decision on this point. All, every thing, save the most necessary articles, were to go--satin, damask, and velvet, were to be replaced by chintz; rosewood by pine; lounges, and ottomans, and presentation chairs were to be as if they never had been; and if a few good engravings were laid aside with a few cherished family portraits to humanize their new home, wherever it might be, costly paintings were parted with without a sigh. The rich China and costly plate--“Why, certainly, my dear; I am sure things will eat just as well off of Liverpool ware; and as for all that glass, I shall be glad to be rid of the constant dread I had of having it broken, and the set ruined.”

And thus did Maria meet all the objections of her husband as they rose one by one. Two things, however, she determined to keep to the last--one, her husband’s books--the other, her own piano. She knew that be where they might, they would be a constant source of comfort to him; and in time, when, perhaps, they could not be conveniently replaced, they would be needed for the children.

But after all these things had been parted with, how were they to live. To live on the proceeds would be madness, as that would in a short time exhaust every thing; they neither of them had any expectations of future fortune, save from their own exertions. Dawson had been educated to no business, nor any profession; and that he had escaped being a mere profligate “about town” was regarded almost as a wonder by all. His refined native taste had alone saved him. Mere dissipation in its unrefined, undraperied vulgarity, had no charms for him; and he had sought refuge when very young in female society, and the indulgence of an unrestrained taste for general literature. He had never been a student--rather a literary epicure--tasting a mouthful here, and sipping a few drops there--but nowhere sitting down to that hearty meal of solid food by which alone true students are made.

It was, however, necessary that a decision of some kind should be made. On one thing he was resolved, and with a determination which nothing could shake. It was to leave the place where his former life had been passed. His pride was yet unbroken; he could not endure the thought of sinking back from that position in society which he had formerly filled. He could not endure the thought that his bright, his beautiful wife should be exposed to mortifications which always fall to the lot of those from whose side fortune has departed. He knew full well that the before concealed envy of many would now show itself at her expense--that she should be an object of affected pity and compassion from those who had greeted her appearance with applause, and had been followers in her train. Were they to seek a new home, they would be spared a thousand and one of those petty annoyances which none but those who have experienced them can appreciate. In a new sphere, they would start in an humble way, but then there would be no by-gones connected with their history. Come what else might, do what else they would, on this point he was unalterably determined; the what that was to be done, and the where it was to be, could not, however, be definitely determined upon until the results of the sale were known. He inclined for the west. To this his wife, backed by the influence of her own family, opposed a decided negative. The iron horse did not then course its way over the lofty mountains and through the dense forests and across the almost boundless prairies on which it now pursues its daily career. She dreaded the deadly sickness to which all settlers in new countries are subject--the isolation from all society, which she knew must fall with such crushing weight upon one so long accustomed to it as was her husband--the want of schools, at which her young family could receive proper instruction--and, we must confess, she shrunk somewhat from the thought of being her own sole “help.” She did not count upon having about her, go where she might, a train of servants, but she knew herself physically incapable of being the sole servant to her family. She would, she knew, have to work, literally and physically, with her own hands--be, in all probability, her own nurse, seamstress, chamber-woman, arrange and manage all within doors--take care of the children, set out the table, keep the house in order, and superintend the cooking; but beyond this she knew herself unable to the task, and she was unwilling to undertake what she felt she could not accomplish. And then, too, should the dreaded sickness come on--but here the dismal prospect fancy conjured up before her did not assume so distinct a form--it was a dark, confused picture, like those of some of the so called “old masters,” in which the dark shadows are so deep, that they throw into complete obscurity all the light--if, indeed, there ever was any. And so two things were determined on. First, they would leave their former place of residence. And, secondly, that they would not go to the west.

But what was to be the pursuit? That was the rub. As we have said, Dawson had neither a professional nor a business education. The universal refuge for man, that of a tiller of the soil, was open to him; but then what knew he of farming pursuits? It is true he knew the difference between wheat and rye when he saw them in full head, but it is doubtful if he could distinguish either of them from grass or oats before they had reached that state. He could tell a scythe from a cradle, or a plough from a harrow; but how to use one or the other was to him a most profound mystery. What kind of a hand could he make at farming? There seemed, however, no other resource. He must make up his mind to do something; and no matter at what he went, he must be a beginner--a student. He was sickened of what is termed business, and he did not think it would be more difficult to learn to be a farmer, than it would be to become a lawyer or a doctor. Then, too, whilst the process of acquiring knowledge was going on, he would be acquiring something for the support of his family. It was true that whilst studying the law, the paths of literature were open to him, and he might do something with his pen. But then he was entirely a novice at writing for the public, and he had judgment sufficient to know that to succeed either as a lawyer or a literary man, he must devote himself exclusively to one or the other. The only resource, or at least the most available, seemed to be to await the issue of the sale, and invest the proceeds thereof in purchasing and stocking a moderate farm.

The day at last came; the fashionable world, and the unfashionable, too, flocked in crowds to those halls where taste and elegance had so long reigned. The examination of the various articles was over, and the stentorian lungs of the auctioneer were heard announcing,

“Ladies and gentlemen, the sale is about to commence, and we will begin, if you please, with the chamber furniture, and finish with the drawing-rooms and the glass and china.”

His skillful experience had taught him to reserve the more costly and rarer articles until the excitement of competition had warmed the bidders up to the necessary pitch. Dawson and Maria were neither of them present; but the watchful eye of her legal brother-in-law saw to every thing. There was much competition to obtain many articles; by some, as mementoes of the pleasant hours passed within those walls; by others, as anxious to exhibit them in their pretending but less fashionable saloons as articles of decided taste and elegance, from their having once belonged to the fashionable leader, Mrs. Dawson.

The sale was over--the sum total footed up--commissions and expenses deducted, and a very comfortable sum deposited in bank to the credit of Mr. Dawson. To this was to be added the amount derived from Maria’s jewels, which she actually succeeded in selling at about one half their original cost. This he wished her to keep as her own--but she refused; a common purse must be theirs--all, she said, but just a little, which she had, and which she intended to keep for “shoe and stocking” money, so she told him, adding playfully,

“You must let me have one secret from you, dear; and so don’t ask me, I beseech you, where my shoe and stocking money comes from.”

As she has no secrets with us, courteous reader, we may as well know. She rightly argued that satins, and brocades, and velvets, and such like, would be worse than useless to a farmer’s wife--and so she quietly disposed of them at a considerable sacrifice, but still for a very comfortable sum. She also argued that a suit of common fur would keep her quite as warm as her splendid set of marten, the envy of one half the town, and much more appropriate--and so the martens followed the brocades, and the velvets, and the jewels. From these resources she was enabled to realise enough to keep herself and her children not only in shoes and stockings, but also in all other clothing for a considerable time after the stock at present on hand was exhausted, without drawing on the resources of the farm.

The next thing was to purchase the farm. There were certain requisites which it might perhaps be difficult to find. At last, however, a place was hit upon. It was not exactly in its appearance what either our hero or heroine would have selected with an eye to picturesque beauty. There was no varied hill or dale--no high hill _here_ from which such a beautiful view of such a lovely valley could be seen _there_. It was in a flat country, without the slightest claims to beauty; but then it was healthy, the water good and pure--the fields well fenced and well watered--the soil of a fair natural character, in a very tolerable state of cultivation. A landing-place where a steamboat touched daily, affording ready communication with the city--a village at the landing, where a store, a good doctor, and a church were to be found. These were considered as a most excellent substitute for the want of the picturesque. The house was in the prevailing style of the neighborhood--without, plain clap-boards, from which the white-wash in many places had worn or washed off, leaving the dark boards below visible in their native beauty. The windows of a small size, with close wooden shutters, which had been, years since, painted of a color intended to be green, but which now was decidedly nondescript. A low porch covered the two or three steps that led to the front door. The court-yard was a small inclosure, through which a path led from a gateway in the fence by one side of the house, and which opened into a lane which led into the high-road. Within, a hall ran through the middle of the house. On either side were doors, leading on one hand into two rooms, called the front and back parlor; and on the other, into a room called the dining-room, and also into the kitchen. From the door of the kitchen the stairs ascended, leading to two or three tolerably comfortable rooms above, and to as many as intolerably uncomfortable, at least in the eyes of the new occupants. Beyond the kitchen was a shed, which was intended to be shut in by large wooden shutters, in which was the pump, and where the washing and other heavy kitchen-work could be transacted. This was certainly a change for both from their splendid town-mansion and luxurious villa.

The interior of the mansion was no more prepossessing than its exterior; and Maria shrugged her shoulders and looked round with a face of dismay as she contemplated the dreary prospect before her when she arrived to take possession of her new home. There was no time, however, to waste in repining. Boxes were to be opened, trunks unpacked, and places prepared in which to sit, eat, and sleep for the next few days, until things could be got somewhat to right. As for Dawson, he muttered some not very inaudible imprecations on the madness and folly which had brought them to this.

“Now, Henry, do, dear, just take a hatchet and pry off the top of that box. It has the matresses in it, and I’ll just get them out and you shall fix up the children’s bedstead, and let them and the baby have some place to lie down upon. I do declare,” she added, laughing, “nature must have intended you for a carpenter, you have gotten it off so nicely,” as, after some desperate struggles with the nails, he at last succeeded in prying off the top of the box.

“And there,” she added, “are the bedsteads tied up yonder; no fear of their being damaged by exposure, which is a great advantage. Do, dear, just carry them up stairs, whilst I get the bed-linen out of this great trunk in which it is packed up”--and Dawson, stimulated by the example of his wife, gave up something which sounded very like an occasional objurgation of a certain fool, meaning thereby himself, and took to working. The bedsteads were soon carried to their sleeping chamber and set up--the matresses laid on them, and the nimble fingers of our heroine soon covered them with their snowy linen. All was in readiness for the time when the “Sandman” would come round among the children. In the meantime, with the aid of the assistants on the farm, the rest of the things had been unpacked, and chairs and tables stood in a confused medley about. They were all of the simplest and least costly kind, and formed a strong contrast to the splendid piano which, in all the glory of its rich rosewood case, now occupied its destined position in the front parlor.

Maria looked with a wistful eye on the scene of confusion. To attempt to reduce it was, she thought, like producing order out of chaos. It was unnecessary to attempt it to-day; and so she determined to rest for the residue of it, and take a view of the exterior. As she passed out of the front door for this purpose, holding little Maria by the hand and carrying the baby in her arms, she was met by Master Harry, as he was termed, to distinguish him from his father. His cap was gone, his nicely combed curls were in a glorious state of dishevelment, his clothes evinced a most intimate acquaintance with mother earth, as did his face and hands.

“Oh, mamma!” he exclaimed, his whole face glowing with excitement, “oh, mamma, do come and see what a nice pond there is out here to sail boats in. And see, mamma,” holding up a “mud-cake” as he spoke, “see what a nice cake I have made!” Although vexed that her darling, of whose locks, and clean complexion, and trim dress she had always been so proud, should present such an appearance, she yielded to his entreaties, and followed the child without the gate into the lane, where a mud-puddle of formidable dimensions at once explained the mystery of the pond and the beautiful cakes he had been engaged in concocting.

“And see, mamma,” he added, clapping his hand, and pointing to a swarm of yellow butterflies which were settling round the edge of the puddle, “see what bootiful birds, and whenever I get close up to them to catch them, they just fly away.”

“Happy child!” thought his mother; “to you the cares of life are unknown. Happier, doubtless, will you for some time be here, chasing your butterflies, careless of all else. But your time, too, must come”--and our heroine found herself almost sighing.

“But, Harry, my boy, listen to me. Mamma would rather you should not play out in this lane, and by this dirty puddle. See how dirty your hands, and face, and clothes all are; and it will give mamma a great deal of trouble to keep you clean if you do so.”

“But, mamma, I don’t care about being clean. I am sure it’s a great deal nicer to be dirty and play about this nice pond, than to be dressed up to go out and walk with Mrs. Harris, and Janey, and Maria, and the baby.”

“Yes, my dear, but you wont have Mrs. Harris and Janey to dress you, and keep you clean, and take you to walk any more.”

“Wont I? Oh, I’m so glad! Then I can run out here and get as dirty as I please--can’t I mamma?”

“I hope you will not--for you have nobody else now to wash you and keep you clean but mamma; and you don’t want to give her so much trouble, do you?”

“No, mamma; but I’m so glad you’re going to wash me, for you wont scrub so hard as Mrs. Harris did--she used to hurt so, sometimes.”

“I am afraid, my dear, I shall have to scrub a great deal harder than Mrs. Harris did, if you play out here and get so dirty.”

“Well, mamma, I’ll try not to; but say, mamma, I may come out and play here sometimes; it’s so nice.”

“I will see about it some other time; but come in with me and get ready for supper.”

CHAPTER IV.

The next few days were those of considerable physical toil to our friends. The care of the younger children had to be resigned to a young girl who had been taken to assist her maid of all work; and Harry found himself straying occasionally to his favorite puddle, which, much to his regret, became gradually smaller, until at last it entirely disappeared.

Those few days had, however, wrought a wonderful change in the appearance of things within the house; and it is astonishing what marvels a few dollars will effect in producing these results when directed by taste. A little paint, some neat but low priced wall-paper, a little white dimity, chintz, and a few yards of white muslin, with some matting on the floor, had effected true wonders. The family portraits and engravings relieved the nakedness of the walls; curtains of thin white muslin, tied up with some tasteful ribbon, gave an air of refinement to the otherwise decidedly vulgar windows, whilst the chintz and dimity covered with graceful folds many an otherwise plain and homely deal plank.

“I declare,” mused Maria to herself, “we are becoming quite presentable, almost ready to receive company. Yet something seems wanting--I have it; there’s enough of that blue and fawn-colored chintz still left; I will get Henry to saw me off a couple of boxes of the right size--Sam shall bring me some wool to stuff them with, and I will have a pair of ottomans.”

No sooner thought than done. The boxes were hunted up, and found to suit exactly, except that they were a few inches too high.

“Henry, dear,” she said to her husband, when they had finished dinner, “wont you just take a saw and come and saw me off a piece from each of these boxes that are lying out there?”

“Yes--but what on earth do you want to do with them, Maria?”

“Never you mind, sir; you shall know all in good time. There now, dear--there--just saw six inches off from the length of each of them. Had not you better take a rule to measure them carefully? for I want them just of a heighth, and sawed off very smoothly.”

He did as he was required--placed the boxes in the designated place, and went out to superintend his men, and continue his lessons in the practical details of his new employment. As soon as he was gone, she brought her chintz, and was soon deep in all the mysteries of measuring and fitting. The side pieces were soon cut off to the desired sizes--the ready needle prepared them for fastening on; but she could do nothing with the seat until she had procured the wool. That was done by the farm-hand that evening; and as soon as her husband had gone out after breakfast, she was busily engaged in fitting the top and stuffing it. The upholstery work was completed to her entire satisfaction, and when her husband came in to tea, she said quietly to him,

“I want you to come into the parlor and listen to my music for a little time.”

This was always irresistible--he followed her in and prepared for his treat, when she said to him, “I have a great notion not to play a note for you, as you have not taken the slightest notice of my new ottomans.”

He looked his surprise, but following the direction of her eye, the new articles of furniture met his view.

“I suppose I am now enlightened as to what you wanted with those boxes, and to be sawed so carefully yesterday. But when, in Heaven’s name, Maria, do you find time to do all you do! Here are you, a delicately nurtured woman, attending to most of the details of the dairy--arranging chambers and sitting-rooms--nursing, making beds, sweeping, dusting, sewing, and what not; and now, to crown all, you must needs take to upholstering, as if you had not enough already to do.”

“I am sure,” she said, looking up at her curtaining “that latter is no new business. Learn, Henry, in regard to the time, the truth of the old adage, ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way.’ I thought the room did not look quite furnished, and so I determined on them. They certainly are a great improvement to the room--and aren’t they sweet, dear?”

“They certainly are very creditable to your taste and handiwork. But,” stooping over, and pressing a kiss on her rich rosy lips, “you must take more care of yourself, dearest, or you will overdo the matter.”

“Don’t I look like a tender, delicate creature, that requires careful nursing? Oh, fie on you! I am afraid you have lost all your gallantry. I am very certain Maria Davidson’s cheek was never half so blooming when you used to pay it so many compliments. I am certainly at least five pounds heavier than I was when I came up here. The sun, too, is giving my complexion that darker hue you so much admire.”

“I admire brown complexions! When did you ever hear me say so?”

“I don’t know that I ever did. But then, you know, dear, Laura Bridgeman was a decided brunette.”

“Pshaw!” said Dawson, laughing; “not jealous, I trust, Maria, of the remembrance of my old flirtation with Laura.”

“Not very, sir,” she added, looking down demurely, “for, you know, when it happened I was a little girl that had not yet come out.”

“What a fortunate escape Laura, and her mamma would think she had made, if they could only see me now busily engaged in my shirt-sleeves, planting, digging, weeding, raking, learning to mow, in fine, learning to earn my own bread and that of those dearer to me than life.”

“I don’t feel at all sentimental in connection with Laura Bridgeman; and so,” she added, turning to the piano and striking up a gallope, “here’s something that lady would prefer at any time to sentiment.”

The piece finished, she at once changed the measure, and in a few moments her rich, full voice was heard in a song which was a peculiar favorite of her husband’s. The sound of the music attracted the children, who now came in, the youngest in his young nurse’s arms, to kiss papa good-night, whilst Maria prepared her baby for bed.

Whilst our heroine was thus active within doors, it must not be supposed that her husband was supine without. He was industriously learning the practical parts of his new vocation. He was engaged, the dandy of the pavé, the saloons and the clubs, learning, in his shirt-sleeves, to plough, to harrow, to mow, to dig, and, in fine, to do all that a hard-working farmer is compelled to do. He was aware that the head as well as the hand is necessary to direct aright the art of tillage, as any other art, and that a man may learn every thing concerning the rotation of crops, and all the rest of the art, and yet be deficient in the skill of an ordinary hand in the manual operations; but he thought it best to learn all, in order that in future he might direct all; and so he worked away under the tuition of one of his hired men, and was rapidly becoming a proficient. The hands had lost the softness and whiteness of the city dandy, and had put on that covering of brown which he condemned on the cheek of his wife, only that the shade was darker, and the hardening process had been so gone through with that blisters no longer troubled him.

There was much to do, too, to the exterior of the place, in order to make it harmonize with the now refined interior; so the garden was enlarged, and fruit of various kinds set out at the proper time, and in another year or so they had reason to calculate upon a great improvement in every thing. Time never flew more rapidly with the subjects of our story, not even during the ever-memorable first summer after their wedding. It is true they had but little society, but the active discharge of their duties required the greater portion of their time, and the few occasional half hours of idleness in the day-time, were moments which required no foreign assistance to render them pleasant. After the children were dispatched for the night, and the supper things washed up, and the breakfast-table all set out to be ready for the morning, they would indulge themselves in some music, and then Dawson would read aloud, whilst Maria’s nimble fingers repaired some rent which the clothes of the children might have suffered, or prepared some necessary habiliment.

The neighborhood was thickly settled with a class of comfortable well-to-do farmers, almost exclusively the owners of the farms they occupied, whilst the village of Euston was only a little more than a mile distant. The good people had not, however, called much upon them. Some were restrained by one cause or another, although since rumors of their former position in life having got afloat, curiosity was largely on the tiptoe to see how they could bear their change and get along. The men formed a good opinion of him, when they saw him take off his coat and go to work, as they said, “like a man who wasn’t ashamed of his business;” and they prophesied he would get along. What the females thought may be judged by the following conversation.

