[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

The Token, for 1835

The Token, edited by Samuel Goodrich, was one of many gift annuals available to early 19th-century readers. These lavishly bound, lushly illustrated collections of poetry and prose were intended as Christmas and New Year’s gifts—reminding us that in early 19th-century America, New Year’s was a gift-giving holiday. Gift books were published both for children and for adults, though the audiences often overlapped: some pieces by Goodrich appearing in The Token were reprinted in his works for children, including Robert Merry’s Museum. Goodrich saw in The Token a chance to promote American writers and engravers. He succeeded quite well, especially with the writers, who included John Neal, Catharine Sedgwick, N. P. Willis, Lydia Sigourney, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Eliza Leslie, and—in retrospect, most significant—Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first volume of The Token appeared in 1827; the last was published in 1842. Almost always, it was a decorative volume, with a handsome binding, fulsome end papers, and contents that were—well—decorative. Scenic views and scenic ladies were staples in the poetry; the prose tended to be lightly humorous, slightly sensational, and delicately edifying. Most of what appeared in The Token was innocuous.

The volume for 1835 is 376 pages bound in embossed leather. The pages are gilded on all exposed sides, and the text is embellished by 11 engravings, snapshots of which are reproduced here. In keeping with the book’s intended purpose as a gift, a presentation plate is included at the front, and the list of engravings appears before the table of contents for the text—establishing for shoppers that there was a good number of illustrations for the money.

While Goodrich wanted the Token to represent American themes, this volume abounds in non-American settings and characters. Historical women include Mary Stuart—with whom the female readers of the Token were expected to sympathize—and Catherine the Great—with whom they weren’t. Benvenuto Cellini boasts of firing the shot that kills the Duke of Bourbon, in “Bourbon’s Last March;” “The Bride” involves a European count. “The Mameluke” and “The Cobbler of Brusa” pursue Middle-Eastern themes. Even Catharine Sedgwick mingles romance and religious persecution against the Paterins in 13th-century France, in “St. Catharine’s Eve.” The story may have been inspired by Valperga, by Mary Shelley, in which a character is excommunicated by the Catholic church, having become a Paterin, whose beliefs were antithetical to the Church’s traditions. Valperga was reviewed on the same page (p. 105) as the second edition of Sedgwick’s New England Tale in the British Monthly Review for May 1823; it’s tempting to think that Sedgwick read Shelley’s book and found an enticing theme. Sedgwick’s story is extremely anti-Catholic—a theme woven through several volumes of the Token. Here, not only do we have characters executed for their religious beliefs, but an evil archbishop persuading the king to oppress Jewish people.

There are, of course, American themes. Nathaniel Hawthorne has three stories, all set in the U.S. “Alice Doane’s Appeal” involves the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts; “The Mermaid” is about New England fisherfolk; “The Haunted Mind” snapshots a night in a small town. Eliza Leslie’s “The Reading Parties” is an amusing look at social politics in a tiny village. The American prairie is the subject of “A Legend of the Prairies,” by James Hall (The Harpe’s Head is an historical novel including as characters the Harpe brothers, who murdered and pillaged in 18th-century Kentucky and Ohio), and “The Buffalo Hunt.” Native Americans haunt these prairies, hunting the buffalo and menacing travelers. “Fort Mystick,” by Lydia Sigourney, details the destruction of Native Americans in Connecticut in a story built on stereotypical tropes, while “The Departed Tribes” laments that Native Americans are fading, falling, and dying.

Women in the stories are often vulnerable and young. Catherine the Great is the villain of “The Fate of a Princess,” demanding the “removal” of a naive teenager who could supplant her and smilingly adding the girl’s wedding ring to the jewels on her hand after the girl has been betrayed. Mary Stuart is “lovely and … innocent” and endured “unmerited sufferings;” readers evidently were expected to sympathize with the young and vulnerable woman eventually executed for plotting to usurp the throne, rather than with the powerful and celebrated woman who held that throne. And, oh, are the heroines young. The biography of Mary Stuart ends before her twenties. The 21-year-old count in “The Bride” marries a 13-year-old; Sedgwick’s young heroine is sixteen. “The Fate of the Princess” is based on an historical incident in which a 30-year-old woman claimed to be the true heir to the throne; here, however, the woman is a 15-year-old girl. Pages and pages of the Token are given to florid descriptions of lovely innocents.

Dreams and stories are a minor theme in this volume, with the mother in Sedgwick’s “St. Catharine’s Eve” inspired by a dream she considers heaven-sent and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s narrator in “The Haunted Mind” mingling dream images with the realities of the night. Hawthorne explores stories and storytelling in “Alice Doane’s Appeal,” as the narrator reads aloud from his story of betrayal, and in “The Mermaid,” with the narrator telling stories beside the hearth. Eliza Leslie’s “The Reading Parties” makes references to a number of popular stories and poems.

Love and romance are complicated in this volume of the Token. First love is not always eternal. The narrator of “Consolation” falls in love with one woman and then another, and since each young woman has married another man, he hopes to fall in love with a third. The narrator of “To E—” has loved Mary, but “E.” is exactly like her, so he falls in love with her. Sarah Josepha Hale shows how a marriage can survive bankruptcy in “The Broken Merchant,” but a surprising number of the marriages are simply politically or economically expedient. The count in “The Bride” marries his 13-year-old only because he must marry in order to inherit a fortune, and she is likely to be the most malleable female he could find. Alexis Orloff marries the unsuspicious princess in the way of Catherine the Great because he fears his plot has been exposed; Mary Stuart marries for political reasons, though her brief marriage is treated as romantic. Romances blossom in “The Reading Parties,” but the marriage appears to be inspired by the bride’s bank account. (Given the groom’s propensity for bankruptcy, it’s tempting also to see their union as some sort of punishment for the bride’s pride.)

As usual, several pieces are written around the steel engravings that grace the book. “Bourbon’s Last March,” in fact, points that out. Having suggested to Robert Walter Weir that he should add historical figures to the Italian landscape he was painting, Gulian Crommelin Verplanck acceded to Weir’s demand that he write the story pictured in the image. Two dramatic engravings highlight the dramatic shift in Hannah F. Gould’s “Changes On the Deep,” the impending death of an innocent in “My Child! My Child!” and the heroic rescue in “They’re Saved! They’re Saved!” Gould gives a religious twist to the latter phrase.

Few volumes of the Token make as many references as this one. “The Reading Parties” is filled with references to writers and works. “The Widow and Her Son” appears in The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., by Washington Irving; “Alexander’s Feast” by George Frideric Handel. The wreck of the Ariel is described in The Pilot, by James Fenimore Cooper. “Paulding” is James Kirke Paulding, who would have a piece in the next volume of the Token. Mr. Snitterby and Mr. Sniffin act out a scene from Pizarro, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, a 1799 play in which Alonzo and Rolla are Peruvians fighting the Spanish ledd by Pizarro; captured after a battle, Alonzo is held in a dungeon and awaiting execution, but Rolla helps him disguise himself and takes his place, helping Alonzo to escape. Mr. Ugford recites “The Pet-Lamb” (1800) by William Wordsworth, where a young girl feeds a lamb abandoned by its mother. “The Young Novice,” by Mary Russell Milford, features Bridget Plantagenet, daughter of Henry IV, who was taken to a nunnery at age 10. The poem was printed in Literary Souvenir, edited by Alaric A. Watts. (London, England: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1829). The Battle of Hohenlinden is in “Hohenlinden,” by Thomas Campbell; the quoted stanza is halfway through the poem. Mr. Edwards (and Mr. Binnage) are enamored of “The Song of Marion’s Men,” by William Cullen Bryant (1831): Francis Marion (“the Swamp Fox”) led a small band of soldiers against British forces in South Carolina during the American Revolution; in the poem, Marion’s men cheerily boast of sleeping “[o]n beds of oaken leaves” in “the good greenwood” and harassing the British.

Reviewers of the volume were somewhat critical of the engravings, not only their non-American subjects, but the quality of the artwork: “[W]ho ever saw a man making love with such an immense wrist?” the New England Magazine quipped. That editor was less interested in critiquing the text, which would involve having to do the work of reading it. “Can any one be so unreasonable as to require us to read it?” he asks. “The idea is not to be harbored.”

The entire volume is transcribed here, with spelling intact. Spelling could be erratic. In Sedgwick’s “St. Catherine’s Eve,” “Agnés” is sometimes “Agnes.” The traveler looking for “Westchester,” Pennsylvania, near the battle of the Brandywine, will be disappointed unless looking for “West Chester”—perhaps because either the author of the piece or the editor of the volume was more familiar with the spelling of the county in New York. And there are vagaries of early American spelling: “monysyllable,” “shew.” Unfortunately, scanning all the illustrations would damage the book, so the engravings are quick (and sometimes distorted) snapshots. Reviews are on a separate page.

[presentation page]

a stone urn planted with flowers stands on a balcony overlooking a mountainous landscape; wrapped around it is a banner with text below
Drawn by G. Harvey, A. N. A.      Engraved by E. Gallaudet.
Presented to [blank space]
By [blank space]

[“fancy title page”; engraved title page]

a white couple dressed in exotic clothing gaze lovingly at each other; text below
Painted by A. Colin.      Engraved by E. Gallaudet.

Print. by R. Andrews.

BOSTON, 1835.





[p. 2; copyright page]

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-four, by Charles Bowen, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

hand pointing right As the publisher of this work, is also the sole proprietor, it is requested that all communications relating to business matters may be addressed to him; those which relate to the editorial department may be addressed as usual to S. G. Goodrich, care of C. Bowen.

Samuel N. Dickinson, Printer,
52 Washington Street.

[p. 3]



To F. … 5

St. Catharine’s Eve—By Miss Sedgwick [Catherine Maria Sedgwick] … 7

Bourbon’s Last March—by G. C. Verplanck [Gulian Crommelin Verplanck] … 37

Will you go? … 61

The Rival Bubbles: A Fable—by S. G. Goodrich … 62

Good Night … 64

The Youth of Mary Stuart—by L******* [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow] … 65

The Haunted Mind—by the author of Sights from a Steeple [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 76

The Mountain Stream—By B. B. Thatcher … 83

Alice Doane’s Appeal—By the Author of the Gentle Boy [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 84

Consolation—By Lawrence Manners [John O. Sargent] … 102

The Mameluke—By Grenville Mellen … 103

The Mermaid: A Reverie [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 106

What shall I bring thee, Mother? … 122

The Bride … 124

Lady Lake—Pencilled while sailing [John O. Sargent] … 158

The Silver Cascade in the White Mountains [Samuel G. Goodrich] … 159

The Cobbler of Brusa: A Turkish Tale … 162

The Bird of the Bastile—By B. B. Thatcher … 174

Fort Mystick—By Mrs. Sigourney [Lydia Sigourney] … 177

The Wreck [Samuel G. Goodrich] … 212

The Dream of Youth [Samuel G. Goodrich] … 213

The Reading Parties: A Sketch—By Miss Leslie [Eliza Leslie] … 216

Job Fustick; or, the Dyers: A Story of all colors … 246

Sonnet to Lord Edward Fitzgerald—By A. D. Woodbridge … 253

Tears—By A. A. L. … 254

The fate of a Princess … 255

Children—What are they?—By J. Neal [John Neal] … 280

The Old Elm of Newbury—By H. F. Gould … 299

A Legend of the Prairies—By the Author of the Harpe’s Head [James Hall] … 303

The Cottage Girl—By V. V. Ellis [John O. Sargent] … 319

Sonnet [John O. Sargent] … 321

The Broken Merchant—By Mrs. S. J. Hale [Sarah Josepha Hale] … 322

Monody—By Mrs. Sigourney [Lydia Sigourney] … 343

The Field of Brandywine—By William L. Stone … 346

Duties of Winter—By F. W. P. Greenwood … 359

The Buffalo Hunt … 367

The Days that are past [Epes Sargent] … 368

To a Lady who called me capricious [John O. Sargent] … 369

To E. … 370

Changes on the deep—By Miss Gould [Hannah F. Gould] … 371

The Departed Tribes … 376

[p. 4]


1. Presentation Plate, drawn by Harvey, engraved by E. Gallaudet.

2. Title-Page, Painted by A. Colin, engraved by E. Gallaudet.

3. Bourbon’s Last March, painted by R. W. Weir, engraved by Jas. Smillie. … 3[7]

4. Will You Go? painted by A. Fisher, engraved by J. B. Neagle. … 61

5. The Mameluke, engraved by J. B. Neagle. … 103

6. The Mountain Stream, painted by J. Doughty, engraved by J. B. Neagle. … 83

7. The Silver Cascade, painted by J. Doughty, engraved by G. B. Ellis. … 159

8. The Dream of Youth, painted by Guerin, engraved by Cheney. … 213

9. The Young Princess, engraved by Cheney. … 255

10. The Cottage Girl, painted by E. Landseer, engraved by Cheney. … 319

11. The Buffalo Hunt, painted by A. Fisher, engraved by W. E. Tucker. … 367

12. My Child! My Child! painted by H. Dawe, engraved by Thos. Illman. … 371

13. They’re Saved! They’re Saved! painted by H. Dawe, engraved by Thos. Illman. … 375

[p. 5]



The spring, the summer, they are flown; away

On wizard wings they seek a genial sky,

While Autumn’s yellow leaves come whirling by,

Singing to fancy’s ear a plaintive lay,

Of youthful memories linked with winter’s gloom.

And if the heart will deeply listen, love,

Hope, fear, and every other thrilling string,

Swept like sweet Eol’s harp by Music’s wing,

Tremble, as if these leaves from heaven above,

Whispered at once of childhood and the tomb.

Such is the voice of nature, and its tone

Doth weave strange contrasts into harmony,

Then wilt thou not forgive that I for thee

Have gathered leaves as varied for thine own?

Wilt thou not lend thy favor, tho’ the book

May tell of lovers in the title-page,

Met as by chance within some Grecian cave,

To speak the whispers of a golden age,—

While yet another leaf, a legend grave

May tell, of battle with the Mameluke?

p. 6

I prithee listen to the gusty strain

That sweeps thy window, blending with the wail

Of coming winter, summer’s parting gale.

Look at yon lovely landscape; ’tis a plain

O’er which the mountain’s frown is darkly thrown.

The eye is taught to love the blushing flower

Within the cypress’ shadow, and the ray

Of sunshine in a tomb doth seem to play

With darkness in its secret, stolen bower,

More gaily that its revel is so lone.

Still dost thou blame the changeful page, and deem,

It all capricious that a song hath place,

Beside a sermon, shuffled face to face?

Look at thyself, fair lady! Is the theme

Not worthy of perusal? Yet the elf,

Called nature, with its ever changing brow,

Its landscapes, leaves, and fluctuating wind,—

I deem it less capricious far than thou—

Less lovely too I own,—but change thy mind,

And take this book—a semblance of thyself.

[p. 7]



‘All is best though oft we doubt,

What th’ unsearchable dispose

Of highest wisdom brings about,

And ever best found in the close.’


‘On trouve dans la chronique de Raoul, Abbé de Coggeshall, sous cette année (1201) une histoire touchante qui montre à quel point l’enseignement religieux pouvoit être perverti, et combien le Clergé étoit loin d être le gardien des mœurs publiques.’

Early in the 13th century Agnés de Meran, the misstress-wife of Philip Augustus, held her court at the Chateau des roses Sur-Seine, not many leagues from Paris. The arts and luxuries of the time were lavished on this residence of the favorite. On one side of the Chateau, and leading out of the garden attached to it, was a winding walk, embowered by grape vines which, not being native in the north of France, and the art by which the gardener now triumphs over soil and climate being then in its infancy, were cultivated with great pains and royal expense. The walk, after extending some hundred yards, opened on a sloping ground, bounded by the Seine, and tastefully planted with shrubs and vines formed into arbours and bowers of every imaginable shape. The whole plantation was called Larigne. Parallel to a part of it ran the highway, hidden by a wall, excepting where it traversed an arched stone bridge that spanned the Seine, and which was itself almost embowered by tall acacias, planted at either end of it.

Late in the afternoon of a September day, when the warm air was perfumed with autumnal fruits, and the sun glancing

p. 8

athwart the teeming vines, shot its silver beams across the green sward, and seemed, by some alchemy of the flowers to become molten gold as it touched their leaves, tinted with deep autumnal dyes; two ladies, followed by a Moorish servant girl, issued from the walk.

The eldest was tall and thin. The soft round lines of youth had given place to the angles of forty; but though she had lost the beauty, she had retained the grace (happily that charm is perennial) of youth, and added to it the fitting quality of matronly dignity. Born in Provence, she was an exception to the general hue of its natives, her complexion having an extreme fairness, and a texture as delicate as that of infancy. She had that organ, to whichthe Phrenologist is pleased to assign the religious sentiment, strikingly developed; but a surer indication of a tendency to spiritual abstraction, was expressed in her deep set, intellectual, and rather melancholy eye. Her mouth, when closed, expressed firmness and decision, but, when in play, the gentlest and tenderest of human affections; and the voice that proceeded from it was the organ of her soul, and expressed its divine essence—love. Such was the lady Clotilde—the martyr, who would have been the canonized saint, had she died in the bosom of the orthodox church.

The other female was a girl of sixteen, Rosalie, the daughter of Clotilde, and resembling her in nothing but the purity and spirituality of her expression. Her complexion was of the tint which the vulgar call fair, and the learned Thebans in such matters, brunette; her eyes were the deepest blue, and her eye-lashes long and so black, that in particular lights they imparted their hue to her eyes. Her hair, we are told, was of the color that harmonized with her skin—what that hue was we are left to imagine. Her features, neck, and whole person (the feet and hands are dilated on with a lover’s prolixity) the chronicle describes as cast in beauty’s mould, ‘o

p. 9

that he who once looked on this fair ladye Rosalie saw imperfection in all other creatures.’

Rosalie led, by her hand, a little girl of four years, a cherub in beauty.

‘Why, dear Mama,’ said Rosalie, ‘are you so silent and thoughtful?—and tell me—pray—why were you so cold to our sweet lady queen to-day, when she bade us prepare the fête for the king?—I would not pry into secrets, but when she spake low to you, did she not say something of sad looks not suiting festive days?’

‘She did, Rosalie—nd yet she well knows they are but too fitting. Let us seat ourselves here, my child, and while Zeba looks after Marie I will entrust you with what is better suited to your discretion than your years.’—She beckoned to Zeba to relieve them from the child, but little Marie, a petted favorite of Rosalie’s sprang on the bench and clung around her neck, till she was won away by a promise of a game of ‘hide and go seek,’ among the vines and shrubs.

‘Rosalie,’ continued the mother, pointing to Marie, ‘that child is not the offspring of a union which man deems honorable, and calls marriage, and which it pleases heaven, my child, to authorize to humanity in some stages of its weakness and ignorance, but she is—I hesitate to speak it to your pure ears—the fruit of illicit love.’

‘Mother! what mean you?—She is surely the child of our good lord king and of his wife—our lady Agnés and our queen?’

‘Our lady Agnés de Meran, Rosalie, but not his wife—nor our rightful queen.’

‘You should not have tole me this!—you should not have told me this!’ reiterated Rosalie, covering her eyes from which the tears gushed, ‘I loved her so well!—and Marie!—oh you should not have told me!’

‘My dear Rosalie, I have withheld it as long as I dared.

p. 10

The world to you is as a paradise, and I shrunk from exposing to you the traces of sin and evil that are upon it. But evil—temptation must approach you, and how are you to resist it, if yu know not its existence? Listen patiently, my dear child. There is much in the story of our lady to excuse her with those compromising consciences that weigh sin against temptation; and much to make her pitied by those who weigh the force of temptation against the weakness of humanity.’

‘I am sure I shall pity her,’ interrupted Rosalie.

‘Beware, my child. Pity, the gentlest spirit of heaven, sometimes loses her balance in leaning too far on the side of humanity.’

‘But pity is heaven-born, dear mother.’

Clotilde did not reply, for she had not the heart to repress the instincts of Rosalie’s affections; and Rosalie added, ‘I am sure our lady Agnés has sinned unwittingly.’

‘Alas, my child!—But listen—I must make my tale a brief one. Our royal master, who in his festive hours appears to us so kind and gracious, is stained with crimes, miscalled virtues by his blind guides, and false friends.’

Crimes, mother?’

‘Yes, Rosalie, crimes—persecution and murder misnamed, by his uncle of Rheims, zeal—cruelty, rapine, excess, and what I will not name to thy maiden ears. He was anointed king in the blood of his subjects—for les fêtes de la Toussaint, when he was crowned, were scarcely past when, set on by the Archbishop, he commanded his soldiers to surround the synagogues of the Jews, on their Sabbath-day, to drag them to prison, and rob them of their gold and silver to replenish the coffers which his father Louis had emptied for offerings to the church. The Jews hoped it was a passing storm, but the king ordered them to sell all they possessed, and with their wives and little ones to leave his

p. 11

dominions. Their property was sacrificed, not sold, and our royal master received the benedictions of the priests! The next objects of his zeal were the violators of the third commandment—the poor were drowned—the rich paid a fine into the king’s treasury, for as our chronicle of St. Denis hath it, the king holds ‘en horreur et abomination ces horribles sacremens que ces gloutons joueurs de dés font souvent en ces cours, et ces tavernes.’

‘But, dear mother, was he not right to punish such?’

‘To fine the rich, and drown the poor, Rosalie?’—Rosalie perceived that her shield was ineffectual, and her mother proceeded, but not till she had cautiously looked around her. ‘To fill up the measure of his obedience to sacerdotal pride and hatred, he published an edict renewing the persecution against the Patérins.’—

‘the Patérins, mother?’

Clotilde smiled faintly at her daughter’s interrogatory. ‘The name of these much abused people you have not yet heard, for it is a perilous one to speak in our court; but they are the followers of those pious men who, having obeyed the commands of their Lord, and searched the Scriptures, have changed their faith and reformed their morals. They differ somewhat among themselves, having entered into the glorious liberty of the gospel, and being no longer bound to uniformity by the bulls of the Pope or the word of the Priest. They have all been marked by the purity of their lives—a few by their austerity. Some among them eat no meat, and others deem even marriage criminal.’

‘Mother!’ exclaimed Rosalie, in a tone that indicated a revelation had burst upon her.

‘I read your thoughts, Rosalie—yes—I am a Patérin. Here in the very bosom of the court I cherish the faith for which many that I loved were cast into prison, and afterwards ‘made (I quote from our Court Chronicle) to pass

p. 12

through material flames to the eternal flames which awaited them!’ [sic]

‘And was it such as you, my mother,’ asked Rosalie, pressing her cheek to Clotilde’s, ‘that thus suffered?’

‘Such, and far better, Rosalie; and who,’ she added, the ecstasy of faith irradiating her fine countenance, ‘who would shrink from the brief material fire through which there is a sure passage to immediate and eternal glory?’

If there are moments of presentiment when the future dawns upon the mind with all the vividness of actual presence, this was one to Rosalie. She threw her arms around her mother’s neck and said in a trembling voice, ‘God guard my mother!’

‘He has guarded me,’ replied the lady Clotilder, gently unlocking Rosalie’s arms, ‘and while it is best I shall continue like the prophet safe in a den of lions. ‘Take no thought for the morrow,’ Rosalie.—But I have been led far away from my main purpose, which was to give you a brief history of the lady Agnés.

‘Our lord the king had contracted a marriage with Isemburg of Denmark, daughter of Waldemar le Grand. On his progress to receive her, he visited the castle of one of the Duke of Meranie’s adherents, where a tournament was holding. His rank was carefully concealed. He was announced in the lists as le Chevalier affiancé, and his motto was la bonne ‘esperance.’—Our lady Agnés—then in her sixteenth year—just your present age—presided as queen of love and beauty. Philip was thrice victorious, and thrice crowned by the lady Agnés. At the third time there were vehement demands that his visor should be removed. He appealed to Berchtold, the father of our lady, and prayed permission to preserve his incognito to all but the lady Agnés, to whom, if she were attended by only one of her ladies, he would disclose his name and rank. Berchtold allowing that nought

p. 13

should be refused to the brave and all conquering knight, granted the private audience of his daughter, and she selected me from among her ladies to attend her. Philip, affianced to another, and confessing himself bound to keep the letter of his faith, violated its spirit. He declared himself passionately in love with our lady, and vowed eternal faith to her.—Our poor lady, smitten with love, received and returned his vows. The marriage with Isemburg was celebrated four days after.’

‘Was he married to Isemburg?’

‘Yes, if that may be called marriage, Rosalie, which is a mere external rite—where there is no union of heart—where vows are made to be broken.’

‘this surely is most sinful—but not so when hearts as well as hands are joined—think you, mother?’

The lady Clotilde proceeded without a reply to her daughter’s interrogatory. ‘It was told through Christendom that the king of France, on receiving the hand of the beautiful Isemburg, was seen to turn pale and tremble, and shrink from her; and when her rare beauty and her many graces were thought on, there was much marvelling, and many there were who attributed the strange demeanor of the king to sorcery! The lady Agnés and I alone knew the solution of the mystery.—Eighty days after the marriage he appealed for a divorce to Bishops and Archbishops assembled at Compeigne—his own servile tools. The marriage was annuled on a mere pretext, and immediately followed by the outward forms of marriage with our fair lady.’

‘I comprehend not these matters; but, mother, were not the lawful forms observed?’

‘Rosalie! beware how in your tenderness for your mistress you confound right and wrong[.] Priests may not, at their pleasure, modify the law of God. The rules of holy writ are few and inflexible.—Isemburg denied the validity

p. 14

of the divorce, and retired to a convent. The Pope, from worldly policy, has maintained her part. An interdict was lain upon the kingdom. Marriages and interments in consecrated ground were forbidden. Weeping and mourning pervaded Philip’s dominions—all for this guilty marriage. Then followed reconcilliation with the Pope—then fresh animosities and perjuries—and through all Philip has adhered to our lady.’

‘Faithful in that, at least, mother.’

‘Yes, faithful where faith was not due. The lady Isemburg still lives and claims her rights—every true heart in Christendom is for her, and it is only here, in the court of our lady, that her wrongs are unknown, or never mentioned.’

‘And why, my dear mother,’ asked Rosalie, recurring to her first feelings, ‘why, since you have so long kept this sad tale from me, why did you tell it now?’

‘I kept it because that, yet a child in years, it was not essential you should know it, and I could not bear to throw a shade over your innocent and all-trusting love for our lady. Now you are entering on the scene of action yourself. Temptation will assault you from which I cannot shield you. Even your mother, my child, cannot keep your account with your Judge.’

‘Alas, no!—But what temptations have I to fear, dear mother?’

‘You are endowed with rare beauty, Rosalie, and in this court there will be many smooth tongues to tell you this.’

‘They have already told me so,’ said the ingenuous Rosalie, slightly blushing.

‘Who?—who?’ asked her mother.

‘The lord Thièbant, and the young knights Arnold and Beaumont, and the king himself; but indeed, mother, it

p. 15

moved me not half so much as when my lady Agnés commends the manner of my hair, or the fitting of my kerchief.’

‘Ah, Rosalie, these flattering words have been as yet lightly spoken—as it were to a child, but when they are uttered in words of fire, par amour.’

‘Oh, if you fear for me, mother,’ said Rosalie, dropping on her knees, and crossing her arms in her mother’s lap, ‘I will now vow myself to the Virgin.’

‘Will you, Rosalie?’

‘In sooth I will. Not to immure myself within the walls of a convent, shut out from that communion which the Creator holds with his creatures through his visible works; and that still better communion vouchsafed to us when we are fellow-workers with Him in missions of mercy and love to His creatures.’

‘You are somewhat of a Patérin too, my Rosalie, said her mother, rejoicing that her indirect lessons were so definitely impressed on her daughter’s mind. ‘But have you comprehended the perfect spirituality of the Christian’s law? Do you know there is no virtue in external obedience, however self-denying and self-afflicting that obedience may be, if the affections, the desires, the purposes, are not in perfect subjection to the will of God? Do you know that if you now vow yourself to a vestal’s life, it would be sin should you hereafter, even in thought, repent this vow and sorrow for it’

‘But dear mother that cannot be. I can never love another so well as I love you, and our poor lady Agn[é]s—Now therefore, in this quiet Temple of God let me make the vow.’

Clotilde’s face was convulsed with thick coming conflicting thoughts and feelings. In common with many of her sect, she had retained that tenderest and most poetic feature of the Catholic religion, a tender homage for the Virgin. She believed the holy mother would vouchsafe supernatural aid

p. 16

to her vestal followers, and this aid she thought might be essential to one who, with unsuspecting youth, and surpassing beauty, was beset by the changes of a court of which virtue was not the presiding genius. But on the other hand, she feared to take advantage of the inexperience of her child. Her very willingness to assume the shackles, made her mother shrink from their imposition. Rosalie clasped her hands and raised her eyes. ‘Stay my sweet child—not now’ [sic] said her mother—‘a vow like this demands previous meditation, and much communing with your own spirit. I trust you are moved by heavenly inspiration, and if so, the work now begun, will be perfected. In eight days from this we celebrate the marriage of St. Catharine, that marriage which typifies the sacred spiritual union of the perfected saint with the author of her salvation. I have twice dreamed the day had arrived, and marvellous, and spirit-stirring fancies, if they be fancies, have mingled with my dreams. I witnessed the holy marriage. I gazed at the sacred pair, when suddenly, as St. Catharine was receiving the bridal ring, it was you my Rosalie and not the saint, your face was as vivid as it is now to my actual sense, and instead of the pale slender hand of the saint, was your’s, [sic] dimpled, and rose tinted as it now is; but alas! the ring would not go upon your finger. While I marvelled and sorrowed, flames crackled round me, you, the celestial bridegroom, all vanished from my eyes, clouds of smoke rose around me, as I looked up for help, their dense volume collected over my head parted and I beheld a crown as bright as if it were of woven sunbeams, a martyr’s crown.’

‘Dear mother, I like not this dream.’

‘Be not disquieted my child. Our dreams are sometimes heavenly inspirations, but oftener, compounded of previous thoughts and impressions. Martyrdom has ere now been within the scope of my expectations, and that your marriage

p. 17

may be like that of the blessed St. Catharine, is my continual prayer. Look not back, but forward. If it please heaven to strengthen and confirm the good purpose now conceived, on St. Catharine’s Eve you shall make your vow.’

‘So be it, mother, yet I would it were now.’ The ladies were interrupted by a page from the queen who came to summon the lady Clotilde to his mistress’ presence.

Little Marie seeing her favorite at liberty left her attendant and insisted, with the vehemence of a petted princess as she was, that Rosalie should take a stroll with her along the bank of the river. Rosalie, scarcely past childhood herself, felt her spirits vibrate to the touch of her little friend, and they ran on sportively together, followed by the Moorish servant, till they came to the shore, where beneath a clump of trees, overgrown with flowering vines, a bench had been placed to afford a poste restange, which a painter might have selected, as affording, on one side a view of the turrets of the castle, towering above the paradise in which it was embosomed, and on the other, of the windings of the Seine and the picturesque bridge that crossed it. Just before Rosalie arrived at this point of sight, a cavalcade had passed the bridge on their way to the castle—the Archbishop of Rheims and his retinue. One of them had lagged behind the rest, and stopping on the bridge to survey the river, he had caught a glimpse of what seemed to him the most poetic personifications of youth and childhood that his eye had ever rested on. The spectator was mounted on a Spanish jennet, caparisoned with the rich decorations which the knights of the time, who regarded their steeds almost as brothers in arms, were wont to lavish on them. The bridle was garnished with silver bells, so musical that they seemed to keep time to the graceful motions of the animal. It might have puzzled an observer to decide to which of the two great faineant classes that then divided the Christian world, knights,

p. 18

or monks, to assign the rider. Beneath a long monastic mantle, fastened by a jewelled clasp, a linked mailed shirt might be perceived. The face of the wearer had the open gay expression of a preux chevalier, with a certain softness and tenderness that indicated a disposition rather to a reflective, than an active life. He had become wearied of the solemn and silent pomp of the archbishop’s retinue, and had resigned the distinction of riding beside his highness for a gayer companion and a freer position in the rear of the train.