“Well, I do declare this is very nice, comfortable,” said Miss Maggie Chatterton, as she undid her bonnet-strings and threw off her shawl amidst a female group of neighbors who were assembled in the best parlor of a certain Mrs. Holmes.

“Oh, Miss Maggie,” shouted two or three juveniles, starting from their various posts about the room, “do tell us that story you promised us last week.”

“Presently, dears, but I want to have a little chat with your mothers first. Seen the newcomers yet, any of you? I mean those city people the Dawsons.”

“Yes,” said Miss Susan Bitterly, a staid single lady of no particular age. “I saw them both as I passed by their place yesterday, and can’t say I saw any thing particularly desirable about either of them. They say she has a piano. I wonder what she expects to do with it here?”

“Well, for my part,” said Mrs. Hardmoney, the portly wife of a well-to-do farmer in the neighborhood, “I don’t see what farmers’ wives have to do with them there sort of things. When I was a girl, we were taught another guess matter than to sit thumping pianys all day.”

“I think you’re rather hard on the poor young thing,” said kind, motherly Mrs. Holmes, as she smoothed down carefully her best dress, which she wore in honor of the occasion; “it must certainly be a hard thing for her to come to such a change, after having had every thing so comfortable about her all her life.”

“Well, for my part,” said Miss Chatterton, “I quite pity her. And they say she’s such a dear, sweet little thing--yes, children, I’ll be with you presently--and all the fault of her husband. Not that I ever heard she complained of him. By the way, Mrs. Holmes, how’s your husband’s rheumatism to-day? I’ve heard of a new remedy for it. Ah! my dear Mrs. Brown,” she added, turning to another of the party, “I saw Henry Cole only yesterday, and he told me they were all well at his father’s. But, as I was saying, they say it was all his fault--”

“Maggie, are you never going to tell us that story?”

“Yes, dears, presently, when I’ve done here. Yes, she is quite a dear little thing, and Sally Irish, who lives with them, you know, says she’s so good and so gentle, and goes about every thing so nicely and so pleasantly, that she has quite won Sally’s heart already, and that, you know, is not very easy to do. It was only a day or two after they moved up, before they had got all fixed to rights, that she came up to Sally, who was washing out some things, and said to her, as she held out a bundle of nice muslins--‘Do, Sally, please wash these out for me this time, and I will stand by whilst you do it and learn how, and then, you know, another time I can do it myself, and perhaps, in time, I may learn to do it almost as well as you, Sally.’”

“Well, I am glad to hear she’s not so set up with her piany and such nicknakeries as to be above being willing to help herself some. When I heard what a heap of help they had down there, I thought sure as how they were going to bring all their city notions as well as their piany down here into the country.”

“Why, what harm can there be in a piano,” said the oldest of the Holmes girls, before whose eyes visions of a boarding-school, and a piano, and such like things had been for some time dancing; “I can’t see what harm there can be in having a piano. For my part I think it must be very nice, and I mean to go over and see that dear, pretty Mrs. Dawson, and perhaps she will play on hers for me.”

“No doubt she will, my dear,” said Miss Susan Bitterly; “accomplished ladies like her when they’re settled down among such barbarians as we, are glad to find some one as accomplished as yourself with whom to associate.”

A tart reply arose to Susan Holmes’ tongue, but an opportune look from her mother arrested it.

“I should think,” resumed Mrs. Hardmoney, “that their help would eat up all they make at any time. The Gilbert farm was never a very profitable one, and this man, Dawson, they say, knows nothing about farming. He’s hired Sara Bromley and Jim Clodpole to work on the place. Sam told my old man he was to have a kind of management of things, for Dawson hardly knew the tines of the fork from the handle. We all know that Sam is a managing fellow, and if he don’t contrive to get more out of the place than Dawson, I’m mistaken.”

“I think you do Sam injustice,” said Mrs. Holmes. “Mr. Holmes told me that Mr. Dawson came to see him about hiring Sam, and that he took him on his recommendation. Dawson is to pay him high wages, but Sam is a smart hand, and if Dawson will only keep his eyes open, he may learn a good deal from him.”

“One thing is very certain,” broke in our friend, Miss Chatterton--“I shall go see her as soon as she’s fixed, and I hope all the neighbors will. From what Sally Irish told me, I’m sure she is not a bit uppish, but will be glad to see us all. And you know, Mrs. Holmes, you can give her some of your nice recipes for country dishes, and teach her so many things, if you choose, about managing her dairy, and I am certain, from what Sally says, she will be much obliged to you for doing so.”

“Well, my dear,” said the lady, addressed, “I have been thinking about it for some time, only I thought perhaps she would not care to have any visitors until she got quite settled and began to feel quite at home. It was only to-day Mr. Holmes told me he thought it would be neighborly for me to go, and he was sure she would take it quite kindly. Mr. Dawson and he are quite sociable, and he often drops in to see how things are getting on as he goes by, and Mr. Dawson consults with him a good deal about things and is quite thankful to him for his advice.”

Mr. Holmes was one of the principal men in that part of the world. In addition to the very fine farm on which he lived, he was the owner of two or three others, and had some very comfortable snug sums invested in mortgages, and some stocks. Mr. Holmes’ opinion on any subject was then that of a man entitled to be heard, for it is astonishing what an additional force of wisdom those little things called dollars, when counted in tens of thousands, and especially in hundreds of thousands, lend to their possessor. Should it chance that they should mount into millions, Solomon himself, could he revisit the earth, would not be more regarded than are their fortunate possessors--their words are cherished as the very oracles of wisdom, and their breath is as it were the divine afflatus--men who possess them may pass their lives without contributing in the slightest degree to the comfort or happiness of their fellow men, the very incarnation of selfish avarice; but should they after their death, unable to carry it with them, build and endow an hospital, a college or a library, their names immediately ascend to heaven in grateful pæans for their wondrous bounties, and they live in brick and marble for ages, whilst those whose lives have been past in one constant act of beneficence to their fellows, sink into their graves and are forgotten in a month.

Mr. Holmes’ opinions then, were of weight in the circle in which he moved, and his good lady re-echoing them, they bore down all feeling which the natural rancor of Miss Bitterly and the contracted views of Mrs. Hardmoney might have engendered in the breasts of the females around, against our sweet Maria. None of them had yet seen her; she had not been a month in their neighborhood, but they all had heard something good about her, and after wondering why the Dawsons had not yet been seen in any place of worship, and whether they didn’t mean to go, and if they did which--the conversation turned into other channels, and Maggie Chatterton at last yielded to the solicitations of the children to go over into their corner and tell them “that nice story.”

The village of Euston, though numbering less than a thousand inhabitants, was well supplied with places of public worship, for, as we have said, it was surrounded by a populous neighborhood. First, stood the old and venerable brick building, destitute of any ornament, unless the glazed ends of the blue-colored bricks scattered profusely through the walls could be called such, with its small, venerable porch. The building was, however, becoming too large for the worshipers, or rather the worshipers were becoming too few for the building, for the great dissension, some years previous, which rent the society in twain had reached here, and a large number had gone off to seek another building other than that in which, in contemplative silence, their sires and grandsires before them had worshiped. Then came the Baptists and Methodists, in their almost equally plain buildings but with large congregations, and the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, with more pretending buildings but much fewer numbers, brought up the rear.

It was not from want of a chance that the Protestant could not worship, and the number of emigrants in the neighborhood was so small that the chapel of the Roman Catholic had not yet appeared. Before removing to the country Dawson and his wife had been regular attendants on every Sunday morning, or at least on every not very wet or stormy Sunday morning, at a church of the Episcopal denomination. They went, especially the gentleman, more from a feeling that it was a tribute rendered to propriety than from any other motive. Not that he was an irreligious man; he was simply a careless one. Of religion in the abstract, he professed when he spoke of it, which was very seldom, great respect. He had never been led off either by reading or the influence of companionship to any thing beyond simple indifference. He saw that those who were called “religious people”--“church members”--most of them declined frequenting the opera, or the theatre, or ball-room. He could not understand this--he could not comprehend why what he considered the innocent pleasures of life were to be thus given up. It is true he often met these very persons in the concert-room, or at what he thought very large parties, provided there was no dancing--he could not understand those which he considered distinctions without a difference, except that the music of the concert-room would be improved by scenic representations in costume, or that the scandal of the tea-party might be advantageously broken in upon by the music of the dance. This was the reasoning of one who merely regarded the surface--beyond this he had not penetrated. Religion itself, as a vital, soul-giving principle, he had never studied. A large portion of the Bible was familiar to him--he admired the psalms of David for their exquisite pathos and simplicity--the sublimity of Isaiah, and the mournful imagery of Jeremiah had touched his fancy, but his heart had been unmoved, either by these or the gentle teachings and lofty morality of the New Testament. He read the Bible as he did the works of other great authors, to please his fancy, his imagination, but not as the Book in which choice of life and death, the mode of attaining the one and avoiding the other, is offered to mankind. Maria, like most women, possessed deeply religious sensibilities. The Bible was not to her a sealed book, and she was unconsciously most probably to herself, much influenced in her actions by its teachings. But her mode of life and that of her husband had not been such as to allow it to make any very deep impression on her. Had one charged her with being deficient in religious feeling she would have shrunk back from it with horror. But, in very truth, though the germs may have been planted in her heart, the requisite sun and rain had not yet reached them to mature them. With such views, they had not hastened their motions churchward, and, since their removal, were under some feeling of embarrassment at a first meeting with a congregation all strangers to them.

CHAPTER V.

On the Sunday succeeding the tea-party at Mrs. Holmes’, our hero and heroine solved the problem in regard to their church-going by appearing in the Episcopal church at Euston. Thus it was settled that they did intend to go to church, and also where they intended to go; two very important points for the gossips of the neighborhood. Mr. Dawson had called on the church-warden to obtain a pew a day or two before; the fact was duly communicated to his wife, and by her to some of the ladies of the congregation, so that when the Sunday morning arrived the new comers were duly expected. She would of course be dressed in her best silk dress, made in newest fashion; and her hat of the same material, would also be a glass in which the ladies of Euston could mould their own. Great was the surprise of sundry good ladies, who cast furtive glances over their shoulder, when a young lady of graceful mien and carriage, and who could be no other than the expected one, followed the warden, who politely pointed out their seats to the strangers, up the aisle. Attired in a simple, white muslin dress, with a plain straw hat, slightly trimmed with green ribbon, Maria, holding her little boy by the hand, disappointed expedition. There was no time for criticism, for immediately after the clergyman entered the desk, and as there was no grand preliminary flourish by the organ of some favorite aria from Rossini or Bellini, the services commenced.

They were conducted with an earnest fervor which chained and held the attention of all. There was no attempt at display, but the lofty and sublime beauty of the liturgy was brought out in all its force by the heartfelt utterance of the speaker. The congregation soon seemed to enter into the spirit of the rector. The responses were deep and fervent--the music, plain and unaccompanied by an instrument, seemed to the new arrivers, joined in as it was by the whole congregation, as more expressive of deep devotion than the more finished efforts of the choir, accompanied by a superb instrument, to which they had been accustomed. The sermon which followed was in keeping with what had passed. It was a plain, practical discourse on our duties here as connected with our state hereafter. There was no eloquence, but much earnestness--the sentences were not rounded and polished to the highest elegance of finish, but brief and pithy, and the language strong and nervous, went directly home to the heart and conscience. Although devoid of ornament, it was entirely free from any thing like commonplace, and proclaimed the utterer to be no commonplace man. A few months only settled in the place, he had already made a forcible impression on his people, as was apparent from their manner both during the prayers and the sermon.

Mr. Stapleton was indeed no ordinary man. His talents were more than usually fall to the common herd. They had been highly cultivated, and would fit him to adorn any position to which he might be called. His ambition was, however, to do good to his fellow man. To this all the energies of his mind and heart were directed. Holding sincerely to the distinctive principles of his own denomination, he could yet see in every man a brother. The road to heaven was not in his opinion over one narrow plank, which alone must be trodden in conformity with the creeds and synods of certain men in order to reach it. In his preaching as in his practice, it was justification by faith in a crucified Redeemer who died to save all who sincerely trusted in him. Where disease and sorrow were, there was the rector found--nor were his attentions confined to those who were called of his own denomination--it was enough for him to know that pain or suffering existed to draw him to its home. In humble imitation of his Divine Master, “he went about doing good.” The effects of this were already apparent in many cases--universal respect and esteem awaited him whenever he approached--the careless, the indifferent, the profane, all awarded to him a consistency of life and conduct in keeping with the doctrines and principles he enforced. The influence of such a life in a man placed in such a situation could not but be felt in the surrounding community, and especially among those whose spiritual guide he was--accordingly, already the fruits of it were beginning to be shown in a deeper, and more earnest spirit of devotion in his congregation. Their attendance on the regular services of the church was more numerous and more regular; increasing attention was given by them to the spiritual education of their children through the medium of the Sunday-schools into which he had breathed a renewed vitality.

Yet with all his energy and devotedness in his sacred calling Mr. Stapleton was no bigot, no ascetic. In the social circle no one contributed more largely to the entertainment and amusement of those around him. He took an active interest in the temporal affairs of those among whom he lived--he had a keen relish for the innumerable blessings with which God has strewed our pathway through life, recommending the use, but strongly deprecating the abuse of them; in a word, inculcating both by precept and example temperance in all things.

Such was the man upon whose ministrations the hero and heroine of our tale now for the first time attended. They were unknown to him except by reputation, their former history being familiar to him, and fear of intrusion having thus long deterred him from seeking an acquaintance, which must have been most agreeable to a man of as cultivated a mind and refined taste as his. Now, however, that they had enrolled themselves among his parishioners, the case was different, and in the discharge of his pastoral duties he could seek them out with propriety. This was accordingly done, and Dawson and his wife felt pleasure that among those who were likely to be their future life associates there was one so refined in taste, so cultivated in intellect, so gentlemanly in manner as their pastor. Nor was the pastor on his side less pleased. The charms of conversation with persons of refined taste and cultivation were a source of positive pleasure to him, and of relief to a mind worn by study and anxiety. The lighter literature in which Dawson delighted was not unknown to him, and from the shelves of his new friend (the “back-parlor” had been transformed into the “library”) he could obtain authors of rare merit which his own library did not afford. Maria’s piano and voice were always put into requisition at the pastor’s call, and thus in a comparatively short time an intimacy was established, which under other circumstances would in all probability have only been brought about in months, if not in years.

Let it not be supposed, however, that in his intercourse with the Dawsons, Mr. Stapleton ever lost sight of the great object of his life--the salvation of the souls of his fellow-men. The greater his intimacy became, the more he found himself the habitual frequenter of the house of his new friends, the deeper became his interest, the more anxious his desire to raise their thoughts from the concerns of time to those of eternity. Gradually and gently would he lead the conversation into channels which enabled him to dwell more and more on the thoughts that were nearest and dearest to himself. He found attentive listeners. There were no doubts of a sceptical kind to be overcome. Both Dawson and Maria yielded a belief of the head to all the doctrines of Christianity, to which they had been accustomed to listen from their childhood. With her, too, as she had increased in years, had--in her more thoughtful moments--increased an earnest respect for the precepts which were familiar to her. In the midst of all her former gaiety and splendor, she not unfrequently felt that she was created for some higher and nobler purpose than to pass her life in the frivolities of which she was the center. An aching void, filled--as she thought--first, by her husband, and then still fuller by her children, she could not but at times experience, as who of us has not. Stapleton now showed her that even these cherished objects of affection were not sufficient. These ties death might rend asunder--the cherished objects might be wrested from her, at any rate, for a season; but, that there was one, to whom, if she gave her affections, He never would part from her. To do this, it was not necessary for her to abate one iota of her domestic feelings--the love for those on earth and for Him in heaven were not only compatible with each other, but would actually increase the purity and devotion of each.

So sped away the fall and winter. The new comers had become perfectly at home in their new position. Many and various had been the neighborly calls upon them, which had been duly returned. Strange was the contrast between their new and old acquaintances in much of the outward forms of society, but they both found that beneath these plainer exteriors were frequently met with hearts as large and pure, and minds as strong and vigorous, if not as polished and cultivated, as those to which they had been accustomed. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes had been invaluable adjuncts to both. The former had conveyed many an useful piece of practical knowledge to Dawson, who had entered on his new pursuits with a fixed determination to succeed, and with his mind unfettered by any of those prejudices arising from the fact that “his father had done so before him,” or that “it was the practice in their neighborhood,” was enabled to avail himself of all the improvements which modern skill and the experience of others now bring to the aid of the tiller of the soil. His life was passed in an even, quiet tenor. If his meals were not as luxurious as they once had been, labor of some kind gave to them a most excellent relish, and no butter was ever so good as that which he now ate, for the hands of Maria had made it; no pastry so light and delicious, for the same fair hands had prepared it; no bread so sweet, for she had kneaded it herself; and her light cakes, a recipe from Mrs. Holmes, were pronounced equal to those of that thrifty lady, whose housewifery was the theme of admiration the country round. Thus they conformed themselves to their circumstances; and, in so doing, enjoyed the many blessings Heaven still reserved for them. The children had thriven apace. Harry had learned not only to take care of himself without the assistance of Mrs. Harris and Jenny, but aspired to take charge of the cows, also; being never so happy as when permitted to assist in driving them to and from the pasture-grounds. Little Maria’s great delight, too, was to feed the “chickes,” and baby, left to roll about a good deal by itself, was fast attaining that happy period, when it is its glorious privilege to waddle up and down stairs alone, to the imminent danger of its own neck, and the perpetual alarm of all careful mammas.

But had the true seed sown by Mr. Stapleton produced no fruit during this time?--It had. An increased and more earnest attention to those things of which he spake was seen on the part of both Dawson and his wife. The mode of operation on their minds and hearts was different. He reasoned--she felt. With the almost unerring instinct of the female character she had reached her conclusions, whilst her husband was deliberating with slower reason. She felt that here was the something which was to fill that aching void in her heart, which, despite her ardent affection for her husband and children, she had long felt there. With her usual prompt determination she acted. She communicated her resolves to her husband, whose only reply was a warmer, more fervent kiss than usual. Thus sanctioned by her husband, in the early spring she made a public confession of her faith by joining in that communion a remembrance of a Saviour’s love from which she had before abstained.

Let it not, however, be supposed that this was the result of sudden and hasty determination. Many and earnest were her communings with her own mind. Long and earnest had been her conversations with Mr. Stapleton--attentive and careful her perusal of the sacred volume; and when, at last, after frequent and fervent prayer to God, for enlightenment and guidance, she fully determined to pursue the path she had considered, she felt her heart lightened of a load, and the peace of mind which the world can neither give nor take away.

One care now oppressed her--one desire actuated her: it was that her husband should also join with her in her new profession. To obtain this end was now her constant aim. Fervently did she address her prayers to God for such a consummation. Earnest and loving were her conversations with him. His head and his mind were (she knew) right; but his heart had been untouched. Well she knew, that for her sake he would do almost any thing--but for his own sake it was that the devoted wife, leaning upon his arm as they sometimes rambled together, or, at other times, with her hand resting in his pressed her gentle pleadings upon him. She opened for him such passages of the sacred volume as she thought most suited for him, and then, not unfrequently, retiring to the privacy of her own chamber would throw herself upon her knees, and pour out all her full, gushing soul to God in earnest prayer, that he would touch the heart of her husband and bring him to Him. (God answereth prayer.) Nor were hers in vain; and, oh! who could tell the unutterable joy of that fond heart when, at last, pressing her fondly to his heart, he avowed his determination to join her, on the following Sunday, in an open profession of his Saviour before men, adding--

“To you, my own sweet wife, I owe this change which has come upon me. Your gentle pleadings, your fond prayers have opened this stubborn heart, and prepared the way for the reception of those better things which were hereafter to be his.”

“Not unto me, dearest Henry, not unto me, but unto God above be the praise. Too happy, indeed, am I, if I have been the feeble instrument in His hands of your enlightenment.”

Close we the scene. It would indeed be a privilege, had we the ability, to follow our heroine further. Never had she looked so lovely. A heavenly radiance and serenity shone from her young brow. Her eyes wore a subdued and softened expression which rendered them even more attractive than of old. And how was her care for her children heightened--not for their bodies only, as formerly, but now for their souls. Never afterward did either she or Dawson cast a regretful glance backward, for they felt that, if they had lost the world, they had gained Heaven.

T. R. N.

* * * * *

=FATHER BROMLEY’S TALE.=

=BY WILLIAM ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=

“I will tell you a tale,” said Father Bromley.

Father Bromley sat on the piazza of his cottage, looking over the green breadth of lawn which stretched down to Willow Brook. The sun had just gone down, and the western sky, still a-glow, seemed--seen through the willows--like a splendid tissue--gold and green; and the stream, as it rolled, might have been supposed to have its rise in that strange El Dorado which filled our country’s ancestral dreams. On his right sat his daughter Alice, needing to be but a shade paler to be wrapped in a shroud, and laid to her dreamless sleep with a white rose-bud pressed between her slender fingers, and on his left his other daughter, Margaret, fresh as a June rose at sunrise. The father sat between them; the very pattern of paternal grace and quiet benignity. His worldly cares had been slight, so his face had been left smooth, full, and sunny; so sunny, in fact, that it appeared to have taken and retained the quintessence of every sunbeam which had fallen upon it. But now, like external nature, it had a sort of twilight expression, approaching to spirituality, which would awaken in the beholder an abiding interest, and lead him to pause and study ere he passed. Various circumstances conspired to this--the time, the place, and the proximity of his pale child, propt up with pillows, and almost as ethereal as a moonbeam. For a long time they had been sitting in a deepening silence, which neither wished to disturb; and so absorbed were the two daughters with their own thoughts, that the first words of the gray father fell upon unheeding ears.

“I will tell you a story,” he repeated, after a little pause, and in a firmer tone.

Slowly, and with a sigh, like one awakening from a pleasant dream to an unpleasant reality, Alice lifted the lids, and upturned her eyes, filled with a gathering dreaminess, to the dawning love-look of her only parent. Those deep, dark eyes, they must have known many tears.

“Do let us hear it, papa,” she murmured, “but let it be in harmony with gathering stars and slanting moonbeams, and let it have a true golden tinge from the sunset which lights up the gloaming.”

“And do let us hear it!” echoed Margaret, turning quite away from the moon, which was just rising.

“And of what shall it be?” asked Father Bromley, as he looked inquiringly from one to the other.

“O, something that will please Alice!” returned the sweet girl. “For who knows how many times we shall have it in our power to please her,” she thought but did not say, for all of that household knew that sooner or later death would knock at their door.

There was a long pause, and then Alice said--

“Let it be of the picture, with the angel-face, which hangs in the green parlor?” There must have been strange thoughts suggested by it, for her face in the white moonshine grew a shade paler, and her hands trembled a little, as if nervously affected, but no one noticed it.

There was another pause, and then she continued, as if to explain the reason of her wish--

“I have been reading to-day a beautiful poem, in which a lovely lady died of a broken heart, and her spirit nightly haunted her old home. Thinking on the sad tale, I paused to weep, and sat for a few moments with shut eyes. When I opened them, the first thing that I saw was the portrait, and--will you believe it?--it had acquired a new sadness, such as I never saw on a mortal face. It seemed to be looking at me with an incomprehensible intensity of earnestness; and, as I still gazed, a tear--I saw it as plainly as I see the moon--started in the eyes, and rolled down the face. And then another, and another,” she went on in higher tones, as if trying to impress a burning truth on incredulous listeners, “and all the while it looked at me so sadly--but not with pity, and seemed so to invite me, that I fancied that I heard the lips say--‘Come!’ _That_ was _only_ fancy, but, as I live, I saw it weep.”

Father Bromley looked with deep and tender anxiety upon the pale face at his side. He well knew of a report, formerly current in the house, to the effect that this same picture was seen to shed tears just before the death of any member of the family. But this piece of information he restrained, justly deeming it not pertinent for the occasion. Margaret looked anxious and perplexed, but said nothing; and the father, after a little pause, began--in a low voice--his tale. Let us listen, dear reader, seated attentively on the sward, at the corner of the dim old mansion. We may be as sceptical as we please, since neither of us ever saw a strip of painted canvas, in a gilt frame, weep.

“My great grandfather’s second wife--for so far back his story was to date--was a strange, bad woman. There was no peace in her vicinity. The estate had become involved, and my great-grandfather, knowing her to be possessed of some money, married her. But he always had cause to bitterly rue that day and hour which made her his. He had two daughters--both sweet girls, and she one son, who had inherited all her bad qualities, with an additional coarseness and ugliness of manner, which she--if she possessed it--from superiority of education, seldom showed. Her son, whose name was Andrew, had that sensual perception of beauty which always marks vulgar natures, and he had been but a short time in the family before he gave evidence of the impression which the beauty of the younger sister made upon him. Lisette, from the first, rejected his overtures, and withdrew from his society to that of her elder sister as much as possible; but Andrew, not heeding her contempt, and abetted moreover by his mother, still pressed his suit with all the pertinacity and regardlessness of feeling, which characterize such semi-barbarous beings. The persecuted girl sought her father’s protection, and he, in giving it, alienated from himself the spark of affection which the bosom of the step-mother might have known. From that time she ‘hated him with the hate of hell;’ but, with all the cunning of her perfidious heart, she covered it with a smile. She softened toward her step-daughters, and, by her open advice, Andrew discontinued the attentions which had made him so odious in their sight. All was, seemingly, about to be harmonious and well again, when the father suddenly sickened and died. There were strange circumstances attending his death, which made it to be as much talked of as an eighth wonder. Sturdy men put their bushy heads together, and whispered mysteriously in corners, and old dames--stooping over the few last embers on the hearth, as the hours drew on toward the ghostly midnight--muttered to each other in underbreath, starting ever and anon if the wind but wailed a little louder, or flapped a clapboard which chanced to hang loose. Children whimpered if they were put to bed alone in the dark; and young women, in broad daylight, would not go ten rods unattended over an unfrequented road. Dame Burton had had, for a long time before this, an unfavorable reputation with a few, and the assertions of this few were latterly gaining believers. It was now currently reported that she was in the habit of going, nightly, to the Devil’s Crag, under which was a cave, whose black recesses had never been seen by mortal eye. It was furthermore reported, that whenever any one approached it, a dark vapor issued from its mouth, in the midst of which were sometimes seen two fiery eyes, and ominous voices also added to the fright of whomsoever might chance to be lost or stray in this vicinity.

“The foundation for all this was the testimony of two superstitious woodmen; who, in plying their trade, occasionally ventured into the vicinity, and, besides what has been here told, one of them gave out--as a piece of definite information--that, being one night belated in the neighborhood of the cave, and coming toward home in great terror, he suddenly heard the sound of rapid footsteps, and pausing, he saw Dame Burton come into an open spot not twelve feet from him. Suddenly there appeared a man as black as ebony at her side. Whence he came he could not tell, but his _identity_ was not to be mistaken.

“‘Why are you so late?’ asked the dark personage.

“‘Mercy, mercy!’ cried the cringing dame, piteously.

“But mercy did not seem to be one of his component parts; for, seizing her roughly by the arm, and rushing off with her like lightning through the dense underbrush, he made directly for the cave, leaving nothing but an overpowering smell of brimstone, and a line of blue light, pointing like a guide-board toward the place of rendezvous.

“How the man ever got home he could not tell: but it was not at all uncertain that he did get home, and tell the tale here given to a thousand incredulous hearers.

“Father Burton died and was laid with his fathers, and Esther and Lisette wept together in their sorrow, and arrayed themselves sadly in mourning weeds. The suspicions of their neighbors never troubled them. The thought that their step-mother could be to utterly depraved would have killed them at once, had it entered their minds. The father had not, however, been long gone to rest when they perceived a change in the mother and son. The mother’s face assumed a crafty and hag-like expression, and the son’s face seemed to have gotten a look of stupid cunning quite foreign to it. Except this, for some time, nothing was to be seen; but soon matters took a more overt and decided turn, Andrew again renewed his odious attentions, but with a confidence which he formerly lacked. He was met with the same coldness as before, to which was added an entreaty--coached in the most conciliatory language, to the effect--that he would desist. But coldness and entreaty were alike vain. He still persisted, and Dame Burton, at last, seconded his suit by commanding Lisette, in unequivocal terms, to marry him.

“‘I cannot! I will not!’ said Lisette, with a passionate burst of tears, at the close of an interview in which the matter had been pressed upon her with more than ordinary vehemence and fiendish show of malignity.

“‘Cannot? will not?’ muttered the dame, half to herself and half to her auditor, accompanying the same with an impatient gesture, and a laugh hissed through her closed teeth--‘we will see! we will see!’

“‘I beg to hear no more of this,’ continued the persecuted girl, ‘or I shall expect our poor dead father to come in his shroud to defend me from such cruelty.’

“‘Thy poor dead father in his shroud!’ echoed the step-mother. ‘Ah, ha! it was a good drug--a friendly drug,’ she muttered on in an undertone, ‘a pleasant potion, for a peevish child!’ and then she laughed at her devilish wit. ‘Thy father sleeps well, child. Did thy keen wit ever take exception at the friendly nursing which waited on him to the grave?’

“Lisette started, and looked fearfully at her; but, recovering herself, she proceeded to state her refusal more definitely.

“‘I will took upon thy son as a brother, but do not think I can ever do more. Why will he persist in asking what he has so often been told I cannot give? We are dissimilar, and I cannot love him--but I do not hate him. I repeat, I will continue to regard him as a brother, but in any other light I cannot--ay, I _will_ not--look upon him!’

“Rising with the last words she would have passed from the room, but she was detained.

“‘Dost love another?’ queried the crone, looking her full in the face.

“The blood rushed to the young girl’s cheeks.

“‘Ah! I see! I heard Andrew tell of the young painter, who--’

“Lisette’s face was scarlet.

“‘Let me go!’ she cried impatiently. ‘Have not I told thee that I will not marry thy son?’

“‘But you will! you shall!--you cannot escape me! I will summon every fiend in hell to my aid! I will torture thee to submission!--I will melt thee in the crucible of my wrath!’

“The last words were lost on the object of her anger, and the dame stood with her arms akimbo, and a peculiar exultation of expression, such as a fiend, conscious of his diabolical power might be supposed to wear.

“Lisette rushed to her room, and threw herself, half-fainting, into the arms of her sister.

“‘Strange things at the Burton house, Neighbor Guernsey,’ said Widow Hamersley, as she lighted her pipe, and, having taken an initiatory whiff, drew her chair toward the bright wood fire.

“It was now Autumn, and the winds were growing colder day by day, and the external aspect of Nature more dreary.

“‘Yes, yes,’ returned she who was addressed. ‘Since Mistress Alton lost her two little children in Marsden Forest, who were no doubt eaten of the wolves, there has not been the like of it. I pity poor Esther, who is left all alone with so ungracious a woman as Dame Burton.’

“‘Ay, ay, Neighbor Guernsey. Many a long year have I known this strange woman, and I have yet to discover if there be any good thing in her. And the dolt Andrew is no better man a stupid beast. It has been noised about, that the step-mother has been trying to force the younger girl to marry him. Heaven knows what might happen if the poor child would not yield!’

“Here the widow puffed forth a volume of smoke as large as a small thunder-cloud, and gazed knowingly among the embers.

“‘And the young painter in the village, they say, is going distracted at her loss,’ continued Mistress Guernsey, not observing the drift of the other’s remarks. ‘He has been painting a portrait of her, and now he has left all and gone off to search for her in the woods.’

“‘Small chance of his finding her, Neighbor Guernsey,’ answered the widow, drily; her remarks still tending in a direction which her companion did not perceive. ‘It is no wolf of the forest which will have the pleasure of picking her bones.’

“‘Heaven grant it may be as you say!’ was the reply, referring to the last clause of the sentence, whose ambiguity was unnoticed.

“‘Hast thou not heard tales about this dame?’ asked the widow, dropping her disguise and speaking more openly.

“‘Ay, ay, many a time and oft; tales smacking of mystery and mischief, which boded no good to Dame Burton. They say she has unholy company o’nights in the wood. But, after all, they were only tales about which I knew nothing certain.’

“‘Hast thou not,’ continued the widow, ‘noticed a strange twinkle in her eyes, a shrillness in her voice, and that her hair is becoming coarse and grizzled? What does this portend?’

“‘Alas! I cannot tell,’ replied Mistress Guernsey. ‘There were strange hints when her good man died, and now I bethink me that they might have been true, and the remorse of the inner conscience might thus have developed itself outwardly.’

“Here there ensued a pause, and the two sat awhile quietly listening to the hollow moaning of the wind among the trees of the old forest hard by. Superstition, which always attends ignorance, was a prominent point in the characters of both; but more especially in that of the widow. No doubt she heard demon voices in the wind wailing in the crannies, and fancied the air filled with evil spirits, hurrying like lightning upon their various errands of mischief. When she spoke again her voice quivered, and her frame shook as with an ague-fit.

“‘I tell thee, Mistress Guernsey, I have seen--’ said she, at last, her gaze fixed intently on vacancy.

“‘Seen what?’ asked the other, drawing closer, and looking distrustfully into every corner of the room.

“‘Seen--’ repeated the widow, still looking into vacancy.

“‘Seen what?’ repeated her auditor, drawing still nearer, and looking with still greater scrutiny into all the dark nooks of the apartment.

“But the expected speech still hung half-way between conception and utterance, as if some impalpable auditor were present, who might convey the tale to the ears of the object of both her aversion and fear.

“The sad moaning of the wind filled up the chasm in the conversation, and the subtle influences of the place, and their loneliness, seemed to be rapidly gathering about the two lonely women. The speech was still unspoken, when the thread of the proceedings was broken short by the abrupt entrance of Mistress Hamersley’s son. Whether or not the embryo disclosure might have embodied new and startling developments, or only old statements re-hashed, we cannot tell; but, certain it is that, the vein of mystery was explored no further that night. The son piled new fagots on the fire--the widow refilled and relighted her pipe, and the conversation took a more cheerful turn, and the place took again that air of rude pleasantness which belongs particularly to a farm-house-kitchen, while the weird lady was, for the moment, forgotten.

“As may have been gathered from the remarks in the preceding conversation, Lisette had disappeared, lost, it was supposed, in the forest, into which she sometimes strayed alone; for, as to superstition, she had none of it, and wild animals had mostly retired to a safe distance before the advance of civilization. Every possible means had been tried for her recovery, seconded by apparently every effort of Dame Burton and her son. They seemed inconsolable, and some of those who looked upon her as a slandered person affirmed that she spent the nights for a week in weeping. Esther was now alone and friendless, thrown entirely into the power of these protectors. Surmises and ill-boding opinions passed occasionally from mouth to mouth, but never reached her ears. She wept in silent sorrow away from all intercourse. Thus matters went on for some weeks, until one night, at dusk, Andrew was brought to his mother a corpse. He had been accidentally shot in a hunting excursion. Her sorrow at this occurrence was real. Every other tie had been to her nothing, while this had absorbed all her soul’s capability of affection. She had indulged him in every thing, and had attempted to gratify his every wish. Now that he was gone, all that she possessed was gone, and all her thoughts and deeds glared upon her in all their malignity. She had nothing now to take from herself those hell-hound thoughts which bred in her a bitter remorse. One night she lay by his coffin--another by his grave, and a third she would have spent thus, but they led her away. She yielded as pliantly as a child. Thenceforth, she was completely broken down. She could do nothing more, and all day she sat like a fixture in the chimney-corner, while all the house-affairs fell into Esther’s hands. But, at dusk, the dame would be gone mysteriously for an hour. Esther never questioned concerning it, nor cared; but the ignorant neighbors whispered, wondered, surmised, and told of strange things that happened at these times, until it became so much a matter of course, that nothing more could be said. At the end of a year she married my grandfather Bromley. The portrait of the lost sister was taken from the painter’s studio, and hung in her room. Each succeeding year added a new balm to her wounds, until they seemed so far back in the past, that sometimes she would almost question with herself whether or not they had had actual existence.

“Thus twenty years of married life passed calmly and pleasantly. Sons and daughters were growing up around her in full bloom, and all promised that the afternoon of her life should be peace. Dame Burton had grown old and decrepit, and bent nearly double. Her hair was white as snow, and her face had a sort of blank, passive expression, except at times, when her eyes would glow like half-extinguished coals, and she would start as if some frightful object looked in upon her visions. Through all the long day she sat in the chimney-corner, and never stirred until the bats wheeled in the dusk, and the rude noises of day were displaced by a stillness, so still that the bark of life might be said to move down the noiseless river of time with muffled oars.

“One night, in the early autumn, my grandfather was gone, and my grandmother was left alone with the family. All were quietly at rest before she retired. That day she had been laboring hard and was overwearied, and now a strange restlessness and loneliness of feeling came across her. It was just at the moonrise. The moon came up looking red and angrily over the ripening fields, glistening with dew, near at hand, the mill-pond still and large further off, and the black and massive woods in the distance. Those weird influences were at work, which incline every mind at times to retrospection. And now, as over a dim sea, from a dim seen island, came the memories of the past. She saw, as in a dream, the mother of her childhood, who pressed her childish hand in hers. A few years past, and she saw her die, and felt the intense agony of that moment. A few years more were gone, and she saw the deathbed of her other parent, and felt the keener and more enduring pain which maturer minds must feel. Still farther, and she saw the sister-branch, which had grown side by side with her upon the parental tree, torn rudely away. And now she could think no more. It was too much pain. Turning from the window, she hastily disrobed herself, and dropped wearily upon the bed. It was some time before slumber came, and when it did come it brought a dream. Memory, in the guise of a headless figure with a lantern, seemed to lead her through all the past, which was nothing more than a field covered with brambles and underbrush, and filled with pitfalls into which she continually fell. Her flesh was torn and bloody; but still she went on, and on, and on, and still there was no end.

“She might have slept thus nearly an hour, when she became conscious that there was another presence in the room. She stirred a little, and the village-clock drowsily clanged to tell the midnight. She opened her eyes. The moon was far up, and poured a flood of white light through the casement. A tall, attenuated figure, in a long, loose, and tattered gown, which showed ghostly white, stooped over her.