‘By my faith, Arnaud,’ said he. ‘I find these lords, bishops and archbishops very stupid, in propria persona.’—‘Ah, Gervais, had you heeded me! but as the proverb says ‘good counsel has no price.’—‘But my good master priest, we have yet to see whether my hope will not give the lie to your experience.’

‘Bravo!’ retorted Arnaud, laughing louder than one would have dared to laugh nearer the archbishop. ‘St. Catharine’s is the day you doff that mailed shirt of yours, forever? When that day comes round again, we shall see whether dame experience has forfeited a name for speaking truth, and lying hope has gained one.’

‘Holy Mary!’ exclaimed Gervais de Tilbéry, checking his horse as he entered upon the stone bridge. ‘What houri is that!’ ‘Softly, Sir Gervais,’ replied his friend, ‘it is scarcely prudent to utter oaths, and gaze after houri’s [sic] within a bow-shot of my lord archbishop, within seven days of St. Catharine’s Eve! Are you spell-bound, Gervais.’

Gervais heeded not the prudent caution of his friend, but asking him to bid Hubert (his attendant) come to him, he permitted Arnaud to proceed alone. Hubert came. Gervais gave him the horse to lead to the castle.

Hubert disappeared, and Gervais succeeded in scaling the bridge and letting himself down within the paradise that enclosed the houri, whom he approached (unseen by her)

p. 19

through a walk enclosed by tall flowering shrubs. As he issued from it, he perceived his magnet still standing near where he had first seen her, but now in a state of great alarm. The bench, mentioned above, had been taken from its supporters, and one end of it was projecting over the precipitous bank. An eddy in the river had worn away the bank beneath, and the water there was deep and rapid. Little Marie with the instinct which children seem to possess to find, or make danger, run on to the bench, and when Rosalie stepped on to draw her back she darted forward to its extremity, beyond Rosalie’s reach; she perceiving that if she advanced one inch farther the bench would lose its balance and they must both be precipitated into the river. The children perfectly unconscious of danger was diverted at Rosalie’s terror, and clapping her hands and jumping up and down was screaming ‘Why don’t you catch me Rosalie?’ The Moorish girl threw herself on her knees and supplicated the child to come back, in vain. Rosalie was pale and trembling with terror when she felt a firm tread on the bench, behind her, and turning, saw the stranger, who said to her ‘fear not, sweet lady, give me your hand—I am twice your weight—the board will not move—now advance a step and grasp the little girl.’ This was done in an instant, and the mischievous little gipsey [sic] was dragged from her tormenting position. Rosalie after she had kissed and chidden her, bade her return with Zeba to the castle, saying she would instantly follow, and then turned to thank the stranger for his timely interposition. A bright flush succeeded her momentary paleness. It may be that the joy of transition from apprehension to security was enhanced by its being effected by a young and handsome stranger knight, for the young ladies of the middle ages were as richly endowed with the elements of romance as the fair readers of our circulating libraries, who find in many a last new novel but

p. 20

little besides a new compound of the songs of troubadours, and tales of trouveurs.

The thanks given, and most graciously received, Rosalie felt embarrassed by the stranger continuing to attend her. ‘Think me not discourteous, sir knight,’ said she ‘if I apprise you that you are within the private pleasure grounds of our lady queen—sacred to herself and the ladies of her court.’ While Gervais paused for some pretext for lingering, Rosalie kindly added, ‘I know not how you came here, but I am sure you were heaven-directed.’

‘Surely then, fair lady, I should follow Heaven’s guidance, and not leave the celestial companion vouchsafed me.’

‘But,’ asked Rosalie, smiling, ‘is not thy mission accomplished?’

‘It would be profane in me to say so, while I am within superhuman influence.’

‘Well,’ thought Rosalie, ‘since he persist, there is no harm in permitting him to go as far as the grapery—there we must separate.’ Some conversation followed, by which it appeared that the stranger was of the Archbishop of Rheim’s household, and Rosalie asked him ‘if he knew aught of Gervais de Tilbé?’

‘Ay, lady,’ replied Gervais, ‘both good and evil.’

‘Evil? I have heard nought but good of him.’

‘What good can you have heard of one scarce worthy to be named before you?’

‘This must be sheer envy,’ thought Rosalie, but the thought was checked when, glancing her eye at the stranger’s face, she saw a sweet pleasurable smile there. ‘Many,’ she said, ‘have brought us report of his knightly feats, and some, who note such matters, of his deeds of mercy. Our ladies call him the handsome knight, and the brave knight, and the knight of the spotless escutcheon.’

‘Oh, believe them not—believe them not!’ said Gervais, laughing.

p. 21

‘Seeing is believing, saith the musty adage,’ replied Rosalie. ‘Gervais de Tilbéry is coming to the Chateau des Roses with the Archbishop.’

‘And is here, most beautiful lady,!’ cried Gervais, dropping on one knee, ‘to bless heaven for having granted him this sweet version—to ask thy name—and to vow eternal fealty.’

‘Oh, stop—rise, Sir,’ said Rosalie, utterly disconcerted and retreating from Gervais, ‘I am a stranger to thee.’

‘Nay,’ said he, rising, and following her, ‘I care not for thy name, nor lineage—no rank could grace thee—do not, I beseech you, thus hasten from me—hear my vows.’

‘You are hasty, Sir,’ said Rosalie, drawing up her little person with a dignity that awed Gervais, ‘and now I think of it—have I not heard that it was your purpose to enter the church?’

Gervais became suddenly as grave as Rosalie could have wished. ‘It was my purpose,’ he replied, in a voice scarcely audible.

‘Then you are already bound by holy vows.’

‘Not yet—the ceremony of the tonsure is appointed for the festival of St. Catharine.’

‘St. Catharine!’ Rosalie’s exclamation was involuntary. Her own purposed vow recurred to her, and she may be pardoned if she (being sixteen) deemed the coincidence a startling one.

They proceeded together: Gervais, in spite of her remonstrances, attending her through the grapery to the garden gate, where Marie stood awaiting her. ‘Come in Rose—come in,’ said the impatient child, ‘and you, sir stranger, go back—I hate you, and mama will hate you for stealing away my Rose.’ So saying, she shut the gate in poor Gervais’s face, before he had time to speak, or even look a farewell to Rosalie. He had leisure, during his long, circuitous walk to the castle, to meditate on his adventure, to see bright vision

p. 22

of the future, and to decide, if necessary, to sacrifice the course of ambition opened by the Archbishop’s patronage to the attainment of Rosalie. Gervais de Tilbéry was of noble birth; a richly endowed, gay, light-hearted youth, who was guided by his impulses; but, fortunately, they were the impulses of a nature that seemed, like a fine instrument, to have been ordained and fitted to good uses by its author. A word in apology of his sudden passion, and its immediate declaration: In that dark æra when woman was sought (for the most part) only for her beauty, a single view was enough to decide the choice; the wife was elected as suddenly as one would now pronounce on the beauty of a fabric or a statue. Gervais de Tilbéry, for the first time in his life, felt that woman was a compound being, and that within the exquisite material frame, there dwelt a spirit that consecrated the temple.

* * * * * * *

It was on the evening of the day following Rosalie’s meeting with the young knight, that Clotilde was officiating at her daughter’s toilette. She was preparing for a masked ball, where she was to appear as a nymph of Diana. She was dressed in a light green china silk robe, fitted with exquisite skill to a form so vigorous, graceful and agile, that it seemed made for sylvan sports. Her luxuriant hair was drawn, à la Grecque, into a knot of curls behind, and fastened by a small silver arrow. A silver whistle, suspended by a chain of the same material, richly wrought, hung from her girdle. Her delicate feet were buskined, her arms bare. She had a silver bow in her hand, and to her shoulder was attached a small quiver of the finest silver net-work, filled with arrows. After her mother had finished her office of tire-woman, which she would permit none to share with her, and before tying on Rosalie’s mask, she gazed at her with a feeling of pride and irrepressible triumph. A sigh followed this natural swelling of her heart.

p. 23

‘Why that sigh, dear mother?’ asked Rosalie.

‘I sighed, my child, to think how little you appear in this heathen decoration, like a promised votary of the blessed Virgin.’

‘Not promised,’ replied Rosalie hastily, and blushing deeply.

‘Not quite promised, my child, but meditated.’

‘Mother,’ said Rosalie and paused, for the first time in her life hesitating to open her heart to her parent; but the good impulse prevailed, and she proceeded. ‘Mother, in truth the more I meditate on that, the less am I inclined to it.’


‘It is true, dear mother; and is it not possible that you directed me to defer the vow in obedience to a heavenly intimation?—I have thought it might be so.’

Clotilde fixed her penetrating eye on Rosalie’s. ‘There is something new in your mind, Rosalie; keep it not back from me, my child; be it weakness or sin, I shall sorrow with, not blame you.’

‘It may be weakness, mother, but I am sure it is not sin. I told you of my meeting with Gervais de Tilbéry, in la Vigne.’

‘Yes, and of his rescuing our little Marie, but else nought.’

‘There was not much else—and yet his words and looks, and not my vow to the Virgin, have been in my mind ever since.’ Rosalie, after a little stammering and blushing, gave her mother a faithful relation of every particular of the meeting, and though she most dreaded her mother’s comments on that part of her story, she did not disguise that Gervais was destined for holy orders.

Her mother embraced her and thanked her for her confidence. ‘Dear child,’ she said ‘forwarned, I trust you will be forearmed. This young Gervais will see no barrier to his pursuit of you in the holy vows he assumes. The indulgence and absolutions of our corrupted church license all sin; but we are not thus taught of the Scriptures, whose spiritual

p. 24

essence has so entered into our hearts that we believe marriage, even performed with all holy ceremony and legal rites, is not permitted to the saint, albeit allowed to human infirmity.’

‘I always believe what you say to me, mother; yet’—

Yet—speak freely, Rosalie.’

Yet it does seem to me incomprehensible, that the relation should be wrong, from which proceeds the tie that binds you to me and me to you; that opens a fountain of love that in its course is always becoming sweeter and deeper—hark! the bell is sounding—I must hasten to the queen’s saloon—tie on my mask, and be assured no mask shall ever hide a thought or feeling from you, my mother.’

‘Go, my sweet child, remember pleasure enervates the soul, and be watchful—I remain to pray for you.’

* * * * * * *

How did the aspect and the spirit of the scene change to Rosalie, from the quiet apartment of her saintly mother, to the queen’s saloon brilliantlly illuminated, filled with the flower of French chivalry and with the court beauties, whom the lady Agnes, [sic] either from a real passion for what was loveliest in nature, or to show how far her conjugal security was above all envy, delighted to assemble about her in great numbers. She was seated at the king’s right hand, under a canopy of crimson and gold. The king was in his royal robes, and both he and the lady Agnes [sic] were without masks. She was dressed in the character of Ceres, and her rich and ripened beauty personified admirably the Queen of Summer. Her crown (an insignia which, probably from her contested right to it, she was careful never to omit,) was of diamonds and gold, formed into wheat-heads, the diamonds representing the berry, and the gold the stem and beard. Her robe was of the finest Flanders cloth, glittering with embroidery, depicting the most productions of the earth which, as her ample train

p. 25

followed her, seemed to spring up at her tread. The young Philip sat at his father’s feet on an embroidered cushion, Marie at her mother’s, both personifying Bacchantes. The ladies of the court, in the costume of nymphs, muses, and graces, were at the queen’s right hand; the lords and knights, in various fantastical characters, at the king’s left. It was suspected, from several persons wearing the symbols of a holy profession, that the Archbishop’s party was present, but as he was precise in observances, and severe to cruelty in discipline, none ventured to assert it. Rosalie was met at the door by one of the appointed attendants, and led to the lady Agnes’ side, a station always assigned her as the favorite of her mistress. ‘Ah, my little nymph of the chase,’ said the queen, as Rosalie knelt at her feet and laid down her bow in token of homage, ‘you are a rebel to-night; what has Ceres to do with Diana’s followers?’ ‘True,’ said a young knight who had a pilgrim’s staff in his hand, ‘one is the bountiful mother, and the other the nun of mythology—more unkind than the nun, for she does not immure the charms which it is profanity to admire.’

‘Gervais de Tilbéry,’ thought Rosalie, instantly recognising his voice, ‘your words seem to me prophetic.’

‘There is no false assumption in this character of yours,’ continued the pilgrim knight, ‘for the arrow loosed from thy bow is sure to pierce thy victim’s heart.’

‘Hush all!’ cried the queen. ‘Our minstrel begins, and our ears would drink his strain, for his is the theme welcomest and dearest.’

Philip Augustus, as in some sort the founder of the feudal monarchy, has made an epoch in history. His reign seemed to his subjects to revive the glorious era of Charlemagne. It was the dawn of a brilliant day after a sleep of four centuries. He enlarged and consolidated his dominions. France, till his reign had been divided into four kingdoms, of which that

p. 26

governed by the French king was the smallest. He made a new era in the arts and sciences. He founded colleges and erected edifices which are still the pride of France. Notre Dame was reconstructed and enlarged by him. He conveyed pure water by aqueducts to the city of Paris, and in his reign that city was first paved and redeemed from a pestilential condition. His cruelties, his intolerance, and his infidelities were the vices of his age. His beneficent acts were a just theme of praise, but that which made him an inspiring subject to his poet laureate minstrel was his passion for chivalric institutions, his love of the romances of chivalry, and the patronage with which he rewarded the inventive genius of the Trouvéres. ‘In truth,’ says his historian, ‘it was during his reign that this brilliant creation of the imagination, (chivalry,) was in some sort complete.’—The court minstrel, with such fertile themes, sung long, and concluded amidst a burst of applause.

The dancing began, and again and again the pilgrim knight was seen dancing with Diana’s nymph.

‘Ah, Gervais!’ whispered a young man to him, ‘this I suspect is your houri. A dangerous preparation this for your canonicals.’

‘Why so, Arnaud? Do angels never minister to priests?’

‘Never, my friend, in such forms,’ replied Arnaud, laughing.

‘Then heaven forfend that I should be a priest!’

A Dominican friar, in mask, approached Gervais and said in a startling voice, ‘Thou art rash, young man—thou hast lain aside thy badge of sanctity,’ alluding to his pilgrim’s staff.

‘What signifies it, good friar,’ replied Gervais, ‘if I part with the sign, so long as I retain the thing signified? I am not yet a priest.’

‘Have a care, sir,’ replied the friar, in a tone that indicated he was deeply offended by Gervais’s slur upon the priesthood,

p. 27

‘speak not lightly of the office that hath a divine commission!’

‘And assumes divine power, good master friar!’

The friar turned away, murmuring something of which Gervais heard only the words ‘edged tools.’ His mind was full of other matters, and they would have made no impression, had not his friend Arnaud whispered to him, as soon as the friar was again lost in the crowd, ‘Are you mad, Gervais? Knew you not the Archbishop?’

‘The Archbishop!—in that humble suit, how should I?—‘N’importe,’ added the gay youth, after a moment’s panic, ‘the devil, as the proverb says, must hear truth if he listens.’

‘And the proverb tells us too, to ‘bow to the bush we get shelter from.’ ’

‘My thanks to you, Arnaud. I have changed my mind, and shall not seek the bush’s shelter.’

‘Then beware! for that which might have afforded shelter, may distil [sic] poison.’

‘Away with you and your croaking, Arnaud. This night is dedicated to perfect happiness, and you shall not mar it.’

‘Alas, my friend!—the brightest day is often followed by the darkest night.’

But Gervais heard not this word or prophecy. The dance was finished, and he was leading off his beautiful partner. She permitted him to conduct her through the open suite of apartments, each one less brilliantly illuminated than the last, till they reached an apartment with a single lamp, and one casement window which opened upon a balcony that overlooked the garden. The transition was a delicious one from the heated and crowded apartments, to the stillness of nature, and moonlight—from the stifling atmosphere to the incense that rose from the unnumbered flowers of the garden beneath them. Rosalie involuntarily threw aside her mask, and disclosed a face, lit as it was by the sweet emo-

p. 28

tions and enthusiasm of the occasion, more beautiful than the memory and imagination of the enraptured lover had pictured it. It was a moment when love would brook no counsel from prudence; and Gervais, obeying his impulses, poured out his passion in a strain to which Rosalie, in a few, faintly spoken words, replied. The tone and the words sunk to the very depths of Gervais’ heart, assuring him that he was beloved.

An hour flew, while to the young lovers all the world but themselves seemed annihilated—then followed the recollection of certain relations and dependencies of this mortal life. ‘My first care shall be,’ said Gervais, ‘to recede from this priesthood.’

‘Thank kind heaven for that,’ replied Rosalie. ‘As they say in Provence, ‘any thing is better than a priest.’ ’

The lovers both fancied they heard a rustling near them. They turned their heads, and Gervais stepped within the embrasure of the window. ‘It is nothing—we are unobserved,’ he said, returning to Rosalie’s side. ‘But tell me, my Rosalie, (my Rosalie!) where heard you this Provence scandal?’

‘From my dear mother, who spent her youth at the court of the good Raymond.’

‘St. Denis aid us! I believed Trères Gui and Regnier had plucked up heresy by the roots in Languedoc. Heaven forbid that she be infected with heresy!’

‘I know not what you call heresy, Sir Gervais de Tilbéry, but my dear mother drinks at the fountain of truth, the scriptures, and receives not her faith from man, be he called bishop, archbishop, or pope.’

‘By all the saints, I believe she has reason in that. But, dear Rosalie, we will eschew heresy—it is a thorny road to heaven, and we will keep the safe path our fathers have trodden before us, in which there are guides who relieve us of all the trouble of self-direction—will we not?’

p. 29

‘My mother is my guide, Sir Gervais.’

‘So be it, my lovely Rosalie, till her guidance is transferred to me—and thereafter you will be faithful to God, St. Peter, and the Romish Church? And when shall your orthodoxy begin—on St. Catharine’s Eve?

‘I know not—I know not. All these matters must be referred to my dear mother and the queen. Rise, Sir Gervais, (her lover had knelt to urge his suit)—we linger too long here.[’] Again there was a sound near them, and Gervais sprang forward to ascertain whence it proceeded—Rosalie followed him, and they both perceived the figure of the friar crossing the threshhold of the next apartment. ‘Could he have been here?’ exclaimed Gervais—‘he might have been hidden behind the folds of this curtain—but would he?

Gervais paused.—‘Whom do you mean?’

‘The friar,’ answered Gervais, warily, for he feared to alarm Rosalie by the intimation of the possibility that the Archbishop of Rheims had overheard their conversation.

Rosalie did not sleep that night till she had confided all, without the reservation of a single particular, to her mother. The lady Clotilde grieved that she must resign her cherished dearest hope of seeing Rosalie self-devoted to a vestal’s life, but true to her spiritual faith that all virtue and all religion were in the mind, and of the mind, she would not persuade—she would not influence Rosalie to an external piety.

She saw much advantage would result to Rosalie from an alliance with Gervais. It would remove her at once and forever from the contagion of the court atmosphere—from lady Agnés’ influence, so intoxicating to a young and confiding nature. Gervais was of noble rank and fortune, and wen that distinction was almost singular among the young nobles of France, he was distinguished for pure morals. ‘It is possible,’ thought Clotilde, as she revolved in her mind all the good she had heard of him, ‘that the renovating Spirit

p. 30

of Truth has already entered his heart. It has not pleased heaven to grant my prayer, but next best to what I vainly asked, is this union of pure and loving hearts.’ The ingenuous disclosure Rosalie had made, awakened in her ind a vivid recollection of a similar experience of her youth, and produced a sympathetic feeling that perhaps, more than her reason, governed her decision. Rosalie that night fell asleep on her mother’s bosom with the sweet assurance that her love was authorized.

The next was a busy, an important, and a happy day to the lovers. ‘Time trod on flowers.’ Alas, the periods of perfect happiness are brief, and one might say with the fated Moor—

‘If it were now to die

’Twere now to be most happy; for I fear

My soul hath her content so absolute,

That not another comfort like to this

Succeeds in unknown fate.’

Every thing seemed to go well and as it should. The Archbishop, with a gloomy brow, but without one comment or hesitating word, acquiesced in Gervais’ relinquishing his purpose of entering the church. The lady Agnés, loath to part with her favorite, yet graciously gave her consent, and persuaded the king to endow the young bride richly, and even the little Marie, though she at first stoutly and with showers of tears, refused to give up her own Rose, yet was at last brought over to the party of the lovers, by the promise of officiating as Bridesmaid on St. Catharine’s Eve.

* * * * * * *

Would that we could end our tale here; but the tragic truth which darkens the page of history must not be suppressed.

The Archbishop of Rheims was devoted to the aggrandizement of his own order—to extending and securing the

p. 31

dominion of the priesthood. His faith might be called sincere, but we should hardly excuse that man who, having been born and educated in a dark room, should spend his whole life in counteracting the efforts of others to communicate the light of heaven to him, and in stopping the little crevices by which it might enter. He was ready to grant any indulgence to errors, or even vices, that did not interfere with the supremacy of the church. He was the uncle of Philip, and, contrary to his inclination, he had been induced by that powerful monarch to countenance him in his rejection of the queen Isemburg, and had thereby involved himself in an unwilling contest with Innocent III. This pontiff, whose genius, his historian says, ‘embraced and governed the world,’ was equally incapable of compromise and pity. He had, a few years antecedent to the events we have related, proclaimed the first crusade against the Albigeois, and had invested the dignitaries of the church throughout Chistendom with the power ‘to burn the chiefs (of the new opinions) to disperse their followers, and to confiscate the property of all that did not think as he did. All exercise of the faculty of thinking in religious matters was forbidden.’ The Archbishop of Rheins was eager to wipe out his offences against the head of the church by his zealous cooperation with him in this persecution. As has been seen, he was nettled by Gervais’ contemptuous hit at the priesthood. It was an indication that the disease of heresy had touched even the healthiest members of the spiritual body, as the general prevalence of corresponding symptoms announced the approach of a wide wasting epidemic. He became restless and uneasy, and, in wandering alone through the apartments of the chateau, he had found his way to the window of the balcony occupied by our lovers, just in time to hear poor Rosalie’s betrayal of her mother. He devoted the following day to a secret inquisition into the life and conversation

p. 32

of Clotilde. He found that she had long ceased to be a favorite of the lady Agnés, who tolerated her only on account of her daughter, and who felt somewhat the same aversion to her (and for analogous reasons) that Herodias cherished against John the Baptist. This feeling of the lady Agnés was rather discerned by the acute prelate than expressed by her, for there was not a fault of which she could accuse the pure and devout woman. Her offences were the rigid practice of every moral virtue. Her time and her fine faculties were all devoted to the benefit of her fellow creatures, so that she fell under the common condemnation, as set forth by a contemporary writer. ‘L’esprit de mensonge, par la seule apparence d’une vie rette, et sans tache, soustrayoit ces imprudens à la vérìté.’ Besides this, she was found deficient in the observance of the Romish ritual, and she ate no meat.

This last sin of omission, being in accordance with the practice of the strictest among those early reformers, was an almost infallible sign of heresy; and on the day following the arrangements for Rosalie’s marriage, the lady Clotilde was summoned before the Archbishop and a council of priests. Her guilt was assumed, and she was questioned upon the several points of the prevailing heresy. We cannot go into details. Our story has already swelled beyond due bounds. The lady Clotilde, unsupported and alone, answered all the questions of her inquisitors, with a directness, simplicity, a comprehension of the subject, and a modesty, that, as a cotemporary chronicler confesses, astounded all who heard her. But it availed nought. She was convicted of denying the right of the Romish church to grant indulgences and absolution, and, in short, of wholly rejecting its authority[.] The Archbishop condemned her as deserving the penalty of death, and the pains of everlasting fire, but he offered her pardon upon a full recantation of her errors.

‘I fear not him who only can kill the body,’ she replied.

p. 33

with blended firmness and gentleness, ‘but Him who can destroy both soul and body, and to Him,’ she added, raising her eyes and folding her hands, ‘I commend that spirit to which it hath pleased Him to vouchsafe the glorious liberty of the gospel.’ Her celestial calmness awed her judges—even the Archbishop hesitated for a moment to pronounce her doom, when a noise and altercation with the guard was heard at the door. It opened, and Rosalie rushed in, threw herself into her mother’s arms, and all natural timidity, all fear of the tribunal before which she stood, merged in one overwhelming apprehension, she demanded, ‘what they were doing, and why her mother was there?’

‘Peace, rash child!’ answered the Archbishop. ‘Shame on thy intrusion—know that thy mother is a convicted heretic.’

‘What wrong has she ever done? Who has dared to accuse my mother?’ cried Rosalie, still clinging to Clotilde, who in vain tried to hush and calm her.

‘Who was her accuser?’ retorted the Archbishop, with a cruel sneer—‘dost thou remember, foolish girl, who revealed the source of the Province scandal?

The recollection of the sound she had heard during her fatal conversation with Gervais in the balcony, at once flashed upon Rosalie. She elevated her person, and, stretching out her arm towards the Archbishop, exclaimed, with ineffable indignation, ‘Thou wert the listener!

For an instant his cheeks and lips were blanched with shame, and then stifling this honest rebuke of conscience, he quoted the famous axiom of Innocent III.—‘Dost thou not know, girl, that ‘it is to be deficient in faith, to keep faith with those that have no faith?’—Stand back, and hear the doom of all those who renounce the Romish church.’

‘Pronounce the doom, then, on me too!’ cried Rosalie, kneeling and clasping her hands. ‘I too renounce it—I hate

p. 34

it—I deny all my mother denies—I believe all she believes.’

‘Oh Rosalie!—my child!—my child!’ exclaimed her mother. ‘My lord Archbishop, she is wild—she knows not what she says.’

‘Mother, I do!—have you not taught me?—have we not prayed and wept together over the holy gospels, so corrupted and perverted by the priesthood?’

‘Enough!’ said the Archbishop—‘be assured we will not cut down the dry tree, and leave the green one to flourish.’

‘Thanks!—then we shall die together,’ said Rosalie, locking her arms around her mother’s neck. The delirious excitement had exhauted her—her head fell on her mother’s bosom, and she was an unconscious burden in her arms. Clotilde laid her on a cushion at her feet, and knelt by her while the Archbishop, after a few words of consultation, doomed the mother and daughter ‘to pass through material to immaterial flames,’ on St. Catharine’s day.

They were together conveyed to a dungeon appertaining to the chateau.

* * * * * * *

St. Catherine’s Eve arrived. The hour that had been destined for Rosalie’s bridals found her in a dungeon, seated at her mother’s feet, her head resting on her mother’s breast, and her eyes fixed on her face, while Clotilde read by the light of their lamp the fourteenth chapter of St. John. She closed the book. The calmness that she had maintained till then forsook her. She laid her face to Rosalie’s, and the tears from her cheeks dropped on her child’s. ‘Oh!’ she exclaimed, nature subduing the firmness of the martyr, ‘it is in vain! I read, and pray, and meditate, but still my ‘heart is troubled’—the spirit is not willing.’

‘Dear mother!’ cried Rosalie, feeling as if the columns against which she leaned were tottering.

p. 35

‘My child, it is not for myself I fear or feel. My mission on earth is finished—and I have an humble, but assured hope, that my Saviour will accept that which I have done in his service. For me death has no terrors. I should rejoice in the flames that would consume this earthly tabernacle and set my spirit free; but oh, my child!’ She closed her eyes as if she would exclude the dreadful vision, ‘when I think of thy sweet body devoured by elemental fire my heart fails. I am tempted, sorely tempted. I fear that in that hour I shall deny the faith, and give up heaven for your life.’

‘Mother, mother, do not say so. I hoped it was only I that had sinful thoughts, and affections binding me to earth.’ The weakness of nature for a moment triumphed over the sublime power of religion, and the mother and child wept, and sobbed violently.

So absorbed were they in their emotions that they did not hear the turning of the bolts of their prison, nor were they conscious of any one’s approach till Rosalie’s name was pronounced in a low voice; when they both started and saw, standing before them, Gervais de Tilbéry, the lady Agnés and her confessor. Gervais threw himself on his knees before Rosalie, took her hand and pressed it to his lips. She returned the pressure, but spoke not.

‘There is no time to be lost my dear friends,’ said the lady Agnés. ‘Clotilde,’ she continued, ‘I have vainly begged the boon of your life—it is denied me—but your child’s—yours—my own dear Rosalie, I can preserve. It boots not now to say by what means I shall effect it.’

‘Can she live,’ cried Clotilde vehemently, ‘without renouncing her faith? without denying her Lord?’

‘Without any condition but that she now give her hand to Gervais de Tilbéry—the priest is ready.’

‘Oh tempt me not! tempt me not,’ exclaimed Rosalie,

p. 36

throwing herself on her mother’s bosom. ‘I will not leave her. I will die with her.’

‘Hear me my child,’ said her mother in a voice so firm, sweet, and tranquilizing that it spoke peace to the storm in Rosalie’s bosom. ‘Hear me. I have already told you that for myself this dispensation has no terror, but my spirit shrinks from your enduring it—spare me, my child. God has condescended to my weakness and opened for you a way of escape—do you still hesitate? On my knees Rosalie I beg you to live—not for Gervais—not for yourself—for me—for your mother—give me your hand.’ Rosalie gave it. ‘Now God bless thee my child—shield thee from temptation and deliver thee from evil!’ She put Rosalie’s hand into Gervais’ and bidding the priest do his office, she supported her child on one side while Gervais sustained her on the other. Rosalie looked more like a bride for heaven than earth, her face as pale as the pure white she wore, and her lips faintly, and inaudibly, repeating the marriage vows.

As the ceremony proceeded, her mother whispered again, and again, ‘courage my child! courage! It is for my sake Rosalie.’ The priest pronounced the benediction. Rosalie had lost all consciousness. Her mother folded her in one fond, long protracted embrace, and then, without one word, resigned her to Gervais.

The lady Agnés signed to the priest. A female attendant appeared. Rosalie was enveloped in a travelling cloak and hood and conveyed out of the prison. Clotilde remained alone. We may say, without presumption, that angels came and ministered to her.

We have only to add the conclusion of the contemporary record. ‘One of the condemned escaped from punishment, and it is maintained that she was carried off by the devil; the other without shedding a tear or uttering a complaint submitted to death with a courage that equalled her modesty.’


three knights on horseback meet on a road
Robt. W. Weir pinxt.      James Smillie sculpt.
Bourbon’s Last March,
(Halt at La Riccia).

Printed by R. Andrews.

[p. 37]



[My friend Weir was at work upon a very pleasing landscape of a picturesque scene not far from Rome, from a sketch made by himself whilst studying in Italy. It was the town of La Riccia, better known to scholars and antiquaries as the Aricia of Horace, where he made his first resting place after leaving Rome on his journey to Brundusium.

Egressum magnâ me accepit Aricia Româ,

Hospitio modico.

It occurred to me that the picture would gain much additional interest by the introduction of some historical figures, or a story connected with the scene. The march of the Constable Bourbon to Rome happening to suggest itself to my mind, I recommended that subject to the artist as a suitable accessary to his landscape. He adopted my suggestion and executed it with his usual taste and effect. When therefore, the picture was to be engraved for the decoration of the annual, I could not refuse the painter’s claim in return upon me for a literary illustration of his work. This I have endeavored to give by throwing the story of the last days of the Constable Bourbon into the form of a dialogue or dramatic sketch. I have made little effort at invention, but have aimed at giving as much as I could of facts, incidents, and even minute details, as furnished by the almost contemporary historians, Brantome and the author of the Sacco di Roma, and I have interwoven as many characteristic particulars as the space allowed me would permit. The auto-biography of the eccentric and versatile Cellini furnished other materials, ample and rich enough for a volume instead of the few pages with which I have been obliged to content myself. All the characters, as well as the incidents, are drawn from history.

G. C. V.

p. 38

Part First. Personages Charles Duke of Bourbon, formerly Constable of France, now the commander-in-chief of the Imperial army in Italy. Philibert de Chalons, Prince of Orange, a young nobleman of French descent, now an officer of high rank in the imperial servies. Pomperan, the confidential friend of Bourbon and companion of his flight from France. Jonas, an old Gascon captain of high military reputation. Cabrera, D’Avallos, [a]nd others, Spanish officer.

[Scene First. The neighborhood of La Riccia, twelve or thirteen miles from Rome. The town and castle crowning a hill, along the foot of which runs the ancient Roman road, the Via Appia; an extensive view, to the east, of the Campagna di Roma, a level country reaching to the mouth of the Tiber, which is seen in the distance. The army of the Duke de Bourbon is winding through the valley to the south of La Riccia, in the van a large body of Spanish cavalry, knights mounted, and men-at-arms, in the midst of whom ride the Duke and the Prince of Orange by his side. At their hed a mounted trumpeter, and a man-at-arms, bearing a furled standard, followed by Pomperan, and Captain Jonas, and Spanish officers. Time. Good Friday, the 3d of May, 1527.]

Jonas. So, Sieur de Pomperan, we are now upon the old road leading direct to Rome. What means this? I had given up all thoughts of seeing the holy city, this blessed Easter. If fasting will fit us for keeping Easter at Rome, St. Paul knows we have had a strict enough Lent of it; and for to-day never anchorite kept the holy fast more rigidly than we poor fellows have done. But I had thought that the Duke meant to end our long Lent and find us quarters and good cheer at the enemies’ expense further south. But this sudden detour looks—tell me Sieur de Pomperan what it means.

Pomperan. The Duke is his own counsellor and a

p. 39

safe and a wise one he is. In due time we shall all know whither we are bound, and quite time enough, too, to enable us all to do our duty like gentlemen and soldiers.

Jonas. You say right. It is no business of ours, where we were going. The Duke will take good care of us. He is as secret as Hannibal, the Carthagenian, as rapid and bold as Scipio, and as gentle and cocurteous a knight as Julius Cæsar himself. So says your Spanish camp song, and it says true. Let Cæsar and the other old fellows be quiet and give way to the fame of our Bourbon.

Cabrera and D’Avallos. Aye, aye.

(They sing in a sort of ballad chant.)

Calla, calla Julio Cesar, Hannibal y Scipion

Viva la fama de Bourbon.

The cavalry, officers and soldiers, join in the chorus, Viva la fama de Bourbon, which is repeated by troop after troop along the whole line of march, until the whole army appear to join in it.

Pomperan to Cabrera. But why do you not give us the new stave that the Duke himself made the other day when we were all growling and snarling about our misery and poverty as we were crossing the Appenines in a snow storm. How does it go captain?

Jonas. Me, do you ask me, how should I recollect your Spanish ditties. I am not like the Duke or the Emperor Charles. I cannot jabber a new language after a week’s study. I have been living among these Spaniards these six years, and none of the block-heads have learnt my language. Why do you expect me to know more of them than I am obliged to. I can give

p. 40

a word of command, or ask forr bread, meat and wine, in Castilian, and that is all. But if you want a stave in the tongue of Oc, the beautiful language of Provence and Languedoc, I am your man; I will sing you my last roundelay.

Pomperan. Not now; but, Cabrera, let us have that stanza of the Duke’s which he added to our Spanish camp songs the other night, during our cold arch over the mountain. I mean that in which he says he is as poor a gentleman as any of us, without a single ducat in his pocket.

Cabrera. And well might he say so, has he not distributed among us all his money, jewels, plate, wines, provision, clothes, every thing but his own arms and two chargers. There is no fiction in his poetry, strike up D’Avallos.

D’Avallos sings.

Deziales mis Señores, yo soy

Pobre Cavallero

Y tanbien como vos otros no tengo

Un dinero.

Chorus of Spanish cavalry; ‘Deziales mis Señores,’ etc. ending with Viva la fama de Bourbon.

Jonas. Viva la fama de Bourbon. Yes, I can sing that much of Spanish. He is indeed the very prince of cavaliers and the paragon of heroes, treading as he does in the steps of his old master of fence—a simple soldier who shall be nameless but who hath done the Duke good service. What a glorious charge was that which he and I made side by side upon the Swiss pikes at Marignan; the battle of giants, they called it in France, and faith, the Duke fought like a giant, though he was but a child as it were.

p. 41

Pomp. Not such a child either, four and twenty at the least.

Jonas. Twenty one and odd months, it was more than twelve years ago, and our Constable, pshaw, I mean our Duke, (that’s his title by blood, and no king of France can rob him of it,) our Duke counts but thirty-four years as yet. Boy as he was, he led us that day like an old general, and fought like a Paladin of France. To be sure there was an old soldier by his side, who shall be nameless, who might now and then slip in a word of adive. But the Duke had the whole credit of the day, and he deserved it, notwithstanding the King and Bayard did their duty like true gentlemen.

Pomp. Certainly, they always did so.

Jonas. Oh what a blockhead was his grace, our good king. I mean what a blockhead was my late king and gallant master, Francis of France, to drive away his noble constable, and send him to lead these grunting German heretics and Spanish—hem-a-hem—(looking around and behind,) cavaliers. Poor Francis paid for it roundly at Pavia. If the Duke had but led the brave French troops, and I been with my gallant Gascon squadron, Pavis would have seen another sight that day, and sly Charles, not generous Francis, might have been the prisoner before the end of the campaign.

Pomp. Hold! Take care! Recollect what company you are in, and whose banners you fight under.

Jonas. You say well, my tongue is ever over nimble and too fast for my judgment; but as for the banner I fight under, it is soon said. I and mine fight not under the banners of Charles of Ghent, emperor though he be, but under that of Charles of Bourbon exile as he

p. 42

is, traitor as some call him. (Chorus of Spanish soldiers heard again.) There they go again. If I could only find a rhyme for chose, for which I have been cudgelling my brain this week, I would give them some metre in a more Christian-like tongue, for their carols.

Pomp. What! at your old trade of rhyming again, captain?

Jonas. To be sure. When the Duke rhymes in Spanish and our fine cavaliers of Castile and Arragon troll out their calla, calla in his honor, and when even our German heretics snort out his praises alternately with Luther’s crack-jaw psalms, surely it becometh me as boasting of the ancient knightly blood of Jonas de Jonas of Agen, my honored great-grandfather, who bore off six prizes of poetry at the Floral games of Toulouse, to make my little contribution to the Duke’s glory. I have been pondering over it during our whole march, and have digested it into choice Troubadour metre and Gascon French.

Pomp. Bravo, let us have it, what is the idea of it.

Jonas. It you cannot have, for the concoction thereof is not completed, but this is the idea of it. Charlemagne with no small means did great things, Alexander the Great, with no great means did much greater exploits, but our Bourbon with no means at all, has achieved more than either.

D’ assez, assez a fait Charlemagne le preux:

Alexandre le Grand de peu fit plus grand’ chose.

Mais de neant, a fait plus que n’ont fait les deux

Charles Duc de Bourbon,—

p. 43

I cannot finish the stave for want of a rhyme to chose; suppose, propose, no! dose, poh! rose—ah! I have it.

Charles Duc de Bourbon de toute la Chevalrie la Rose.

No; the verse halts, and the phrase is a vile one. The rose of chivalry. I like it not, though the Duke is indeed the very rose and pink of chivalry; rose, chose, dose.

Cabrera. Well, come, out with it—have you found it?

Jonas. Don’t interrupt me, when I command an ambush, head a night sortie, or plan a campaign or even a great military movement, I cannot tolerate any chattering about me. Strike up your callas and vivas again, and leave me to commune with Apollo and the nine Muses.

Cabrera. Nine Muses, I thought there were but seven of them, there are the seven virtues, and the seven deadly sins, and the seven stars, and I cannot well see why the Muses should be more.

Jonas. Bah! bah! Thou art a good lad and a good lance, but there are matters beyond they poor understanding. To your song, to your song.

Cabrera. With all my heart. He goes on with the ballad, the soldiers joining, more and more enthusiastically, in the chorus of viva la fama de Bourbon.)

[Scene Second. The plain just below the hill and town of La Ricia a little to the north of the site of the preceding scene. The Appian way runs through the plain. A mile-stone bearing the name and arms of Pope Clemont [sic] VII, shows the distance from Rome to be xiii miles. In the foreground is the Duke de Bourbon, mounted on a white charger, and in complete armor, with a surcoat and mantle of silver tissue. The Prince of Orange is at his side, engaged in earnest conversation with him. They are preceded by a trumpeter and a mounted man-at-arms, bearing Bourbon’s standard furled, and followed

p. 44

by a number of officers, pages, and guards. The duke points to the mile-stone and, turning to his officers—]

Bourbon. Order a halt upon the plain in front of us. Then you, gentlemen, and our brave fellows, shall know whither I propose to lead you.

[The duke and prince halt on a rising ground, in front of which the army, as it defiles from the valley, is formed in line along the old Roman road, the troops as they ride or march past in loose order, continuing the song of ‘Calla, calla, Julio Cesar,’ each squadron or company taking up a new stanza or verse, and the whole line joining in the chorus, ‘Viva, via,’ etc.]

Prince of Orange. I envy you, my lord. This is true glory, the heart-felt praise of thousands of the bravest of the brave; men too, who have seen the most of you, and best know you. This is indeed worth an age of toil and disaster. For such a reward I could lead a life of peril and pain, for such a reward I could gladly die.

Bourbon. Bravo, Philibert, you declaim it well. Is it Amadis de Gaul, or Sir Launcelot of the Lake that you are now enacting? But, nay cousin, don’t look grave. It sets well upon you, at your age, and a descendant too of the old Paladins, who has proved himself already worthy of their blood in many a hard fought field, you have a right to indulge in these fancies.

Prince of Orange. Fancies! my lord, and is it possible that you are indifferent to such praise, and from such men.

Bourbon. Indifferent, by no means. As mere mouth-honor, which is mine to-day and to-morrow may be given to Charles or Francis, Alva or Lannoy, I hold it cheap enough, quite as cheap as I did the scorn of the stately Spaniards at Madrid for the traitor Bourbon,

p. 45

or even as I now do, for it touched me at the moment, the haughty indignation of poor Bayard to me as I came to him when he lay on the field my prisoner and bleeding his life away from his death-wound. Aye, or as I did then and still do the mock majesty of my captive Francis at Pavia, when he refused to surrender to his rebel subject and conqueror, and looked round for some loyal block-head of an Hidalgo to receive his sword. Still I cannot be indifferent to all this. I am a man and a soldier. I cannot but be touched, the tears start into my eyes as I speak it, at the warm affection, the generous confidence of these noble fellows, the tried companions of so many bloody fields, the partners of so many hardships and dangers. I am a deeply injured man, Philibert, a bold one thou knowest, and I do not blush to add, an ambitious one. In this soldier-fame and soldier-love I see the evidence of something more precious far than fame—of power, Prince—of power with which kingdoms and empires may be won.

Prince of Orange. Kingdoms and Empires?

Bourbon. Aye, and why not? You alone, as yet, know, what I shall now make known to all, that we are marching upon Rome.

Prince of Orange. Yes, there we shall find pay and plunder for our men, wealth and pleasure for our cavaliers, and the means of further triumphs for our cause.

Bourbon. And is that all, think you?

Prince of Orange. I cannot say whether it is all, but it is much, surely.

Bourbon. Rome taken, and the Pope my prisoner. To whom do the conquest and the fruits of it belong?

p. 46

Are they not all mine? What right, will the wily emperor have, or to speak more plainly, what power will he have to demand at my hands, the prize won by my sword, by an army of my leading, my raising, my keeping together, who have followed me, and me only, without pay, without provision, almost without clothing!

Prince of Orange. There is much in this.

Bourbon. Much, there is every thing. I mean all love and reverence to his holiness, the Pope. But the secular sword is too heavy for the hand of the venerable successor of St. Peter. It will be better wielded by a king of the Romans, chosen by the army and the people, and crowned by the Pope, as a lieutenant of his who will yield him all honor and enforce his spiritual edicts upon all recusants, even crowned ones, even emperors. Hah!

Prince of Orange. But Rome, capital of Christendom as it is, with its campagna, and the whole patrimony of the church to boot, is but a narrow principality for such great designs to rest upon.

Bourbon. Nay, remember the states of Provence with which the emperor once promised to reward my desertion from—I mean my accession to his cause. They may yet be mine. My name has power there still, and when I claim the kingdom of Arles for Charles de Bourbon, and not as formerly for the empire, Provence will welcome the king of the Romans as its sovereign.

Prince of Orange. I see it all, and our ancient principalities of Orange will welcome back the heir of its old princes, who of course does homage to the king of the Romans as his Lord Paramount.

p. 47

Bourbon. Right. It is another link in that chain which may yet reach around Europe. The King of Rome must be the King of all Italy. That very ballad burden of Viva la fama de Bourbon, is worth a dozen armies for it. Known and beloved as I am in Tuscany, Piedmont, the Milanese, the people who are their present masters, native and foreign, French and Spanish, will receive me with enthusiasm. It is an easy matter to join the states of Rome to those of Provence by adding all between. Then Naples and Sicily fall in almost of course. Two years, two active and glorious years, will consummate our Italian enterprize and consolidate the kingdom of Italy.

Prince of Orange. And then for settling the affairs of Germany, maintaining the rights of the church as her sworn champion, and putting down heresies, and then too, for the imperial crown in reversion.

Bourbon. Well said, cousin Philibert, there spoke the very blood of your ancestors, the Paladins of Chalons and Orange, and you will stand by me in the whole enterprize, with the spirit of your houses’ old lion and motto. Je Maintiendray. May I not count upon that?

Prince of Orange. To the death. Long live his sacred majesty, Charles, King of Rome, Italy and Provence.

Bourbon. Defender of the faith and so forth.

Prince of Orange. Certainly, a most appropriate title, this being Good Friday, and we are on the march to attack his holiness who is now at high mass in St. Peter’s; you will earn your title most richly. But in all this grand plan, may it please your majesty, is there

p. 48

no hankering after fame, none of that desire of glory you were pleased to ridicule in me just now?

Bourbon. I would unquestionably not only have power, but would have men know and feel that I have it, that it is mine, my own, won by my good sword, and daring spirit and contriving brain. That fame I covet, as well as the reality, but without the reality I would not give a rush to have it. So I have that reality, let them call me traitor and renegade if they choose, or else the flower of knighthood and the chief of Europe’s chivalry. I care not. Why should I? The nobles who poured their scorn upon me last year, will next year, should I succeed, vie for the meanest offices about my royal person, and intrigue for a ribbon, a star, for a collar from my hand. The strutting Francis will call me brother, proud Harry of England will offer his friendship, and the false Charles will fawn and flatter and beg and buy it, yes, he shall pay roundly for it ere he gets it.

Prince of Orange. I comprehend your feelings and your estimate of fame and power, though they are not mine. I am a soldier and desire a soldier’s glory. In my eyes the only prize much worth contending for, is the pure and unstained fame of a brave and courteous knight and a great captain, like him of Cordova, or brave Bayard. If I did not think that such a reputation could be earned and kept too, under your banner, as things now stand in Christendom, much as I have loved and honored you, my friend, my general, my master in this art of war, I could follow you no further.

Bourbon. Perhaps, gentle cousin, you deceive yourself in this matter. You may find that your knightly

p. 49

fame may not be so unspotted in the eyes of Europe after the little affair we have in hand just now, as you are willing to make yourself believe. But it is against my own interest to undeceive you, and I am glad that your conscience and punctilious honor are so much at ease. But so little do I regard the externals of reputation or of pomp, and so highly do I rate the actual possession of power, that were I not as I am and what I am, Charles of Bourbon, once Constable of France, and now a banished man with no possession but his own sword and the hearts of his soldiers, of all men living I would choose to be—guess who.

Prince of Orange. How can I tell, the Emperor Charles, perhaps?

Bourbon. By no means. Fortune has given him external power, and Nature mind. [sic] But he has a timidity of purpose and an indirectness of action which must take all the zest, the elevation, the conscious dignity of possessing either or both. No, I would not change with the Emperor.

Prince of Orange. Francis then, unless you hate your former sovereign for the wrongs he has done you, too much to envy him.

Bourbon. Oh no. I do not hate him, when we were both subjects, neither of us dreaming of the crown, we were playmates in boyhood and rivals in youth. I have all my life, felt the strong desire to surpass and eclipse him, but I hate him not, neither do I envy him, nor would I change with him. He is too much the mere slave of his passions and pleasures. He belongs to them, not they to him. But by St. Denis, I will tower above his head, or he shall crouch to me. No, Philibert,

p. 50

my object of secret envy is a certain preaching friar, a fat German monk, a rebel priest, an excommunicated dominican, in short, Doctor Luther.

Prince of Orange. Luther! It is a strange fancy! Who could have dreamt that the first captain of his age had any ambition to shine in theological controversy, to chop school logic from a doctor’s chair, or declaim heresies in High Dutch from a Heidelberg pulpit.

Bourbon. The truth or falsehood of Luther’s theology and logic may be as they may, for me. But I envy that man’s intrepidity, his power over the minds of thousands, his swaying half Germany from his cell, his denouncing the thunders of the Vatican by rolling back as loud a peal from his humble study, and above all, his bidding defiance, without arms, or gold, to the whole imperial authority and power. If when Rome is in our hands, my old friend Clement should not hear reason and behave himself like a wise pontiff, I may have some conference with that same learned Doctor Luther. But as for fame, give me fame like Luther’s, that of having governed men’s minds and mastered fortune. Perhaps, my friend, that fame is all our present enterprize will yield me. At Madrid last year, the astrologer Querado cast my nativity and told me that the fiery star which lorded the ascendant at my birth menaced me with death in the very act of storming a great and renowned city. If that now prove true I shall earn a lasting renown, such as I have coveted, and shall leave you Prince to be the shepherd of these gentle sheep of mine who have followed me so far and who are now bleating my praises so lovingly. If I fall here, let this epitaph and nothing more be engraved on my

p. 51

tomb—‘Charles of Bourbon—France gave him birth—Spain glory and adventure—Italy burial.’*

Prince of Orange. A truce with such evil auguries. You quite dishearten me.

Bourbon. ’Twas but a passing fancy, there is nothing in it. To our business, to business.

[Scene Third. The Duke and Prince of Orange, gallop along the line, until they reach a rising ground about the centre of the army, where a great number of officers, knights and many veteran soldiers are collected in groups. Bourbon addresses them as follows in a clear and loud voice, so as to be heard a great distance in all directions.]

Bourbon.† Gallant officers and gentlemen, valiant soldiers whom I love as my own heart’s blood! We are marching towards Rome, and there, if yu will, you may spend your Easter holidays in mirth and plenty. Yes, noble captains and brave soldiers, by the love and faith which I bear to you, you whom I hold in my heart as my brothers and my children, aye, and as my honored fathers too, for to you I owe my life and my fame. You have now my whole secret, my long cherished plan. Aid me with your accustomed valor and I will make you masters of proud Rome. You shall be lords of that queen of cities. I will place in your hands her people, her princes, her nobles and her senators, their wives and daughters, and treasures, her priests, and bishops, and cardinals, with the Pope himself,

*‘La Francia me dio la leche, la Españ la gloria y la aventura, y la Italia la sepultura;’ is the epitaph on the monument erected to him by his Spanish troops.

̸I have preserved not only the substance but as nearly as I could the peculiar style of the speech which is given by Brantome as related to him by old soldiers who were present; merely throwing into one what Brantome gives, as two separate speeches, at different times.

p. 52

Clement, that unworthy successor of St. Peter. You shall punish those purple tyrants, sunk in effeminacy and luxurious lustful sloth, whose lives are spent in heaping up by rapine and fraud, under the mask of Christian piety, that gold which shall soon be your’s. [sic]

(He is interrupted by shouts of approbation. He waves his hand for silence and proceeds.)

Our grand destiny has brought us to-day to the very point I have long desired. we have been struggling forward, my lads, through mud and mire, through horrible cold and deep mountain snow-drifts, harassed by the enemy, and by worse than any enemy, by hunger and thirst. We have endured all that human nature can endure. We have been without provision and without money, and I my friends as penniless a cavalier as any of you. (Soldiers. We know it. We know it.) But now is the time, now is the hour which will repay us for all our suffering. Now is the time to prove your spirit and hardihood, by achieving this splendid and noble enterprize. Gentlemen and friends, you have your choice before you, to be lost and disgraced forever, or to be rich, noble and renowned for the rest of your lives. If we are victorious in this affair, (as we must be,) there is not one of our enemies, not a nation in christendom who will not tremble at the sound of our names. As soon as we attack the walls of Rome our enemies will take to their heels, every dog of them, captains, generals and all. If any of you ever had a longing for the plunder of a rich city, here you may have your wish satisfied to your heart’s contentin the very richest city of Euroope, the lady and mistress of all the world. Carry it, win this one easy victory and every man of

p. 53

you is rich and great for the rest of his days. Be beaten, it must be your own fault if you are, and what then? Disgrace, ruin, pinching poverty, contempt, beggary are your portion for life. Let all that turn out as it may, my lot will be the same with yours, and you must choose for me as well as yourselves. How say you, gallant gentlemen, how say you, comrades all. Shall we onward to Rome, to the assault, or will you have me order a retreat?

All. On, on, to Rome—to the assault, to the assault.

Bourbon. Sound, trumpets, our defiance to Rome. Bray it out, till it reach the frightened city’s ears. Pierre, To the man-at-arms, bearing the furled standard,) unfurl my own grand standard, general; let its Esperance, Esperance.* once again float over my head. We must have it borne on this great day, at our side, by a veteran of tried valor. Captain Jonas, I pray you to be my ancient until we reach St. Peter’s. [Takes the standard from man-at-arms and delivers it to Jonas.] To you, old fellow-soldier, I entrust this flag, with the hopes and fortunes of my life.

Jonas. Thank you, my lord Duke. It shall be borne as it was at Pavia. I flouted its white, black and yellow folds then over a prisoner king. I hope to do the same next Sunday over a prisoner Pope.

Bourbon. Not a prisoner Pope, Jonas; oh, no; over a Pope rescued from evil advisers, and taken on our friendly and Christian care.

Jonas. Indeed! I did not understand it so; the distinction is important. My conscience is easier. Allow

*Bourbon’s motto.

p. 54

me my lord Duke, to offer a slight requital of your grace’s favor to me, by presenting you some verses, the fruit of my meditation on our long cold march over the mountains.

Prince of Orange. (Takes them from him and reads.)

D’assez, assez a fait Charlemagne le preux;

Alexandre le Grand, de peu fit plus grand chose;

Mais de néant a fait plus que n’ont fait les deux,

Charles Duc de Bourbon, qui ci-desseus repose.*

By St. Nicholas and St. Gudulph, but this is an epitaph! What mean you, blundering poetaster, by such an ill-timed omen?

Jonas. My lord Prince, you may be a good judge of a horse or of a campaign, but you are none at all of a poem; no, Sir, under favor, are you a judge of what is due to the honor of a gentleman and an old soldier. My lord Duke, I meant to frame a little ode in your praise, but the only rhyme I could find obliged me to turn it into an epitaph, and as that must be written some day or other, I thought that it might as well be done now, whilst there are poets yet alive worthy of such a task. As for the hard words I have just received, the time will come when—

Bourbon. No, Captain, you must pardon the young Prince now. His love for me has carried him away. He has his head full of astrology and superstition, and wants a little of your philosophy. Your verses are beautiful, and worthy of a descendant of the far-famed Vidals of Toulouse. (And to the Prince of Orange), Philibert, you, have wounded this brave old man’s feelings. Make him amends.

*See Brantome for this epitaph upon the Duc de Bourbon.

p. 55

Prince of Orange. Captain, I beg your pardon. The Duke is right; my affection for him carried me away. Let this be forgotten. The lines are admirable. Still I do not like the omen.

Jonas. Prince, you overwhelm me with your goodness; you are a true Paladin and a man of taste.

Bourbon. That is he, Captain; and as for the omen, cousin, let us take the advice of the Spanish ditty that the Emperor is always humming, and march forward without regard to auguries, good or bad.

Adelante, mi sobrino,

Y no creais en agueros.

Part Second. Personages. Benvenuto Cellini, the sculptor and jeweller; Julio Romano and Parmegiano, the painters; Michael Angelo of Sienna, the statuary, Michaeletto, the jeweller, and other artists.

Scene, A Tavern in Rome. Time, About three years after the date of the first part.

Cellini. You are welcome to Rome, Signior Julio. Fill, gentlemen, all; fill a bumper to the welcome of our old companion. You, Signior Julio, who live like a great lord at Mantua, with all the honors due to an artist, must find yourself out of your element here in Rome, where bishops are greater men than painters, and every little fellow of a cardinal looks with contempt even upon such a man as Benvenuto Cellini.

Julio Romano. Such things trouble me but little, Benvenuto. Our Duke of Mantua is a kind master and a most generous prince. I am bound to do justice to his generosity as well as to my own fame, and have therefore come to Rome to refresh my memory and rouse my

p. 56

genius by studying for a week or two, some of the divine works of my beloved master, Raffaelle, before I set seriously to work upon the decorations of the Mantuan Corte of the Palace del T. I have nothing to do with cardinals here or grandees of any sort. But Benvenuto, what has befallen you of late, strange or marvellous? Have you seen any angel or devil lately?

Cellini. Devils! It was but last week that I spent a whole night in the Colosseum, among five hundred of them; some of them taller than Trajan’s pillar, and all of them striving to break into our magic circle where the learned necromancer and I stood our ground manfully. They furnished me with some pretty ideas in the way of art, and when I cut my great seal for his holiness, you shall see some of them in little. How the cloven-footed, long-tailed rascals did skip along the roofs of the houses as we were going home in the morning! I intend some day or other to execute a colossal statue of St. Michael trampling upon Satan, and then I shall shew you how the big devil of all looked. Michael, you will hide your head when yous ee my model.

Julio Romano. What, a statuary too, Benvenuto! We know your beautiful work in medals and steel and jewelry and plate all over Italy, every one more exquisite than the last. But I did not know that you had any ambition for the gigantic and colossal. However, you are such a universal genius, that I am glad that you hold our poor art too cheap to think of rivalling us.

Cellini. I don’t know that. I may some day or other execute a great work or two in fresco; as for your easel pictures I despise them. But I have no time just now for painting. The Pope plagues me with sending for

p. 57

me every morning to get my opinion about these new heresies, and then the jewellers and sculptors are all so envious of me that scarce a day passes without my having to kill a bravo or two of them in self-defence. I was sorry to be obliged to kill poor Pompeo of Milan, a pretty artist in his way. Besides, these Roman ladies are so bewitching. Come, fill round. Here is a health to his holiness Clement VII. a most discerning judge of the arts, and confusion to all his cardinals, a pack of red-legged—

Julio Romano. Giving theological opinions to his Holiness, raising devils, killing jewellers and courting the Roman ladies; truly a multifarious avocation you have of it. You must have your hands quite full.


Parmegiano. News, great news. Florence has surrendered to our good allies, the Spanish and Imperial forces, and his Holiness and the Medici family are acknowledged as the future sovereigns of the city. All has gone well, except that the gallant Prince of Orange, young Philibert de Chalons, was killed by a chance shot; peace be with him.

Michael Angelo. Heaven rest his soul. He died doing the church good service. Yet ’tis but a short three years ago and he and his German and Spanish adventurers were lording it over Rome, plundering our cardinals and bishops, and keeping the Pope himself a prisoner. So passeth every thing in this world.

Michaeletto. Yes, I shall never forget how, when the Spaniards broke into the city with the Prince at their head, they ran through the streets crying, carne, carne, sangre, sangre, Bourbon, Bourbon.

p. 58

Michael Angelo of S. Yes; and the very Philibert, whom we are now lamenting, was the man who gave us all up to massacre and pillage. His soldiers used afterwards to sing a ballad in his honor which went thus:

When the good Prince of Orange

Saw Bourbon was dead

He swore by St. Nicholas;

Then briefly he said,—

Sound, sound an assault

My merry men all,

Then up with your ladder

And down with the wall;

And as for this city, of all cities the wonder,

You are welcome to take it, for pillage and plunder.*

Parmegiano. I cannot say much for their poetry, but they were practical men who looked more to reason than rhyme.

Cellini. (Who has been wrapt in meditation, marking the lines of a fortification with spilt wine on the table.) I thought it would turn out so. I told old Michael Angelo Buonarotti that his fortifications of Florence were all wrong. If the Pope would only leave such matters to me, I would make Rome impregnable against all future Bourbons.

Julio Romano. By the way, was it ever known exactly how the great Bourbon was killed?

Cellini. Known! to be sure it is. I killed him.

Parmegiano. You! yes, you do every thing. Why don’t you lay claim to the shooting the Prince of Orange, too?

Cellini. Well, I did shoot him; not to be sure this time at Florence, but during the siege of the castle of St. An-

*See the original, in Brantome.

Quand le bon Prince d’Orange

Vit Bourbon qui estoit mort,

Criant St. Nicholas, &c.

p. 59

gelo, where I defended his Holiness so long. I knocked the Prince over with a ball from one of my culverins, killing his horse under him. He ought to have died of the hurt, but he was fool enough to recover, and instead of dying by a hand which would have made him famous in history, he has let himself be knocked on the head at Florence by some nameless soldier. Bad taste that, very bad taste. But as for the Bourbon, Julio, all Rome knows that I killed him.

Parmegiano. All Rome has heard you boast of having killed him, and so we all have a thousand times of your designs for statues that are to surpass the divine Buonarotti, and of studies for paintings that—

Cellini. Laying his hand on his sword.) Francesco Mazzuoli, nicknamed Parmegiano, as if thou ever hadst done or couldst do any thing, to give honor to thy native Parma, thou who canst not compare in worth or courage to the meanest of her cheeses, thou painter of sprawling saints, distorted angels and smirking affected graces, thou most dingy of all bad colorists, thou successful imitator of all thy great master Raffælle’s worst faults, thou piece of skimmed-milk Parmesan, Francesco, thou knowest I wear a sword and can use it.