“The shape stood between the bed and the window, and yet so ethereal was it, that she seemed to see the casement, the climbing moon, and the white church spire, as though nothing intervened. But the face, so ghastly white, so thin with want and woe--cross-lined and interlined--and the eyes--so faded and expressionless, she had never seen any thing like it.

(Here Margaret pressed her father’s arm, and pointed to Alice, whose fingers were quivering like aspen-leaves--but he did not pause.)

“Like two pictures on a wall, her imagination placed the image of her lost sister beside this form, so unlike in every particular. The conclusion was irresistible. It was her sister, or--as her disturbed fancy would rather indicate--her ghostly representative. Overcome by her emotions she fainted, and when she recovered, the visitor was gone. She lay quite still, in her terror, until the approach of dawn, and then arising, she dressed herself all in a tremor, and prepared to descend. All was still as death, for it lacked a half-hour yet of sunrise. She heard Chanticleer’s shrill cry without, just as he emerged from his dormitory, and she noticed a cricket’s sharp voice within, and even the tick of a death-watch in the wall fell distinctly on her ears. A chill crept over her, like the forerunner of some frightful calamity.

(Here Margaret pressed the narrator’s arm again, but with the same success as before.)

“She crept, rather than walked down the stairs, and peeped through the kitchen door, which stood ajar. The eastern shutter was swung partially back, and admitted a streak of the cold, gray light of dawn, which fell upon the features of the midnight visitor, who sat erect at one side of the room. She did not stir, though Esther, staggering in her terror, thrust the door back with considerable noise. Perfectly still she sat, gazing, as if in fright, at the hideous face of old Dame Burton, who sat a little more in the dusk, regarding her attentively. The old crone was inclined a little forward, her shriveled lips separated in a grin, and one lean finger threateningly raised in a gesture which said more than words. Neither spoke; but, cold, still, and pale, they gazed at one another, and then was felt around--

‘A smell of clay, a pale and icy glare And silence----’”

“See, see!” exclaimed Margaret.

Alice sat motionless, with her head thrown slightly back, and her face whiter than the moonbeams which fell upon it.

“What is this?” asked Father Bromley.

“It is Death!” shrieked Margaret.

* * * * *

=HOURS IN AUGUST.=

=BY MRS. J. H. THOMAS.=

Softly as the star-beam slideth From its halls of blue; Gently--gently as it glideth Lily bells into-- And, with kisses unimpassioned, Greets the vestal dew-- Falls this mellow August sunlight, Darling! upon you.

Warmly through the bending branches,-- Through the slumbrous air-- Like a thought of joy it glances On thy forehead fair; Softly wreathing o’er the midnight Of thy shining hair, Till the gleam of starry pinions Seems to linger there.

Sweetest eyes of softened splendor On me faintly beam; Lips most proud, and yet most tender, Move as in a dream; While our boat beneath the willows Sleeps upon the stream-- Moveless, save its idle rocking In the golden gleam.

Hours of faint and drowsy sweetness ’Mid the silence go-- Idle hours, that care or fleetness Scarcely seem to know;-- Lightly rest! nor dream thou, darling, Of time’s onward flow, Till, upon yon wall of sapphire, Sunset banners glow.

Then, from out the brooding silence, Softly will we glide Past the myriad happy islands Sleeping on the tide; Home with joy! though hours as golden Long must be denied, Clasping thus their haunting sweetness Naught we’ll ask beside.

* * * * *

=ANNIE.=

=BY D. W. BARTLETT.=

Her brow is very beautiful-- The lily’s spotless hue; Her eyes, which ever follow me, Are heaven’s own blue; Like rose-buds are her little lips, Her motions full of grace, And spiritually clear and fair Her innocent young face.

Her smile is sunshine to my heart, Her silver voice a tune I always love to hear--her breath Like that of flowers in June; She is my first, my only child, And has no mother’s love To gather closely round her heart-- _She_ is in light above!

Her snow-white arms are round my neck. Her lips my own do seek, Her curls of silken, golden hair Fall down upon my cheek; I hear her voice and watch her eyes, And whisper low--“above Such voices fill the air--and there There be such eyes of love!”

When trouble fills my aching breast And I am grief’s sad prey, Her prattling lips and gentle glee Drive all the gloom away; She lays her head upon my heart And hushes every sigh: I dare not think how cold the world Would be if _she_ should die!

* * * * *

=THE USEFUL ARTS IN OTHER NATIONS AND TIMES.=

=BY CHARLES WILLIAMS.=

For several centuries after the irruption of the Barbarians and the fall of Rome, there are scarce any visible traces of the existence of those manufactures which attained so high a development in the old world. This remark, of course, applies merely to Europe, for arts and refinement still continued uninjured in the Eastern empire; and thence, on the revival of Italian commerce, the knowledge of many inventions and useful arts flowed westward. In the ninth century, the inhabitants of the cities in Italy began to rebuild their ancient walls; and the security conferred by fortified towns, together with the union of their citizens for mutual defense, soon caused a decided advance in the useful arts. Their progress was necessarily slow, in consequence of many disturbing political and social evils. We will give a few examples from an ancient historian[11] cited by Muratori, to show the condition of the most civilized country of Europe in the former half of the thirteenth century.

He mentions the barbarous dress that still prevailed--that a man and his wife ate from the same plate--that one cup sufficed for the use of a whole family--that gold or silver were rarely or never seen for ornament in dress--that war was still the glory of the men. But the more refined ecclesiastics even then contrived to gather luxuries around them, brought by reviving commerce from the East. And that at this age considerable display could be made on grand occasions, will be well shown by the account given of the French soldiers and the procession on the entry of Beatrice into Naples, A. D. 1266. The writer above quoted says, that “all of them were tastefully dressed, and wore beautiful plumes, while their chiefs were notably adorned with large golden collars; and the carriage of the queen covered with silken velvet, dyed sky-blue, and sprinkled with golden lilies.” Carriages, says the authority cited, were very rare. The “many ladies of rank, glittering with precious robes, and sitting on their richly caparisoned, ambling palfreys,” complete the view of a characteristic scene of the times. It is impossible to read such descriptions without feeling in its full force the statement of Hallam, that the revival of commerce and arts must be dated much earlier than the thirteenth century.

One of the earliest movements in this revival is to be seen in the woolen manufactures of Flanders, which were so flourishing in the thirteenth century, that a contemporary writer asserts “that all the world was clothed with English wool wrought in Flanders.” Brabant and Hainault were also the seat of the same manufacture; and the fabrics woven in the factories of the Netherlands were, doubtless, extensively diffused. We need scarcely observe, that the attainment of this perfection mast have been a work of some time.

Cologne, Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp became centres of manufactures and commerce; whilst the origin of the Hanseatic League gave a new impulse in the north to the progress of the useful arts. In the early part of the fourteenth century a system of trading commenced between the north and south of Europe; and the free application to navigation of the discovery of the magnetic needle--a discovery made in Europe about A. D. 1200, and long unapplied--vastly increased commercial intercourse, and, as a necessary consequence, the home manufactures of nations. The Italian towns, especially Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, first raised to importance by the Crusades, took a leading part in the general movement, and became the channels through which the East poured her riches and the knowledge of her arts into Europe. The southern French provinces were not behindhand. Marseilles--where the spirit at commercial enterprise had never wholly died away--Narbonne, Nismes, and Montpellier, were all distinguished for prosperity and growing wealth. The invention of a system of banking, which we find in operation so early as 1400 A. D., deserves to be mentioned, as one of the most influential causes of the rapid growth which followed. England, indebted to her neighbors for the origin of so many of her manufactures, entered the lists late, though destined eventually to outstrip all competitors.

During the unsettled periods at which we have been glancing, agriculture was, of course, neglected; but toward the end of the thirteenth century we find that it has shared in the general revival, and that the plains of Lombardy present the appearance of one vast garden. Indeed, the prospect of Italy was then far more pleasing than that which there meets the traveler’s eye in our own times.

A few words on the progress of the art of building. The first Gothic architecture--correctly so named--appears to have arisen from an imitation of Roman remains, and the combination therewith of rude barbaric notions. The round arch still remained the predominant feature of construction; and the less finished works of this period, with their undeveloped style, deserve the name of “Gothic,” which is now generally restricted to the designation of them. In the twelfth century, however, the introduction of the pointed arch marked a new era in the art of building, and was the beginning of that skill and taste which produced the magnificent architectural monuments inherited by us from the middle ages. Clustered pillars, carved mullions, foliations, and graceful tracery, quickly followed the introduction of this new element; and the union of strength with lightness, of which the flying buttress affords a beautiful example, was carried to as high a point of perfection as the material would allow. To the introduction of the pointed arch Venice may, perhaps, lay claim; and the rise of her palaces amid the waters of the Adriatic, probably marked the origin of many other improvements in construction. One of these, which lies at the very root of modern skill in house building--we mean the framing of timber floors--may be assigned to her artificers. Houses were thenceforward built in stories, and skill in this respect soon issued in domestic works, which in utility and outward beauty surpassed the ancient dwellings. These improvements were soon adopted elsewhere, from the ninth and tenth centuries downward.

The Moorish architecture, introduced into Europe by the Arabian conquerors of Spain, early attained a high development. One singular characteristic of this style,--the horse-shoe arch--must be specially mentioned, as a new feature in construction; and its shape was, perhaps, suggestive of the dome, universal in the later Mohammedan architecture. Slender pillars, profuse decorations in painting, mosaic, and stucco, with elaborate lattice and trellis-work, and perforated battlements, so intricate as to resemble network, are the other points for remark in Moorish buildings. The polish and refinement of the Saracens distinguished them wholly from the rude barbarians of the North. They did not invade to destroy, but to improve; and so early was the development of their architecture, that one of their most splendid remains, the mosque at Cordova, was erected in the beginning of the ninth century--a period which could show nothing so beautiful elsewhere. The celebrated Alhambra--the palace of the Moorish kings of Granada--is some three centuries later, and must be alluded to here as the highest development of the luxurious Eastern style. The perfect state in which parts of this celebrated Moorish palace still remain, is elegantly thus described by a modern writer,[12] in his notice of the “Court of Lions” and the surrounding halls:--“Here the hand of time has fallen the lightest, and the traces of Moorish elegance and splendor exist in almost their original brilliancy. Earthquakes have shaken the foundations of this pile, and rent its rudest towers; yet, see, not one of those slender columns has been displaced--not an arch of that light and fragile colonnade has given way; and all the fairy fretwork of these domes, apparently as unsubstantial as the crystal fabrics of a morning’s frost, yet exist, after the lapse of centuries, almost as fresh as if from the hand of the Moslem artist.”

In following the course of invention and rediscovery during the middle ages, and in subsequent times, we see two main causes of the superiority of our own useful arts to those of the ancients--the extended application of mechanical and chemical science. The discovery of the various problems in mechanics, which paved the way for the multiplication of human force, and the introduction of new motor powers, occupied chiefly the latter half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. The treatises of Stevinus and Galileo, with the first dawnings of the discovery of the steam-engine, appear to mark a new era, and prepare the way for those wonderful applications of moving power which have changed the face of the manufacturing world. The subsequent train of discovery is far too comprehensive for our limits, and ends at length in that crowning development of machinery--the Calculating Machine of Mr. Babbage. We need only mention that, by this extraordinary instrument, some processes of numeric and algebraic calculation may be effected, to an extent hitherto unattainable by mathematicians.

A short view of the progress of the art of clockmaking, will well illustrate a gradual advance made in the application of mechanics to the uses of daily life. Striking clocks were known in Italy probably as early as the end of the thirteenth century--one other strong proof that we must date the revival of arts much earlier than that period. Their existence becomes certain about the middle of the fourteenth; probably at that period they were general. These clocks were all moved by the action of weights; and, though furnished with balance regulators, were still very inaccurate. Next followed the introduction of a spring as the moving power, marking a new era in the art. Then came the age of mechanical discovery, producing Galileo’s observation of the vibration of the pendulum in nearly equal times, whether the spaces traveled through were large or small. So valuable a discovery could not long remain dormant; and we find, accordingly, that it was applied by the discoverer, or, in a better form, by Huyghens, to the regulation of time-pieces by means of the pendulum. The advance of chemical science soon showed a source of error in the unequal size of the pendulum, caused by alternate expansion and contraction of the metal due to change of temperature. This was remedied by the use of the jar filled with mercury as a pendulum; and subsequently by the employment of a pendulum formed of different metals, so arranged that their different expansions should mutually balance each other. The mutual connection between the art of making clocks and the science of astronomy, in which each has alternately borrowed and lent so much, is an excellent illustration of the many points in which the useful arts are brought into contact with higher provinces. The remaining improvements would fill volumes, and we cannot pretend to enter more fully into them.

In our estimate of causes at work during the middle ages, we must not forget that the alchemists exercised a very important influence. Their doctrine, that all the metals are compounds of the constituent parts of gold mingled with baser matters, which could be separated by the action of the philosopher’s stone, exercised eventually a powerful influence on the progress of arts. The long and patient research of the “adept” after this magic agent for turning all it touched to gold, though prompted by cupidity, resulted in many chemical discoveries and adaptations, and brought to light various useful products, for which, perhaps, we might long have waited, had not this strong motive been rooted in the minds of philosophers of the middle ages.

The invention of printing will be noticed elsewhere; and the comparative state of the useful arts in Europe may be estimated from their history in our own country. It remains for us here to notice, in a supplemental manner, one or two branches of art which will not be elsewhere included. By this means we shall better illustrate a subject into which we cannot pretend to enter fully.

In the preceding pages, the use of silk by the Greeks and Romans has been merely glanced at, because the tissues which they employed were strictly of foreign production. We will now shortly notice a manufacture, the history of which will illustrate many preceding remarks. Its origin must be assigned to China, where it doubtless reached a highly perfect state, before any other nations acquired an acquaintance with the mode of producing or working the raw material. It is probable that silk-worms were reared in China, and their cocoons extensively employed, 2700 years before the Christian era. The raw material subsequently was exported to Persia, Tyre, Berytus, and elsewhere, till, in our westward progress, we find the island of Cos receiving and manufacturing it. In the Augustan age silks were still rare, even in Rome, the centre of all luxuries; and so late as the third century it was deemed a display of wanton profusion for an emperor to dress entirely in silk.

In the sixth century, some Persian monks, who had penetrated into China, gained an acquaintance with the source whence silk is derived--a secret till then guarded with scrupulous care. They brought back with them to Constantinople a quantity of eggs enclosed in a hollow cane, which produced “the progenitors of all the generations of silk-worms which have since been reared in Europe and the western parts of Asia.” For nearly six hundred years, Constantinople and the territories of the Greek empire continued to monopolize the production of silken fabrics; till, in the twelfth century, the manufacture was introduced into Sicily, and thence successively into Italy, Spain, and France; until, finally, it reached England. The culture of the mulberry-tree was extensively introduced wherever the climate permitted. Bologna, Modena, Venice, Genoa, and Florence were all noted for their silk manufactures, and produced silken tissues for the rest of Europe; till, in the sixteenth century, the rearing of the worm and the weaving of silk were introduced into Lyons and the south of France, since which period the French have acquired and maintained a superiority in this branch of the useful arts. In this historical sketch we may observe many important points:--First, we see a manufacture in a stationary state of high perfection for thousands of years in the East; then follows its slow progress westward during the ages of Greece and Rome; next the loss to Italy and Europe of the bare knowledge of the material product, on the fall of the Roman empire; then the revival and cultivation of the manufacture in the metropolis of the Eastern empire; succeeded by its introduction thence into Sicily, and a rapid improvement effected by the enterprise of Italian cities; till, finally, it spread wherever circumstances were favorable. The account of any such manufacture well remembered, is a kind of epitome of the history of the time through which we mark its progress. To make the sketch true in all its parts we need only add, that a Frenchman invented a loom to make woven silks, whose patterns rival the slow produce of Eastern patience, while England has shown her accustomed superiority in the effecting by machinery of all processes required antecedent to weaving.

We have mentioned the singular manner in which the ancient Greek art of vase painting died away, without apparent cause. The reappearance of the same art early in the middle ages is due, probably, to the Moors, but whence derived by them, or whether reinvented, or how retained in the world during so many centuries, are all curious questions. But, be this as it may, the manufacture of porcelain vases, where color and enamel were carried to high perfection, with their arabesques, heraldic devices, portraits, or landscapes, and an endless variety of form, whether grotesque or tasteful, was much pursued in the fourteenth century. The beautiful Majolica vases, of which one illustration will be found standing side by side with a characteristic Moorish jar, were part of a branch of manufacture which again perished in Italy to revive elsewhere. The two vases tell each an interesting story. No one can glance for one moment at the Moorish vessel, with its singular shape and arabesque ornament, without feeling that it is the monument of a people that stood alone. As little can we regard the vase of Majolica or Raffaelle ware, without the thought of that singular coincidence in things, small as well as great, between the Italian republics and their ancient Grecian counterparts.

A short epitome of the Majolica manufacture is given as follows in a recent work:--“Small plates for ice and sweetmeats, about a palm in diameter; children’s plates, with paintings in the style of the Festa di Ballo; nuptial vases with appropriate subjects; vases for holding different kinds of wine, poured out from one spout; fiaschini, or small flasks, in the shape of lemons and apples; cups covered with tendrils and other quaint devices; small statues of saints; jocose figures; birds of every kind, colored after nature; painted tiles, used for walls and floors, many of them admirably executed, show the great variety and excellence of this ware.”[13] On the decay of the art in Italy, it was revived in other forms in France and Germany. The singular accidental discovery of the art of making the hard paste porcelain, which, till the beginning of the seventeenth century, was confined to the East, will furnish one instance of the many debts due to the alchemists. A persecuted German, named Böttcher, whilst prosecuting his forbidden researches for the philosopher’s stone, unexpectedly found that some of his crucibles assumed the appearance of Oriental porcelain. Carefully noting the substances on which he had been experimenting, he worked incessantly, sometimes spending many days and nights, without a moment’s intermission, by the side of his furnace, till at length he perfected his knowledge of processes which originated the beautiful manufactures of Dresden. The secret spread through Austria and France, giving rise in the latter country to the celebrated Sèvres china; and the proscribed research in a forbidden mine terminated in the happy industry of thousands of workmen.

The progress of maritime discovery, and the new impulse given thereby to commercial and industrial progress, has been briefly noticed. But while compelled by our narrow limits to pass by, with a hasty word of mention, the enterprise which raised the Venetians and Dutch to the rank of leading powers in Europe, and which conferred the treasures of Africa and remotest India upon the Portuguese nation, the rise of the Spanish power in the new world must be noticed more fully, as opening a new and peculiar phase of civilization to our view. The singular state of society among the Aztec race at the period of the Spanish conquest of Mexico is doubly interesting, from the striking contrast which it presented to any thing in the old world; and from the fact that it shows us the highest point of a development, the progress of which no traces remain to illustrate. Suddenly transported from the stirring scenes of martial enterprise and reviving industry of Europe in the middle ages, the steel-clad Spaniard found himself among nations where the blindest and most abject superstition stood side by side with social refinement; where the prevailing mildness of manners was no bar to the dreadful orgies of human sacrifice; and where the busy industry of millions had been for ages raising the pyramid of art and science, in complete isolation from their brethren of the old world.