Julio Romano. Gentlemen, gentlemen, this is not well. Benvenuto you are too hasty; you know the jeering temper of this wild lad. Francesco, those who can do what Cellini has done in art, may well be pardoned for boasting of what they mean to do hereafter. If he should ever cast his Perseus according to the model he once shewed me, Buonarotti himself may have cause for envy, if indeed that great old man were not too calm and good to envy anybody. Come, brothers, pledge me in a cup of reconciliation. (They drink.) And now how was it about the Bourgon; how fell he?

Mic. Angelo of Sienna. I believe Cellini has as fair a claim as any one to the honor of his death. I was on the

p. 60

wall at the time. I saw the Duke rallying his German Lansquerets who had been staggered by the fire from our towers. He was in full armor with a surcoat of dazzling white. Springing from his horse, he seized a ladder to mount the walls himself, holding the ladder with his left hand he waved his right to his men to follow him, at that very instant Cellini who was by my side fired his arquebus, and the Duke fell. He was struck under the arm and the ball passed through his body. It was more likely I think to have been Cellini’s ball than any.

Cellini. Likely to have been, I say it was. It was a charmed ball, cast in a magic mould and blessed by Cardinal Orsini, himself. Besides, here are Michaeletto and Alexander who were with me, and well know that I killed him. If I did not, who did? Answer me that. Like to have been my ball, forsooth.

Michael Angelo. Nay, I believe it myself, but I am a cautious matter-of-fact man, tell no more than I have positively seen, and have not your poetic genius.

Julio Romano. That is true, Benvenuto, how runs your poetic vein in these day?

Cellini. Very dry. I write little now except devotional pieces. Have you seen my dialogue between the soul and body which I wrote in the blank leaves of my missal just after I had seen an angelic apparition in the castle of St. Angelo? You will like it. It begins thus:

Body. Say plaintive, say desponding soul,

Why thus so loath on earth to stay?

Soul. In vain we strive ’gainst heaven’s control,

Man’s life is pain, let’s haste away.

But by the body of Bacchus and the keys of St. Peter, the wine is all out. Ho there, more wine, and, Ascanio, bring me a guitar. I will sing you my sonnet to the fair and frail Angelica of Naples, that girl turned my head for a whole twelvemonth. (Sings and drinks.)


a white family, with dogs and horses
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 61]


Will you go, my boy? The morning is bright,

And all, all around us is laughing in light,

Yon meadow is flashing with pearly dew,

And there are the roses as blushing as you.

The lilies are sending their breath on the breeze,

And music is bursting from yon green trees.

The squirrels are merrily jumping about,

And the fish from the waters leap gaily out;

All nature is laughing with love and joy,

So let’s join the frolic my rosy boy.

See! here is the pony with wishful look,

And there is old trusty, as true as a book;

They come with a message and gaze in your face,

Their meaning is this, will you join in the race?

Nay, don’t be afraid, we’ll go softly down hill,

We’ll round by the meadow, up by the mill,

We’ll see the gold-fishes that glide in the springs,

And mark the blue swallows that dabble their wings;

We’ll list to the lark as it sings from on high,

And catch the sweet music that comes from the sky.

Will you go, then my boy? No, no! ’tis in vain,

You cling to the apron and shrink from the rein,

So fare thee well Bobby, I leave thee behind,

And go with my pony to play with the wind.

[p. 62]



Two bubbles on a mountain stream,

Began their race one shining morn,

And lighted by the ruddy beam,

Went dancing down ’mid shrub and thorn.

The stream was narrow, wild and lone,

But gaily dashed o’er mound and rock,

And brighter still the bubbles shone,

As if they loved the whirling shock.

Each leaf, and flower, and sunny ray,

Was pictures on them as they flew,

And o’er their bosoms seemed to play

In lovelier forms and colors new.

Thus on they went, and side by side,

They kept in sad and sunny weather,

And rough or smooth the flowing tide,

They brightest shone when close together.

Nor did they deem that they could sever,

That clouds could rise, or morning wane;

They loved, and thought that love forever

Would bind them in its gentle chain.

But soon the mountain slope was o’er,

And ’mid new scenes the waters flowed,

And the two bubbles now no more

With their first morning beauty glow’d.

They parted, and the sunny ray

That from each other’s love they borrow’d,

That made their dancing bosoms gay,

While other bubbles round them sorrow’d;

p. 63

That ray was dimmed, and on the wind

A shadow came, as if from Heav’n;

Yet on they flew, and sought to find

From strife, the bliss that love had giv’n.

They parted, yet in sight they kept,

And rivals now the friends became,

And if, perchance, the eddies swept

Them close, they flashed with flame;

And fiercer forward seemed to bound,

With the swift ripples toward the main;

And all the lesser bubbles round,

Each sought to gather in its train.

They strove, and in that eager strife

Their morning friendship was forgot,

And all the joys that sweeten life,

The rival bubbles knew them not.

The leaves, the flowers, the grassy shore,

Were all neglected in the chase,

And on their bosoms now no more

These forms of beauty found a place.

But all was dim and drear within,

And envy dwelt where love was known,

And images of fear and sin

Were traced, where truth and pleasure shone.

The clouds grew dark, the tide swelled high,

And gloom was o’er the waters flung,

But riding on the billows nigh

Each other now the bubbles swung.

Closer and closer still they rushed,

In anger o’er the rolling river;

They met, and ’midst the waters crushed,

The rival bubbles burst forever!

[p. 64]



Gute nacht!

Alle Müden sey’s gebracht

Neigt der Tag sich still zum Ende,

Ruhen alle fleissigen Hände;

Bis der Morgen neu erwacht.

Gute Nacht!

Good night!

To the weary, slumbers light.

Day draws softly to its close,

Busy hands now seek repose,

Till awakes the morning bright.

Good night!

Seek repose!

Weary eyelids gently close.

Still, more still, the lonely street,

The watchman’s horn sounds far and sweet,

And the Night bids friends and foes

‘Seek repose!’

Slumbers sweet!

Dreams of heaven around thee meet.

Him, whom love torments by day,

Shall the dreams of night repay,

Him the loved-one’s voice shall greet;

‘Slumbers sweet!’

Good night!

Slumber, till the day dawns bright,

Slumber, till another morrow

Comes with all its care and sorrow;

Our Father watches—fear takes flight,

Goodnight!—Good night!


[p. 65]


Ceux qui voudront jamais escrie de ceste illustre Reyne d’Escosse en ont deux très amples subjects, l’un celuy se sa vie, et l’autre celuy de sa mort; l’un et l’autre très mal accompagnés de la bonne fortune ainsí que j’en veux toucher quelques points en ce petit discours, par forme d’abregé, et non en longue historie; laquelle je laisse à descrire aux plus sçavants et mieux couchants par escrit.


There probably is not a name in all history, which awakens an interest at once so deep and so universal, as that of Mary Stuart. The history of many sovereigns serves only to render the triumphs of oblivion more complete; for not only their deeds and their existence are forgotten, but likewise the very records, which were written to perpetuate them. Others have filled the world with their renown, and left a glorious name behind them. But their history is written for the politician and the scholar; it speaks to the intellect and not to the heart; the reason pauses to wonder, perhaps to admire; yet no trait of personal character calls forth the gentle sympathies and affections of our nature.

Not so the melancholy history of Mary Stuart. The lapse of a century and a half has not effaced a single line; every page still awakens those deep, mysterious sympathies, which form the silent language of the soul, and as it were unite the present with the past, the living with the dead, and earth with the spirit-land. This

p. 66

mournful history searches the very soul. With those of gentle natures, the sigh and the unbidden tear bear their indignant testimony to the unmerited sufferings of the lovely and the innocent; and even in the sterner hearts of those who sit in judgment and condemn the accused, emotions of compassionate tenderness arise and plead within them, ‘the unhired advocates for the conduct of the misguided.’

To the traveller who journies [sic] along the valley of the Loire, almost every object of note will recall the memory of the beautiful and unfortunate queen. Amid those very scenes, some of the brightest and happiest days of her youth glided away, as swiftly and silently as the waters of the Loire, upon whose borders they were passed. Every valley and woodland awaken some pleasant, though melancholy, association; for it is one of the gentle ministries of nature, to call up the memory of the dead to the thoughts of the living; and thus, the kind almoner of her children, she asks the simple charity of a tear, or a passing recollection, for those whom she has gathered to her maternal bosom. Every old chateau likewise recalls her image. From yonder tower, she looked forth upon groves, and vineyards, and the sheeted Loire; beneath this crumbling gate-way, she passed with her courtly train, in all the pride of youth and beauty; through the woodlands of this nwo forsaken and solitary park, she hunted the deer with hound and horn.

Mary Stuart was born at Linlithgow castle, in 1542. Her mother was Marie de Lorraine-Guise; and at the time of her birth, her father, the gallant and noble-hearted James the Fifth, the king of the poor, the ‘gude

p. 67

man o’ Ballangeish,’ was lying upon his death-bed at the palace of Falkland, in Fife. When he heard that a daughter was to inherit the sceptre of the Stuarts, he exclaimed with a mournful voice, ‘Then farewell, it cam with ane lass, and it will pass with ane lass.’ Shortly afterwards he expired. In the language of an old historian, ‘he turned him upon his back, and looked and beheld all his nobles and lords about him, and giving a little smile of laughter, kissed his hand, and offered it to them; and when they had pressed it to their lips for the last time, he tossed up his arms, and yielded his spirit to God.’ The last words of the dying monarch were prophetic; they but too truly foretold the mournful fate of his child.

The first two years of Mary’s life were passed at Linlithgow; and a greater part of the three succeeding years at Sterling castle and at Inchmahome, an island in the lake of Monteith. In her fifth year she was sent into France, and placed with the king’s daughters, at a convent, to complete her elementary education. It is said that she left this retreat of her childhood for the splendors of a gay and fascinating court, with tears of regret. Some historians have stated, that the calm and peaceful life of the cloister had exercised so strong an influence upon her lively imagination, that she wished to take the veil, and thus leave the world forever. If this be indeed true, it would almost seem, that some invisible hand withheld her; that some guardian angel whispered within her its sad monitions, and filled the heart of this sweet child with a mournful presentiment of her coming doom.

p. 68

At court, the young princess pursued her studies with renewed ardor, under the direction of her uncle, the cardinal of Lorraine. When only ten years old, she was well versed in French, Latin, and Italian; and according to Brantôme, at the age of thirteen, pronounced a Latin discourse before the king and his court, maintaining that females should be instructed in literature and the liberal arts. Her instructer in Latin was George Buchanan; in rhetoric, Claude Fauchet; Etienne Pasquier in history, and Pierre Pousard in the study of poetry, which was one of her favorite pursuits. Though a part of each day was set aside for study, yet she entered with all the hilarity of a young heart into the gay and chivalrous pastime of the French court, and took particular delight in the healthy and exhilarating exercise of the chase.

Thus ten happy years of Mary’s life stole rapidly away, in the charms of study and the amusements of society. She was now in the fresh, full bloom of youthful beauty.* In person she was tall and finely proportioned, with a carriage remarkable for its grace and dignity. Her auburn hair fell in natural ringlets over a high and intellectual forehead; her eyes were of a chestnut color, dark, clear, and expressive; her nose Grecian; her lips full and voluptuous; her chin round

*Ainsi que son bel age croissoit, ainsi vist on en elle sa grande beauté, ses grandes vertus, croistre de telle sorte que, venant sur les quinze ans, sa beauté commença à faize parestre sa belle lumiere en beau plain midy, et en effacer le soleil lorsqu’il luiosit le plus fort, tant la beauté de son corps estoit belle.


p. 69

and dimpled; and her skin of such dazzling whiteness, that, in the language of her old historian Brantôme, ‘it outrivalled the whiteness of her veil.’ The same historian speaks of her beautiful voice, her fort doux, mignard, et fort agréable parler; and says that she sang well to the music of a lute, which she touched prettily with her fair white hand and delicate fingers.*

The biographers of Mary have spoken much of her personal beauty, and of its effect upon those around her. The history of the unfortunate Chatelard is almost too well known to need repetition. He was an accomplished gentleman of Dauphiny, and great nephew of the celebrated Chevalier Bayard, whom he is said to have resembled in person. He excelled in feats of arms and all athletic exercises; and was endowed by nature with a gallant and chivalrous spirit. He was, moreover, genteel in speech and skillful with the pen; and seems to have been a favorite among the court poets of the day.† When the young queen returned to Scotland, he was one of her attendants. Deeply enamoured of his mistress, and listening only to the promptings of an unbridled passion, he twice secreted himself in her bed-chamber. The first offence was pardoned; the

*Elle chantoit très bien, accordant sa voix avec le lut, qu’elle touchoit bien joliment de ceste belle main blanche, et de ces beaux doigts si bien façonnez, qui ne devoient rien à ceux de l’Aurore.


†Bref il estoit gentilhomme très accompliz; et quant à l’ame, il l’avoit aussi très belle car il parloit très bien, et mettoit par escrit des mieux, et mesme en rithme, aussi bien que gentilhomme de France, usant d’une poësie fort douce et gentille en cavalier.


p. 70

second cost him his life. He died as his biographer expresses it ‘par outrecuydance, et non pour crime.’ His last words upon the scaffold were, ‘Adieu, la plus belle, et la plus cruelle prìncesse du monde.’

In the spring of 1558, when Mary had entered her sixteenth year, she was married to Francis the Second, then dauphin of France, and but a year older than herself. The nuptials were celebrated in the church of Notre Dame, at Paris; the most costly and sumptuous banquets were prepared in honor of the occasion; and universal rejoicing throughout the kingdom signalized an event, which may be regarded as the first in that disastrous series, whose termination was the bloody tragedy of a death upon the scaffold. Francis had been from his cradle a feeble and sickly child, with a spirit too nearly akin to the weak and enervated body which it animated. As if conscious of his own mental and physical inferiority, he shrunk away from the gaze of the world, and sought seclusion, and the peace it gives the aching heart, like a wounded deer, that seeks the silent shade, apart from the gallant herd of its fellows. He is spoken of in history as a meek and gentle spirit; and by a deep and devoted affection he atoned for the want of that high intellect and noble bearing, which should have marked the husband of Mary Stuart. Indeed his love for her was not that of a prince, but that of a poet; and it was met by the kindred affection of a refined and gentle heart, which seems to have been created as the home and shelter of love; for there is truth in the distich of the old Italian poet,

To gentle hearts love doth for shelter fly,

As seeks the bird the forests leafy shade.

p. 71

The following year, king Henry the Second received his death wound, at a tournament, from the spear of Count Montgomery; and shortly afterwards, Francis was crowned at Rheims, and ascended the throne of France. By this unexpected event, Mary Stuart saw herself suddenly exalted to a dizzy height of power. Queen of two kingdoms, and in the bloom and loveliness of youth, she was the cynosure of all eyes. But the glorious and dazzling vision soon departed. The hand of disease weighed more heavily upon the fainting heart of Francis; and the shadow of death stalked gloomily amid the pageantry of a court. His throne was but a stepping stone to the grave. In one short year, the young queen beheld herself an orphan and a widow. The news of her mother’s death reached her at the very moment when her husband was expiring in her arms.

Stricken with this double misfortune, she retired from court to the house of a friend in the pleasant environs of Orleans. Here, in silence and solitude, she wept the loss of those who had been most dear to her on earth. It was doubtless in this retirement, that she composed that simple elegy on her husband’s death, which seems inspired withall the sadness of recent bereavement.

En mon triste et doux chant

D’un ton fort lamentable,

Je jette un deuil tranchant,

De perte incomparable

Et en soupirs cuisans

Je passe mes beaux ans.

p. 72

In accents sad and low,

And tones of soft lament,

I breathe the bitterness of woe

O’er this sad chastisement,

With many a mournful sigh

The days of youth steal by.

Was e’er such stern decree

Of unrelenting fate?

Did merciless adversity,

E’er blight so fair a state

As mine, whose heart and eye

In bier and coffin lie?

Who in the gentle spring

And blossom of my years,

Must bear misfortune’s piercing sting,

Sadness, and grief, and tears;

Thoughts, that alone inspire

Regret and soft desire.

What once was blithe and gay,

Changed into grief I see;

The glad and glorious light of day,

Is darkness unto me.

The world—the world has nought

That claims a passing thought.

Deep in my heart and eye

A form and image shine,

Which shadow forth wan misery

On this pale cheek of mine

Tinged with the violet’s blue,

Which is love’s favorite hue.

p. 73

Where’er my footsteps stray,

In mead or wooded vale,

Whether beneath the dawn of day,

Or evening twilight pale,

Still, still my thoughts ascend,

To my departed friend.

If towards his home above,

I raise my mournful sight,

I meet his gentle look of love

In every cloud of white;

But straight the watery cloud

Changes to tomb and shroud.

When midnight hovers near,

And slumber seals mine eyes,

His voice still whispers in mine ear,

His form beside me lies,

In labor, in repose,

My heart his presence knows.

In the year which followed these mournful events, La Reine Blanche, as Mary Stuart was called from her white mourning robes, returned to her native land; her heart filled with sad regrets, and mournful forebodings. As the vessel which bore her away from her beloved France, sailed from the port of Calais, an event occurred which tended to deepen, in her sensitive and superstitious mind, the presentiments of coming ill. A little bark, which was gaily entering the harbor, was wrecked in broad daylight, and sank with all her crew. The queen beheld the catastrophe, from the deck of her galley, and turning to those around her, exclaimed ‘Ah! mon Dieu! quel augure de voyage est cecy!

p. 74

As the vessel bounded on her course, and the shores of France grew distant and indistinct, the queen stood gazing back upon them with tearful eyes, mournfully exclaiming, ‘Adieu France! adieu France!’ At length the night closed in; and as the last faint vestige of land disappeared in the misty horizon, she exclaimed, ‘The hour is come, my beloved France, when I must lose you from my sight; for the night is jealous of the pleasure I enjoy in gazing upon you, and drops her dark veil before my eyes, to shut out from me so great a blessing. Farewell, then, my beloved France; I shall never see you more.’ Having commanded the helmsman to awake her at daybreak, if the land were still visible, she threw herself upon a couch that had been prepared for her on deck. During the night, the wind died into a calm; and at daybreak, the shore of France was still visible, stretching like a faint blue line in the horizon. The unhappy queen arose, and gazed long and wistfully upon it, till it grew fainter, and fainter, and melted into the sea.

It was during this unwelcome passage, that Mary Stuart composed the beautiful Farewell to France, which has been so often quoted:

Adieu, plaisant pais de France!

O ma patrie

La plus cherie,

Qui a nourri ma jeune enfance!

Farewell, beloved France, to thee!

Best native land,

The cherished strand,

That nursed my tender infancy!

p. 75

Farewell, my childhood’s happy day!

The bark that bears me thus away,

Bears but the poorer moity hence;

The noble half remains with thee,

I leave it to thy confidence,

But to remind thee still of me!


[p. 76]


What a singular moment is the first one, when you have hardly begun to recollect yourself, after starting from slumber! By unclosing your eyes so suddenly, you seem to have surprised the personages of your dream in full convocation round your bed, and catch one broad glance at them before they can flit into obscurity. Or, to vary the metaphor, you find yourself, for a single instant, wide awake in that realm of illusions, whither sleep has been the passport, and behold its ghostly inhabitants and wondrous scenery, with a perception of their strangeness, such as you never attain while the dream is undisturbed. The distant sound of a church clock is borne faintly on the wind. You question with yourself, half seriously, whether it has stolen to your waking ear from some gray tower, that stood within the precincts of your dream. While yet in suspense, another clock flings its heavy clang over the slumbering town, with so full and distinct a sound, and such a long murmur in the neighboring air, that you are certain it must proceed from the steeple at the nearest corner. You count the strokes—one—two—and there they cease, with a booming sound, like the gathering of a third stroke within the bell.

If you could choose an hour of wakefulness out of the whole night, it would be this. Since your sober bedtime, at eleven, you have had rest enough to take off the pressure of yesterday’s fatigue; while before you, till

p. 77

the sun comes from ‘far Cathay’ to brighten your window, there is almost the space of a summer night; one hour to be spent in thought, with the mind’s eye half shut, and two in pleasant dreams, and two in that strangest of employments, the forgetfulness alike of joy and woe. The moment of rising belongs to another period of time, and appears so distant, that the plunge out of a warm bed into the frosty air cannot yet be anticipated with dismay. Yesterday has already vanished among the shadows of the past; to-morrow has not yet emerged from the future. You have found an intermediate space, where the business of life does not intrude; where the passing moment lingers, and becomes truly the present; a spot where Father Time, when he thinks nobody is watching him, sits down by the way side to take breath. Oh, that he would fall asleep, and let mortals live on without growing older!

Hitherto you have lain perfectly still, because the slightest motion would dissipate the fragments of your slumber. Now, being irrevocably awake, you peep through the half drawn window curtain, and observe that the glass is ornamented with fanciful devices in frost work, and that each page presents something like a frozen dream. There will be time enough to trace out the analogy, while waiting the summons to breakfast. Seen through the clear portion of the glass, where the silvery mountain peaks do not ascend, the most conspicuous object is the steeple; the white spire of which directs you to the wintry lustre of the firmament. You may almost distinguish the figures on the clock

p. 78

that has just told the hour. Such a frosty sky, and the snow covered roofs, and the long vista of the frozen street, all white, and the distant water hardened into rock, might make you shiver, even under four blankets and a woolen comforter. Yet look at that one glorious star! Its beams are distinguishable from all the rest, and actually cast the shadow of the casement on the bed, with a radiance of deeper hue than moonlight, through not so accurate an outline.

You sink down and muffle your head in the clothes, shivering all the while, but less from bodily chill, than the bare idea of a polar atmosphere. It is too cold even for the thoughts to venture abroad. You speculate on the luxury of wearing out a whole existence in bed, like an oyster in its shell, content with the sluggish ecstacy of inaction, and drowsily conscious of nothing but delicious warmth, such as you now feel again. Ah! that idea has brought a hideous one in its train. You think how the dead are lying in their cold shrouds and narrow coffins, through the drear winter of the grave, and cannot persuade your fancy that they neither shrink nor shiver, when the snow is drifting over their little hillocks, and the bitter blast howls against the door of the tomb. That gloomy thought will collect a gloomy multitude, and throw its complexion over your wakeful hours.

In the depths of every heart, there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners whom they hide. But sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, those dark receptacles are

p. 79

flung wide open. In an hour like this, when the mind ahs a passive sensibility, but no active strength; when the imagination is a mirror, imparting vividness to all ideas, without the power of selecting or controlling them; then pray that your griefs may slumber, and the brotherhood of remorse not break their chain. It is too late! A funeral train comes gliding by your bed, in which passion and feeling assume bodily shape, and things of the mind become dim spectres to the eyes. There is your earliest sorrow, a pale young mourner, wearing a sister’s likeness to first love, sadly beautiful, with a hallowed sweetness in her melancholy features, and grace in the flow of her sable robe. Net appears a shade of ruined loveliness, with dust among her golden hair, and her bright garments all faded and defaced, stealing from your glance with drooping head, as fearful of reproach; she was your fondest hope, but a delusive one; so call her disappointment now. A sterner form succeeds, with a brow of wrinkles, a look and gesture of iron authority; there is no name for him unless it be fatality, an emblem of the evil influence that rules your fortunes; a demon to whom you subjected yourself by some error at the outset of life, and were bound his slave forever, by once obeying him. See! those fiendish lineaments graven on the darkness, the writhed lip of scorn, the mockery of that living eye, the pointed finger, touching the sore place in your heart! Do you remember any act of enormous folly, at which you would blush, even in the remotest cavern of the earth? then recognize your shame.

Pass, wretched band! Well for the wakeful one, if,

p. 80

riotously miserable, a fiercer tribe do not surround him, the devils of a guilty heart, that holds its hell within itself. What if remorse should assume the features of an injured friend? What if the fiend should come in woman’s garments, with a pale beauty amid sin and desolation, and lie down by your side? What if he should stand at your bed’s foot, in the likeness of a corpse, with a bloody stain upon the shroud? Sufficient without such guilt, is this nightmare of the soul; this heavy, heavy sinking of the spirits; this wintry gloom about the heart; this indistinct horror of the mind, blending itself with the darkness of the chamber.

By a desperate effort, you start upright, breaking from a sort of conscious sleep, and gazing wildly round the bed, as if the fiends were any where but in your haunted mind. At the same moment, the slumbering embers on the hearth send forth a gleam which palely illuminates the whole outer room, and flickers through the door of the bed-chamber, but cannot quite dispel its obscurity. Your eye searches for whatever may remind you of the living world. With eager minuteness, you take note of the table near the fire-place, the book with an ivory knife between its leaves, the unfolded letter, the hat and the fallen glove. Soon the flame vanishes, and with it the whole scene is gone, though its image remains an instant in your mind’s eye, when darkness has swallowed the reality. Throughout the chamber, there is the same obscurity as before, but not the same gloom within your breast. As your head falls back upon the pillow, you think—in a whisper be it spoken—how pleasant in these night solitudes, would be the rise and fall of a

p. 81

softer breathing than your own, the slight pressure of a tenderer bosom, the quiet throb of a purer heart, imparting its peacefulness to your troubled one, as if the fond sleeper were involving you in her dream.

Her influence is over you, though she have no existence but in that momentary image. You sink down in a flowery spot, on the borders of sleep and wakefulness, while your thoughts rise before you in pictures, all disconnected, yet all assimilated by a pervading gladsomeness and beauty. The wheeling of gorgeous squadrons, that glitter in the sun, is succeeded by the merriment of children round the door of a school-house, beneath the glimmering shadow of old trees, at the corner of a rustic lane. You stand in the sunny rain of a summer shower, and wander among the sunny trees of an autumnal wood, and look upward at the brightest of all rainbows, over-arching the unbroken sheet of snow, on the American side of Niagara. Your mind struggles pleasantly between the dancing radiance round the hearth of a young man and his recent bride, and the twittering flight of birds in spring, about their new-made nest. You feel the merry bounding of a ship before the breeze; and watch the tuneful feet of rosy girls, as they twine their last and merriest dance, in a splendid ball room; and find yourself in the brilliant circle of a crowded theatre, as the curtain falls over a light and airy scene.

With an involuntary start, you seize hold on consciousness, and prove yourself but half awake, by running a doubtful parallel between human life and the hour which has now elapsed. In both you emerge from

p. 82

mystery, pass through a vicissitude that you can but imperfectly control, and are borne onward to another mystery. Now comes the peal of the distant clock, with fainter and fainter strokes as you plunge farther into the wilderness of sleep. It is the knell of a temporary death. Your spirit has departed, and strays like a free citizen, among the people of a shadowy world, beholding strange sights, yet without wonder or dismay. So calm, perhaps, will be the final change; so undisturbed, as if among familiar things, the entrance of the soul to its eternal home!


a landscape, with large lake and fishermen
Painted by T. Doughty.      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

[p. 83]



Lo! Morning, o’er the misty hills,

And o’er the meadows wide,

Pours, prodigal, abroad the floods

Of her effulgent tide;

And lo! the first and fairest beam,

Sparkles upon the mountain stream.

The hoary crag uprears its front

In lustre—and the cloud;—

And the lambs leap for joy—and birds

Sing in the sunshine, loud;—

And the old oaks, in every spray,

Hail, with their dewy pomp, the day.

So ‘brightly breaks’ the morn of youth

To all that breathe; so skies

Auroral are to them; and earth

Is filled with vernal dyes,—

While shadows short, in hollow green,

But make the splendor to be seen.

Oh! that the dawning hope, for me,

Through life’s brief day might shine,

Fringing the clouds of loneliest hours,

Like these, with gleams divine,—

Till high in heaven, from pole to pole,

Shall blaze the sunrise of the soul!

[p. 84]



On a pleasant afternoon of June, it was my good fortune to be the companion of two young ladies in a walk. The direction of our course being left to me, I led them neither to Legge’s Hill, nor to the Cold Spring, nor to the rude shores and old batteries of the Neck, nor yet to Paradise; though if the latter place were rightly named, my fair friends would have been at home there. We reached the outskirts of the town, and turning aside from a street of tanners and curriers, began to ascend a hill, which at a distance, by its dark slope and the even line of its summit, resembled a green rampart along the road. It was less steep than its aspect threatened. The eminence formed part of an extensive tract of pasture land, and was traversed by cow paths in various directions; but, strange to tell, though the whole slope and summit were of a peculiarly deep green, scarce a blade of grass was occasioned by a plentiful crop of ‘wood-wax,’ which wears the same dark and glossy green throughout the summer, except at one short period, when it puts forth a profusion of yellow blossoms. At that season to a distant spectator, the hill appears absolutely overlaid with gold, or covered with a glory of sunshine, even beneath a clouded sky. But the curious wanderer on the hill will perceive that all the grass, and

p. 85

every thing that should nourish man or beast, has been destroyed by this vile and ineradicable weed: its tufted roots make the soil their own, and permit nothing else to vegetate among them; so that a physical curse may be said to have blasted the spot, where guilt and phrenzy consummated the most execrable scene, that our history blushes to record. For this was the field where superstition won her darkest triumph; the high place where our fathers set up their shame, tot he mournful gaze of generations far remote. The dust of martyrs was beneath our feet. We stood on Gallows Hill.

For my own part, I have often courted the historic influence of the spot. But it is singular, how few come on pilgrimage to this famous hill; how many spend their lives almost at its base, and never once obey the summons of the shadowy past, as it beckons them to the summit. Till a year or two since, this portion of our history had been very imperfectly written, and, as we are not a people of legend or tradition, it was not every citizen of our ancient town that could tell, within half a century, so much as the date of the witchcraft delusion. Recently, indeed an historian has treated the subject in a manner that will keep his name alive, in the only desirable connection with the errors of our ancestry, by converting the hill of their disgrace into an honorable monument of his own antiquarian lore, and of that better wisdom, which draws the moral while it tells the tale. But we are a people of the present and have no heartfelt interest in the olden time. Every fifth of November, in commemoration of they know not hwat, or rather without an idea beyond the momentary blaze, the young men

p. 86

scare the town with bonfires on this haunted height, but never dream of paying funeral honors to those who died so wrongfully, and without a coffin or a prayer, were buried here.

Though with femenine [sic] susceptibility, my companions caught all the melancholy associations of the scene, yet these could but imperfectly overcome the gayety of girlish spirits. Their emotions came and went with quick vicissitude, and sometimes combined to form a peculiar and delicious excitement, the mirth brightening the gloom into a sunny shower of feeling, and a rainbow in the mind. My own more sombre mood was tinged by theirs. With now a merry word and next a sad one, we trod among the tangled weeds, and almost hoped that our feet would sink into the hallow [sic] of a witch’s grave. Such vestiges were to be found within the memory of man, but have vanished now, and with them, I believe, all traces of the precise spot of the executions. On the long and broad ridge of the eminence, there is no very decided elevation of any one point, nor other prominent marks, except the decayed stumps of two trees, standing near each other, and here and there the rocky substance of the hill, peeping just above the wood-wax.