Various points of resemblance will be noticed by the reader between the arts of these American races and those of ancient Egypt. For instance, the pyramidal temples found by the Spaniards on their first invasion much resembled the Egyptian structures, in their form, and were constructed of solid masses of earth encased with stone or brick facing. They differed from Egyptian pyramids in being higher proportionally to the size of the base. They were ascended by external stairs, and were arranged in several stories. The area at the summit was surmounted by towers;--sanctuaries where the images of their gods were erected, and where the horrid stone for human sacrifice stood, close by the altars, on which a never-dying fire was burning.

Another point of close similarity between the Aztecs and the ancient Egyptians was seen in the employment of hieroglyphic writing, or rather painting, by both people. Their laws, their annals, their rituals, and their business documents, were all expressed by this rude representation of painted figures, often gross caricatures in their execution. “Their manuscripts were made of different materials--of cotton-cloth or skins nicely prepared; of a composition of silk and gum; but for the most part of a fine fabric from the leaves of the aloe.” A sort of paper was made from this, resembling somewhat the Egyptian papyrus, which, when properly dressed and polished, is said to have been more soft and beautiful than parchment. Some of the specimens still existing exhibit their original freshness, and the paintings on them retain their brilliancy of colors. “The large leaves were folded square like books, or done up into a roll in the ancient manner. The arrangement of the picture letters was horizontal or perpendicular, and the reading in the former case probably from right to left.”[14]

The cultivation of the soil was skillfully pursued by the Aztec people. Their irrigation, farm buildings, and agricultural processes, were excellent; while the large fields of maize, the banana, the cacao or chocolate plant, the useful aloe, the vanilla, and a crowd of splendid garden plants, furnished them with all necessaries and many luxuries on almost too easy terms. A description of the uses of the aloe or agave plant, from the pen of the eloquent author just cited, is highly interesting:--“Its bruised leaves afforded a paste from which paper was manufactured; its juice was fermented into an intoxicating beverage, _pulque_, of which the natives to this day are excessively fond; its leaves further supplied an impenetrable thatch for the more humble dwelling; thread, of which coarse stuffs were made, and strong cords, were drawn from its tough and twisted fibres; pins and needles were made of the thorns at the extremity of its leaves; and the root, when properly cooked, was converted into a palatable and nutritious food. The _agave_, in short, was meat, drink, clothing, and writing materials for the Aztec.”[15]

The Mexicans were well acquainted with the usual mining operations for procuring gold, silver, lead, and tin. Iron was unknown to them, and we find bronze fulfilling a variety of uses, just as among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Very perfect tools were made from this compound of tin and copper; vessels of gold and silver were cast and chased, some of them of an enormous size; in the working of ornamental jewelry, and in the cutting of precious stones, their artificers highly excelled. A hard mineral substance--obsidian, furnished the material for their hardest tools--their axes, knives, razors, and swords. Their sculpture still evidences skill in workmanship, though the designs may be barbarous; and the mechanical skill which could raise and transport so large a monument as a porphry stone of fifty tons weight, without the aid of beasts of burden, from a distance of many leagues, cannot have been contemptible. They employed utensils of lacquered wood or of earthenware, and in the art of pottery were so advanced, that it was said by a historical writer of Europe, “There is no fictile vessel among ourselves which in skill of construction excels the vases formed by them.” And this, too, at a time when the fictile art was at a high pitch of excellence in Europe. Cotton was raised abundantly in the suitable localities; was woven into fabrics, sometimes beautifully fine; and these in turn made into a kind of armor by thickly quilting. Or it was interwoven with the “delicate hair of rabbits and other animals, which union produced a cloth of great warmth as well as beauty, of a kind altogether original; and on this they often laid a rich embroidery of birds, flowers, or some other fanciful device.”[16]

The reader will remember the feather tapestry to which allusion has been made in the account of Greek and Roman art. It is singular to turn after the lapse of centuries and find this fabric in a more perfect form, and applied to an infinite variety of purposes, among a newly-discovered people, whose very existence was undreamt of by the ancient world. The gaudy plumes of the tropical birds most naturally have suggested their employment for dress or ornament, and the art of working them made so great progress as to have become a characteristic of the industry of the people. Tapestry and mantles of these materials could not be excelled, in brilliancy of hue and softness to the touch, by the most elaborate tissues of the loom.

The scenes which everywhere met the eyes of the Spanish invader denoted a state of refinement and luxury, in some points forcibly reminding us of counterparts in Eastern life. One main cause of this development was perhaps the singular contrast which Mexican society offered to that of Greece, Rome, or modern monarchies, in the fact that trade was not only honorable in itself, but a pathway to high political dignity.

The list of articles given by Mr. Prescott, as the tributes paid to the royal revenue, will furnish an epitome of many manufactures and products. “There were cotton dresses and mantles of featherwork exquisitely made; ornamented armor; vases and plates of gold; gold dust, bands, and bracelets; crystal, gilt, and varnished jars and goblets; bells, arms, and utensils of copper; reams of paper; grain, fruits, copal, amber, cochineal, cocoa, wild animals and birds, timber, lime, and mats.”[17]

The regularity of plan in the chief cities, which so forcibly struck the eye of the Spaniard; the solid structures of stone, often reared amid the waters of their lakes on a foundation of piles; the vast temples before described; aqueducts only second, perhaps, to those of Rome or Peru; vast solid dykes, and roads of masonry which vied in stability with those of ancient Rome, everywhere attested a high state of constructive skill; while baths, gardens, canals covered with light craft, and sculptures in an infinite variety of form, generally grotesque, may be added to the details already given of the results of Mexican civilization.

There is nothing in the old world, says Mr. Stephens, like the ruins of the cities of Central America, which he so completely explored. The pyramidal structures are not complete in themselves like those of Egypt. They form parts of a whole, have no cells in their interior, and were mostly employed as the foundations for other buildings; nor are the single stones, used for images and ornaments, to be compared in vastness of proportion to Egyptian obelisks. The conclusion arrived at by the writer above quoted is, that in these cities we are presented with “the spectacle of a people skilled in architecture, sculpture, and drawing, and, beyond doubt, other more perishable arts, and possessing the cultivation and refinement attendant upon these, not derived from the old world, but originating and growing up here, without models or masters, having a distinct, separate, independent existence; like the plants and fruits of the soil, indigenous.”[18]

These edifices were constructed probably by the people who occupied the country at the time of the Spanish invasion, not by earlier races; and a short account of some of the more remarkable remains will be here added, to complete the picture of civilization in the new world already presented to the reader.

The remains never reveal the existence of the true arch, and herein are similar to most primitive architectural structures. The substitute in use was, to make the stones gradually overlap each other, until they approached close together in the centre of the doorway or passage to be roofed, when one more stone was added to complete the pointed arch thus formed.

Of the various cities described by Mr. Stephens, we shall take Copan as an example; lying in one of the most fertile valleys in Central America. This city extended along the river Copan for more than two miles. The great feature in the remaining ruins is the vast temple, which presents a line of survey of 2866 feet. “The front or river wall extends on a right line north and south 624 feet, and is from 60 to 90 feet in height. It is made of cut stones, from three to six feet in length, and a foot and a half in breadth. The other three sides consists of ranges of steps and pyramidal structures, rising from 30 to 140 feet in height on the slope.”

The numerous idol columns situated among the ruins of Copan, and elaborately sculptured into rude forms, will be best understood from the drawing of one of the most celebrated, which may be seen in the frontispiece to the work of Mr. Stephens. Altars of great variety in form, covered with sculptures and the mysterious hieroglyphic writing; rectangular court-yards, with ranges of steps ascending to raised terraces; and the scattered remains of gigantic sculpture, are the most striking features in the existing ruins. The carvings in stone display almost a perfection in the mere manual art, and show that the metallic substitutes for modern tools must have been excellent; while the beautiful representations of dresses and ornaments contrast agreeably with those repulsive forms in which they chose to embody their ideas of divine beings.

The remains of a palace at Palenque, also of considerable size, built of stone, faced with stucco, and painted in various bright colors, display the proficiency of the ancient inhabitants in other branches of industry. Their cement and mortar are said to equal those found in Roman remains; stucco ornament was extensively employed; and the hieroglyphics, bas-reliefs, and other ornamented sculptures are fully as remarkable as those of Copan. Feather head-dresses; ear-rings, necklaces, medallions, bracelets, and girdles are beautifully carved in stone, as ornaments of the sculptured figure. Some bas-reliefs are in stucco, but this is more common for borders and other minor ornaments. The area of the building was inclosed by two parallel corridors, surrounding it on all sides; and the main feature was a large rectangular court-yard, 80 feet long by 70 broad. Other court-yards of less size, and a variety of apartments filled up the area. Did our space permit, there could scarcely be a more pleasing task than to follow the wanderings of Mr. Stephens among the ruined cities of Yucatan, of which he has discovered no less than forty-four; but enough has been said to show the skill of the ancient inhabitants, the monuments of which excited such lively wonder in the breasts of the Spaniards.

It would, doubtless, be interesting to carry our view southward into the region of Peru, and to describe the monuments of a civilization on a par with that of the Aztecs, though apparently unconnected therewith in its origin. The immense extent of many Peruvian works; their roads, sometimes nearly 2000 miles in length, and constructed of masonry equally solid with any remains of antiquity; their subterranean aqueducts for the irrigation of dry lands, extending for hundreds of miles; their edifices of porphyry, granite, or brick, all displayed skill in the useful arts concurrent with that of the ancient Mexicans. In some points they were even superior, for while the Aztec race passed to the agricultural mode of life without gaining any acquaintance with the utility of domestic animals, or the economy of pastoral subsistence; on the contrary, we find that the Peruvians were masters of immense flocks of llamas, alpacas, and two other varieties of sheep, which furnished them with valuable supplies of fine wool for clothing, and with flesh for food.

A description of the manufactures and arts of the Peruvians would be so closely similar in its details to that already given of the Aztecs, that we may here dismiss the subject with this remark--that the former were superior to their northern neighbors in the designing and construction of public works of importance, but far inferior to them in the art of expressing their thoughts by signs, and generally in intellectual acquirement. The curious arrangement of knotted cords, by which the Peruvians recorded events, is, perhaps, among the most rude of all barbarous inventions. Curiously enough, similar knotted cords, in modern times, have been used as alphabet and books for the blind.

When, from the busy scene of European revival and progress, of which we have remarked a few features, we turn our view to the nations of the East, how strikingly contrasted is the prospect! Instead of the turmoil of change, the hurry after new inventions, the disuse of old customs and processes, we see the life of art to be one steady, even tenor. It seems almost as if a law had been laid down in the very nature of the inhabitant of those climes--“Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.” He appears to have reached a point of perfection in many manufactures, in times so early that their history is fabulous; and to have scarcely improved his position during the lapse of thousands of years.

This singular want of advance beyond a certain point, together with many peculiarities in the industrial condition of the Chinese, combine to render a notice of this curious people indispensable to the present article.

“Time,” says the writer in the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” “may be said to stand still in China.” Half-burnt bricks, mud, clay, and wood still continue to be the ordinary materials of their architecture, as they were three thousand years ago. The case is precisely the same with the minor points of dress and fashion. There a young lady may safely wear the head-dress of her great grandmother, without the imputation of being singular or old-fashioned.

Their buildings are singularly monotonous in form and plan--the thatched hut of the meanest peasant, with its walls of mud, is scarcely lower in point of design than the palace of the viceroy. Their houses are low, furnished with overhanging roofs, uninterrupted by a single chimney; their windows are fitted with poor substitutes for glass, in the shape of oiled paper, gauze, or a transparent shell; the houses of a town are crowded together, and with the flag-staffs and ornamental streamers produce quite a camp-like effect. But the gaudy decoration of their shops--the brilliancy of their painted lanterns--the bustle and confusion of traffic, and the hilarity of the motley crowd would soon undeceive the spectator, and convince him that he is anywhere but in the seat of war. The domestic furniture--the couches, the stoves, the china vessels, the painted fans, and cabinets, and the beautiful materials for dress--bespeak a great deal of comfort, though they may display but little taste. Four points are said to be peculiarly characteristic of the Chinese, as compared with other Oriental nations--“they sit on chairs, eat off tables, burn wax candles, and cover the whole body with clothing.” But many others place them in a position enviable when compared with that of their neighbors. The internal communication in their country is admirably provided for by the numerous canals which everywhere intersect the whole empire, and unite their large navigable rivers into one vast network for traffic. These canals are crowded by barges, varying with the size and depth of the channel; some of them worked by paddle-wheels, moved by machinery, and well fitted up for the conveyance of passengers or goods. In fact, traveling in China is quite luxurious, though not very speedy. The voyager makes a home of his boat for the time being, and lives as comfortably as in his own house. There is but little road-traveling or land-carriage in the Celestial Empire.

The Chinese, with all their defects, contrive to produce some articles superior to the counterparts of European manufacture. Their vermilion, prepared from the same cinnabar which we ourselves employ, is far brighter than ours; the blue colors on their china are more perfect; while, in the ingenious carving of ivory into fans, pagodas, or nested balls, no other artists can vie with them. Their large horn lanterns are inimitable; their gongs cannot be made in Europe, though we know the metal; their silver filagree work, lacquered cabinets, engraved stones and gems, are all works of great skill. In the productions of the loom they are scarcely equalled by French manufacturers; their silks, satins, embroidery and tassels are unsurpassed; while in the variety of their spices and perfumes, and the excellence of their paper, ink and printing, they may challenge the world. And yet the old customs of primitive times--the domestic weaving and dyeing, still continue the same as in those days when the beautiful tissues found their way into Greek and Roman houses. But, while praising the excellence of their works, we only allude to the finished product--the process is generally primitive, the tools are simple, and the artificer almost unassisted by machinery.

Their agriculture has been over-praised--their plows hardly merit the name--they have no succession of crops--simple rice is the staff of life, and their only claim to superior merit appears to be in the general practice of irrigation. The white mulberry-tree is grown in vast quantities to supply the silk-worm with food, and in the middle provinces large fields of cotton and patches of indigo are frequent. The tea-plant is cultivated extensively, only in particular provinces, but grows every where in gardens and inclosures. The leaves are gathered from the middle of April to the middle of May, and are exposed to heat in iron pans. A high temperature produces the black-teas; while the leaves exposed to less heat form the green teas. The berry of the tea-plant affords a fine oil for the table. Tobacco is in universal cultivation and use.

A curious feature in the Chinese character is visible in their import trade. So rigidly exclusive are they, that nearly all foreign produce must be imported in Chinese ships; and further, the great bulk of such imports is collected by colonies of Chinese, who reside in the countries furnishing the supply, and retain their utter isolation even in the midst of foreigners. These imports are considerable, and some of them curious. They are thus enumerated: “From Java alone they import birds’ nests to the value of half a million dollars annually; the sea-slug (_Holothuria_) from the coast of New Holland, Timor, and adjoining islands, to a still greater extent; sharks’ fins from the same quarter; copper from Japan, and tin from Bantam; pepper, areca-nut, spices of different kinds, ebony, sandal-wood, red-wood for dyeing, tortoise-shell, pearl-shell, coral, camphor, wax, and a variety of articles generally produced or collected by their own countrymen resident in the islands of the East.”[19]

In returning homeward from the distant regions of the Celestial Empire, could we but pause for a short time to survey the vast continent of Hindûstan, we should find ample materials for description and comment. We should behold a country destined by the bountiful gifts of nature to be the inexhaustible source of wealth and luxury through all time, yet still itself in the infancy of development. We should see again the characteristic Eastern skill and patience, which, without the aid of machinery and the mighty assistance of the division of labor, can rival, in the beauty of their products, the most finished works of European art. And we should look forward with hope and trust to a time when the universal introduction of our own arts and civilisation shall confer on India treasures more vast than her richest mines of diamonds or gold. But we must now close this article with a brief summary of the few points which it has been our endeavor to illustrate.

We see, then, the arts of the Western Empire trodden down and lost to view during the ages of northern invasion, but preserved by the feeble successor of the Queen of Nations in the East. We see during the same period the mighty torrent of Moslem conquest, bearing with it the science and arts of the East, and implanting them in the heart of a conquered nation in Europe; whence, during centuries, they diffused themselves through various channels, connecting the empire of the polished Arab with the ruder Gothic nations. Concurrently with this Arabian influence in its later periods, we see the steady and ever-increasing tide of knowledge flowing from Constantinople to Italy and the rest of Europe. Then comes the period of general revival, and the northern nations wake to life. The progress of science and the union of nations call into existence numberless fountains of knowledge, gathering their waters into one mighty stream, that flows on to our own times--an unbroken, resistless river, ever swelling with new and innumerable tributaries.

But the new spirit awakened in Europe does not rest there. It carries her inhabitants forth to the uttermost bounds of the earth. A new world receives them with its singular picture of manners and arts; and while the newly-found nations perish under the ruthless cruelty of the invaders, their country sends back invaluable products to influence the progress of European arts. The progress of these arts, and the mighty inventions of modern times, belong, as we have said, to another article; it has been our care, therefore, to select from the East one example of the unbroken tenor of her industrial life--the antiquity and stability of her arts.

-----

[11] Ricobaldus Ferrariensis, Murat. Diss. 23.

[12] Washington Irving, “Tales of the Alhambra.”

[13] Murryat on Pottery, p. 19.

[14] Prescott’s “Conquest of Mexico.”

[15] Ibid. p. 123.

[16] “Conquest of Mexico,” vol. i. p. 130.

[17] Ibid. p. 36.

[18] Stephens’ “Central America,” vol. ii. p. 442.

[19] Encyc. Britann., art. China.

* * * * *

=BLIND SIGHT-SEEING.=

=FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.=

It was traveling on the railroad from Orleans to Amboise, that I first met Monsieur and Madame Faye, who were returning from Paris to Tours. There was a little battle, just as the train was starting, in consequence of late comers. The only wonder is how any Frenchman manages ever to be ready, considering the immense amount of talk and leave-taking which seem a part of their existence--and I, amongst others, put out my hand to help in an apparently infirm man, whose agitation seemed to prevent him from knowing where to take his seat. I pointed to that next to me, pulling his coat to force him into it, that we might not all be inconvenienced by his lingering. He bowed and smiled, and continued to talk to a female who followed him; and who began to stow away numerous baskets and bundles which she was tightly embracing, thanking us, all the time, for our politeness to her husband. In a few seconds they were stashed, and we then had leisure to remark the appearance of the new travelers. The gentleman was rather past middle age, good-looking, neatly dressed. He had a cheerful, pleasant countenance and soft, mild eyes, which he directed toward those to whom he spoke, although we afterward found they possessed no speculation. The lady was any thing but tidy in her style; indeed, so much the reverse as to be surprising in a Frenchwoman; but her story, when it was told me at our next meeting at Tours, explained the peculiarities which made her at first an object of somewhat disrespectful observation.

We soon became good friends. Monsieur Faye was blind, and had been so from childhood. His cousin, Mathurine, had _proposed for him_ when they were both about five-and-twenty, and had, from that time, devoted her whole life to attend on him.

“I should not,” she said, “have asked him; but that my brother, who required my services because of his lameness, determined just then to marry; and, therefore, as I had a substitute with him, and poor dear Hector here was too modest to ask me, what else was to be done?”

I found, on further acquaintance, that Hector was a remarkable personage, in his way: a bit of a musician, a philosopher, an antiquary, and a great reader of, or rather listener to, history; for it was his little, lively, untiring wife, who read to him from morning till night; and sometimes, when he could not sleep, from night till morning.