There are few such prospects of town and village, woodland and cultivated field, steeples and country seats, as we beheld from this unhappy spot. No blight had fallen on old Essex; all was prosperity and riches, helathfully distributed. Before us lay our native town, extending from the foot of the hill to the harbor, level as a chess board, embraced by two arms of the sea, and

p. 87

filling the whole peninsula with a close assemblage of wooden roofs, overtopt by many a spire, and intermixed with frequent heaps of verdure, where trees threw up their shade from unseen trunks. Beyond, was the bay and its islands, almost the only objects, in a country unmarked by strong natural features, on which time and human toil had produced no change. Retaining these portions of the scene, and also the peaceful glory and tender gloom of the declining sun, we threw, in imagination, a veil of deep forest over the and, and pictures a few scattered villages, and this old town itself a village, as when the prince of hell bore sway there. The idea thus gained, of its former aspect, its quaint edifices standing far apart, with peaked roofs and projecting stories, and its single meeting house pointing up a tall spire in the midst; the vision, in short, of the town in 1692, served to introduce a wondrous tale of those old times.

I had brought the manuscript in my pocket. It was one of a series written years ago, when my pen, now sluggish and perhaps feeble, because I have not much to hope or fear, was driven by stronger external motives, and a more passionate impulse within, than I am fated to feel again. Three or four of these tales had appeared in the Token, after a long time and various adventures, but had incumbered me with no troublesome notoriety, even in my birth place. One great heap had met a brighter destiny: they had fed the flames; thoughts meant to delight the world and endure for ages, had perished in a moment, and stirred not a single heart but mine. The story now to be introduced, and another, chanced to be

p. 88

in kinder custody at the time, and thus by no conspicuous merits of their own, escaped destruction.

The ladies, in consideration that I had never before intruded my performances on them, by any but the legitimate medium, through the press, consented to hear me read. I made them sit down on a moss grown rock, close by the spot where we chose to believe that the death tree had stood. After a little hesitation on my part, caused by a dread of renewing my acquaintance with fantasies that had lost their charm, in the ceaseless flux of mind, I began the tale, which opened darkly with the discovery of a murder.

A hundred years, and nearly half that time, have elapsed since the body of a murdered man was found, at about the distance of three miles, on the old road to Boston. He lay in a solitary spot, on the bank of a small lake, which the severe frost of December had covered with a sheet of ice. Beneath this, it seemed to have been the intention of the murderer to conceal his victim in a chill and watery grave, the ice being deeply hacked, perhaps with the weapon that had slain him, though its solidity was too stubborn for the patience of a man with blood upon his hand. The corpse therefore reclined on the earth, but was separated from the road by a thick growth of dwarf pines. There had been a slight fall of snow during the night, and as if nature were shocked at the deed, and strove to hide it with her frozen tears, a little drifted heap hd partly buried the body, and lay deepest over the pale dead face. An early

p. 89

traveller, whose dog had led him to the spot, ventured to uncover the features, but was affrighted by their expression. A look of evil and scornful triumph had hardened on them, and made death so life-like and so terrible, that the beholder at once took flight, as swiftly as if the stiffened corpse would rise up and follow.

I read on, and identified the body as that of a young man, a stranger in the country, but resident during several preceding months in the town which lay at our feet. The story described, at some length, the excitement caused by the murder, the unavailing quest after the perpetrator, the funeral ceremonies, and other common place matters, in the course of which, I brought forward the personages who were to move among the succeeding events. They were but three. A young man and his sister; the former characterized by a diseased imagination and morbid feelings; the latter, beautiful and virtuous, and instilling something of her own excellence into the wild heart of her brother, but not enough to cure the deep taint of his nature. The third person was a wizard; a small, gray, withered man, with fiendish ingenuity in devising evil, and superhuman power to execute it, but senseless as an idiot and feebler than a child, to all better purposes. The central scene of the story was an interview between this wretch and Leonard Doane, in the wizard’s hut, situated beneath a range of rocks at some distance from the town. They sat beside a mouldering fire, while a tempest of wintry rain was beating on the roof. The

p. 90

young man spoke of the closeness of the tie which united him and Alice, the concentrated fervor of their affection from childhood upwards, their sense of lonely sufficiency to each other, because they only of their race had escaped death, in a night attack by the Indians. He related his discovery, or suspicion of a secret sympathy between his sister and Walter Brome, and told how a distempered jealousy had maddened him. In the following passage, I threw a glimmering light on the mystery of the tale.

‘Searching,’ continued Leonard, ‘into the breast of Walter Brome, I at length found a cause why Alice must inevitably love him. For he was my very counterpart! I compared his mind by each individual portion, and as whole, with mine. There was a resemblance from which i shrank with sickness, and loathing, and horror, as if my own features had come and stared upon me in a solitary place, or had met me in struggling through a crowd. Nay! the very same thoughts would often express themselves in the same words from our lips, proving a hateful sypathy in our secret souls. His education, indeed, in the cities of the old world, and mine in this rude wilderness, had wrought a superficial difference. The evil of his character, also, had been strengthened and rendered prominent by a reckless and purified by the gentle and holy nature of Alice. But my soul had been conscious of the germ of

p. 91

all the fierce and deep passions, and of all the many varieties of wickedness, which accident had brought to their full maturity in him. Nor will I deny, that in the accursed one, I could see the withered blossom of every virtue, which by a happier culture, had been made to bring forth fruit in me. Now, here was a man, whom Alice might love with all the strength of sisterly affection, added to that impure passion which alone engrosses all the heart. The stranger would have more than the love which had been gathered to me from the many graves of our household—and I be desolate!’

Leonard Doane went on to describe the insane hatred that had kindled his heart into a volume of hellish flame. It appeared, indeed that his jealousy had grounds, so far as that Walter Brome had actually sought the love of Alice, who also had betrayed an undefinable, but powerful interest in the unknown youth. The latter, in spite of his passion for Alice, seemed to return the loathful antipathy of her brother; the similarity of their dispositions made them like joint possessors of an individual nature, which could not become wholly the property of one, unless by the extinction of the other. At last, with the same devil in each bosom, they chanced to meet, they two on a lonely road. While Leonard spoke, the wizard had sat listening to what he already knew, yet with tokens of pleasurable interest, manifested by flashes of expression across his vacant features, by grisly smiles and by a word here and

p. 92

there, mysteriously filling up some void in the narrative. But when the young man told, how Walter Brome had taunted him with indubitable proofs of the shame of Alice, and before the triumphant sneer could vanish from his face, had died by her brother’s hand, the wizard laughed aloud. Leonard started, but just then a gust of wind came down the chimney, forming itself into a close resemblance of the slow, unvaried laughter, by which he had been interrupted. ‘I was deceived,’ thought he; and thus pursued his fearful story.

‘I trod out his accursed soul, and knew that he was dead; for my spirit bounded as if the chain had fallen from it and left me free. But the bust of exulting certainty soon fled, and was succeeded by a torpor over my brain and a dimness before my eyes, with the sensation of one who struggles through a ddream. So I bent down over the body of Walter Brome, gazing into his face, and striving to make my soul glad with the thought, that he, in very truth, lay dead before me. I know not what space of time I had thus stood, nor how the vision came. But it seemed to me that the irrevocable years, since childhood had rolled back, and a scene, that had long been confused and broken in my memory, arrayed itself with all its first distinctness. Methought I stood a weeping infant by my father’s hearth; by the cold and blood-stained hearth where he lay dead. I heard the childish wail of Alice, and my own cry arose with hers, as we beheld the features of our parent, fierce with the

p. 93

strife and distorted with the pain, in which his spirit had passed away. as I gazed, a cold wind whistled by, and waved my father’s hair. Immediately, I stood again in the lonesome road, no more a sinless child, but a man of blood, whose tears were falling fast over the face of his dead enemy. But the delusion was not wholly gone; that face still wore a likeness of my father; and because my soul shrank from the fixed glare of the eyes, I bore the body to the lake, and would have buried it there. But before his icy sepulchre was hewn, I heard the voices of two travellers and fled.’

Such was the dreadful confession of Leonard Doane. And now tortured by the idea of his sister’s guilt, yet sometimes yielding to a conviction of her purity; stung with remorse for the death of Walter Brome, and shuddering with a deeper sense of some unutterable crime, perpetrated, as he imagined, in madness or a dream; moved also by dark impulses, as if a fiend were whispering him to meditate violence against the life of Alice; he had sought this interview with the wizard, who, on certain conditions, had no power to withhold his aid in unravelling the mystery. The tale drew near its close.

The moon was bright on high; the blue firmament appeared to glow with an inherent brightness; the greater stars were burning in their spheres; the northern

p. 94

lights threw their mysterious glare far over the horizon; the few small clouds aloft were burthened with radiance; but the sky with all its variety of light, was scarcely so brilliant as the earth. the rain of the preceding night had frozen as it fell, and, by that simple magic, had wrought wonders. The trees were hung with diamonds and many-colored gems; the houses were overlaid with silver, and the streets paved with slippery brightness; a frigid glory was flung over all familiar things, from the cottage chimney to the steeple of the meeting house, that gleamed upward to the sky. This living world, where we sit by our firesides, or go forth to meet beings like ourselves, seemed rather the creation of wizard power, with so much of resemblance to known objects, that a man might shudder at the ghostly shape of his old beloved dwelling, and the shadow of a ghostly tree before his door. One looked to behold inhabitants suited to such a town, glittering in icy garments, with motionless features, cold, sparkling eyes, and just sensation enough in their frozen hearts to shiver at each other’s presence.

By this fantastic piece of description, and more in the same style, I intended to throw a ghostly glimmer round the reader, so that his imagination might view the town through a medium that should take off its every day aspect, and make it a proper theatre for so wild a scene as the final one. Amid this unearthly show, the wretched brother and sister were represented as setting forth, at midnight, through the gleaming streets, and directing

p. 95

their steps to a grave yard, where all the dead had been laid, from the first corpse in that ancient town, to the murdered man who was buried three days before. As they went, they seemed to see the wizard gliding by their sides, or walking dimly on the path before them. But here I paused, and gazed into the faces of my two fair auditors, to judge whether, even on the hill where so many had been brought to death by wilder tales than this, I might venture to proceed. Their bright eyes were fixed on me; their lips apart. I took courage, and led the fated pair to a new made grave, where for a few moments, in the bright and silent midnight, they stood alone. But suddenly, there was a multitude of people among the graves.

Each family tomb had given up its inhabitants, who, one by one, through distant years, had been borne to its dark chamber, but now came forth and stood in a pale group together. There was the gray ancestor, the aged mother, and all their descendants, some withered and full of years, like themselves, and others in their prime; there, too, were the children who went prattling to the tomb, and there the maiden who yielded her early beauty to death’s embrace, before passion had polluted it. Husbands and wives arose, who had lain many years side by side, and young mothers who had forgotten to kiss their first babes, though pillowed so long on their bosoms. Many had been buried in the habiliments of life, and still wore their ancient garb; some were old

p. 96

defenders of the infant colony, and gleamed forth in their steel caps and bright breast-plates, as if starting up at an Indian war-cry; other venerable shapes had been pastors of the church, famous among the New England clergy, and now leaned with hands clasped over their grave stones, ready to call the congregation to prayer. There stood the early settlers, those old illustrious ones, the heroes of tradition and fireside legends, the men of history whose features had been so long beneath the sod, that few alive could have remembered them. There, too, were faces of former townspeople, dimly recollected from childhood, and others, whom Leonard and Alice had wept in later years, but who now were most terrible of all, by their ghastly smile of recognition. All, in short, were there; the dead of other generations, whose moss-grown names could scarce be read upon their tomb stones, and their successors, whose graves were not yet green; all whom black funerals had followed slowly thither, now re-appeared where the mourners left them. Yet none but souls accursed were there, and fiends counterfeiting the likeness of departed saints.

The countenances of those venerable men, whose very features had been hallowed by lives of piety, were contorted now by intolerable pain or hellish passion, and now by an unearthly and derisive merriment. Had the pastors prayed, all saintlike as they seemed, it had been blasphemy. The chaste matrons, too, and the maidens with untasted lips, who had slept in their virgin graves apart from all other dust, now wore a look from which the two trembling mortals shrank, as if the unimaginable sin of twenty worlds were collected there. The faces of

p. 97

fond lovers, even of such as had pined into the tomb, because there their treasure was, were bent on one another with glances of hatred and smiles of bitter scorn, passions that are to devils, what love is to the blest. At times, the features of those, who had passed from a holy life to heaven, would vary to and fro, between their assumed aspect and the fiendish lineaments whence they had been transformed. The whole miserable multitude, both sinful souls and false spectres of good men, groaned horribly and gnashed their teeth, as they looked upward to the calm loveliness of the midnight sky, and beheld those homes of bliss where they must never dwell. Such was the apparition, though too shadowy for language to portray; for here would be the moonbeams on the ice, glittering through a warrior’s breast-plate, and there the letters of a tomb stone, on the form that stood before it; and whenever a breeze went by, it swept the old men’s hoary heds, the women’s fearful beauty, and all the unreal throng, into one indistinguishable cloud together.

I dare not give the remainder of the scene, except in a very brief epitome. This company of devils and condemned souls had come on a holiday, to revel in the discovery of a complicated crime; as foul a one as ever was imagined in their dreadful abode. In the course of the tale, the reader had been permitted to discover, that all the incidents were results of the machinations of the wizard, who had cunningly devised that Walter Brome should tempt his unknown sister to guilt and shame,

p. 98

and himself perish by the hand of his twin-brother. I described the glee of the fiends, at this hideous conception, and their eagerness to know if it were consummated. The story concluded with the Appeal of Alice to the spectre of Walter Brome; his reply, absolving her from every stain; and the trembling awe with which ghost and devil fled, as from the sinless presence of an angel.

The sun had gone down. While I held my page of wonders in the fading light, and read how Alice and her brother were left alone among the graves, my voice mingled with the sigh of a summer wind, which passed over the hill top with the broad and hollow sound, as of the flight of unseen spirits. Not a word was spoken, till I added, that the wizard’s grave was close beside us, and that the wood wax had sprouted originally from his unhallowed bones. The ladies started; perhaps their cheeks might have grown pale, had not the crimson west been blushing on them; but after a moment they began to laugh, while the breeze took a livelier motion, as if responsive to their mirth. I kept an awful solemnity of visage, being indeed a little piqued, that a narrative which had good authority in our ancient superstitions, and would have brought even a church deacon to Gallows Hill, in old witch times, should now be considered too grotesque and extravagant, for timid maids to tremble at. Though it was past supper time, I detained them a while longer on the hill, and made a trial whether truth were more powerful than fiction.

We looked again towards the town, no longer arrayed in that icy splendor of earth, tree and edifice, beneath

p. 99

the glow of a wintry midnight, which, shining afar through the gloom of a century, had made it appear the very home of visions in visionary streets. An indistinctness had begun to creep over the mass of buildings and blend them with the intermingled tree tops, except where the roof of a statelier mansion, and the steeples and brick towers of churches, caught the brightness of some cloud that yet floated in the sunshine. Twilight over the landscape was congenial to the obscurity of time. With such eloquence as my share of feeling and fancy could supply, I called back hoar antiquity, and bade my companions imagine an ancient multitude of people, congregated on the hill side, spreading far below, clustering on the steep old roofs, and climbing the adjacent heights, wherever a glimpse of this spot might be obtained. I strove to realize and faintly communicate, the deep, unutterable loathing and horror, the indignation, the affrighted wonder, that wrinkled on every brow, and filled the universal heart. See! the whole crowd turns pale and shrinks within itself, as the virtuous emerge from yonder street. Keeping pace with that devoted company, I described them one by one; here tottered a woman in her dotage, knowing either the crime imputed her, nor its punishment; there another, distracted by the universal madness, till feverish dreams were remembered as realities, and she almost believed her guilt. One, a proud man once, was so broken down by the intolerable hatred heaped upon him, that he seemed to hasten his steps, eager to hide himself in the grave hastily dug, at the foot of the gallows. As they went slowly on, a mother looked

p. 100

behind, and beheld her peaceful dwelling; she cast her eyes elsewhere and groaned inwardly, yet with bitterest anguish; for there was her little son among the accusers. I watched the face of an ordained pastor, who walked onward to the same death; his lips moved in prayer, no narrow petition for himself alone, but embracing all, his fellow sufferers and the frenzied multitude; he looked to heaven and trod lightly up the hill.

Behind their victims came the afflicted, a guilty and miserable band; villains who had thus avenged themselves on their enemies, and viler wretches, whose cowardice had destroyed their friends; lunatics, whose ravings had chimed in with the madness of the land; and children, who had played a game that the imps of darkness might have envied them, since it disgraced an age, and dipped a people’s hands in blood. In the rear of the procession rode a figure on horseback, so darkly conspicuous, so sternly triumphant, that my hearers mistook him for the visible presence of the fiend himself; but it was only his good friend, Cotton Mather, proud of his well won dignity, as the representative of all the hateful features of his time; the one blood-thirsty man, inn whom were concentrated those vices of spirit and errors of opinion, that sufficed to madden the whole surrounding multitude. And thus I marshalled them onward, the innocent who were to die, and the guilty who were to grow old in long remorse—tracing their every step, by rock, and shrub, and broken track, till their shadowy visages had circled round the hill-top, where we stood. I plunged into my imagination for a blacker horror, and a deeper woe, and pictured the scaffold—

p. 101

But here my companions seized an arm on each side; their nerves were trembling; and sweeter victory still, I had reached the seldom trodden places of their hearts, and found the wellspring of their tears. And now the past had done all it could. We slowly descended, watching the lights as they twinkled gradually through the town, and listening to the distant mirth of boys at play, and to the voice of a young girl, warbling somewhere in the dusk, a pleasant sound to wanderers from old witch times. Yet ere we left the hill, we could not but regret, that there is nothing on its barren summit, no relic of old, nor lettered stone of later days, to assist the imagination in appealing to the heart. We build the memorial column on the height which our fathers made sacred with their blood, poured out in a holy cause. And here in dark, funereal stone, should rise another monument, sadly commemorative of the errors of an earlier race, and not to be cast down, while the human heart has one infirmity that may result in crime.

[p. 102]



They have faded one by one, the visions of my youth,

And the fallacy of early days has frozen into truth;

Friendship was budding forwardly, but death has brought a blight;

And bitter drops have mingled with the cup of love’s delight.

It was a dream of beauty, my first fond dream of life,

But she who was so sweet a maid, is now as sweet a wife—

Another’s finger braids her wealth of raven hair;

Another’s voice is music, when it murmurs she is fair.

She looks upon a husband, and dallies with a child,—

Her lip is smiling brightly, her brow is heavenly mild:

That lip once smiled as brightly, as fondly upon me—

But the hope, that once it whispered, again may never be.

A second love then won me, and promised quite as much;

A second lover offered him, who held a Midas’ touch;

I never learned the cunning art to coin my hours in gold;

Why wonder then that woman’s tale of love was quickly told!

Once, twice—the heart is stony that still declines to break,

And still expects a third bright eye a third bright fire to wake;

But such is ye the lot of man, when woman is untrue;

The loss of one but teaches him to make another do!


men fight with sabres and spears in a fierce battle
Painted by Gericault.      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 103]



They die about his path—his scimitar

Through the hot smoke is flashing on the sky,

Like lightning on the cloud; and his red arm

Moves like a meteor through the shaking field.

His barb, as though a spirit like his own—

As fierce—as all-triumphant—and as free—

Held mastery—as all-triumphant—and as free—

Held mastery—unchecked by jewel’d rein,

With blazing eye, and quivering nostril spread,

Leaps o’er the reeking earth; no shadow now,

That mortal sight can gather as he bounds,

Follows his ringing hoof; but a quick flame

Springs from indented casque and shiver’d steel,

As both were spurned upon his maddening way—

And foamy blood, with mingled sand and hair,

Gathers about his fetlock, bubbling round,

As the red foot falls on some trampled brow,

Just settling in the fixedness of death,

And catching that strange paleness which comes on,

When the grave claims and seals the ruin’d brain!

Battle and blood!—his dreams had been of one

Of whom the world’s deep trumpet had been full:

Upon whose lips sat prophecy—and round

Whose eye came visions that no cloud could dim,

p. 104

And on whose arm perch’d victory;—of one

Who from beyond the ocean should uplift

His banner for the desert—and outpour

The music of his clarion; ’twas with him

The child of Mahomet should dimly close

In the last struggle with the cross and sword.

Battle and blood! the sun broke from the sea,

As some vast eye of fire through veiling clouds;

Red as the moon, half buried, when the earth

Lies mournfully beneath her vapory pall,

And light contends with darkness on the hills.

Sadly the dull orb star’d along the land,

Where once even night that might be felt came down,

And man mourned through the blackness of his home.

But now an earthquake lifts it—’tis the tramp

Of men in armor, and the voice of guns,

Deep as the call of thunder, breaks afar,

Over the waters, towers, and pyramids;

Proclaiming still the conqueror Corsican,

Whose footsteps had been graves. A banner now,

Vow’d to the Christian’s God—the hated cross,

Is flaunting o’er each slave-begotten bay,

And pallid passion, frowning, and fierce rage,

Are centering to one quick and horrid storm,

Upon the field of story. Never there

Shall man call man his brother—but his heart

Turns deep within to gall—and the last love

That brooded in his bosom, like a bird,

Flies scar’d from its propriety abroad,

p. 105

With desolating scream, and frighted wing,

Gathering new vengeance as it sweeps away.

They die about his path! but ere the voice

Of Murad shall be silent—or his scarf

Shall wave its farewell o’er the crimson field,

Or his eye sheathe its lightnings, there shall pass

From lip and brow that gather’d glance and sound

Into the memory of that child of fate,

Whose pathway thence shall be on crowns and thrones,

That may not be forgotten! For that steed,

Bears not a braver, though an Infidel—

His tongue rings like a trumpet to the wind,

Full of the battle music of command—

And his steel tracks its errantry of death

Unerring through that storm of human hearts!

* * * * * * *

The onset thicken’d—and a lurid night

Was closing on a hot and brazen sky,

When the white barb, reeking with blood and foam,

With a mad shriek leapt on the foeman’s spear.

Back reel’d the charger—and his snowy mane

Swept like a storm before his glazing eye;

His hoofs, as aiming at some safer earth,

Struck at the idle air—then trembling hung,

Or quiver’d as they fell; while he who once

Sat proudly on him as a son of light,

Saw the earth fade, and felt the dream of life

Pass with its bubbling stream.

[p. 106]


Come! another log upon the hearth. True, our little parlor is comfortable, especially here, where the old man sits in his old arm chair; but on thanksgiving night, the blaze should dance higher up the chimney, and send a shower of sparks into the outer darkness. Toss on an armful of those dry oak chips, the last relicts of the Mermaid’s knee timbers, the bones of your namesake, Susan. Higher yet, and clearer be the blaze, till our cottage windows glow the ruddiest in the village, and the light of our household mirth flash far across the bay to Nahant. And now, come, Susan, come, my children, draw your chairs round me, all of you. There is a dimness over your figures! You sit quivering indistinctly with each motion of the blaze, which eddies about you like a flood, so that you all have the look of visions, or people that dwell only in the firelight, and will vanish from existence, as completely as your own shadows, when the flame shall sink among the embers. Hark! let me listen for the swell of the surf; it should be audible a mile inland, on a night like this. Yes; there I catch the sound, but only an uncertain murmur, as if a good way down over the beach; though, by the almanac, it is high tide at eight o’clock, and the billows must now be dashing within thirty yards of our door. Ah! the old man’s ears are failing him; and so is his eye sight, and perhaps his mind; else you would not all be so shadowy, in the blaze of his thanksgiving fire.

p. 107

How strangely the past is peeping over the shoulders of the present! To judge by my recollections, it is but a few moments since I sat in another room; yonder model of a vessel was not there, nor the old chest of drawers, nor Susan’s profile and mine, in that gilt frame; nothing, in short, except this same fire, which glimmered on books, papers, and a picture, and half discovered my solitary figure in a looking glass. But it was paler than my rugged old self, and younger, too, by almost half a century. Speak to me, Susan; speak, my beloved ones, for the scene is glimmering on my sight again, and as it brightens you fade away. Oh! I should be loth to lose my treasure of past happiness, and become once more what I was then; a hermit in the depths of my own mind; sometimes yawning over drowsy volumes, and anon a scribbler of wearier trash than what I read; a man who had wandered out of the real world and got into its shdow, where his troubles, joys and vicissitudes were of such slight stuff, that he hardly knew whether he lived, or only dreamed of living. Thank heaven, I am an old man now, and have done with all such vanities.

Still this dimness of mine eyes! Come nearer, Susan, and stand before the fullest blaze of the hearth. Now I behold you illuminated from head to foot, in your clean cap and decent gown, with the dear lock of gray hair across your forehead, and a quiet smile about your mouth, while the eyes alone are concealed, by the red gleam of the fire upon your spectacles. There, you made me tremble again! When the flame quivered, my sweet Susan, you quivered with it, and grew indistinct, as if melting into the warm light, that my last glimpse of you

p. 108

might be as visionary as the first was, full many a year since. Do you remember it? You stood on the little bridge, over the brook that runs across King’s Beach into the sea. It was twilight; the waves rolling in, the wind sweeping by, the crimson clouds fading in the west, and the silver moon brightening above the hill; and on the bridge were you, fluttering in the breeze like a sea bird that might skim away at your pleasure. You seemed a daughter of the viewless wind, a creature of the ocean foam and the crimson light, whose merry life was spent in dancing on the crests of the billows, that threw up their spray to support your footsteps. As I drew nearer, I fancid you akin to the race of mermaids, (but without the fish’s fins, Susan,) and thought how pleasant it would be to dwell with you among the quiet coves, in the shadow of the cliffs, and to roam along secluded beaches of the purest sand, and when our northern shores grew bleak, to haunt the islands, green and lonely, far amid summer seas. And yet it gladdened me, after all this nonsense, to find you nothing but a pretty young girl, sadly perplexed with the rude behaviour of the wind about your petticoats.

Thus I did with Susan as with most other things in my earlier days, dipping her image into my mind and coloring it of a thousand fantastic hues, before I could see her as she really was. Now, Susan, for a sober picture of our village! It was a small collection of dwellings that seemed to have been cast up by the sea, with the rock weed and marine plants that it vomits after a storm, or to have come ashore among the pipe staves and other lumber, which had been washed from

p. 109

the deck of an eastern schooner. There was just space for the narrow and sandy street between the beach in front, and a precipitous hill that lifted its rocky forehead in the rear, among a waste of juniper bushes and the wild growth of a broken pasture. The village was picturesque, in the variety of its edifices, though all were rude. Here stood a little old hovel, built, perhaps, of drift wood, there a row of boat houses, and beyond them a two story dwelling, of dark and weather beaten aspect, the whole intermixed with one or two snug cottages, painted white, a sufficiency of pig styes, and a shoemaker’s shop. Two grocery stores stood opposite each other, in the centre of the village. These were the places of resort, at their idle hours, of a hardy throng of fishermen, in red baize shirts, oil cloth trousers, and boots of brown leather covering the whole leg; true seven league boots, but fitter to wade the ocean than walk the earth. The wearers seemed amphibious, as if they did but creep out of salt water to sun themselves; nor would it have been wonderful to see their lower limbs covered with clusters of little shell fish, such as cling to rocks and old ship timber over which the tide ebbs and flows. When their fleet of boats was weather bound, the butchers raised their price, and the spit was busier than the frying pan; for this was a place of fish, and known as such, to all the country round about; the very air was fishy, being perfumed with dead sculpins, hard heads and dog fish, strewn plentifully on the beach. You see, children, the village is but little changed, since your mother and I were young.

p. 110

How like a dream it was, when I bent over a pool of water, one pleasant morning, and saw that the ocean had dashed its spray over me and made me a fisherman! There was the tarpaulin, the baize shirt, the oil cloth trousers and seven league boots, and there my own features, but so reddened with sun burn and sea breezes, that methought I had another face, and on other shoulders too. The sea gulls and the loons, and I, had now all one trade; we skimmed the crested waves and sought our prey beneath them, the man with as keen enjoyment as the birds. Always when the east grew purple, I launched my dory, my little flat bottomed skiff, and rowed cross-handed to Point Ledge, the Middle Ledge, or, perhaps, beyond Egg Rock; often, too, did I anchor off Dread Ledge, a spot of peril to ships unpiloted; and sometimes spread an adventurous sail and tracked across the bay to South Shore, casting my lines in sight of Scituate. Ere night fall, I hauled my skiff high and dry on the beach, laden with the red rock cod, or the white bellied ones of deep water; haddock, bearing the black marks of Saint Peter’s fingers near the gills; the long bearded hake, whose liver holds oil enough for a midnight lamp; and now and then a mighty halibut, with a back broad as my boat. In the autumn, I toled and caught those lovely fish, the mackerel. When the wind was high; when the whale boats, anchored off the Point, nodded their slender masts at each other, and the dories pitched and tossed in the surf; when Nahant Beach was thundering three miles off, and the spray broke a hundred feet inair, round the distant base of

p. 111

Egg Rock; when the brimful and boisterous sea threatened to tumble over the street of our village; then I made a holiday on shore.

Many such a day did I sit snugly in Mr. Bartlett’s store, attentive to the yarns of uncle Parker; uncle to the whole village, by right of seniority, but of southern blood, with no kindred in New England. His figure is before me now, enthroned upon a mackerel barrel; a lean old man, of great height, but bent with years, and twisted into an uncouth shape by seven broken limbs; furrowed also, and weather worn, as if every gale for the better part of a century, had caught him some where on the sea. He looked like a harbinger of tempest; a shipmate of the Flying Dutchman. After innumerable voyages aboard men-of-war and merchantmen, fishing schooners and chebacco boats, the old salt hd become master of a hand cart, which he daily trundled about the vicinity, and sometimes blew his fish horn through the streets of Salem. One of uncle Parker’s eyes had been blown out with gunpowder, and the other did but glimmer in its socket. Turning it upward as he spoke, it was his delight to tell of cruises against the French, and battles with his own shipmates, when he and an antagonist used to be seated astride of a sailor’s chest, each fastened down by a spike nail through his trousers, and there to fight it out. Sometimes he expatiated on the delicious flavor of the hagden, a greasy and goose-like fowl, which the sailors catch with hook and line on the Grand Banks. He dwelt with rapture on an interminable winter at the Isle of Sables, where he had gladdened himself, amid polar snows, with the rum and

p. 112

sugar saved from the wreck of a West India schooner. And wrathfully did he shake his fist, as he related how a party of Cape Cod men had robbed him and his companions of their lawful spoil, and sailed away with every keg of old Jamaica, leaving him not a drop to drown his sorrow. Villains they were, and of that wicked brotherhood who are said to tie lanterns to horses’ tails, to mislead the mariner along the dangerous shores of the cape.