I found Mathurine incessantly occupied with the well-being of Hector. She might have been pretty at the period of their union, probably some twenty years before; but her small, slight figure was rather awry, in consequence of having, for so long a time, served as a prop to her tall husband, who always leant on her shoulder as he walked. She seemed indeed altogether out of the perpendicular; her bonnet never sat straight, owning to its being pushed aside by his arm; her shawl had the end any where but in the middle; her gloves were generally ragged at the fingers, while I observed that his were carefully repaired--it being evident that my friends were obliged to practice economy; her shoes were shabby, with the strings often untied. “What would you have?” she once remarked laughingly. “I have no time to attend to these trifles; which, after all, don’t signify; for I am not a _coquette_, and he does not see me. I catch up the first thing that comes to hand, and he fancies I am quite a _belle_.”

Hector had the strangest voice I ever heard; it would begin _contralto_ and run up to _alto_ in an incredible manner when he was excited; and then fall down again to the gruffest bass, his little brisk wife’s treble accompanying so as, as she imagined, to soften the sharp effects he produced.

She had managed to learn several languages, in order to read to him the authors he admired in the original; and odd enough her versions were; but, as he perfectly comprehended the jargon they had studied together, her plan succeeded admirably.

Amongst Monsieur Faye’s peculiarities was that of being an inveterate sight-seer. There was no object of interest near the places he visited that he had not, as he said, seen; and no sooner did he hear a description of a castle or a cathedral than he became restless to make its acquaintance. I happened one day to speak of having, in former years, gone to the strange old castle of Loches, about thirty miles from Tours; and struck instantly with his usual desire for exploring, he proposed a journey to the spot, inviting me to be his guest and guide.

I have always observed that the French, although by no means what we call rich, are very generous, according to their means, and if they cannot do a thing in grand style, they do it equally well on a small scale. Hector had long wished to give a treat to his hostess and her family, and this he felt was a good opportunity. Our party, therefore, was formed of Madame Tricot, a black-eyed little widow; her sister Euphrosine and her young lover the militaire--just arrived on leave to visit his betrothed--and Achille, the widow’s eldest son; a sharp boy of thirteen, distinguished by his half-military college uniform, more perhaps than by the progress he was making in those studies which Madame Tricot felt sure would lead him to immortality; and which she herself superintended with unwearied zeal, forcing her refractory pupil to rise before daybreak every morning, and repeat his Greek and Latin lessons to her previous to school hours, although, when I questioned her with surprised awe, she replied by saying with a knowing nod:

“No, no, I do not understand all this; but Achille imagines I do; and, at all events, he is obliged by this means to learn his lessons. They are very severe at college, and he is such a _gamin_!”

As I had seldom seen Achille occupied, in his leisure hours, in the absence of his mamma, in any other way than teazing a peculiarly uproarious parrot, whose discordant shrieks regularly awoke me from early slumber, I could easily believe that some difficulties lay in the way of the future hero’s advancement, had he been left entirely to his own plan of pursuing knowledge.

Seven persons, large and small, besides the driver, one fine October morning, filled the large rumbling vehicle which Madame Faye had engaged for our expedition to the old ruined castle of Loches; and very merry we all were as we saw the baskets of eatables stuffed under the seats, and wedged ourselves inside and out preparatory to setting forth, which we did at last in the midst of a shower of precautionary words from Madame Tricot, sent after the two staring, laughing, rosy-cheek maids who stood helping, and enjoying our prospect of a _fête_, and flirting with our smart driver up to the very last moment. At length we rattled away along the leafy avenue of the Boulevard Heurteloup, at Tours, and were soon on the long level road which conducts to the old town, which we made our goal.

Situated just at the entrance of the luxuriant garden of Touraine; full to overflowing of grapes and melons, and plums and peaches, of incredible size; on the banks of the river Indre, (here spanned by several pretty bridges,) rises the craggy hill, on the sides of which was built, at a period too remote to be ascertained even by a hand-book, the rugged, stony, impassable, confused, fossil-looking town, crowned at its extreme summit by the grimmest, strangest, oldest, and most inexplicably constructed castle that exists in France. Probably its like would be sought in vain in Europe. Such another series of towers, and spires, and long and high walls, terraces, battlements, stair-cases, and dungeons, was never brought together by the hand of man. The castle was constructed by order of a certain Count of Anjou, named Foulques Nera, to become--long after his valorous fame had passed away, or had merged into the reputation of an ogre--a ponderous plaything.

The inn where our party stopped at Loches, is very characteristic of the place; for it is, though modernized and beautified outwardly, a maze of galleries, and corridors, and turrets, and secret stair-cases, and rooms with vaulted ceilings, so that the world of the present day seems shut out the moment the façade is lost sight of. It had an odd effect in such a place to see smart handmaids flitting about, and a chattering hostess coming out to welcome guests to her antique dwelling, which has all the trouble in the world to look young and inviting, in spite of the paint and frippery in which French taste has striven to disguise its feudal reality.

We very soon arranged ourselves and our repast (with but little addition from the larder of our nevertheless civil hostess) on a sort of platform, on the walls of what is now a terrace, and was once no doubt a war-like spot, where if people “drank the red wine,” it was probably “through the helmet barred.” The hostess merrily uncorked our bottles of Loire wine, observing candidly that it was much better than her cellars produced; and, addressing herself to me, adroitly began a eulogy on the character of the English in general, remarking, that it was astonishing how many of my countrymen made her hotel their home for six months together.

A ramble through the streets showed us that it was market day at Loches. From the lower range of rugged walls to the rocky summit where the castle toppled over--comprising the narrow, high street, which ascends through the whole length, winding and twisting like a snake pursued--was one mass of vegetables, fruit, and flowers, whose bright hues, and the gay colors of the vendors’ dresses, contrasted strangely with the lofty houses with overhanging roofs, frowning down on the groups that dared to disturb the solemn gloom which had been theirs for centuries.

Monsieur Faye stopped every moment to talk to the market-women, to cheapen melons, and to accept bouquets from girls whose bright eyes he praised. On he went, chuckling that his defective sight had not been discovered: his little wife winking to us meantime with an air of entire satisfaction. Madame Tricot endeavored to excite Achille to study the _guide pittoresque_ and make himself acquainted with the notable objects of the place. The lovers, who had doubtless much zeal in the same cause, proposed to him that they should all three mount the hill at a quick pace, and find out the points of view ready for us on arrival at the top. By a curious chance we never managed to find the couple again until our return; and Achille reported that he had not seen them since he observed them to have “joined their heads” over the tomb of Agnes Sorel, the chief lion of the spot.

It seems that Charles the Seventh came to Loches to hunt, when he was visited by the disconsolate wife of the troubadour King René, of Anjou, who came to solicit his aid in favor of her imprisoned husband. Agnes was in her train--one of those dangerous maids of honor whose eyes have done such fatal mischief to the susceptible hearts of incautious monarchs--but when the duchess quitted Loches, her beautiful companion accompanied her not, she remained in the service of Mary d’Anjou, the wife of Charles the Seventh.

It would be curious to know in what chamber of this wild old castle the love tale was first told which has furnished France with a ceaseless romance. All that remains of Agnes now is her white marble tomb, on which she lies with her hands clasped on bare breast, her beautiful, delicate, and expressive head guarded by two winged kneeling cherubs, and her draperied feet supported by two lambs. The tomb: is in perfect preservation, and is one of the most exquisite _morceaux_ in France. Agnes was the châtelaine of the castle, and loved to live here above all other places, although the munificence of her lover gave her the choice of several abodes.

Here, it is said that the ill-nurtured Prince Dauphin, afterward Louis the Eleventh, performed an act very much in conformity with his usual brutality. In one of these saloons he struck the beautiful favorite of his father; but he who could beat his own chosen little effigy of the Virgin Mary, because she refused some of his requests, might well begin his career by an outrage like this. Happy, no doubt, were both the angry beauty and her royal lover, when they saw the last drawbridge of the castle of Loches fall and shut out forever from their presence the gloomy prince, who disapproved of their luxuries, and who spurred his steed onward, nor stopped till he had reached the dominions of the Duke of Burgundy.

Louis came back eventually, however, to these walls, and either late repentance or a sense of justice caused him to respect the tomb of Agnes, which he refused to let the monks of Loches remove.

Monsieur Faye was very anxious to ascertain--for he was rather a phrenologist--the form of the celebrated beauty’s head, and felt it through the bars which protect the lovely marble statue to his heart’s content, discovering bumps which would have disclosed the whole of her character, had history been silent on the subject. There was, besides, not a cornice nor a balustrade in the building that he did not feel; his hand being guided by that of Mathurine. I was amazed at the accuracy of his notions of the places we inspected; and more so at the unwearied patience of his guide, who had no enjoyment which he did not feel, and who had acquired a habit of description so accurate that I felt at last inclined to let her see for the whole party.

The towers of the castle rise above a hundred and fifty feet from the gigantic rock upon which they are built. Some of them appear light and graceful at a distance, although really massive. The castle is divided into two unequal portions: in one is a huge church, the spires of which peer up between enclosing turrets in a way quite original; the other is chiefly composed of a huge tower, which looks like the spiteful ogre of a fairy tale, bending over a mountain and watching to snap up unwary knights or merchants who ventured near his stronghold. Century after century this grim old place has been the abode of personages famous in the romance of history. Joan of Arc came here on a visit; Anne of Brittany and her two husbands made it their favorite abode, and her oratory still exists, covered with ermine spots and _cordelières_ in stone, which incrust the walls, and were very sensible to the touch of my blind friend. Mary Stuart here tuned her lute; and here, several ages before, our John Lackland feasted and reveled; here Philip Augustus came to receive the castle as a bribe for the assistance he was to render him against Cœur de Lion, who afterward besieged and took it. Here Jean of France resided, before the great battle which sent him the prisoner of the Black Prince to England, and in the fine Lady Chapel--whose delicate columns Monsieur Faye felt with his hands--was instituted a perpetual mass for the souls of the identical King John of France, and all the kings and dukes that had preceded him here. Here Francis the First and the fair and inappropriately named Diana, lived and loved a great part of their hours away.

When one sees the dark, dreary, gloomy, rugged walls, it is difficult to fancy Loches a dwelling for beauty and love; and it would require loads of bright tapestry and gilt furniture to fill up the black and blank nooks which yawn on all sides. In these chambers, however, once all was revel and luxury, as the court of the profligate Medici could testify: and the be-puffed and be-hooped ladies, and the be-slashed and be-jeweled lords, danced many a _branle_ and _pavane_ over the dungeons, where howled and groaned the victims of their tyranny and cruel luxury.

It is said that one of the towers descends as deep into the earth as it rises above it, and terrible are the approaches to these frightful spots. A tradition exists that one of the later governors of the castle, being curious to know the extent of these gloomy places, set forth one day on an exploring expedition, and found several passages closed by iron doors: these he had forced open, and found himself in new passages, cut in the depth of the rock on which the castle is built. Another door arrested his progress, which was also broken open, and he entered a long alley, still in the rock, which he followed for a considerable time, till at length it led him to a subterraneous chamber, where, seated on a huge block of stone, with his head leaning on his two hands, sat a very tall man. Monsieur de Pontbrillant, the enterprising governor, was amazed at this vision; but, scarcely had he looked upon it, when the current of air striking the figure, it fell away into dust at his feet. Beside the unfortunate prisoner stood a small wooden coffer, in which still remained several articles of linen, very fine, and carefully folded. The skull and bones of this corpse were long shown at the castle, and were looked upon with awe by those to whom this story was related: but who the prisoner was was never known. In more than one of the old castles of France are still to be traced these horrid dungeons, where captives of all ranks were confined immediately beneath the pleasure chambers of the lords and ladies.

The governor of Loches was always a very great man, which, perhaps, accounted for the fact of our having to wait a long time for the keys of the great tower, which a messenger had gone in search of at the present governor’s lodgings. While we waited in an outer court, we were civilly invited by the portress to walk into her parlor, and there we sat some time talking to her, and hearing the gossip of the place. Beside the large fire-place, guarded from the draught of the open door by a huge wooden screen, sat the grandmother of the establishment--generally a cherished member of the humblest family circle in France--who, old as she seemed, got up and made us a reverence, resuming her cosy seat by the fire, which was directly piled with enormous pine cones and sent up a resinous flame, the perfume of which spread through the room. Monsieur Faye was placed near her, and as she went on with her ceaseless knitting, she was soon busy in cheerful converse with her new acquaintance, while I was listening to a history of a lately escaped convict from this apparently secure retreat: the castle being the country prison.

“You see,” said the portress, “you would not have been obliged to wait so long for the keys but for this: we used, till three days ago, to keep them here, but since that event they are sent up to the governor’s house, and my husband, the guide, who shows you over the dungeons, is obliged to go and get them--but he will soon be back.”

“Do they keep prisoners in the dungeons now-a-days?” I asked.

I was told that the escaped culprit, who had robbed a hen-roost, had been put in a room above the dungeons--of which there are three stories beneath the ground level--and had contrived to hook up a plank, by which means he descended, with intent to rise the easier, having swung himself down till he could jump across a certain black abyss, which we afterward shuddered to see, and gain a broken stair-case where a door led to a corridor conducting to the outer court. With an iron nail he had displaced a huge stone in the steps, had crept through that, displaced a second in the same way, and thus arrived at the passage. Here he hid himself in a dark corner on the chance of the jailor-guide coming that way with visitors before long. As it happened, that event occurred, and the jailor was just preparing to light the candle which serves to illumine the gloom, having left the outer door open till the process was accomplished, when the ready adventurer lept from his hiding-place, overturned the guide, and amidst the screams and cries of the affrighted visitors, rushed out, with them, pell-mell into the outer world. As his blouse was the same costume as that worn by many of the affrighted strangers--for all ranks make the dungeons a lion--he passed unnoticed in the crowd, and excited no surprise as he “ran violently down the steep hill” with the rest and got fairly off. I could not regret that so ingenious and fearless a personage had baffled the vigilance of the guardians of Loches, but I felt a little nervous at the chance of a similar adventure occurring as we began our exploring expedition in the same quarter. I was assured, however, that there was no chance of such a thing, all the prisoners now detained, to the number of four, being at that moment smoking their pipes in a pleasant, sunny little court which we had to cross before we reached the low door which gave entrance to the dungeons.

There was nothing formidable in the aspect of these worthies, whose crimes were not of a deeper die than that of having got drunk and committed damage to the citizens in their cups; and we passed amongst them, returning the salutes they made with their night-caps, quite without alarm.

In the great court before this enormous and sinister-looking tower, one of the most splendid and the most worthless of the ancient governors of Loches paused before he entered, attended by three hundred gentlemen of high family, all probably “as wicked as himself,” and all bent on turning the good fortune of their friend and patron to the best account. This governor was the famous favorite of the infamous Henry the Third of France, the gorgeous Duke d’Epernon, and during the time he passed in these walls, the gold of the kingdom was no more spared by him than by his master. But a change arrived--two reigns had intervened--and a second time he visited these walls, more as a prisoner than a prince; he was then a gray-headed, gloomy, morose, miserable man, deserted by all the former companions of his profligacy whom the axe and the sword had spared, and here he came to hide himself from a court which his vices had disgraced.

Marie de Medicis, the prisoner of her son at Blois, also arrived here, in night and silence, escaped from her captivity, and entreated shelter of the old favorite, who had been suspected of knowing more than was honest of the murder of her husband, Henry the Fourth.

It is a strange reflection, and one that might well intrude while one stands before the door of the great tower of Loches, waiting till its rusty key turns in the lock, how unequal is the fate of those who have acted remarkable parts in the drama of the world. In spite of the mutations of fortune, mortification, neglect, disgrace or discontent, in spite of the overthrow of ambition, the wreck of hope, the struggles and turmoils, that d’Epernon had gone through, he could not get rid of the burden of life till the age of eighty-eight, when he died in the Castle of Loches, unregretted, and at once forgotten.

A story is told relating to him, which proves that men are not to be frightened by tyranny and power out of their natural wit and sarcasm. While this favorite of the contemptible king was in the enjoyment of his greatest favor, the public criers were accustomed to carry about a huge book, which they announced as “The high acts and deeds of valor and virtue of the most noble Duke d’Epernon.” These books, eagerly purchased, were found to contain blank paper. I fear that these historical recollections did not occur to Achille as he descended the rugged steps, green, and slimy, and steep, which led, from stage to stage, to the hideous dark holes in which these heroes of middle-age romance were accustomed to place their vassals or equals, as the case might be, when once in the power of their vengeance. Our guide, the jailor, was a good deal interrupted in his customary story of the place by indignation at the devastation committed on his steps and apartments by the late fugitive. Not attempting to smother the indignation awakened in his bosom, as he reviewed the ruin caused by the nail of the man of expedients, he mixed up his historical records with allusions to the damage in something like the following terms:

“Here you see the dungeon where the great monarch Louis the Eleventh (confound his impudence!) confined his minister Cardinal Balue in an iron cage--(I wish there was one here now and Jacques le Pochard was in it!) This is the place where the Grand Duke Sforza was lodged, and you may see where he painted the walls all round to amuse himself--here, where the flame of my candle touches the roof--(it’ll take me a whole day to mend the bottom of that door--the villain!) This is the dungeon where criminals were fastened to that iron bar in the middle of the chamber, and were only able to move from one end to the other by slipping a link of their chain along--mind the step! it leads through the dark passage to the next flight. (I had no idea the rascal had done so much harm to my steps! if ever I catch him again, I’ll flay him!--the brigand!)”

Nothing could equal the delight of my blind friend, at finding that he could touch the damp roofs of these horrible boudoirs for the favorites of princes with his hand, and that he could make out the patterns sketched by the unlucky Duke of Milan on the walls of the chamber with three rows of bars to the window, through which the duke found light enough to pursue his passion for art.

We had seen or felt all at last, and I was glad to return to the last corridor leading to daylight, when suddenly our guide exclaimed that he had left the key in the lock outside, and that some miscreant in the court had shut the door upon us. This was startling intelligence, and we began to feel any thing but satisfaction in the adventure, while our guide, placing his lips to the huge, gaping key-hole--through which a long line of sunlight streamed, as if in mockery--roared lustily to those without. Presently we heard suppressed tittering, and, after a minute or two of altercation between the old man’s voice and that of a young girl on the other side, the key was replaced, turned, and we hastily emerged to day and freedom.

“I ought to have known,” said the old grandfather, laughing, in spite of his anger, as a pretty, saucy-looking girl of twelve bounded across the court and took refuge in the porter’s lodge, “that that young hussy would never let an opportunity slip of playing me a trick--_brigande_!”

Achille seemed more amused with this last episode than any of our adventures; and it was with much gayety, and highly satisfied, that we descended the stony street, no longer filled with sellers and buyers, for the market was over. We had been four hours exploring! and nothing interrupted the stillness of the dreary old town but the ringing laughter of our young companions, and the pleasant exclamations of the whole party.

It was beyond midnight when we drove merrily up to the Boulevard Heurteloup, and found the same two watchful maidens on the look-out for our return. They did not appear to have been dull in our absence, nor did they seem afraid of solitude, probably feeling secure in the opportune presence of the sentinels on guard, whose measured tread still sounded along the avenue leading to the rail-road station hard by. Monsieur Faye remarked that we were fortunate in a moonlight night, and observed that he had seldom seen the stars so bright as they had been all the way from Loches.