Even now, I seem to see the group of fishermen, with that old salt in the midst. One fellow sits on the counter, a second bestrides an oil barrel, a third lolls at his length on a parcel of new cod lines, and another has planted the tarry seat of his trousers on a heap of salt, which will shortly be sprinkled over a lot of fish. They are a likely set of men. Some have voyaged to the East Indies or the Pacific, and most of them have sailed in Marblehead schooners to Newfoundland; a few have been no farther than the Middle Banks, and one or two have always fished along the shore; but as uncle Parker said, they have all been christened in salt water, and know more than men ever learn in the bushes. A curious figure, by way of contrast, is a fish dealer from far up-country, listening with eyes wide open, to narratives that might startle Sinbad the sailor. Be it well with you, my brethren! Ye are all gone, some to your graves ashore, and others to the depths of ocean; but my faith is strong that ye are happy; for wherever I behold your forms, whether in dream or vision, each departed friend is puffing his long nine, and a mug of the right black strap goes round from lip to lip!

p. 113

But where was the mermaid, in those delightful times? At a certain window near the centre of the village, appeared a pretty display of gingerbread men and horses, picture books and ballads, small fish-hooks, pins, needles, sugar-plums and brass thimbles, articles on which the young fishermen used to expend their money from pure gallantry. What a picture was Susan behind the counter! A slender maiden, though the child of rugged parents, she had the slimmest of all waists, brown hair curling on her neck, and a complexion rather pale, except when the sea breeze flushed it. A few freckles became beauty spots beneath her eyelids. How was it, Susan, that you talked and acted so carelessly, yet always for the best, doing whatever was right in your own eyes, and never once doing wrong in mine, nor shocked a taste that had been morbidly sensitive till now? And whence had you that happiest gift, of brightening every topic with an unsought gayety, quiet but irresistible, so that even gloomy spirits felt your sunshine, and did not shrink from it? Nature wrought the charm. She made you a frank, simple, kind hearted, sensible and mirthful girl. Obeying nature, you did free things without indelicacy, displayed a maiden’s thoughts to every eye, and proved yourself as innocent as naked Eve. Oh, Susan the sugar heart you gave me, and the old rhyme—‘When this you see, remember me’—scratched on it with the point of your scissors! Inscriptions on marble have been sooner forgotten, than those words shall be on that frail heart.

It was beautiful to observe, how her simple and happy nature mingled itself with mine. She kindled a domestic fire within my heart, and took up her dwelling there,

p. 114

even in that chill and lonesome cavern, hung round with glittering icicles of fancy. She gave me warmth of feeling, while the influence of my mind made her contemplative. I taught her to love the moonlight hour, when the expanse of the encircled bay was smooth as a great mirror and slept in a transparent shadow, though beyond Nahant, the wind rippled the dim ocean into a dreary brightness, which grew faint afar off, without becoming gloomier. I held her hand and pointed to the long surf-wave, s it rolled calmly on the beach, in an unbroken line of silver; we were silent together, till its deep and peaceful murmur had swept by us. When the Sabbath sun shone down into the recesses of the cliffs, I led the mermaid thither, and told her that those huge, gray, shattered rocks, and her native sea, that raged for ever like a storm against them, and her own slender beauty, in so stern a scene, were all combined into a strain of poetry. But on the sabbath eve, when her mother had gone early to bed, and her gentle sister Hannah had smiled and left us, as we sat alone by the quiet hearth, with household things around, it was her turn to make me feel, that here was a deeper poetry, and that this was the dearest hour of all. Thus went on our wooing, till I had shot wild fowl enough to feather our bridal bed, and the daughter of the sea was mine.

I built a cottage for Susan and myself, and made a gateway in the form of a Gothic arch, by setting up a whale’s jaw bones. We bought a heifer with her first calf, and had a little garden on the hill side, to supply us with potatoes and green sauce for our fish. Our parlor, small and neat, was ornamented with our two

p. 115

profiles in one gilt frame, and with shells and pretty pebbles on the mantle piece, selected from the sea’s treasury of such things, on Nahant beach. On the desk, beneath the looking-glass, lay the Bible, which I had begun to read aloud at the book of Genesis, and the singing book that Susan used for her evening psalm. Except the almanac, we had no other literature. All that I heard of books, was when an Indian history, or tale of shipwreck, was sold by a pedler or wandering subscription man, to some one in the village, and read through its owner’s nose to a slumbrous auditory. Like my brother fishermen, I grew into the belief that all human erudition was collected in our pedagogue, whose green spectacles and solemn phiz, as he passed to his little school house, amid a waste of sand, might have gained him a diploma from any college in New England. In truth I dreaded him. When our children were old enough to claim his care, you remember, Susan, how I frowned, though you were pleased, at this learned man’s encomiums on their proficiency. I feared to trust them even with the alphabet; it was the key to a fatal treasure. But I loved to lead them by their little hands along the beach, and point to nature in the vast and the minute, the sky, the sea, the green earth, the pebbles and the shells, discoursing of the mighty works and co-extensive goodness of the Deity, with the simple wisdom of a man whose mind had profited by lonely days upon the deep, and his heart by the strong and pure affections of his evening home. Sometimes my voice lost itself in a tremulous depth; for I felt His eye upon me as I spoke. Once, while my wife and all of us were gazing

p. 116

at ourselves, in the mirror left by the tide in a hollow of the sand, I pointed to the pictured heaven below, and bade her observe how religion was strewn every where in our path; since even a casual pool of water recalled the idea of that home whither we were travelling, to rest for ever with our children. Suddenly, your image, Susan, and all the little faces made up of your’s [sic] and mine, seemed to fade away and vanish around me, leaving a pale visage like my own of former days, within the frame of a large looking-glass. Strange illusion!

My life glided on, the past appearing to mingle with the present and absorb the future, till the whole lies before me at a glance. My manhood has long been waning with a staunch decay; my earlier contemporaries, after lives of unbroken health, are all at rest, without having known the weariness of later age; and now with a wrinkled forehead and thin white hair as badges of my dignity, I have become the patriarch, the uncle of the village. I love that name; it widens the circle of my sympathies; it joins all the youthful to my household, in the kindred of affection.

Like uncle Parker, whose rheumatic bones were dashed against Egg Rock, full forty years ago, I am a spinner of long yarns. Seated on the gunnel of a dory, or on the sunny side of a boat house, where the warmth is grateful to my limbs, or by my own hearth, when a friend or two are there, I overflow with talk, and yet am never tedious. With a broken voice I give utterance to much wisdom. Such, heaven be praised! is the vigor of my faculties, that many a forgotten usage, and traditions ancient in my youth, and early adventures of

p. 117

myself or others, hitherto effaced by things more recent, acquire new distinctness in my memory. I remember the happy days when the haddock were more numerous on all the fishing grounds than sculpins in the surf; when the deep water cod swam close in shore, and the dog-fish, with his poisonous horn, had not learnt to take the hook. I can number every equinoctial storm, in which the sea has overwhelmed the street, flooded the cellars of the village, and hissed upon our kitchen hearth. I give the history of the great whale that was landed on Whale Beach, and whose jaws, being now my gate way, will last for ages after my coffin shall have passed beneath them. Thence it is an easy digression to the halibut, scarcely smaller than the whale, which ran out six codlines, and hauled my dory to the mouth of Chatham harbor, before I could touch him with the gaff.

If melancholy accidents be the theme of conversation, I tell how a friend of mine was taken out of his boat by an enormous hark; and the sad, true tale of a young man on the eve of marriage, who had been nine days missing, when his drowned body floated into the very pathway, on Marblehead neck, that had often led him to the dwelling of his bride; as if the dripping corpse would have come where the mourner was. ith such awful fidelity did that lover return to fulfil his vows! Another favorite story is of a crazy maiden, who conversed with angels and had the gift of prophecy, and whom all the village loved and pitied, though she went from door to door accusing us of sin, exhorting to repentance, and foretelling our destruction by flood or earthquake. If the young men boast their knowledge of

p. 118

the ledges and sunken rocks, I speak of pilots who knew the wind by its smells and the wave by its taste, and could have steered blindfold to any port between Boston and Mount Desert, guided only by the rote of the shore; the peculiar sound of the surf on each island, beach, and line of rocks, along the coast. Thus do I talk, and all my auditors grow wise, while they deem it pastime.

I recollect no happier portion of my life, than this, my calm old age. It is like the sunny and sheltered slope of a valley, where, late in the autumn, the grass is greener than in August, and intermixed with golden dandelions, that had not been seen till now, since the first warmth of the year. But with me, the verdure and the flowers are not frost bitten in the midst of winter. A playfulness has revisited my mind; a sympathy with the young and gay; an unpainful interest in the business of others; a light and wandering curiosity; arising, perhaps, from the sense that my toil on earth is ended, and the brief hour till bedtime may be spent in play. Still, I have fancied that there is a depth of feeling and reflection, under this superficial levity, peculiar to one who has lived long, and is soon to die.

Show me any thing that would make an infant smile, and you shall behold a gleam of mirth over the hoary ruin of my visage. I can spend a pleasant hour in the sun, watching the sports of the village children, on the edge of the surf; now they chase the retreating wave far down over the wet sand; now it comes onward with threatening front, and roars afte rthe laughing crew, as they scaper beyond its reach. Why should not an old

p. 119

man be merry too, when the great sea is at play with those little children? I delight, also, to follow in the wake of a pleasure party of young men and girls, strolling along the beach after an early supper at the point. Here, with handkerchiefs at nose, they bend over a heap of eel grass, entangled in which is a dead skate, so oddly accoutred with two legs and a long tail, that they mistake him for a drowned animal. A few steps further, the ladies scream, and the gentlemen make ready to protect them against a young shark of the dog-fish kind, rolling with a lifelike motion in the tide that has thrown him up. Next, they are smit with wonder at the black shells of a wagon load of live lobsters, packed in rock weed for the country market. And when they reach the fleet of dories, just hauled ashore after the day’s fishing, how do I laugh in my sleeve, and sometimes roar outright, at the simplicity of these young folks and the sly humor of the fishermen! In winter, when our village is thrown into a bustle by the arrival of perhaps a score of country dealers, bargaining for frozen fish, to be transported hundreds of miles, and eaten fresh in Vermont or Canada, I am a pleased, but idle spectator in the throng. For I launch my boat no more.

When the shore was solitary, I have found a pleasure that seemed even to exalt my mind, in observing the sports or contentions of two gulls, as they wheeled and hovered about each other, with hoarse screams, one moment flapping on the foam of the wave, and then soaring aloft, till their white bosoms melted into the upper sunshine. In the calm of the summer sunet, I drag my aged limbs, with a little ostentation of activity,

p. 120

because I am so old, up to the rocky brow of the hill. There I see the white sails of many a vessel, outward bound or homeward from afar, and the black trail of a vapor behind the eastern steamboat; there, too, is the sun, going down, but not in gloom, and there the illimitable ocean mingling with the sky, to remind me of eternity.

But sweetest of all is the hour of cheerful musing and pleasant talk, that comes between the dusk and the lighted candle, by my glowing fireside. And never, even on the first thanksgiving night, when Susan and I sat alone with our hopes, nor the second, when a stranger had been sent to gladden us, and be the visible image of our affection, did I feel such joy as now. All that belong to me are here; death has taken none, nor disease kept them away, nor strife divided them from their parents or each other; with neither poverty nor riches to disturb them, nor the misery of desires beyond their lot, they have kept New England’s festival round the patriarch’s board. For I am a patriarch! Here I sit among my descendants, in my old arm chair and immemorial corner, while the firelight throws an appropriate glory round my venerable frame. Susan! My children! Something whispers me, that this happiest hour must be the final one, and that nothing remains but to bless you all, and depart, with a treasure of recollected joys to heaven. Will you meet me there? Alas! your figures grow indistinct, fading into pictures on the air, and now to fainter outlines, while the fire is glimmering on the walls of a familiar room, and shows the book that I flung down, and the

p. 121

sheet that I left half written, some fifty years ago. I lift my eyes to the looking-glass, and perceive myself alone, unless those be the mermaid’s features, retiring into the depths of the mirror, with a tender and melancholy smile.

Ah! One feels a chilliness, not bodily, but about the heart, and, moreover a foolish dread of looking behind him, after these pastimes. I can imagine precisely how a magician would sit down in gloom and terror, after dismissing the shadows that had personated dead or distant people, and stripping his cavern of the unreal splendor which had changed it to a palace. And now for a moral to my reverie. Shall it be, that, since fancy can create so bright a dream of happiness, it were better to dream on from youth to age, than to awake and strive, doubtfully for something real? Oh! the slight tissue of a dream can no more preserve us from the stern reality of misfortune, than a robe of cobweb could repel the wintry blast. Be this the moral, then. In chaste and warm affections, humble wishes, and honest toil for some useful end, there is health for the mind, and quiet for the heart, the prospect of a happy life, and the fairest hope of heaven.

[p. 122]


‘I require nothing of thee,’ said a mother, to her innocent son, when bidding him farewell, ‘but that you will bring me back your present countenance.’


What shall I bring to thee, mother ine?

What shall I bring to thee?

Shall I bring thee jewels, that burn and shine

In the depths of the shadowy sea?

Shall I bring the garland a hero wears,

By the wondering world entwined,

Whose leaves can cover a thousand cares,

And smile o’er a clouded mind?

Shall I bring thee deep and sacred stores

Of knowledge, the high and free,

That thrills the heart on the hallowed shores

Of classic Italy?

What are jewels, my boy to me?

Thou art the gem I prize!

nd the richest spot in that fearful sea,

Will be where thy vessel flies!

p. 123

The wreath, the hero loves, is won

By the life-blood of the brave,

And his brow must lose, ere it wear the crown,

The smile that mercy gave!

Dearly earned is the volume’s wealth,

That opes to the lamp at night,

While the fairer ray of hope and health,

Goes out by the sickly light.

Bring me that innocent brow, my boy!

Bring me that shadowless eye!

Bring me the tone of tender joy,

That breathes in thy last ‘good by!’


[p. 124]


Count Rimini had, at length, arrived at the period which, for several years, he had been fondly anticipating. His minority ceased on the thirteenth of January, and he came into the full possession and unlimited control of a large fortune. To this, however, there was a condition annexed, but it seemed to easy of performance, as hardly to be thought worth remembering. This condition was, that he should marry before the year expired, in which he became ‘lord of himself;’ otherwise one half of the property was to be distributed among collateral branches of the family.

This singular provision was made by the uncle from whom a noble villa upon the Adriatic had descended to the count. This venerable castle was situated among the Appenines; and with the thousand roods of land attached to it, crowned with forests that had towered over its soil for centuries, was a truly magnificent inheritance.

With a heart full of warm affections, the uncle of Count Rimini, had seen year after year pass by, and found himself still a bachelor. In his boyish days, he had formed an attachment, which ended in disappointment, and left a morbid terror of similar suffering. Every year that came, he resolved should not close without crowning his nuptials; but his hair grew white, his step tottering, and his resolution more and more feeble.

p. 125

His splendid villa cast its shadow upon the water and tempted every gondola that passed, to moor at the marble steps which ascended to the colonnade above. All who could invent the slightest claim on his hospitality lingered for a while. It was a welcome retreat from the noonday sun, and still more inviting when the moon arose in its silvery lustre, and shed its beams on the noble front, giving almost life to the statuary that adorned it with princely magnificence.

For years the owner of the mansion welcomed his guests with untiring hospitality, but as age advanced the constant round of visitors, grew irksome: he sighed for retirement and solitude, and finally took up his residence at the castle of his ancestors: once the scene of feudal contentions, but for many years remarkable only for remaining in its Gothic pomp, without modern innovation.

Here he had quiet to his heart’s content; no sound except that of a horn or the lowing of herds of cattle that mingled with the harsh jingle of their bells, broke the everlasting silence. For hours he sat alone on the battlements of the castle, gazing on mountain and valley, and sometimes almost wishing himself again at Venice. At such moments, he bitterly regretted that he had never married. With a companion and friend of similar taste and feelings, he was convinced that he might have been happy in solitude, and he lamented that his parents had not compelled him to take a partner for life.

It was under similar impressions that he determined to preserve his nephew and heir from the vexatious regrets he was experiencing, and after much reflection

p. 126

left his fortune to him with the condition previously mentioned: that he should forfeit one half of it, unless he married within a year from the time in which it came into his possession.

That time had now arrived: once more the splendid villa was thrown open, and Count Rimini, the last survivor of a noble family, took possession of it, and saw himself blest with youth, health, and unbounded wealth.

Formerly this residence had been the abode of hospitality in its simplest form; it was now, that of pleasure, in its most luxurious and costly attire. Every part of the world became tributary to the imaginary wants of the young heir. The choicest vintage of Italy and France sparkled in his wine cup; the spices and perfumes of the East rolled on like incense; friends and flatterers crowded around him, and it was not till ten months of the year had expired, that the count recollected there was a condition annexed to the continuance of all this luxury. And what was the condition! He turned from it with indignation. His liberty was the price of the independence he had just acquired. ‘Better,’ said he, in a most magnanimous tone, addressing Villerêt, his constant friend and companion; ‘better relinquish all, than become the slave or the toy of a woman!’

‘True,’ exclaimed his friend, ‘but is this necessary; I have always supposed a wife was like a piece of furniture, if ornamental it may be exhibited, if not, put out of sight.’ ‘But Theresa! Villerêt, you know well how I dote upon her.’ ‘That matter is easily settled,’ replied the friend; ‘make her mistress of one of your establishments and she will not complain.’ ‘You do

p. 127

not understand her character,’ said the count. An incredulous smile passed over the face of Villerêt. ‘She is noble minded and virtuous,’ continued Rimini, ‘and though she is the only woman I ever loved, I have never dared to tell her so!’

‘Nonsense,’ retorted Villerêt, ‘we all know what virtue is in that class of life: if you have never made love to her, how can you tell what might be the result? She is beautiful, I think, though I only had a glimpse of her as we crossed the Rialto; where does she reside?’

‘We will drop this subject,’ said the count, coloring; ‘but this horrible matrimony! I must leap the gulf; nevertheless, I have no time to lose; think for me, Villerêt; excepting Theresa, I declare to you, I have not a preference’

‘Then nothing is more easy,’ said Villerêt, ‘than to decide; determine which you cn most easily sacrifice, beauty, wealth, or good temper, for depend upon it, you cannot meet with them all united to high birth; give out invitations for a gala, invite only the high born, and choose from among them: Count Rimini with his princely fortune will not be refused.’

There was something in this plan congenial to the indifference of the young man, and he at once adopted it. Cards were issued, and preparations made. It is often mysterious how secrets are divulged: it was no part of the count’s project, that his intentions should be made known; yet it was rumored abroad, that this evening was to designate the lady of his choice.

We fear it would be thought a libel upon the fairest part of creation, were we to describe the hopes, the fears,

p. 128

the schemes and preparations that preceded the important evening. Never was there such a demand for rich silks, cashmere drapery, or splendid jewelry.

Count Rimini too, was not behindhand in magnificent preparations: the palm groves of India surrounded an island, in the centre of which played a fountain, that sent forth exquisite perfumes. Handkerchiefs loaded with costly embroidery were sprinkled by the sparkling waters, and handed by Turkish mutes to every fair guest. Boquets of myrtles, orange flowers, roses, and geraniums, intermixed with those of a more rare and perishable nature, were showered upon them by cupids, who stood ready to fan them with their wings! Vases, from the precious onyx to the most delicately painted porcelain, were arranged on either side, containing fans, gloves, &c. to supply all forgetfulness or accident.

In the hall of reception, stood Count Rimini, surrounded by his companions. His figure was commanding, his eye dark and piercing, and his whole bearing dignified and noble. As every group entered, he received them individually with a courtesy that was free and unconstrained. His glance appeared not to rest on any object longer than was necessary for a welcome: and though many a sweet smile was lavished upon him, he was evidently master of himself.

The dancing rooms were thrown open; they were in the form of arcades; one vista looked upon the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, illuminated with a thousand lamps that threw their rays on every object: numerous gondolas approached near enough to add to the variety of the prospect, while the gondoliers rested on their oars,

p. 129

to gaze on the enchanted palace, which stood far-famed, even in the land of beauty.

How many hearts throbbed when dancing was to begin! Who would the count select? But all were disappointed; he did not dance.

Merrily the revels went on. And where was the master of this glorious scene: he on whom all eyes had gazed with emotion: he who was the magician, that had conjured all that was fair and costly, and all had come at his call? He had relinquished to Villerêt his royal sceptre, and charging him to screen his absence, for a few moments, he repaired to a small Gothic temple, by a solitary path, that wound away from the splendid scene.

The little building was still simple and unornamented without: within, the walls werre hung with paintings, and the niches filled with statues. The bright rays of the moon darted their flickering light through myrtle and orange trees, and rested on an ottoman, on which sat a female figure.

‘You are true to your promise,’ said the count, as he entered.

‘I am, my lord,’ said she, in a low, musical voice, ‘be you true to yours, and let this interview be short.’

‘Theresa,’ he replied, ‘I have left the gay throng yonder, to meet you here; do you know for what purpose they are assembled?’

‘I do,’ said she in a tremulous voice.

‘Then you know,’ replied he, ‘that I am most wretched!’

p. 130

‘I have come to this place, at this hour,’ said she, ‘because you desired it, and our family are under obligations to you that make your request a law.’

‘It is so, Theresa,’ exclaimed he, ‘then be mine,’ and he caught her hand, ‘be mine; my heart, my fortune, my time, shall all be yours. You shall have a paradise prepared for you, and be my angel.’

‘A fallen one!’ exclaimed she, emphatically. ‘My fortunes are too high for your mistress, too low for your wife: therefore we part.’

‘We will not part,’ exclaimed he, vehemently.

‘My lord,’ said she, ‘think not I have come to this spot unprotected; I am not in your power; release me, or I will call for help: my father and his friends are waiting in the gondola below.’

‘Theresa, will you doom me to wretchedness?’

‘Farewell, my lord, your friends will wait for you; return to them, and,’ added she, in a tone in which something like scorn was mingled, ‘among the great and high-born select your bride.’

Before Count Rimini could reply, she had disappeared from the temple, and was at the foot of the marble stairs where the gondola waited. ‘Had the count any commands for you to execute,’ said the unsupicious father, as he received his daughter. ‘He only made inquiries,’ said she, ‘which I could answer on the spot. My father, let us coast along the shore, far from these revels; I am tired of the sound of music.’ The indulgent father again plyed his oars, and the boat fast receded from the gay scene.

p. 131

In the mean time, the count returned to his guests; his temples beat hard, his cheek was flushed, and he drank goblet after goblet of sparkling champagne.

Villerêt eyed his keenly. ‘Beware,’ said he, ‘or you will unfit yourself for the honors of your fête; it must be done to night.’ ‘True,’ replied Rimini, and strove to collect his expiring resolution.

At that moment, the Marchioness de Montalba was announced; she came forward leading a young lady. ‘I fear,’ said she, ‘I am almost too late to be an accepted guest, but I had promised this child,’ added she smiling, ‘that she should be a looker on at your fête, and I was obliged to go several miles out of my way to take her from the convent where she is at school. Allow me to introduce her to you. Nina, my dear, this is Count Rimini.’

The young lady, (and she appeared extremely young,) looked fluttered and embarrassed. ‘I did not know,’ said the count, ‘that you had a daughter.’

‘I have not,’ replied the marchioness; ‘she is my niece, a little wild flower that has always grown in the shade, and is as timid as a fawn.’ ‘She is beautiful,’ said Rimini, in a low voice to the marchioness.

‘Do not, for heaven’s sake, tell her so,’ replied the lady. Nina gave a childish laugh, that discovered she had overheard them. ‘May I have the honor of dancing with your niece?’ said the count. The marchioness turned to the young lady, ‘Nina, do you think you can dance well enough to take your place in the ball room?’ Nina gave a delighted assent.

p. 132

‘My lord count,’ said the marchioness, ‘you must make all allowance for her inexperience; remember this is the first time she has been at a ball.’

He led the young lady forward, all eyes gazing with wonder. Nina, alone, in this brilliant circle, was without ornament; her simple white dress, her flaxen curls clustering round her face and neck, gave her even a childish appearance. She danced with ease and spirit, her clear blue eyes almost inspiring the joy she felt. The count was decided; he took Villerêt aside, and informed him that Nina was the object of his choice.

‘Impossible,’ said Villerêt, ‘she is an infant.’ ‘No, not an infant, but a child; so much the better, her education must be completed, and I shall be left as free from shackles as ever, while my fortune is secured to the very letter of the law.’

That very evening, Count Rimini had a long and interesting conversation with the marchioness: he prevailed on her to consent to his plans, which, in truth, were he own. She had but two alternatives for her niece, marriage or a convent: the first connected with rank and fortune was obviously the most desirable, and when the rumor reached her, that the count was this evening to select a wife, she determined to venture. If it failed, she was where she was before: if it succeeded, not only her niece’s, but her own fortunes were made. ‘Nina,’ said she, ‘has just entered her thirteenth year, she will not, for several years, be prepared to take the head of your establishment.’ ‘I am aware of it,’ said the count, ‘but it is necessary the bridal ceremony should

p. 133

take place.’ ‘You will then,’ said the marchioness, ‘consign her to my care?’ ‘All that,’ he replied, ‘we will arrange at leisure.’

It was soon whispered round that Nina was to be the future countess. Many were the sarcastic remarks on the young girl, and many the just reprehensions thrown on the intriguing aunt, whose character, by the way, was well known. In the mean time, the count took some good natured trouble to make himself agreeable to his bride elect: he partook of her girlish gayety, gave her whatever she admired, and finally, sent her home enraptured with balls, fêtes, beaux and dress, and heartily averse to living in the convent.

‘Nina, my love,’ said her aunt, [as] they returned home, [‘]you will hardly be bright at your lessons to-morrow.’

‘O no matter for that, aunt,’ said Nina; ‘the nuns will like a great deal better to hear about the ball to-night!’ ‘Was it like you expected?’ ‘Oh no!’ replied she, ‘it was not like our fêtes at the convent.’ ‘And the count?’ said the marchioness. ‘O he was so kind! Do you know, aunt, he has given me every thing I admired; he says they shall all be mine; and then he is so lively, for so old a man.’ ‘So old!’ exclaimed the aunt, ‘he is only one-and-twenty.’ ‘Is he so old as that?’ said Nina, ‘I did not think he was twenty: I wonder when I am twenty, if I shall be able to dance!’

Such was the infantine intellect of the bride elect. She was placed at the convent at five years old, and ostensibly for the purpose of education; but in truth, to relieve her aunt from the burden of an orphan niece,

p. 134

where by paying the smallest annual stipend that the convent received, she could say to the world, she was there for an education. Nina, by her childish vivacity, soon became the pet of the nuns; she was barely taught to read and write in an imperfect manner, and suffered to pursue her own fancies when they did not interfere with the rules of the convent. It might be said she was ‘out of harms way,’ but this is a phrase of indefinite meaning; if idleness, the want of good habits, a mind running to weeds, and a heart and affections undisciplined, can be called harmless, then indeed, poor Nina was happily placed; but the absence of positive evil, is far from constituting virtue, and let none who have the responsibility of a human being resting upon them, imagine they do enough in barely removing them from scenes of temptation. It is supplying high and noble purposes, cultivating the moral and religious sensibilities of the heart, subduing selfish feelings and creating disinterested ones, that alone deserves the name of education.

Of all this, Nina knew nothing; she was as amusing a little gossip as any of the nuns could desire, and certainly one half of her enjoyment at the fête, consisted in thinking how much she should have to tell sister Agatha, and sister Margaret, and twenty other sisters, when she returned to the convent.

The next morning, her eyes were scarcely open, for she slept late, when an embroidered basket was brought her; she raised herself up and peeped into it: ‘here is a note that came with it,’ said the waiting maid, who was adroitly assisting the young lady in turning over the contents of the basket. Nina took the note, and while

p. 135

she was spelling it out, and mustering up all her convent science to get at the meaning, the waiting maid amused herself with examining the contents of the basket.

‘O!’ she exclaimed, ‘do see here: what a lovely little smelling bottle! and here is an inkstand made of mother of pearl; and here, as true as I am alive, is a gold pen. What beautiful bracelets and a necklace to match!’

‘Stop, Annette,’ said Nina, who had been conning the note; ‘he says, he has sent me a pin, that I must use for his sake; do find it.’

Again the soubrette commenced her researches, but in vain; no pin could be found, ‘Here is a case with earrings, necklace and bracelets, but not a sign of a pin; ah, look here, mademoiselle, here is something that will delight you, see this basket of bon-bons, and as sure as can be, here is the picture of the count himself: I know it by its black eyes. Which will you have?’ said she, holding the bon-bons in one hand, and the miniature in the other.

Nina made no other reply than putting her delicate little hand into the casket, and withdrawing it full of bon-bons, which she crowded into her mouth. Annette followed her example, and all business was suspended for a few moments. At length, Nina exclaimed ‘but I must have the pin!’ ‘Are you sure it is a pin?’ said the waiting maid. ‘Yes,’ replied Nina, ‘that is certainly a p, look, Annette.’ ‘So it is,’ said Annette, who did not know a letter in the alphabet. ‘Then the next letter is i, p, i, n; but now I look again, it has no dot over the i, and sister Agnest says I must always put a dot over

p. 136

the i. O!’ exclaimed she, ‘I have it, it is pen, the gold pen: I am so sorry, I always wanted a pin, he might have sent me a pin: now I don’t care for any of the things.’ ‘Not for the bon-bons, mademoiselle? pray take a few more.’

When Nina arose, she was summoned to the marchioness’ chamber: there she enumerated the contents of the basket, and talked on with so little method and so childishly, that the marchioness began to think the only way to bring matters to a happy termination, was to send her back to the convent, and stand proxy herself till the marriage ceremony was over. ‘But, my love,’ said she, ‘he says you must use the pen for his sake, and inform him of your health, that is, you must write to him.’ In vain, Nina protested that she could not write without sister Agatha ruled her paper: the marchioness peremptorily insisted on her trying, and sent her back to her room to use the golden pen.

After an hour of toil, Nina brought back her paper and gave it to her aunt; on it was written, over and over again, in every variety of hand, ‘I love sister Agatha, I love sister Margaret, I love every body.’ ‘Well,’ exclaimed the marchioness, ‘this will do, only add, but you best of all, sit down here and write it.’ Nina did as she was bid.

‘Now, my dear, you must go back to the convent; Annette shall go with you; you may take your basket of bon-bons, your mother of pearl inkstand, and your golden pen: go, go child.[’] Nina left her and the marchioness exclaimed,

‘If he talks with the idiot, I am undone; I had not

p. 137

the least idea that she was underwitted, or I would not have ventured upon the plan: I must keep them apart if possible till the very hour arrives.’ She again read the count’s note, and found he requested an audience in the evening. She took her pen and wrote,

‘My Dear Count,

‘Our little wild flower has drooped this morning, probably owing to the heat and excitement of last evening. I have sent her back to the convent, but that you may not despair of having made an agreeable impression, I enclose a scrawl, which I picked up after her departure. I went suddenly into her chamber, and she was trying her golden pen, while the miniature lay open before her! I wish you could have seen her embarrassment; how true it is that love has but one language for all ages and all nations. Come to me this evening, my dear count.

Adelaide de Montalba.’

In the mean time, with a light heart, Nina entered the convent. The nuns, as she had predicted, were much more pleased to hear of the ball than to perform the duties of teachers. Nina enumerated her presents, and when she added, ‘he has sent me this basket of bon-bons, and I am sure he meant part of them for you, for he could not think Annette and I could eat them all,’ sister Margaret exclaimed, ‘O the good count.’ And sister Agnes protested that when Nina went again to the count’s, she would send him a paring of St. Anthony’s toe nail, which would keep off cholera and all sorts of pestilence.

p. 138

When the count received the note of the marchioness, and the precious document it contained, it did not excite in his mind the rapture that she had hoped; though he was perfectly satisfied that his choice was the best under all circumstances. It was a matter of as much calculation on one side as the other. He kept the appointment, however, of the evening, and fully agreed with the marchioness that Nina should remain at the convent, perfecting her education till the marriage took place. He also assented to her opinion that considering her extreme youth, it had better be as private as was consistent with legal demonstrations; he only desired there might be no delay.

We pass over the intervening time: the childish anticipations of Nina, when it was announced to her, and the wonder and delight of the good nuns who saw not only bon-bons, but donations in a more substantial form heaped upon their house.

We also pass over the many obvious efforts of the marchioness to install herself in the noble mansion of the count, all of which he parried with a skill equal to her own. To her fears of the loneliness of her beloved niece, he replied, that she should be provided with society, that would interest and improve her. To her representations that her education was still incomplete, he assured her, that she should have every advantage of teachers. To her apprehensions that in a station so responsible her youth might lead her into errors and omissions, and that she must want a guide, a counsellor, and mature friend, the count replied, that nobody could be so much interested as himself for the unsullied name

p. 139

of the Countess de Rimini. He ended this colloquy by requesting the marchioness’ acceptance of a superb pair of antique lamps, and left her but half pleased with the conference.

One thing she keenly saw, that the count was no Inamorato, and that she must not rely on the blindness of passion for concealing any of Nina’s deficiencies: love had placed no bandage before his eyes, and there was nothing she dreaded more than an interview. Only one took place, and that was at the convent. The count was confirmed in her promise of superlative beauty; and as to her mind, he scarcely thought on the subject. The superior spoke of her innocence and good temper; the nuns of her beauty and excellent education; and sister Agatha under whose care she was particularly placed, said she would, in time, know as much as she did!

The day of the wedding was appointed. The marchioness had full permission from the count to purchase for the bride a splendid set of jewelry, and to plan her dress: this she did in concert with her prime counsellor, Annette. ‘She is so young,’ said the marchioness, ‘that she cannot wear the diamond aigrette that belongs to the set.’

‘Not wear the aigrette! madam,’ said the waiting maid, ‘I am sure it would be a sin and a shame for her not to wear it: I am sure I never heard that people were too young to wear aigrettes, if they could get them, but there is precious few that have such good luck. Indeed, madam, the evening that you went to the fête, except that you was a little larger, there was not so very much difference in your ages.’

p. 140

‘Always the same difference as now, you know,’ said the marchioness, smiling.

‘I don’t know that, madam, dress does make such a difference!’

‘I think her blond veil may be looped up with orange flowers,’ said the marchioness, ‘and that will be more appropriate.’

‘Well, madam, you know better than I, I am sure, but all my interest in the matter is gone, if mademoiselle aint to wear the diamond aigrette:’ and the petted waiting maid, petted because she had cunning enough to flatter and humor the follies of her mistress, now changed her familiar air, and answered only by monysyllables, and with a grieved tone, every now and then giving an audible sigh.

‘I protest, Annette,’ said the marchioness, ‘one would think the debate was, whether you should wear the aigrette yourself; well, well, I don’t care, Nina may wear it.’ Annette was again on the alert, and the arrangements were made with uninterrupted good humor.

The morning of the wedding, Nina took leave of the superior and sisters, promising the last, she would send them all manner of pretty things. She arrived at her aunt’s only in time to prepare for the wedding; the count was to call for her and conduct her to the altar; and, ‘if I can only keep them apart till the knot is fairly tied,’ thought the marchioness, ‘he may find out at his leisure what a pretty idiot he has won!’

Nina went through the ceremony of the toilet with much impatience, and when the last finish was to be

p. 141

given, of the veil and aigrette, she positively protested she would not have them put on. In vain her aunt assured her the veil was indispensable for the bridal ceremony, and Annette that it would be an affront to my lord the count, not to wear the jewels; like a froward child she resisted every attempt to put them on, and when the bridegroom was announced, declared she would either be married without them, or not be married at all! The marchioness found herself obliged to give up the point, secretly rejoicing that she was so soon to be relieved from her burden.

It must be confessed, nothing could be more infantinely lovely, than Nina appeared as she entered the room; her heightened color and the contest from which she had come off triumphant, gave a piquant air to her countenance. The count conducted her to the church of St. Mark, attended by the marchioness and a select number of friends: and at the altar the count and Nina pronounced their marriage vows.

It was a great relief to the marchioness, that Nina went through the ceremony with propriety; she trembled lest she should be seized with a fit of laughter or commit some other violation of common forms. The bridal party returned to the villa of the count, where an entertainment was prepared, and then dispersed to their respective homes. One, only, remained with the young bride; it was Theresa.

After the meeting in the pavilion, the count bitterly repented his rashness in declaring a passion that he knew had excited only indignation in the mind of Theresa; when his marriage was decided on with Nina,

p. 142

he still more bitterly lamented it, for it at once occurred to him that she might have been the companion of his bride. Her want of rank was no objection in the retirement which Nina’s youth rendered necessary. He dwelt upon the idea till it seemed feasible, and he once more sought Theresa. After apologizing for the language he had used at their last meeting, and attributing it entirely to the excitement of champagne and an agitated and bewildered state of mind, he added that he came to prove the sincerity of his respect and confidence, by requesting her to become the friend and companion of his young wife.

‘She is yet,’ said he, ‘but a child: her education must proceed for years: there is not a human being but yourself to whose virtue and excellent principles I can confide her. Her apartments and yours will be wholly separate from mine, and I shall see you only by your permission; I desire nothing more than that she may resemble you. Give me your consent, and I will seek your father and endeavor to gain his to this arrangement.’

The rectitude of Theresa’s judgment told her, that it were better wholly to decline this arrangement; and this she did, but in a voice so faint, that the count gathered courage from her denial. ‘I see,’ said he, ‘You have not forgiven me for the only offence I have ever committed towards you.’ The train of benefits that had raised her drooping family, that had saved her father from despair, arose in her mind, and she replied:

‘My lord, could you read my heart, you would see that gratitude to you, next to affection for my father, is the strongest sentiment engraven upon it.’

p. 143

‘Do you then forgive the folly of that evening?’

‘I do not think of it.’

‘Then tell me, Theresa, why should you hesitate; you will be the friend, the guide of my wife.’ The count did not leave her till she had promised to abide by her father’s decision. Her father, who saw only the honor bestowed upon him in the proposal, and who, out of five daughters, thought it his duty to spare one, consented: only adding, that if it was equally agreeable to my lord the count, he should prefer Almeria’s going, as Theresa was his particular attendant. The count evaded this proposal, and the thing was decided to his heart’s content.

We now return to the bridal day. Theresa alone remained of the group that had assembled. The three stood alone in the spacious saloon. Theresa, calm, self collected, and in the maturity of beauty; Nina, with a childlike loveliness, that strangely contrasted with her situation; nor was the count deficient in giving character to the group: there was much of symmetry in his figure, and his face was generally pronounced handsome, but it was only so at times: there were moments when clouds came over it, and he looked solemn and repulsive. They stood silent, the count thinking how to introduce Theresa to Nina, not on his wife’s account, but her own. The young countess was the first to break the silence.

‘I am glad they have gone,’ she exclaimed.

‘Has it been a tedious day to you?’ said the count, smiling.

p. 144

‘O very,’ said she, ‘how many times I wished I was back to the convent with sister Agnes.’

‘This lady,’ said the count, ‘is kind enough to stay with you. I am sure you will love her.’ Nina looked at her with curiosity, and then exclaimed, ‘who is she?’ Both the count and Theresa colored at the rudeness of the question.

‘She is,’ said the count, ‘the daughter of a good friend of mine, and a lady that I wish you to resemble.’

‘Why did you not marry her then?’ said Nina. The question seemed to be asked without a meaning, but was a most embarrassing one. She did not, however, wait for an answer, but added, ‘I am glad my aunt is gone.’

‘Don’t you love her?’ said the count with some curiosity.

‘No,’ said Nina, ‘but don’t tell sister Agnes that I said so, for she says I must love every body. O dear, I am tired to death.’ The count sent for a female attendant, and desired her to show the countess to her apartment. Theresa was retiring, but the count requested her to stay for a moment.

‘What do yu think of my young bride?’ asked he.

‘She is very beautiful,’ said Theresa.

‘She is a mere child,’ said the count; ‘she has always lived in a convent among grown up children. She evidently knows nothing of the forms of life. You see how important it is, that she should have a companion, a friend, and guide.’

‘My lord,’ said Theresa, ‘you may rely upon my fidelity in the performance of my duties.’

p. 145

Nina’s apartment was near Theresa’s, and, as the count had said, a wing of the building was exclusively devoted to Theresa and her charge. It seemed as if the count wished to forget that he was married, he visited them but seldom, once he requested them to dine with him, but the young countess acquitted herself so ill, and was so wholly regardless of the common forms of good manners, that even the attendants could with difficulty restrain their smiles. When they separated, the count detained Theresa and requested her to inform him candidly what hopes she had of her companion.

‘It is difficult,’ said Theresa, ‘to determine what influence time and education may produce upon her character: it has been left uncultivated, and weeds have grown up in the waste.’

Mildly as Theresa spoke, it was difficult for her, at times to retain her patience and good temper. The frowardness of Nina, was a constant obstacle to her improvement; but a still greater one was the eagerness with which she pursued every species of amusement. Theresa did not leave her for a moment: but the task was truly irksome till she began to feel a warm affection for her. Providence has kindly ordered that the benefits we confer on others shall return to ourselves in tenfold blessings. The helplessness of Nina, her total want of culture, had at first excited her pity: by degrees her pity took a more endearing form, and she strove to waken in her young mind love and confidence. An abundance of teachers were provided, one for dancing, another for music, another for drawing, another for writing, and so

p. 146

on. It must be acknowledged that she did but little credit to either, and Theresa began almost to despair of any progress. She preserved the habits of the convent, as to early sleep and early rising, and the evening was the only time that Theresa felt released from the wearisome watchfulness of her life. She sometimes determined to give up her charge, and then again the remembrance of her obligations to the count came over her, and she no longer hesitated; added to this tie was the affection she felt springing up in her heart to the young countess.

One evening, after Nina had retired, Theresa as was her custom lingered on the piazza; suddenly she observed the little gondola of the count with its gay streamers, approaching the steps; it was unusual for him to return till midnight, but not wishing to meet him, she hastily retreated to the library which was connected with the countess’s suite of apartments. It was arranged in the finest taste; statues in bronze supported the superb book shelves, that might have been proud of the splendid volumes they contained. Statuary of classic beauty, met the eye on every side: while the busts of poets, historians and statesmen, seemed to give additional interest to their works.

Theresa took a book, but her thoughts wandered from it. She dwelt on her past life, on all the distress, the horrors she had endured; she thought of the count as a benevolent angel, and she blessed the opportunity of repaying, in some degree, the benefits her family had received. She was so lost in thought that she did not

p. 147

perceive any one enter, till the count seated himself beside her. ‘This is a fortunate meeting,’ said he, ‘why, Theresa do you avoid me?’

‘My attendance is upon the countess,’ replied she, ‘and I never leave her.’

‘She is not here,’ said the count, looking round.

‘No,’ said Theresa, ‘she has been asleep certainly an hour: I am glad of this opportunity of seeing you alone,’ said she unguardedly.

‘Thank you, thank you,’ said the count eagerly. ‘O, Theresa, if you knew my misery, to be tied to a child that can never be a companion for me: to love to adoration another woman!’

‘My lord,’ said Theresa, ‘it is unworthy of you to speak of the countess in this manner; hardly three months have passed since you led her to the altar, and in the face of heaven, promised to love and cherish her; you were not deceived into this marriage, it was one of choice.’

‘Of choice!’ exclaimed the count, ‘yes, just as the criminal is allowed to choose where the knot shall be placed, before he is swung from the gallows. Theresa, you know how cruelly I was situated, and yet you upbraid me.

‘No, my lord, I only advise you to make the best of your lot.’

‘Theresa, I can bear this no longer; I love you, and I will at least have the satisfaction of telling you so.’

Theresa hastily arose, ‘It is the last time, my lord—’

‘Stay,’ he replied, ‘and hear me; the marchioness has asserted more than once that I have married an

p. 148

idiot: I can bring sufficient proofs of it: under this and other circumstances, there can be no difficulty in my procuring a divorce. Theresa, say you will be mine, and it is done.’

‘Never,’ said she, firmly; ‘was it necessary to commit a piece of injustice, of cruelty, before you could bring yourself to such a degradation; three months ago, we were both free. My lord, my fortunes are too low for such a marriage, and my mind too high.’

‘But tell me, how am I to live with an idiot?’

‘It is false,’ said Theresa, with indignation, ‘and her aunt has been a most unnatural one, or she would never have made such an assertion. After the conversation that has passed, I cannot, in conscience, reside under the same roof with you, and yet most truly do I grieve to leave Nina.’

It was in vain that the count poured forth the most solemn protestations that he never again would utter a word that could offend her. Theresa had one unerring guide, it was her conscience, and she was sure it would be wrong. ‘I am going to give you,’ said she, after a pause, ‘a proof that your welfare is near my heart: but do not mistake my sentiments, they are not love but gratitude. I confess to you I am doubtful what degree of intellect belongs to the countess, but I am willing to devote three years of my life to calling it forth; if I succeed you will bless my efforts.’

‘Noble girl,’ said the count, ‘you will then remain here?’

‘No, my lord, this is no place for her education; already her beauty begins to attract the observation of

p. 149

the young cavaliers. You will think my plan a wild one, perhaps, but it is the best I can devise; suffer us both to go to your castle among the Pyrenees, and promise me you will not come to it for three years; Nina will then be sixteen, and either worthy of being your wife, or the idiot her aunt proclaims her.’

‘And how am I to live without you for three years?’

‘It is the only chance,’ said Theresa, ‘that you have of ever seeing me again: if I quit the countess, I meet you no more. But I will not give my advice with reserve: y lord you have wealth, accomplishments, and talents: how do you use them? Is it at feasts or midnight revels that they are to shine? No, my lord; break from the spells that bind you, and spend this term of time in travel; go to foreign lands: to England, and study her arts and improvements: to France, and collect those graces of intellect that brighten life: to America, the land of Washington,’ added she, pointing to a bust of him, ‘and return with such resources and such firmness of principle, as will enable you to support disappointment, or reap the good that may await you. Send me your answer tomorrow:’ and she hastily quitted the room. The next morning Theresa received the following note:

‘You have aroused me to better purposes; I submit to your arrangement and adopt your advice. Take with you what instructors you please, for your pupil. It will be years before I return; I wish Nina should have every advantage, but I am confident she will never be any thing to me. O, Theresa, had I relinquished the half of my uncle’s fortune, I should have been far happier than I am at present: to wealth and family I

p. 150

have sacrificed my happiness, and now I find they are bubbles! Farewell!’

Theresa determined to take only an instructor in music for Nina. It is her heart and mind that must first be cultivated, thought she, and this must be my constant effort. Nina felt the delight of a child at going to a new place, and when she found the count was not going with them, her rapture was unbounded: for he had, without intending it, shown much disapprobation at many of her brusqueries.

Theresa found the castle in sufficiently good repair to afford them a comfortable residence. Her first object had been to win the love of Nina; she was convinced, that it was only through her affections she could gain any influence. She labored to impress upon her mind a sense of duty: to awaken a desire for excellence. She] instructed her in a thousand different ways. It was a most discouraging length of time before she discovered even the wish to learn. Nina, one day, exclaimed,

‘Theresa, do you know that I am an idiot?’

‘No, indeed,’ replied Theresa, ‘what do you mean?’

‘My aunt found it out.’

‘Do you know what an idiot is?’ asked Theresa.

‘O yes, it is somebody that can’t learn any thing.’

‘But you find you can learn,’ said Theresa, ‘if you try: believe me, Nina it is your own fault if you are an idiot, not because you can’t learn, but because you won’t.’ From this time a new spring seemed to be given to her character, her mind began to expand, and she grew inquisitive on every subject.

Those who have travelled among the Pyrenees, know

p. 151

well the grandeur of the scenery. Theresa rejoiced that she had chosen this spot for their residence. There was much to amuse in the castle: many of the remnants of feudal days: the ponderous armor that hung in the hall for ornamnet, not use: the battlements and corridors: the antique towers: the old-fashioned portraits; all interested her. Strange as it may seem, no time hung heavy on her hands; and in the growing affection and awakening powers of Nina, she felt inexpressible delight.

‘How good you are,’ said Nina, one day, ‘to live with me, and teach me to much; I should not have been the idiot I am, if I had found such a friend as you at the convent.’

‘My dear Nina, do not make use of that word,’ said Theresa, ‘think how much you have gained in knowledge. You have years before the count returns, to make yourself worthy of him, and to repay all his kind care by improvement.’

‘I do not think myself so very much obliged to the count as you seem to,’ said Nina, ‘I know very well he married me to keep his fortune, and I think he is more obliged to me, than I am to him.’

Theresa was struck with this gleam of intelligence. She would not reprove her, but merely said, ‘when you are older you will love him better.’

‘Do you love him?’ asked she.

‘I do,’ replied Theresa; ‘Nina, you understand so well now, and are so capable of comprehending what I ought to feel for the count, that I will tell you why I love him. My father had the care of all the count’s affairs, and he put unlimited confidence in him; my brother, who is

p. 152

two years older than I am, assisted my father in his business: he became acquainted with bad people, and grew dissipated and extravagant: he wanted more money than he could get, and he forged a note in the count’s name; he was detected; I cannot dwell on this subject: he would have died upon the scaffold, had not the count made unparalleled exertions to save him from prosecution; he paid a large sum of money to shield him, and sent him from the country. You cannot wonder that we all love him: my father would lay down his life for him.’

‘Well,’ said Nina, ‘it is the best thing I ever heard of him, though I thought he was very benevolent when he gave me so many presents, and my aunt those beautiful lamps.’ Poor Theresa had now to correct the ideas of her pupil upon benevolence. She then said,

‘Think how happy I shall be when he comes back, and finds you not only amiable, but well educated: then I shall feel as if I had in some measure repaid our obligations.’

‘I can tell you a better way,’ said Nina, with a laugh.

‘How?’ asked Theresa.

‘By marrying him yourself.’

‘That you know is impossible,’ said Theresa, gravely; ‘and it is not treating me with respect to say such things.’ Nina’s arms were in a moment around her neck. ‘I am sure, Theresa,’ said she, ‘with all his wealth, you are too good for him, but I am not so much an idiot, as not to see that he loved you better than he did me.’

There is scarcely a place so secluded, that rumor does not find a theme. In the little village, about two miles

p. 153

from the castle, it was circulated that the Countess of Rimini resided there, and that the count had condemned her to this retreat, that he might pursue his pleasures without interruption. Loud was the indignation expressed, and the young Chevalier de Vernon determined to offer his services to the oppressed lady. His parents resided at their family mansion, near the village. Nothing would have been more natural, than to have requested his mother to call on the countess, but this did not suit his romantic purpose. He mounted his raven steed, and rode to the castle, determined to gain an entrance, by watching day and night at its portal; to his surprise, however, he found no difficulty in opening the gate; there were no bars or bolts, to hinder his entrance; and when a footman appeared, he scarcely knew what errand to announce; he requested, however, to see the Countess de Rimini. He was shown into the hall, and both of the ladies appeared. Vernon, with much embarrassment, addressed himself to Theresa, and said, he had called to pay his respects to Madame la Comptessa. After a short and agitated visit, he retired, but the next day brought his mother, whose rank entitled her to an acquaintance with the young countess. An intercourse of civility could not be refused; indeed Theresa felt that it was a pleasure to have associates in a family to which the count could not object, and much did this acquaintance beguild the solitude of their abode.

Every one has experienced how fast the years fly: three years, to look forward to them, seem an age, but in passing they are but a span. Summer after summer had come and gone, and Nina had already obtained her

p. 154

sixteenth year. She no longer considered herself an idiot: her mind had become cultivated and enlightened: her reasoning was as just, and her power of combining and comparing equal to any young lady’s of sixteen. She had improved rapidly in her music, played the lute charmingly, and Theresa having sent for her former masters, her accomplishments had kept pace with her intellectual improvement.

‘It is time that we summon the count,’ said Theresa, embracing her; ‘I feel that I have discharged my obligations: shall I write to him to come, or will you?

‘You write, dear Theresa,’ said Nina: ‘write now, I am all impatience to see him.’ Theresa wrote, wondering not a little at the reply; but the letter had to travel many a weary mile, before it reached him.

After some weeks had elapsed, Theresa and the countess had walked forth from the castle, arm in arm: two lovelier beings had seldom been seen together: they seated themselves on a green bank, and sat encircled by mountains, whose beautiful outline was sometimes lost in the white clouds that floated on their summits, and sometimes stood forward in bold relief. The sound of horses’ hoofs was heard.

‘Look, Theresa,’ said Nina, ‘what a handsome cavalier is coming up the hill.’

‘It is my lord, the count,’ said Theresa, hastily rising; he saw them, and rushed forward.

‘Theresa,’ he exclaimed, ‘I see you once again.’

Theresa spoke not, but her eyes glistened with emotion: she pointed to the countess. The count turned towards her and was evidently dazzled by her beauty.

p. 155

‘And this is my own Nina,’ said he, ‘my beautiful bride!’

‘You have caught us, en déshabille,’ said the countess playfully, ‘had we known of your coming, we should have made our toilettte; but you must take us as we are.’

How strange! Theresa and Nina seemed to have changed characters: the first stood silent, trembling and embarrassed, while the countess received her lord with the ease and grace of polished life. Still, however, there was a simplicity in her language and manners, that recalled Nina to his mind, as he saw her at the ball. They returned to the castle. Nina spoke with animation on every subject, and the count could not refrain from expressing his admiration. He drew Theresa aside; ‘What do I not owe you!’ he exclaimed.

‘My lord,’ said she, ‘it is my delight, that I have been able to prove to you my true friendship. I shall leave you happy in the possession of your lovely and accomplished wife, and as every day unfolds some new charm, youw ill sometimes remember me.’

‘Theresa,’ said the Count, forgetful of the presence of Nina, ‘you will not leave me?’

‘What is all this?’ said the countess coming forward: ‘Theresa, I protest you are the idiot, now, and I must undertake your education, that I may discharge some of my obligations to the count.’ This was said in an arch tone, that evidently confused him.

‘Come,’ said she, ‘it is my turn to have a tête-â-tête; my lord, go with me to the gallery of portraits, and I will introduce you to your grim ancestors.’ She led the way, and the count followed. When they entered the

p. 156

room, she shut the door, and banishing the playfulness of her manner, assumed one dignified and serious.

‘My lord,’ said she, ‘I will first ask you, if you have returned to claim me as your wife?’

‘I have,’ he replied.

‘Hear me, then,’ said she, ‘I protest against it. I was too young when you married me, to understand the solemnity of the engagement. My lord, I never willingly can remain your wife, and I am sure you have too much generosity to hold me to a bond, that at the time was forced upon me by my aunt. I will be perfectly open with you, I love another!

The count stood bewildered. ‘There is but one upright path for us to pursue,’ continued Nina, ‘it is, to separate; obtain a divorce—’

‘Impossible,’ said the count.

‘Why is it more impossible now,’ replied Nina, smiling, ‘than it was, when in the library you proposed it to Theresa?’ The count started.

‘You must not think me an eaves-dropper, but I followed Theresa to the library, and heard your conversation; now give the idiot credit for discretion, for I never have betrayed my secret to Theresa. My lord, you love her, and she is worthy of an imperial diadem, if you had it to bestow; from the higher powers get a divorce, and marry her!’

Perhaps never was a man more humbled than the count. ‘Does Theresa know that you love another?’

‘No, my lord, no one knows it but you; not the object himself: you are my only confident: but I am going now to call Theresa, and make her acquainted with my

p. 157

secret.’ With a light step she sprung to the door, and called her friend. Theresa entered: Nina’s communication was as astonishing to her, as it had been to the count. ‘From the first day that Vernon came to see us, I have loved him,’ said Nina, ‘if he loves me, well; if not, I go back to the convent and distribute bon-bons to sister Agatha and sister Agnes.’

The count felt vexed and mortified, perhaps the more, because he deserved the lesson he had received: but when he turned to Theresa, better thoughts came over him. ‘Nina,’ said he, ‘I release you from your bond on one condition, that you persuade Theresa to take your title of Countess de Rimini.’

We have sought to show, by our story, how much good may be done by decision of character, and that patient virtue will often meet in the path of duty, its best reward: and now we have come to the conclusion. As soon as it was known that Nina was free, she was addressed by Vernon. The count settled upon her a noble dower, and Theresa became Countess de Rimini.

We need hardly add that her good sense and high virtue, exerted their proper influence on the count, and thus in due time, he became worthy of his good fortune.

[p. 158]



No verse before hath sung thee. Thou art gleaming,

In a remote and quiet solitude,

Girt by a line of gently waving wood;

Lovely as ever shone on poet’s dreaming!

Pure are thy waters in the noontide smiling,

Green as the emerald, as the diamond bright!

The gazer’s eye with fond deceit beguiling,

Like a broad mirror of unbroken light.

It may be that I never more may stray

Beside thy pebbled shore, and never float

Upon thy surface in this white-winged boat,

Wasting in careless glee the summer day.

But never shall this hour in memory die,

Nor this fair vision fade upon my eye!


a waterfall in a wilderness
Painted by T. Doughty.      Engraved by Geo. B. Ellis.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

Printed by B. Rogers.

[p. 159]


How beautiful yon glittering tide, as down

It leaps and clatters through its rocky path,

Seeming to smoothe the mountain’s angry frown,

As a bright smile shines thro’ a giant’s wrath;

Or as a costly diadem of jewels fair,

Upon a monarch’s brow; a silver gushing shower

Of sunbeams gathered from the cloud and air,

Mingling with beauty, fearful signs of power.

Oh nature, what a wizard wand is thine!

How fearful is thy work, and yet how fair!

The grand, the lovely, how their charms combine,

And to the heart their thrilling whispers bear!

Aye, as I look on yonder crystal gush,

And listen to its mingling laugh and moan,

How many memories to my bosom rush,

Like music half remembered, half unknown.

All that is good and holy—thoughts of home,

On earth—in heaven—they seem to mingle here;

Love, friendship, piety, all bubbling come,

In one new tide of passion, deep and clear.

p. 160

Mysterious nature—thou ’rt a holy book,

By God laid open: mountain, rock, and knoll,

With a rapt spirit let me on thee look,

And read thy deep revealings to the soul!

Far, far behind I leave the rattling jar

Of town, and burst the cankering chains of care—

The buz [sic] of brokers, and the fumes of tar,

Exchanged for freedom and this mountain air!

All here is nature; God alone could blend,

Wood, wind, and wave in melody so sweet:

He, he alone, the rocky cliffs could bend,

And pour so bright a river at their feet.

Man with his petty arts is far way,

And no harsh echo of his deeds is heard:

Peace in her holy palace here hath sway,

And truth alone within the heart is stirred.

The morning comes not with a lying hseet,

Telling of party strife, and party throes,

No evening transcript of the guilty street,

Echoes the day’s disasters, follies, woes.

No fop intrudes his sick’ning graces now,

No hartless miser, monarch of a bank,

No titled knave, who claims a lowly bow,

Tho’ shame shine broadly through, his purchased rank;

p. 161

No minions of the press, who cull the street

For news, like wasps along a ruined wall,

and if, perchance, some lonely flower they meet,

Instead of honey, only gather gall:

These are not here: the wide o’erarching sky

Is all too pure, and seems to stoop too near—

And lifts the buoyant heart toward heaven too high,

For those whose thoughts are wedded to this sphere.

Farewell to these, and let me climb the peak,

Where yonder current finds a cradle cloud—

Where in the storm the lightnings love to speak,

Full in the front of heaven, God’s sentence loud.

And on the mountain’s brow, so high and clear,

I ’ll mingle with the sky, and deeply fill,

My heart with beauty, and my charmed ear,

With the sweet cadence of the mountain rill.

Farewell, bright waters—tho’ my feet must turn,

No more to tread this all enchanting scene,

Yet oft my heart with deep delight shall burn,

As memory brings it back in fadeless green.

Farewell, gray mountain, fare thee well forever!

Thanks to the joy thy rugged cliffs have given—

We part,—but when, at least, my heart strings sever,

My soul shall take thee in its way to heaven.

[p. 162]



In the reign of Bajazet the First, there lived in Brusa, a poor cobbler whose name was Eskigi Meimet Effendi. This worthy artizan [sic] inhabited a small house, containing but one apartment, situated at the foot of Mount Olympus. The chestnut and plane trees, with which the sides of that snow-capped mountain are covered, overshadowed his humble dwelling, and offered a cool retreat during the sultry summer days. Numerous streams and mineral springs, reflected, in their translucent bosoms, the lofty scenery by which they were surrounded, and gave birth to plants and flowers of brilliant hue, and aromatic odor. The shepherd, as if fearful of disturbing the crystal surface of these waters, drives his flock to some distant summit, from which he looks down at his ease upon the prospect beneath him; and the birds, whose nests are among the neighboring trees, hardly ruffle the mirror-like currents with the light dip of their wings.

It was in the midst of scenery like this that Eskigi Meimet Effendi had fixed his habitation. The routine

*Brusa is now a small town near the foot of Mount Olympus, at which the author resided for several years. The tale was derived from one of the Turkish story tellers.

p. 163

of his life was simple and regular. Early in the morning, he would go one or two miles into the city, and bring home all the old shoes, that he could collect from his customers. He would then take his bench, with his awl and lap-stone, beneath some large tree, and there work merrily at his trade. In this way, he managed daily to earn a few paras, which were barely sufficient to support himself and his family, consisting of a wife and a child. But being accustomed during the day to the beautiful sights around Mount Olympus, he could not remain content in his humble domicil at night, without having a great number of lights burning in his presence. Consequently, after purchasing a few of the indispensable necessaries of life, he would spend the remainder of his small pittance in oil.

After the prayer of sunset, which the Turks call axam namas, the honest cobbler would prepare his illuminations. Then, having taken his supper, he would chat with his wife, smoke his chiboque, and thrum on his guitar, while his child danced to the sound. Sometimes he would sing to the full stretch of his lungs, according to the Turkish fashion. At the iahi or fifth prayer, which took place two hours after sunset, he would retire to bed.

In those times, the Turkish emperors, accompanied by some officer of distinction, were often in the habit of walking in disguise, sometimes by day, and sometimes by night, so that seeing with their own eyes, and hearing with their own ears, they might truly know the wants and dispositions of their subjects, and take their measures accordingly. Now it happened that

p. 164

Bajazet the First, in passing the domicil of Eskigi Meimet Effendi, had often been amazed with the brilliant illuminations and the very loud songs of that patriotic cobbler. Consequently, one evening, the Sultan and his Vizier having assumed the costume of dervishes, stopped before the house, in which many lights seemed to be burning, and knocked at the door. A voice from within asked, ‘who is there?’ The two illustrious personages of the empire replied that they were dervishes, who in the name of God, desired hospitality. Eskigi Meimet Effendi answered, by telling them to wait a few minutes, till he had found means of concealing his wife, it being, as every one knows, contrary to the custom of the Turks, to admit a man into the presence of their wives, unless he be a near relation. The poor cobbler having but one room, was puzzled how he should ispose of his better half. But being unwilling to refuse hospitality to his visitors, he thought it best to fix up the counterpane in one corner of the apartment, as a sort of screen, behind which his wife might retire. Having done this in the neatest manner he could, he opened the door to his two guests. After the selam alekim, or usual salute of the Turks, he placed before them a piece of bread and cheese, the remnants of his scanty supper, and a bowl of pure water. Then succeeded the nargélé or hubble-bubble, a pipe of serpentine form and dimensions. The Grand Seignor, after partaking lightly of the proffered civilities of his host, asked him among other inquiries, the nature of his vocation. Eskigi Meimet Effendi replied fully to all his questions, adding, that his only pleasure after the labor of the day was over, was at night

p. 165

to have his house brilliantly illuminated, and to talk, dance, and sing, with his wife and child, thanking the Almighty for all that he had done and was doing, and more particularly for having placed at the head of the nation so wise and great an emperor, for whose life, continued the cobbler, ‘my wife and myself constantly pray, and under whose reign we hope to die.’