* * * * *

=THE LUCKY PENNY.=

=BY MRS. S. C. HALL.=

(_Continued from page 534_.)

CHAPTER IV.

Matthew Whitelock, reclining in what he called his “easy chair,” was musing, rather than thinking, over the inconsistencies of the most consistent, and pondering as to which was the more beautiful to contemplate--the love a mother bears her child, or the devotion a child renders to a parent; thinking how many instances there are of the former, and how, comparatively, few of the latter; hoping that the widow would really buy the wine and meat, as he desired; and having, like all genuine Englishmen, great faith in “creature comforts,” he converted the worn, attenuated widow into a portly woman. Having arranged this, he indulged in a vision he had of late enjoyed so frequently, that it had become almost a reality--that Richard would turn out something like Whittington: his dreams of the future had gradually taken Richard in, first as a shadow, then as a substance, until he formed a portion of all his day dreams--wondering if he could tie up fishing-flies, yet fearing to ask him, lest Martha might make it another subject of complaint; varying these fancies with probabilities as to whether he should have good fishing the first of the following June, when he made his annual journey to Teddington, and, be the day hot or cold, invariably returned with a swollen face, wonderfully helping Martha’s sarcasms during the following summer and autumn months; indeed, she constituted it a red letter day--every thing occurred “before” or after “master went bothering after the bits of fish, that the cat wouldn’t eat without butter, and got the bad face.” Then again his thoughts would dwell upon Richard, whom he believed--and with fair show of reason--endowed with a rare capacity for acquiring knowledge, and tuning it to the best account. He never thought of another power he had--that of attaching to him those who seldom formed attachments. Some observation made by the lad, in a careless, off-hand manner, would frequently set his master calculating what he could do for him. He delighted in lending him books, and to draw forth his opinions upon them; devising many clever expedients to overcome Richard’s shyness, and make him “speak out.” As the lad’s accumulated and accumulating knowledge became better known to him, he felt almost inclined to apologise when it was necessary he should take out parcels; but what especially charmed him was the boy’s unconsciousness of his own book improvement and superiority. Had it not been for the unaccountable fear Matthew Whitelock entertained of his housekeeper--which he only overcame by fits and starts--he would have forbidden Richard the kitchen, and seated him at his own little table in the dusty back room; but he knew that such a movement must lead to open rebellion. He had grown positively uncomfortable at the idea of Richard’s brushing his shoes, and cleaning knives--“a lad capable of writing the Latin names of his books without a dictionary, and was a better penman than he was himself!” However difficult it may be of belief, considering his “calling,” it is a positive fact that Matthew Whitelock reverenced literary acquirements; and when a clever book did not “sell,” Matthew would take the part of the author against “the trade”--a proceeding which caused him to be considered “a fool” by many who are wise in their own conceits.

These and such like thoughts were passing through Matthew’s mind, in a half-dreamy way; now lingering, now rushing onward, and then off, while Peter lay at his feet; and he began to long, as often he did, for Richard’s return; for he enjoyed a chat with his messenger, as he used to enjoy a newspaper. Without his perceiving it, Matty entered, and shutting the door, as she always did when she had any thing particular to say, placed her back against it, wreathed her bony arms together, and passing one foot over the instep of the other, stood on one leg, “shouldering” the door-case.

“It’s my opinion, sir, that you make too much fuss entirely with that boy, and that he’s forgetting his place.”

“Is it--how?”

“Well, thoughts is thoughts, and it’s hard to put them into words; but here they are! He’d rayther any time stay fiddling after one bit of dust or another, or stitching ould tataration books, that’s going to the bad since the year one, or mending your pen--as if you had not eyesight (the Lord preserve it) to do it yourself--than sit and rest his young bones at his supper; and as to rubbing over the knives, he does them in no time, without a bit of a stop between; so that I never have a word out of him. And the paper! he reads it shameful! reading polyticks as if they war dirt; and so ignorant, that when he’s done, he knows no more of the state of Europe than when he began. His mother says he lives without sleep, or as good as; there’s a heart-break for a tender mother! I hate unnatural ways. The truth is, he’s above his business.”

“I quite agree with you.”

“Then,” said the contradictory Matty, “it’s a sin and a shame for you to say so, sir. You have nothing to complain of: he’s willing enough to do every hand’s turn for you. I’m nothing in the house--just no-thing! He’s as civil and smooth as creme--with his good morning, and good evening, and fine day. Mrs. Cook! but that’s professional--there’s no love with it. He’s all for learning and books. If he goes on this way, you’ll have to take him into partnership.”

“Very likely!”

Matty immediately stood erect.

“Then, sir, you must look out for another housekeeper, that’s all: I’m not going to have two masters, and one of them no better than a dog-boy! Oh! that I should come to that! He’s bewitched you, so he has--put his _comether_ over you. I shouldn’t wonder if you made him sit down at your table, and printed his poems.”

“His what?”

“Poems! Havn’t I heard you say many times that there was no good in books now, since there’s such a many writers; that a book is no longer a book, only a rubbish; and that all the half of the writers do is to spile paper and pens, and waste ink. Them’s your words, master, when you war in one of your pleasant humors, _discoorsing_ upon the ruin that’s come into the world. And now this boy goes and writes poems, and you’ll print them!”

“Go down stairs, Matty, and bring me those poems.”

“And to be made a _paper weight_ in my ould days--just to stand upon papers.”

“Do as I desire you.”

“I can’t: do you think I’d keep ’em in the kitchen? There they are!” she continued, throwing a roll of manuscript on the table; “there they are! As if _he_ had any right to set up for a poet--as if his mother and him havn’t gone through starvation enough without that. That’s what comes of his neglecting the state of Europe, and hurrying over the knives: his mother wanted to tell you about it, but had no courage, and no wonder. It’s easy to see what’s before him now; and his poor mother blind and desolate. Poems! Oh! no wonder my hair’s gray! But it’s your fault, master--informing his mind! I wonder who ever troubled about my mind!” And out she flounced, while her master, not without some secret apprehension--more anxiety, in fact, for Richard than he had ever felt before--unrolled the manuscript, and, after wiping and putting on his spectacles, commenced its perusal.

[_To be continued._

* * * * *

=THE TOPMOST CITY OF THE EARTH.=

Thirteen thousand, seven hundred and twenty feet above the level of the sea! At a perpendicular elevation of upwards of two miles and a half, nearly on the snow line of the Andes, stands the topmost city of the earth, Ceno de Pasco. It is the capital of the richest silver district of Peru. At the before-named height, the Andes spread themselves out into vast plains or table-lands. Such table-lands--Punas, the Indians call them--sometimes extend hundreds of miles, and, on one of them--that of Pasco--stands the before-named city of Ceno de Pasco, which I took care to visit when I was a dweller in Peru.

Through the Palace Square of Lima--not forgetting to look up for the fortieth time at its magnificent cathedral--over the Rimac by a handsome bridge, which connects the city with the suburb of San Lazaro, I got out with my friends into the open country. The plain on which Lima stands gradually contracts as it approaches the Sierra, until it becomes a narrow track between great walls of rock. The road then slowly rises to a height of upwards of six thousand five hundred feet. Having mounted thus far, and so done more up-hill business than belongs to the ascent of Snowdon, we are told quietly that we have reached the foot of the mountains. From this point the ascent is steeper and more dangerous, winding along narrow paths, and doubling huge projections, yielding, sometimes, barely room for a mule to pass; whilst, now and then, a heavy mass comes tumbling down from overhead, and lodges on some ledge that is wide enough to stop it, with a crash that makes the mountain tremble.

The Sierra is cleft in many places by gorges, that descend, straight as the plummet, to an immense depth; and, as the road passes along the edge of these abysses, the view suggests a strong temptation to make one false step, or cause the same to be made by the mule, since it would be but a moment’s work to slip into the throat of the old gaping chasm.

As we ascend, the change in the climate and vegetation, of course, soon attracts attention. We pass from the sugar-cane and banana in the plains, through every shade of increasing barrenness, to a few mosses and scrubby bushes on the Puna. A few villages are scattered on the route, and in the neighborhood of these, maize and potatoes are grown even at a height of some ten thousand feet. But, by degrees these disappear, and the monotony of the road is broken only by an occasional tambo--a most miserable stunted species of road-side inn--which yields a scanty supply of food and accommodation, and is eaten up almost to the very walls by fleas. Fleas, I should guess, were, like the potato, first imported into Europe from Peru. In that country, certainly, the species must have been multiplying rapidly from the remotest times. The scenery of the Andes (like that of the Himalayas, and of all vast mountains) appears, at first sight, to fall short of one’s previous ideas. The view is often very much confined. The idea of their enormous height is not at all conveyed by traveling over them; for, the successive valleys and table-lands present successive starting-points, and the stupendous mountain chain, supporting countries on its bosom, escapes the measurement of a mere pair of eyes.

Having crossed the passes of the Alto de Jaquehambo, and the Alto de Lachaqual--the latter of which is above the snow line, fifteen thousand, five hundred feet high--we begin to descend, and presently, a sudden turn in the road reveals a large and apparently well-built town. This town lies in a basin surrounded by rocks, and the view of it forms a scene oddly inconsistent with the grand solitude and bleakness of the scenery around. Closer acquaintance dissipates our notion that the town is well built. It is a dirty miserable place, in which there are uncomfortably huddled together fifteen thousand people. It is chiefly composed of miners’ huts--something like overgrown bee-hives--with a few tolerable houses that belong to shop-keepers and the proprietors of mines. As we descend from the pass into the Puna, a scene worthy of the Andes breaks upon us. We are on the highest and most extensive table-land in all Peru. Its breadth is about seventy miles; its length scarcely determinable, as it penetrates into the mountains at various points, and is not abruptly broken by them, but sweeps gradually upwards to their summits. In the centre is a large lake, from one side of which the principal tributary of the Amazon begins its course, whilst, from the other side, several small streams flow to the western coast, so that from this lake tribute is sent both to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the distance rises the great Cordillera stretching towards the Brazils; whilst the nearer peaks of the Andes, whitened with snow, shine round about us, cold, rugged, and silent, in vast masses that cause our hearts to dilate with a half painful sense of the sublime. The clear blue sky of the plains has deepened almost into black; the dull, lead-colored sun seems to have lost the power of communicating heat, and looks like a mere spectre of the tyrant under whose reign for so many years, men, women, and children have been flayed, or roasted, or marked with a brand upon the skin.

On first reaching the Puna, we all suffer a good deal from the rarefaction of the air, which produces sickness, bleeding at the mouth and nose, and pain in the chest. Horses and mules, on their first visit, suffer from this cause more acutely than men, and the drivers often slit the nostrils of these animals, an operation which is said to give relief. The slitting of our own noses being, of course, out of the question, we get over our discomfort as we can. The only native animals found on the Puna belong to the llama tribe; alpacas, guanacas, and vicunas. The llama works at the mines as the ordinary beast of burden, and is perfectly efficient; it is more sagacious, steady, and sure-footed even than the mule. The alpacas are tamed and kept in flocks for the sake of their wool, an article which has of late become important to the English manufacturers. The guanacas and vicunas--the former the largest, and the latter the handsomest members of their tribe--are seldom to be tamed; they range the mountains, and the pursuit of them affords sport to the European hunter in Peru.

On entering the city of Pasco from the mountain solitudes, we are in the first place annoyed at the incessant clatter that surrounds us. The mines are opened in the streets, the courtyards, and occasionally even in the houses of the town. We encounter them at every step, and as they are often very shallow--the depth varying from twenty to a hundred and fifty feet--the blows of many picks and hammers are distinctly heard. The mines are generally private property, though some of them, indeed, belong to English companies. The mode of working is extremely careless. The descent into them is by a bucket hung on an old chain, or worn-out rope. The sides and roof of the galleries are frequently left unsupported, because timber happens to be scarce and dear; accidents therefore constantly occur, but nobody concerns himself about them. The rubbish is removed after a fall in; and the work goes on as usual. The miners are, for the most part, Indians. They earn, on an average, from four to six reals (two or three shillings) daily; but when a rich vein has been opened, they are paid in ore, and often earn very high wages, which they spend in brandy, chicha, and fine clothes. The town abounds with liquor-shops, eating-houses, and _cafés_ which are generally kept by foreigners, men of all nations. From these places the Indian miners buy their food ready cooked. It consists chiefly of maize bread and charquí--slices of beef dried in the sun--great quantities of which are imported from the more southern republics, especially the Argentine. Even before food, however, the chief comfort of the Indian is the coca leaf. The coca plant is not unlike the vine in its appearance. It is cultivated by the Indians at the foot and on the sides of the Cordilleras, and bears a white flower, with a small red fruit. At the proper season, the leaves are stripped from the plants, carefully dried, and packed in bags containing each from fifty to a hundred pounds. They have an aromatic bitter taste. The cholo never is without his little pouch of coca leaves, and a small calabash containing quick-lime, or the ashes of a hot root. He first chews a quid of leaves until it is well moistened, and then thrusts a little lime into the mass on the point of a small stick; thereupon the mastication is continued till the quid is dry. This kind of refreshment is taken by the miners three times a day, about a quarter of an hour being set apart for its enjoyment upon each occasion; and the men will go through the most arduous toil, or travel for days over the mountains, with no other support than coca leaf. In traveling, a quid is kept continually in the mouth. On first using the coca, there is some excoriation suffered by the lips; this, however, passes off, and, when mixed with a little quinna, I must say that I have found the stuff very agreeable. It produces the exhilarating effects of opium without the drowsiness and stupefaction; it will ward off sleep, destroy the sense of hunger, and act as a spur upon the strength and spirit. The cholos who use it regularly are unquestionably healthy and long-lived; but the coca, like all other stimulants, is liable to serious abuse. The coquero or coca-chewer, who is never without a ball of it in his mouth, often passes the night through without sleep; he becomes debilitated, languid, nervous; his complexion takes a greenish hue; and, if he will persist in his excess--which soon becomes a vice beyond the power of his will--he perishes.

In the shops of Pasco are found the products of all countries. Bass’s pale ale is in high favor here, and knives and forks carry the stamp of Sheffield cutlers. I remember being pleasantly surprised in a shepherd’s hut on the Puna, at having placed before me some boiled maize on a plate ornamented with a picture of John Anderson my joe and his gude wife, with two verses of the song beneath it. The Indian was delighted with the pleasure I took in the plate, and was solicitous to have the lines translated.

The most common contents of dishes at the fondas or eating-houses, are pucheros and picantes; the former a mixture of every thing--beef, pork, camotes, frijoles, bananas, potatoes, maize, etc., highly seasoned with aji--a sort of ground pepper of a peculiar and pleasant flavor. The latter, the picante, is comprised of jerked beef, chopped small, and mixed with bread crumbs or crushed maize. The usual liquors are a sweet unpleasant wine, chicha, and guarapo--the latter made from fermented sugar and water; still good wines are procurable, and spirits are much too plentiful. Under the influence of spirit frequent battles occur among the Indians, in which the long knife is freely used.

As the high table-land is altogether unproductive, provisions and other necessaries are brought from the valleys on the backs of mules. That is the only practicable mode of carriage; although it is a curious fact that, during the War of Independence, cavalry and artillery were transported to these heights, and two battles were fought close to Pasco. At the latter of these Bolivar had ten thousand troops besides artillery in the field, and Canterac, the royalist general, opposed him with an equal number. They must certainly have had a taste for fighting under difficulties if they dragged themselves, their guns, and horses up these mountains for no other purpose.

An English firm at Callao, which has considerable mining property on the Ceno de Pasco, has recently procured from England a quantity of improved machinery for the extraction of the silver from its ore. The old method is still commonly practised, that is to say, the ore is amalgamated with quicksilver by treading together quicksilver and ore beneath the feet of mules and horses; this proceeding causes a considerable loss of quicksilver--ruins the feet of the animals, and does not properly fulfill its purpose. The quicksilver--nearly all of which it brought from Europe--is afterward evaporated by the application of heat. Coal is found on the Puna.

The whole annual produce of the mines of Ceno Pasco once reached the amount of eight millions of dollars, or one million, six hundred and fifty thousand pounds; but the returns now do not probably reach half that sum. There is in the city a government establishment, at which all the silver is marked before being sent to Lima. It is usually melted into large oblong flat bars, some of which weigh from sixty to eighty pounds. These are conveyed to the capital on mules, commonly with no protection except that of the mule-drivers, although the Sierra may be swarming with the bandit montoneros. These gentlemen do not consider it convenient to intercept the silver on its downward passage, they preferring to wait for the coin that is returned in payment. With this upward freight a strong escort is always sent, and when it is attacked, a fierce battle ensues, that often ends in favor of the robbers.

The singular accoutrements of the horsemen are among the first things that attract the attention of the stranger in Peru. If the rider be a rich man, the horse is almost hidden by a multitude of straps and ornaments. The saddle is made very high both on pummel and crupper, leaving just room for the rider to wedge himself into his seat between them. Under the saddle is the pillow, an alpaca or goat’s skin, dyed black, with the wool combed out or twisted with silver wire into short curls, lengthened sometimes with long fringes of dyed alpaca wool. The stirrups are heavy and clumsy; each is a solid piece of wood, often measuring twelve inches square at the bottom, and gradually tapering to a point where it is attached to the saddle by a silver ring; on one side an opening is scooped out for the foot; the other three sides are all highly polished, often carved beautifully and inlaid with silver. The bit is very heavy; often of silver. The head-band is adorned with a long fringe of plaited strips of leather; and the reins, which are separate, pass through a silver ring, one of them being continued in a long lash. In addition to the bridle, the horse’s head is encumbered with a leathern halter covered with silver ornaments. The spurs are the most preposterous part of the whole equipment. They are so formed, that the wearer can walk only on his toes. The stem of the spur is often twelve inches long, and the rowel six inches in diameter. Amongst the wealthier classes, these spurs also, are frequently of silver. Every horseman wears the poncho; and some ponchos, from their splendid colors and fine texture, are a costly article of dress. The horses that bear these encumbrances are small, but they are well made and active; they are not allowed to trot, but taught a sort of amble which, when the rider becomes used to it, is an easy kind of motion. It is very rapid. Horses are but seldom used for draught, as, even in the low country, asses are the ordinary beasts of burden. These are bred in vast numbers, and troops of them are constantly passed by the traveler on all the roads: they have no head-gear, but are driven in the same manner as cattle, the driver riding behind armed with a long whip. These poor animals are most cruelly treated. Peru has been called “the heaven of women, the purgatory of husbands, and the hell of asses.” The last clause of the proverb cannot be questioned.

The taste for gambling, so prevalent throughout South America, is most strongly developed at Ceno de Pasco. Public lotteries are drawn every week, and sometimes every day in the week. The streets are continually infested by fellows crying, “A thousand dollars to-morrow!” These men carry books, from which they tear, for each customer, a ticket, price one shilling, giving him or her a chance in the next lottery. The prize is sometimes as large as five thousand dollars, with intermediate ones of smaller amount. I believe that the strictest impartiality and fairness characterize the drawing. All these lotteries are under government control.

The billiard and montero tables are in constant request: dominoes is a favorite game in the _cafés_; but those games at cards which are rapid in their results, and depend wholly upon chance, have irresistible attractions for all classes. The shaven priest, decorated with cross and rosary, may be frequently seen playing with the ragged Indian; and instances are told of the wealthy mine proprietor losing, in a night, every dollar he possessed to one of his own ragged men.

The cock-pit is a favorite amusement. The combatants are armed with one spur only; this is a flat, curved, two-edged blade, very keen, and finely pointed. The first blow commonly decides the battle, and both cocks are often killed. Hundreds of dollars change hands every minute: the excitement of the bettors is intense; and, even here, on the afternoon of the Sabbath, which is especially appropriated to the cock-fight, the priest hands round his begging-box, or lays his dollar on a favorite bird.

Ceno de Pasco, although so high up in the world, and so close to the region of eternal snow, has, nevertheless, a tolerable warmth during the day. The nights are all frosty, and a dense fog often envelops the Puna. Excessively heavy rain falls at certain periods of the year. But the most sublime spectacle on the Andes is a thunder-storm. It is an event of frequent occurrence in the table-lands, and I had the good fortune to witness one of extraordinary grandeur. It is impossible to convey any idea of the magnificence of the spectacle.

The lightning plays around the summits of the mountains in a constant succession of brilliant flashes, whilst the thunder is prolonged through the deep ravines and distant valleys, until the echo of the one peal and the crash of another blend together in one never-ending roll. Heavy falls of snow often accompany these storms, and the condition of travelers crossing the passes during one of them is most distressing. Unable to advance or to retreat, they halt and wait, in momentary fear of being hurled over the mountain sides. Blinded by snow, and by the vivid flashes, they dare not proceed; the ledges also are, perhaps, so narrow, that if they would they could not turn the mule round to retrace their steps. In such a position as this, men have been compelled to remain during many hours in places where the thermometer falls every night in the year below freezing point, and where the most intense darkness--whilst it fails to hide the real dangers, conjures up imaginary ones, which multiply all the horrors of the scene.

There are some portions of Upper Peru which are yet comparatively unknown to Europeans. This is especially the case with that part of it which has declared itself an independent republic, under the name of Bolivia. Though possessing a coast town on the Pacific of considerable extent, with several good harbors, yet its singular formation precludes ranch intercourse with other countries. Between the Andes and the sea is a broad belt of barren desert; a sand plain in continual motion. This is traversed by a few small rivers; which, though very shallow and often dry during the summer months, render the strips of soil through which they pass extremely fruitful. Beyond this desert, the most inaccessible chain in the Andes rises and forbids approach to the fair country enclosed within. On the summit of this chain is the celebrated mountain Potosi, now nearly exhausted of its treasures: the town is situated in a district wholly destitute of vegetation. Passing from the Ceno de Pasco through the town of Larma, we enter the valley of Janja, and shortly find ourselves in a country presenting a strange contrast to the one we have just left. A succession of the most fertile valleys in the world. As the ascent of the mountain commences from the low country, the sandy desert disappears. A rich coat of lucerne spreads over the sheltered hollows. Vines and olives appear in the vales. The sugar-cane, the banana, the guava, and numberless tropical fruits flourish. At the height of eight, and sometimes ten thousand feet, Los Vales of Bolivia are covered with the most luxurious vegetation. Forest-trees of gigantic size are thickly spread over the mountains. The cereals, which live a sickly life down by the sea, appear in these lofty valleys in full vigor: including maize, quinna, rice, barley, with occasional patches of wheat, though of this last the chief supply is imported out of Chili. Rich esculents and fruits unknown in other countries are in abundance. Amongst the former are yuca, mandive, and camotes; whilst the delicious cherrimoya reigns supreme over them all.

The valleys of Upper Peru, of Bolivia, and of the province of Salta in La Plata, are rich in the most valuable products. Exclusive of minerals--which include gold, silver, copper, and lead--we have coffee, chocolate, tobacco, cotton, indigo, cochineal, sarsaparilla, logwood, and an infinity of similar productions. Cattle are numerous: mules and horses abundant. And, above all, the men are noted for their generosity and hospitality, and the women for their grace and beauty.

What a contrast between these glorious valleys--in which Rasselas might well have lived--and the rugged heights of the silver city, Ceno Pasco: its dirty streets, and half-savage people; its unhealthy mines, and blackened smelting-furnaces; its bare rocks and scrubby patches of brown herbage affording a scanty subsistence to its flock of shaggy llamas.

It is a charm to travelers among the Andes, that, within their limits, these vast mountains enclose every climate. Within the range of one degree of latitude, we may sit and burn under a palm-tree, or lie down upon a bed of Alpine moss.

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=BETTER DAYS.=

=BY LYDIA L. A. VERY.=

Was it a dream that came to me, That men’s care-worn faces seemed to be Clothed with a calm serenity-- A peaceful holiness; A spirit’s voice, that said, no more Shall the blood of man like water pour, Staining the flowers on earth’s green floor, That fain his path would bless?

Was it a vision of the night, Making each child seem an angel bright, Free from earth’s mildew, ain’s withering blight That falls upon the young; Graceful and winning everywhere, Grown like the flowers by God’s own care, Like them blooming as fresh and fair, Earth’s hills and vales among?

Was it a dream, that men did feel Themselves as brothers for wo or weal, Seeking the wounds of life to heal With soothing words of love; Speaking to each as on he wends Grasping in every hand a friend’s, Smoothing the path of Age that tends So tremblingly above?

Was it a dream, that woman’s lot Was with unkindness never fraught; That her affections ne’er were sought To be as worthless spurned? No dream! but ’twas a glimpse of years Whose coming bright as the man appears, Drying the dew of earthly tears From eyes like flowers upturned.

The aged feel its cheering ray, Though, like pale stars at the break of day, Its glory comes as they pass away Into a realm untrod! But may the young live to behold Those golden days so long foretold, When each lone wand’rer to the fold Shall be reclaimed by God!

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=REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.=

_Reuben Medlicott, or The Coming Man. By M. W. Savage, Author of “The Bachelor of the Albany,” etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

“The Bachelor of the Albany” was a novel in which common sense was made to outshine and outsparkle paradox itself; and “Reuben Medlicott,” though inferior in sustained brilliancy of execution, is a worthy successor to the “Bachelor.” The object of the book is to exhibit the career of a man whose head is stuffed with multifarious information, who possesses mediocre but varied talents, and who mistakes a fluent use of words relating to universal ideas and generalized truths for the power to wield principles. He accordingly fails in every thing he undertakes. He cannot connect his words with affairs; practical life refuses all alliance with him. He becomes a lawyer, but despising details, and aspiring to the philosophy of law, it is soon discovered that he has neither technical knowledge nor grasp of principles. He is a great orator at philanthropic meetings, and his friends think he will make a great impression in Parliament. He is accordingly “put up” as a candidate, and the description of his election is one of the most mirth-provoking pieces of satire in the novel. He is elected, but is remorselessly coughed down in the House. Then, like all men of his peculiar kind, he makes a voyage to America, to see if he cannot succeed in the land of talkers. He thinks that he has some words in his wardrobe of verbiage which will induce the Southern States to abolish slavery. He fails in this, also, and the author conducts him through various other experiments to the close of his useless life. The novel is exactly calculated for the present time, and will exercise a good influence if generally read. The writer’s own principles are neither very lofty nor very broad, but he has the merit of resolving all moral bubbles “into their elemental suds.”

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_The Eclipse of Faith; or a Visit to a Religious Sceptic. Boston: Crosby, Nichols & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume is by professor Henry Rogers, of England, the author of some of the ablest articles in the late numbers of the Edinburgh Review, and a most learned, accomplished, and earnest writer on religious subjects. The work is in the form of a dialogue, which enables the author to represent peculiarities of character as well as opinion, and give conversational ease to the statement of the weightiest truths. The reasoning, also, is more readily followed from its being in the shape of debate, our interest in the persons stimulating our attention to what they say. The two sceptical assumptions principally assailed in the volume are these: “that a revelation from God to men, through the agency of a book, is an unreasonable tenet of belief; and that it is impossible that a miracle should occur, and impossible that its occurrence should be authenticated.” The rationalists of all classes are vigorously assailed, Mr. Neuman, of England, and Mr. Theodore Parker, of the United States, being the principal persons against whose theories the author directs his argument. The style of the work is fluent and animated, sometimes rising to eloquence, and not without some fine examples of humor and wit. The chapter on “The Blank Bible,” is a very felicitous specimen of the author’s power of familiarizing and popularizing his views by striking illustrations.

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_Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs. By John Kenrick, A. M. New York: Redfield. 2 vols. 12mo._

This is a very valuable work on a country which has, of late years, increased in interest to Europeans, and been the subject of the most painstaking and profound research. Its history is to be gathered from a multitude of hints, which only ingenuity can interpret and follow out. The object of Mr. Kenrick’s volumes is to give a comprehensive view of the results of the researches of all travelers, artists, interpretators, and critics, who have made Egyptian archæology and history their study; and to describe, from knowledge thus obtained, “the land and the people of Egypt, their arts and sciences, their civil institutions, and their religions faith and usages,” and to relate their history from the earliest records of the monarchy to its final absorption in the empire of Alexander. The plan is an extensive one, and seems to us successfully executed. It is the only work which combines the results to which the many explorers of Egyptian mysteries have arrived, and may therefore be confidently recommended to the general reader as Ancient Egypt, “according to the latest dates.”

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_Parisian Sights and French Principles Seen Through American Spectacles. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

Few titles are more descriptive than the present. It is a view of French society, amusements, morals, manners, and government, by an intelligent and inquisitive American, who has glanced, with his spectacled eyes into many nooks and corners of Parisian life, not open to the ordinary observer. We have some doubts whether the representation is a moral one, though seen from an American point of view, especially that portion referring to the peculiar relations between the sexes in Paris. But there is a great deal of innocent information given in the volume which we have seen in no other; and the book is invaluable to the traveler as a sort of piquant guide. The Harpers have issued it, profusely illustrated by elegant wood-cuts, and excellently printed, for only eighty-three cents. As it is a copyright volume, this price is low even for such cheapeners of books as they are.

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_Philosophers and Actresses. By Arsene Houssaye. New York: Redfield. 2 vols. 12mo._

These volumes, like those on the “Men and Women of the Eighteenth Century,” which preceded them, are devoted to a description of the profligate society of Paris during the reign of Louis XV., and have all the lightness, brilliancy, and bland un-morality characteristic of their author. The painters, sculptors, poets and philosophers of the age, are all exhibited on their soft side, and the book demonstrates how little the ostentatious professors of reason, who, in their writings, were lifted so far above the prejudices and passions of mankind, were guided by reason in their conduct. Voltaire, especially, is shown to be the mere slave of the caprices of the several women he loved. He was worse off than many a hen-pecked husband. The volumes are elegantly printed, and are adorned with fine portraits of Voltaire and Madame de Parabère.

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_Comparative Physiognomy; or Resemblances between Men and Animals. By James W. Redfield, M. D. Illustrated by 330 Engravings. New York: Redfield. 1 vol. 8vo._

This book is exceedingly ingenious, and as brilliant and readable as it is ingenious. The writer is bold to audacity in his criticism on men and on classes, and every page is racy with individual peculiarities. We do not know whether the volume is a scientific joke or not, but the resemblances the author traces between men and animals are often very happy, and seem to point to some occult principle of organization and expression. Hogs, monkeys, cats, hares, foxes, lions, are made to repeat themselves in human heads and countenances with startling effect. The author has given us about a hundred portraits of eminent men and women, with their animal prototypes annexed; and in addition to this he has generalised the shape and expression of whole classes of men into one portrait, and then, putting a pig or a fox by its side, says confidently to the reader, “judge ye.” The book is a very amusing one, even if it have but a fanciful value as regards the leading idea of the author’s theory.

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_Palissy the Potter. The Life of Bernard Palissy, of Saintes; his Labors and Discoveries in Art and Science, etc. By Henry Morley. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 2 vols. 16mo._

The subject of this biography is probably but little known in the United States, though the admirable account of his life and character printed in these elegant volumes, will doubtless make him familiar to many who never before heard his name. He lived an eventful life between the years 1507 and 1589, “one of the obscurely great,” says Mr. Morley, “among the prominently little” of his day. The volumes give an animated picture of the civil and religious discords of France in the sixteenth century, in connection with the narrative of the privations, persecutions, and imprisonments which Palissy underwent on account of his heretical opinions. As regards both powers of mind and honesty of character he was undoubtedly one of the foremost men of his time; and truth owes a debt to his biographer for rescuing his services to art, to science, to religion, and to France, from the oblivion into which they were fast falling. The book has the interest of a romance, and may be classed among the most captivating biographies written during the present century.

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_Village Life in Egypt. With Sketches of the Saïd. By Bayle St. John. Author of “Adventures in the Libyan Desert.” Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 2 vols. 18mo._

A book of travels so rare and strange in its incidents and descriptions, devoted to scenes and people so different from those coming within the observation of ordinary travelers, and written with such thorough knowledge of the subject, as this book of Bayle St. John, is a luxury to read. It gives a complete insight into the poor laboring population of Egypt, and palpably exhibits the abysses of degradation and misery into which tyranny relentlessly plunges the people it pretends to govern. The manners and customs which St. John describes, have sometimes the strange effect on the imagination, which might come from reading an account of things as they are in some other planet. The book is admirably written, has, in its diction, that air of luxurious repose which tourists seem to catch from the climate of Egypt, and is a worthy companion to Kinglake’s “Eothen” and Warburton’s “Crescent and the Cross.” It is published, from advance sheets, in Ticknor & Co.’s most elegant and tasteful style.

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_A Journal kept during a Summer Tour, for the Children of a Village School. By the author of “Amy Herbert,” etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This delightful volume is divided into three parts--the first giving an account of a tour from Ostend to the lake of Constance, the second from the lake to the Simplon, and the third from the Simplon through Tyrol to Genoa. It is laden with information, of especial interest to the young, is written in a style of much clearness and simplicity, and is pervaded by that sweet and genial tone of morality and religion, characteristic of all the writing of Miss Sewall.

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_Comparative Psychology of Universal Analogy. Vegetable Portraits of Character. By M. Edgeworth Lazarus, M. D. New York: Fowler & Wells. 1 vol. 12mo._

The ingenious author of this singular volume makes botany speak the language of Swedenborgianism, Fourierism, mysticism, and many other isms of the day. It is as curious a theory of symbolism as we have ever read, and whatever may be thought of the scientific value of the writer’s statements, they must be submitted to be exceedingly interesting and entertaining.

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_Men’s Wives. By William M. Thackeray. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

The articles of which this volume is made up were originally written for Fraser’s Magazine, under the alias of George Fitz-Boodle. They have all the unreined heartiness of wit and humor for which that periodical was once so celebrated, and are as worthy of Thackeray’s genius as the “Yellowplush Correspondence” itself, which was written for the same magazine. From sly and searching satire to mirthful caricature, there is hardly a region of the ludicrous which this little volume does not occupy and illustrate. It forms one of the series of Appleton’s Popular Library.

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_The Eagle Pass; or Life on the Border. By Cora Montgomery. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume belongs to the original and copy-righted series of Putnam’s Semi-Monthly Library, and like the other numbers, is placed at the low price of twenty-five cents. The authoress of the present work has written a very entertaining narrative of her experiences of Texas border-life, and, with shrewd powers of observation and a tact for character peculiarly feminine, she combines manly qualities of thought and courage. Her description of Peon slavery is worthy the attention of statesmen.

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_Stories from Blackwood. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 18mo._ (_Appleton’s Popular Library._)

These stories are entitled “The First and Last Dinner,” “Malavolti,” “The Iron Shroud,” “The Avenger,” “The Announcements and Three Rooms”, “Nicholas Dunks,” and “Fortune-hunting Extraordinary.” Few of these are any better in plot or style than the ordinary run of tales contributed to American magazines. “The First and Last Dinner” and “Nicholas Dunks,” are perhaps the best in the collection.

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_The Lives of Wellington and Peel. From the London Times. New York: D. Appleton & Co._ (_Appleton’s Popular Library._) _1 vol. 18mo._

The life of Wellington, in this volume, was published in The Times the day after his death, and was written, it is said, six years ago, to be used as soon as needed. It is quite a long and able summary of the events of the duke’s memorable career, and will be read at present with great interest. The life of Peel is also well-written and discriminating.

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=SIPS OF PUNCH.=

[Illustration: =KENSINGTON GARDENS. A POSER FOR PAPA.= “La! Pa, dear! What is the meaning of ‘Koelruteria Paniculata;’ and why should such a little tree have such a very long name?”]

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[Illustration: =Harry (_to Tom._) There’s one great bore about a Watering-place--they sell such horrid Cigars.=]

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[Illustration: =The Advantage of Sitting next to a Family Pew.=]

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[Illustration: =“THAT IS THE QUESTION.”= Is Weskets to be generally wore this Season?]

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=Transcriber’s Notes:=

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals available for preparation of the ebook.

Page 575, the swamps of Findland ==> the swamps of Finland Page 577, on the heighis louder ==> on the heights louder Page 583, the thermoneter in the shade ==> the thermometer in the shade Page 587, Mahommed is his ==> Mohammed is his Page 590, Gutemburg ==> Gutenberg Page 595, added missing chapter heading CHAPTER I. Page 596, the black-hazle-blossoms are fringed ==> the black-hazel-blossoms are fringed Page 597, Paulina Monroe, aunt’s neice ==> Paulina Monroe, aunt’s niece Page 597, my own neice ==> my own niece Page 601, Ponto was was running off ==> Ponto was running off Page 601, I think so to. ==> I think so too. Page 603, You hav n’t asked her. ==> You haven’t asked her. Page 604, Straffordshire ==> Staffordshire Page 605, help- her in her sewing-plans ==> help her in her sewing-plans Page 606, ones having pretty teeth ==> one’s having pretty teeth Page 607, French and the Mahratian ==> French and the Mahrattas Page 608, but Colonel Wellesly defeated ==> but Colonel Wellesley defeated Page 610, disgracefel as well ==> disgraceful as well Page 610, daring and and brilliant ==> daring and brilliant Page 611, execution of Marsal Ney ==> execution of Marshal Ney Page 611, commonality of the capiatl ==> commonality of the capital Page 613, memories of the surving ==> memories of the surviving Page 616, an active an energetic ==> an active and energetic Page 617, entered the santuary. ==> entered the sanctuary. Page 624, her trembled least ==> her trembled lest Page 625, officer’s of the fort ==> officers of the fort Page 626, the single white camilla ==> the single white camellia Page 626, which I destest ==> which I detest Page 631, words of wordly wisdom ==> words of worldly wisdom Page 634, the children’s beadstead ==> the children’s bedstead Page 635, quite presentible, almost ==> quite presentable, almost Page 635, I I thought the room ==> I thought the room Page 635, and ar n’t they sweet ==> and aren’t they sweet Page 640, too, was too feed ==> too, was to feed Page 640, her children heighttened ==> her children heightened Page 641, of painted canvass, ==> of painted canvas, Page 648, First, We see ==> First, we see Page 650, so forciby struck the eye ==> so forcibly struck the eye Page 653, fo I am not ==> for I am not Page 654, of a _fêté_, ==> of a _fête_, Page 656, was listenening to ==> was listening to Page 656, gold of the kindom ==> gold of the kingdom Page 658, It’s asy to see ==> It’s easy to see Page 663, Madame de Parèbere ==> Madame de Parabère