After some farther conversation, Eskigi Meimet Effendi, retired into his harem, or, more literally speaking, behind the counterpane, and left the sofa for his two guests. At sunrise, after the sabah namas, or prayer of the morning, the Grand Seignor and his Vizier, quitted the humble abode, where they had passed the night, for the palace. On their way, Bajazet conversed upon the subject of their visit, and remarked with how little a man might be happy, alluding to the example of the cobbler, who with a few paras, hardly sufficient to purchase necessary food, had his illumination, his music, and dances, and believed himself the very happiest of men. ‘I wish,’ said the Vizier, ‘that your highness would issue orders forbidding all cobblers’ shops to be open, and all cobblers to mend shoes until farther notice, under the penalty of death. By this means we can make the experiment, whether the happiness of Eskigi Meimet, depends upon circumstances, or whether he would retain his good spirits under a reverse of fortune.’ The Grand Seignor was pleased with the suggestion, and the talals or public criers were immediately sent through all the streets of the city, to proclaim, that, ‘by order of the sublime Porte, all cobblers’ shops must be closed, and no cobbler must work at his trade, until farther notice.’

p. 166

Eskigi Meimet Effendi, was in the great bazar [sic] of Brusa, collecting old shoes, when he heard this proclamation. Quitting his customers, he returned home hastily to his wife, and told her the order of the day, asking, in a tone of despair what they were to do at night for their illumination! But the good woman thought it a more proper subject of inquiry, what they were to do for bread, and believed that the prospect of starvation was worse than that of being without lights during the evening.

After a brief consultation with his wife, the poor cobbler concluded that the best thing he could do to obtain a little money, would be to take a basket and spade on his shoulders, and seek employment in removing the dust from the houses and court yards of the rich. In this occupation he succeeded beyond his hopes, making twice as much money as he could by cobbling old shoes; and he returned home with more oil than usual for his illumination, together with a leg of mutton, which had been roasted in a kiabapsi, or cook-shop. After lighting up his house in quite a brilliant manner, he took supper with his family, and then, as usual began to sing lustily.

The Grand Seignor, wishing to see what effect his proclamation would have upon the cobbler, that evening again assumed the disguise of a dervish, and with his Vizier, appeared at the door of Eskigi Meimet Effendi, and requested hospitality. As soon as he had taken the same precaution with respect to his wife, that he had deemed necessary the night before, the cobbler admitted his visitors into the house. The usual salutations passed between them, and the host set before them his remaining

p. 167

piece of mutton and bread. On being asked the news of the day, he mentioned the proclamation of the public crier, his own new employment, his increased profits, and the splendor of his illumination. The honest cobbler frankly owned that he could not exactly understand the object of the proclamation—perhaps it would soon be known—but he conjectured that his highness, the emperor, had issued the order for some political end. Much more was said respecting the events of the day, and at a late hour, the party separated and retired to rest.

The next morning, the Grand Seignor and his Vizier returned home, somewhat amused with their visit. They immediately caused to be proclaimed throughout the city, ‘that no person or persons should follow the occupation of a remover of dust, until farther notice, under the penalty of death.’ Eskigi Meimet Effendi, who was at that moment entering the city with his basket and spade, as soon as he heard the criers proclaiming this new decree, ran home very much alarmed, and with tears in his eyes, made it known to his wife, exclaiming, ‘what shall we do now for our illumination!’ ‘Say, rather, what shall we do for our bread,’ was the reply. At last the poor man bethought himself that he would take a basket and go up Mount Olympus to gather asparagus. The idea was a good one, and that day he made four times as much as he used to when working at his trade. He now bought thrice the usual quantity of oil, together with a number of tallow candles for his illumination. He also procured a bunch onions, [sic] and a little fresh butter and rice to make a pillau. With these

p. 168

he returned home more contented than a king with his sceptre.

He made, that night, the most splendid illumination ever exhibited in his house, and not having candlesticks, he placed the candles in a row over the fireplace, or fixed them in the fissures in the walls. He clapped his hands with delight, when he had completed these arrangements. He had hardly finished his supper and commenced his usual singing, when the two dervishes again rapped at his door. As it is the custom of the Turks to grant hospitality to strangers for three days, he thought it his duty to admit his two importunate visitors once more. Accordingly, having again arranged the counterpane so as to form a retreat for his wife, he opened the door and his guests entered. During the conversation, which now took place, Eskigi Meimet Effendi related how he had managed, by the assistance of God, to provide for his family a good supper, much of which still remained for his friends. But his chief delight was in the magnificent illumination, which he had found means of exhibiting. He thought that even the Sultan had never had so many lights burning in his palace; and finally, he considered it pretty evident that he was the happiest mortal alive.

The Grand Seignor was pleased, but at the same time, a little piqued at the cobbler’s pertinacious good humor. When arrived at his palace, the next morning, he remarked to his Vizier that some other method must be adopted, in order to effect their object, and that a man who was really determined to work, could always find

p. 169

employment. The Vizier replied, that he had thought of a plan, which was to give the cobbler and office, and having detained him all day in the palace, to send him home at night without any money. The Sultan approved of the plan, and immediately ordered one of his ministers to send for Eskigi Meimet Effendi, and on his arrival to invest him with the office and dignities of high sheriff, or gelat bachi. Messengers were accordingly despatched to fulfil this imperial command.

On being summoned to attend them to the palace, the astonished cobbler began to shake in his shoes, believing that he was about to be strangled or drowned in a sack, on some false accusation. He kissed his child, and took leave of his wife, who threw herself in wild dismay, upon the sofa. As soon as he arrived at the palace, without waiting to be informed of the cause of his being brought there, he threw himself at the feet of the minister, and implored his mercy. But when the terrified suppliant was told that he had been appointed to the office of high sheriff, joy and astonishment took the place of consternation and grief. He was sent to the bath, and habited in a new and costly uniform, and with a Damascus sword.

Having remained in the palace during the day, he rode home in the evening, on an Arabian horse, accompanied by a train of attendants. They left him at the door of his house, which he entered alone. He found his wife in the position in which he had seen her last, the poor woman having lost all hopes of again beholding her husband. She started up in amazement, on seeing him standing over her, habited in a rich and beautiful dress.

p. 170

He soon satisfied her curiosity with respect to his visit to the palace, and consoled her for all her apprehensions. But after he had finished the account of his adventures, he began to look melancholy, and said to his wife: ‘Alas! what shall we do to-night for our illumination? I have no money, and we have neither oil nor candles to burn.’ ‘Nor bread to eat,’ added his spouse.

Eskigi Meimet Effendi sat musing for some time upon the sofa. At last, striking his hand upon his knee, he exclaimed, ‘I have it;’ and leaving the room, he hastened to a neighboring carpenter, to whom he sold the blade of his Damascus sword for a considerable sum of money, on condition that he would make for him a blade of wood, to be fitted to the handle and delivered early in the morning. He accordingly left the sword with the carpenter and quitted the shop with his money. The worthy high sheriff now purchased a large quantity of oil and candles, and then turned his attention towards buying a variety of food for supper. Returning home, he made a most brilliant illumination, while his wife performed the office of cook.

In a short time the Sultan and his Vizier in their customary disguise, agin knocked at the door. Eskigi Meimet Effendi hesitated for some time about admitting them. He considered that he was now a high officer of the empire, and a man of rank, and ought not to receive persons of low degree into his house. But they renewed their entreaties so pressingly, that he consented to grant them hospitality for the last time. On entering, they expressed their astonishment at his new dress, and asked him how he had come by it. His reply was, that the

p. 171

distributor of thrones, and the shadow of God upon earth, his majesty the Sultan, had raised him tot he office of high sheriff; and thereupon he described to them his several adventures during the day. He begged them never again to take the liberty of knocking at his door, as he was no longer a cobbler, neither a remover of dust, nor a gatherer of asparagus, but an officer of the empire, and that he must be treated accordingly. In the midst of his boasting, the Grand Seignor inquired how he had managed, without money, to still keep up his illuminations; and the ex-cobbler, notwithstanding his lofty pretensions and his determination to stand upon his dignity, could not forbear telling them how he had contrived to raise money, by selling the blade of his Damascus sword. The Grand Seignor laughed heartily at the circumstance, and they soon after separated for the night.

The Sultan and his Vizier reached the palace, at an early hour the next morning. The mollah, or chief judge, was immediately ordered into the imperial presence, and asked if there were any person to be executed that day. It was ascertained that there was one individual who was awaiting the punishment of death, in consequence of having indulged in some strictures upon the government. The grand Seignor intimated his will that the new high sheriff should make his maiden attempt at decapitation on the head of the prisoner. Preparations for the execution were accordingly made in a large square near the palace. A vast multitude assembled to witness the spectacle.

The sentence of death was read in the presence of the

p. 172

people, who on tiptoe awaited the result. The high sheriff was ordered to come forward and perform his duty. That respectable officer approached the trembling victim, and ordered him to kneel and lay his head upon the block. Then grasping the hilt of his sword, he uttered the following prayer in the hearing of the crowd around the platform: ‘O thou, who art above all human wisdom and all human judgment, if the poor victim, whose head I am here ordered to sever from his body, be innocent, turn, I pray thee, the steel of my sword into wood, so that I may commit no injustice!’

He immediately unsheathed his blade, and, to the inexpressible amazement of the spectators, it was indeed turned to wood! The people shouted with one acclaim, ‘a miracle!’ They looked with awe and admiration upon the man, whose faith, they believed, had brought it to pass. The prisoner was rescued amid cheers and congratulations. The high sheriff was borne along upon the shoulders of the multitude, into the imperial presence.

As soon as that exemplary executioner laid eyes upon his sovereign, he recognized him for one of the dervishes, who had so often visited his house of late. He immediately began to tremble violently, and fear rendered him speechless, for he knew that the Grand Seignor was well aware of the process by which his blade had been changed from steel into wood. But the Sultan soon re-assured him, and ordering him to approach nearer, he signified to him his promotion to the office of aga, or governor of a small village near the capital, with a salary of five hundred Turkish piastres.

p. 173

It is superfluous to describe the satisfaction and delight of Eskigi Meimet Effendi, at this new accession of fortune. He prostrated himself before the distributor of thrones, kissing his feet, and exhibiting every mark of the most lively gratitude. On his return home, he cut so many capers and sung so vociferously, that his wife began to suspect that his intellect was unhinged. But she finally succeeded in obtaining from him a full account of his good fortune. He explained to her his intentions with respect to his future illuminations, which must have been rarely surpassed in splendor. In a few days, he departed with his family for the seat of his government. If tradition may be trusted, he ruled wisely and well, equalling, doubtless, in honesty and acuteness, even the renowned Sancho Panza.

[p. 174]



‘One prisoner I saw there, who had been imprisoned from his youth, and was said to be occasionally insane in consequence. He enjoyed no companionship, (the keeper told me,) but that of a beautiful tamed bird. Of what name or clime it was, I know not—only that he called it, fondly, his dove, and seemed never happy but when it sang to him.

MS. of a Tour through France.

Come to my breast, thou lone

And weary bird!—one tone

Of the rare music of my childhood!—dear

Is that strange sound to me;

Dear is the memory

It brings my soul of many a parted year.

Again, yet once again,

O minstrel of the main!

Lo! festal face and form familiar throng

Unto my waking eye;

And voices of the sky

Sing from these walls of death unwonted song.

Nay, cease not—I would call,

Thus, from the silent hall

Of the unlighted grave, the joys of old:

Beam on me yet once more,

Ye blessed eyes of yore,

Startling life-blood through all my being cold.

p. 175

Ah! cease not—phantoms fair

Fill thick the dungeon’s air;

They wave me from its gloom—I fly—I stand

Again upon that spot,

Which he’er hath been forgot

In all time’s tears, my own green, glorious land!

There, on each noon-bright hill,

By fount and flashing rill,

Slowly the faint flocks sought the breezy shade;

There gleamed the sunset’s fire,

On the tall taper spire,

And windows low, along the upland glade.

Sing, sing!—I do not dream—

It is my own blue stream,

Far, far below amid the balmy vale;—

I know it by the hedge

Of rose-trees at its edge,

Vaunting their crimson beauty to the gale:

There, there, mid clustering leaves,

Glimmer my father’s eaves,

And the worn threshhold of my youth beneath;—

I know them by the moss,

And the old elms that toss

Their lithe arms up where winds the smoke’s gray wreath.

Sing, sing!—I am not mad—

Sing! that the visions glad

p. 176

May smile that smiled, and speak that spake but now;—

Sing, sing!—I might have knelt

And prayed; I might have felt

Their breath upon my bosom and my brow.

I might have pressed to this

Cold bosom, in my bliss,

Each long-lost form that ancient hearth beside;

O heaven! I might have heard,

From living lips, one word,

Thou mother of my childhood,—and have died.

Nay, nay, ’tis sweet to weep,

Ere yet in death I sleep;

It minds me I have been, and am again,—

And the world wakes around;

It breaks the madness bound,

While I have dreamed, these ages, on my brain.

And sweet it is to love

Even this gentle dove,

This breathing thing from all life else apart:—

Ah! leave me not the gloom

Of my eternal tomb

To bear alone—alone!—come to my heart,

My bird!—Thou shalt go free;

And come, oh come to me

Again, when from the hills the spring-gale blows;

So shall I learn, at least,

One other year hath ceased,

And the long woe throbs lingering to its close.

[p. 177]



All died,—the wailing babe,—the shrieking maid,—

And in the flood of fire that scath’d the glade,—

The roofs went down. How deep the silence grew,

When on the dewy woods, the day-beam play’d:

No more the cabin smokes rose wreath’d and blue,

And ever, by their lake, lay moor’d the light canoe.’


The infancy of Connecticut was replete with peril. The dangers that surrounded its cradle were sufficient to have extinguished any common germ of colonial existence.

The pilgrim fathers at Plymouth possessed some advantages over the other settlers of New England. They held the right of primogeniture, a prescriptive claim to the regard of posterity. They came first to its solitary shores. They first breathed amid its unbroken forests, the name of Jehovah. Their footsteps have been traced with somewhat of the same enthusiasm with which we follow the voyage of Columbus, the world-finder. There was a severe and simple majesty in their attitude, which history has preserved, and mankind venerated. Their privations have been recorded and remembered. If they have not monopolized our sympathies, they have concentrated them. They have made

p. 178

the rock of Plymouth a Mecca to the patriot pilgrim. And it is right that it should be so.

Still it is questionable whether their sufferings surpassed, or even equalled, those of the little band, who, in the year 1635, took leave of their friends in the Massachusetts, and came, as pioneers, to the banks of the Connecticut. A trackless wilderness lay before them. The compass and the stars of heaven were their guides. Mountains, and thickets, and morasses, and unfordable streams, were among the obstacles of their path. The shortening days of autumn interrupted their progress, and for the chill and dreary nights, they had neither shelter, nor bed, save the forest and the earth.

Among the sharers in this adventurous expedition, were delicate women, accustomed to affluence in the softer British clime; and young infants, who must have perished, had it been possible for the heart of the mother ever to grow cold. The season was inauspicious, and marked by violent storms. So protracted hd been their journey, that ere they could make preparations for safety and comfort, winter coming before his time, surprized [sic] them. The river, toward which they had looked, as the eye of the dying prophet explored the far summits of Canaan, presented a broad surface of ice. It is recorded as almost an unparalleled circumstance, that it was that year frozen entirely over on the fifteenth of November.

There was no welcome from nature, to the toil-worn strangers. The trees were leafless and silent. The birds had migrated, and the provident animals had hidden themselves from winter’s frown. The snow came

p. 179

deep and drifted, and the winds swept through their insufficient habitations. the vessels which contained their provisions, and articles for household comfort, were wrecked in a tempest: and the sufferings of famine were added to the other hardships of new colonists.

The red men of the forest were then numerous and powerful. They looked with pity on the pale and perishing race. While they were feeding upon acorns, they brought them corn, and covered them with the skins of the beaver, from the terrible cold. They discovered, and lent them aid in their perils through the wilderness. They took the sick and feeble in their arms, and bore them through swamps and rivers. ‘They made of their bodies, bridges and boats unto our people,’ said a historian, in the quaint dialect of the day.

But where now, are the vestiges of that race, whose friendship preserved our ancestors? They, who to the number of twenty thousand, spread themselves by the fair streams, and along the sea coast of Connecticut, where are they? Is a single one of their arbor-like dwellings to be found? Does a solitary canoe, break the surface of any of our streams? And is there one heart to remember those who gave bread to our fathers, when they were ready to perish; one hand to repay the deed of gratitude to their wandering and degraded children?

The scene of our tale is laid in Hartford, in the year 1637. A year had scarcely elapsed, since the arrival of the first settlers in Connecticut, when the clergymen, Hooker and Stone, with their congregation, poured

p. 180

their whole souls into a new enterprize. The same intervening wilderness was to be traversed; but they wisely selected the season of summer for that labor.

Hooker, to whose learning and eloquence, the noble and the pious, in his own native land, had borne high testimony, took part in every hardship, with the most cheerful courage. Sometimes bowing his shoulder to the litter in which his sickly wife was carried; then raising in his arms some child of the party, whose little weary feet lingered behind; then comforting the faint-hearted, and again, with inspiring smile, recounting the joy of Israel, drawing near the promised land; until his flock fancied, that in their own path, was the same guiding ‘pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night.’

A fortnight was spent in their journey; and like their predecessors, they slept without shelter. Yet their faith, continually sustained by the zeal and patience of their guides, communicated vigor to their bodies, and they endured without murmuring. The forest through which they past, [sic] and whose echoes had hitherto replied only to the wolf, or the panther, or the hunter’s cry, became familiar with other sounds. For as the Christians proceeded,

‘They shook the depths of the forest-gloom,

With their hymns of lofty cheer.’

Not a year had transpired since their choice of locality on the banks of the beautiful river, which was to give name to a state. May morning smiled on them, for the first time in their new abode. Green and delightful verdure quickened beneath their feet, and

p. 181

nature seemed anxious to efface the memory of winter’s unkindness. But deep care was on the brow of those who watched over the welfare of the young colony. The fathers of Connecticut met on that first day of May in solemn council. A delegation from the senior settlements of Windsor and Wethersfield, were convened with the magistrates of Hartford, on affairs of high import.

The Pequots, a fierce and powerful native tribe, had discovered a spirit of aggression. Inroads upon property, and destruction of life, were charged against them. The expediency of a war was immediately decided upon; the number of soldiers determined, and preparations commenced without delay. To meet these requisitions, every family contracted the sinews of its strength, or put in jeopardy the springs of its existence.

It was on Wednesday the tenth of May, that ninety soldiers, with military equipments, stood on the banks of the Connecticut. True and faithful to their need, their red browed allies, were ranged by their side.

The Mohegan king, with seventy warriors, waited the signal of his pilgrim friends.

It was an hour of stirring emotion. None spoke, or moved. It was felt that but one man could break that silence, and that his words must be to God. Hooker came forward. At his right hand were his brethren, his flock, who had crossed with him a tempestuous ocean; exiles from the land of their fathers. Which of these should return no more? Who should fall in blood, and see his home no more? Mingled with these, was a more helpless group; the wife, the mother, the sister,

p. 182

and the babe. They had come down to the waters for their parting.

The holy man felt that he ‘bare their griefs, and carried their sorrows,’ as he came forth into the midst. His prayer was to the God of battles, the ‘God of the spirits of all flesh;’ and it lifted up the souls of those who were to go, and of those who remained behind, till there seemed to them, neither danger, nor sorrow, in this brief world, worthy to appal, [sic] or to bring them low.

The voice of supplication ceased. There was a brief pause. Then stretching forth his arms, he blessed the people, in the name of the God of the armies of Israel. In that high faith they parted. Tender ones restrained the tear, lest it might weaken the heart of some loved protector. Children imitated the dignity of their parents.

the barks received their freight. The sails were unfurled. One man lingered yet a moment behind the rest. It was the reverend Mr. Stone, the chaplain of the expedition. He staid [sic] to press the hand of his colleague in the church, and his friend in the gospel.

‘Go forth,’ said Hooker, ‘blessed and holy brother, bearing the armor of the gospel. Be as the dove to the ark that rode the deluge. When the waters of strife are abated, give heed to pluck the first leaf of olive, for so it becometh a servant of the Prince of peace.’

The little fleet moved slowly and gracefully from the shore. The fair river sparkled in the sunbeam, and gave back the tint of the deep blue sky. The foliage upon its banks was of surpassing beauty. The towering oak lifted its unshorn head, and the elm spread its umbrageous arms in rival majesty. Amid the interstices

p. 183

of the forest, the sassafras and dog wood thrust forth their pale flowers; the wild cherry hung out its feathery banner, and the fragrant breath of the indigenous apple-blossom was detected in every breeze. Animal life, in its unresting forms of pursuit, or enjoyment, roved amid the luxuriant vegetation. The squirrel threw itself from bough to bough, as if ambitious to belong to the winged tenantry; the fox ventured fearlessly from his covert, and the otter from some sloping declivity, plunged suddenly into the deep waters, and quickly emerging, resumed his amphibious pastime. The thrush poured forth from her newly built habitation, wild strains of the richest melody; the azure plumage of the jay, gleamed in strong contrast with the sombre tint of the blackbird, whose keen eye was ever searching for some planted maize field; the partridge rose up heavily on the whirring wing; the shy quail sent forth her clear, shrill whistle, and throngs of pigeons darkened the bending branches.

‘This is truly a land,’ said Mason, the commander of the expedition, ‘for which a warrior might be willing to fight.’

‘God hath given us a goodly heritage,’ replied the chaplain. ‘Would it were his will that we might keep it for our sons, without this shedding of blood.’

And there they stood together, on the prow of the leading vessel; the bold, strong man, who had made war his trade, when the banner of England was borne high in the battles of the Netherlands; and the meek, yet unswerving servant of the cross, who deemed war

p. 184

as among the judgments of the Almighty. They seemed not inaptly to personify their different profession; like Gerizzim and Ebal, amid the mountains of Israel; one, announcing the blessings of Jehovah, the other, keeping in charge the penal thunders of his law.

As twilight drew her curtain, the banks between which they glided, became more bold and steep. Rude rocks reared their castellated summits, till their frowning shadows mingled on the bosom of the tide. The river became compressed, and rushed on complainingly, like an unsubdued spirit, when first chastened by adversity. It seemed faintly to imitate the majesty with which the more imposing Hudson wins the pass of the Highlands, and then expanded in freedom and beauty, to embellish the romantic scenery, where Middleton was to choose her seat.

Yet the Connecticut gave but a tardy passage to her first naval armament. On the third day of the voyage, the Indian king demanded to be put on board of the vessel of the commander.

‘Chief of the white men,’ said he, ‘my warriors are uneasy. They say your tall white winged birds, tread not the waters so well, as their own light canoes. They see the salmon leap up, and there is none to take it. They see the horns of the deer glancing through the forest, and their bows are hot in their hands.’

‘The waters and the winds are in the hands of the Great Spirit,’ replied Mason. ‘They obey him and not us. King of the red men, what shall be done, to satisfy your people?’

p. 185

‘Put our feet upon the green earth. Let these great water birds, go on without us. We will meet you at your fort, where the river weds the sea.’

The Indians, according to their request, were set on shore. They were seen pressing through the closest thickets, and ascending the steepest rocks, with fleet foot and unbending form. In a few minutes they disappeared amid the deep green of the forest. But their shouts of wild delight were longer heard, as they traversed their native soil, inhaling with free spirit, the pure, elastic atmosphere.

Five days these three vessels toiled on their tedious voyage. Unskilled in the navigation of the river, the mariners repeatedly ran aground, or laboriously ploughed their way in the teeth of opposing winds. Before their eyes was no vision of that stupendous power, which was yet to arise, binding both blasts and billows in strange obedience. The plodding and patient people of that age, were cheered by no pageant of steam-propelled palace, instinct, as it were, with a living soul, and treading down, in the pride of its own strength, all elemental opposition. They would not have believed, that on the very tide they buffetted so wearily, an agent should come forth, resistless as the planet in its orb, yet not formed by Him who made the mountain and the cataract, but fashioned in the weakness of human hands. They would have marvelled at the assertion, that the mightiest effort of man, since he became lord of this lower world, was not to rear the wall of China, or to erect the cathedral at Rome; but to render the potent

p. 186

and tremendous power of steam, the vassal of his will; to ‘play with him as with a bird, and to bind him for his maidens.’

The arrival of the fleet at the fort of Saybrook, was an occurrence of no slight moment. The tossing pinnaces were moored, and the slender junction of the marine and land forces effected, where the Connecticut with her dower of mountain rills, and hoarded streamlets, meets her imperious lord, and loses her sky born tint, and her own identity, in his fathomless wave.

The welcome of Captain Underhill, with his garrison of twenty men, notwithstanding the simplicity of the times, was not wholly devoid of ‘pomp and circumstance.’ A broad banner floated, and a rude flourish of martial music sounded from the shore, as the troops disembarked. The two commanders tendered each other the salutes which military courtesy prescribes.

‘We can spread for you no field of the cloth of gold,’ said Underhill; ‘nor even bid you to a palace; notwithstanding we chance to be the highest representatives of England’s sovereign majesty, in this corner of the New World.’

‘Yet our meeting,’ replied Mason, ‘involves higher consequences, than the boasted interview of Henry Eighth and Francis First. No point of kingly etiquette is here to be settled, but the life or death of the nation. Here, too, are truer friends, than are wont to wait upon royalty,’ pointing to the Mohegan allies, and cordially taking the hand of Uncas.

Indian friendship,’ said the chaplain, ‘shews itself by

p. 187

deeds, more than words. It does not think first of its own safety, or stopto calculate expediency, when its object is in danger.’

The hospitality of the fort was as ample as the resources which could be commanded in a primitive state of society. The game furnished by the Mohegan hunters, at their arrival, was an important and acceptable addition. In that stage of the colony, hospitality was not, like the careful sister of Bethany, ‘cumbered with much serving.’ Her aim was not to consult variety, or indulge cost, or to display competition; but simply to satisfy appetite. The climax of her ambition was to hear her guest say, it is enough.

During detention from a storm, the two commanders conversed freely on the plan of their projected expedition.

‘The instructions of the court,’ said Mason, ‘are precise to land at Pequot harbor, and proceed directly to the fort. But the moment our sails are discerned, we shall be watched with Indian vigilance, and the attempt to land, may cost the lives of half our men. After the embarkation is effected, we may be entrapped in some ambuscade, ignorant as we are of their country. so that it is possible for us to fall without a battle, leaving none to bear tidings of our fate. My advice is therefore, to come upon them unawares, through the Narraganset country, and attack them by surprise.’

‘I am averse,’ said Underhill, ‘to depart from the injunctions of the honorable court. Neither do I like that resort to stratagem, which we blame so much in the Indians. Our men would dread a march through the wilderness. By detaining them longer from their homes,

p. 188

the agriculture on which their subsistence depends, must suffer. Perhaps, also their families, by this protracted absence, might be exposed to savage massacre.’

‘Delay,’ said Mason, ‘is a lighter evil than extermination. You will not, I trust, doubt my courage. Yet prudence is an essential ingredient of a well balanced courage. With all our devotion to our country we are not a match for twenty times our number. By passing through the territory of the king of the Narragansets, we may obtain his aid. Uncas, what is your counsel in this matter?’

The red browed chieftain had been a silent but deeply attentive listener. Now, though summoned to give his opinion, he answered reluctantly.

‘Miantonimoh looks one way, and rows another.’

‘What does he mean?’ said Mason.

‘That the Narraganset king is double minded, and not to be trusted,’ replied Underhill.

‘Uncas has somewhat of the wily policy of Ulysses,’ said Mason. ‘He fears to commit himself. In this case, he has probably some personal pique. His suffrage goes for nothing.’

Neither commander was disposed to recede from his ground. Their officers were also divided in opinion. In this dilemma, they agreed to submit to the decision of their respected chaplain. In thosse days, veneration for the sacerdotal character, was held honorable by men of the highest rank, and inculcated as a radical principle of education. The pious man was fully aware of the importance of this arbitration. Perhaps he would willingly have avoided its responsibility. But his creed

p. 189

taught him not to shrink from duty. That night, no slumber visited his eyes. In deep solitude he viewed the contested point in all its bearings. He weighed every argument that had been adduced. He pondered their probable results. He spread the cause before Him who heareth prayer, and implored the guidance of his wisdom.

With the early light of morning, he communicated to the council his opinion in favor of the route through the Narraganset country. That day, the captains, Mason and Underhill, sailed, with their forces, for Narraganset Bay, leaving twenty men behind, for the defence of the colony. It was on Saturday, May twentieth, that they landed and marched to the plantation of the sachem Canonicus. From thence, they sent an embassy to Miantonimoh, asking permission to pass through his territory, and soliciting his confederacy against the common enemy. He came to meet them, with a large body of warriors. He was tall, and slightly made, and of a less commanding presence, than the Mohegan king. The plan of thus assaulting the Pequots, surprised him by its boldness. But he maintained that unmoved manner and countenance, beneath which the pride of the Indian conceals all emotion. He received the confidence of the colonial commanders in silence, but requested an interview with Uncas.

‘Does Mohegan go with the pale faces?’ was his first question.

‘The chain of our friendship is bright,’ replied Uncas. ‘One end of it is in the hand of the Great Spirit, and the other in the grave of my nation. Until she sleeps there, the chain must not rust or be broken.’

p. 190

‘Sassacus can bring as many arrows, as the spring puts forth green leaves in the forest.’

‘We shall steal upon Sassacus, as the snake winds amid the sleeping grass. He shall see blood, ere he knows what hand hath drawn it.’

‘Sassacus hath a quick ear and a long arm. Twenty-six chiefs obey him. whom he will, he slayeth. He is among them as a god.’ And a gleam of superstitious awe passed over the brow of Narraganset’s king, at the thought of that fierce monarch, who struck terror into every foe.

‘Miantonimoh, will you go with us? You are a brave man. If we can shake the Pequots from their strong holds, you may sit down upon the seacost, and be as great as Sassacus.’

This double appeal to ambition and cupidity, was not in vain. The king of the Narragansets paused, as if balancing the probabilities of profit and loss. He then suddenly exclaimed,

But what are these English, for whom you are so ready to raise the tomahawk? Before the Pequot warriors, will they not be as old women?’

Come, and see,’ was the laconic, and somewhat indignant reply.

‘I will go with you,’ said Miantonimoh, proudly. ‘Five hundred bows shall accompany me.’

Uncas imparted the result of his negociation [sic] to the commanders, who greatly rejoiced, and viewed it as a divine interposition in their favor. Leaving their vessels, they commenced the march through the wilderness. Tangled forests, thorny thickets, and protracted swamps of bent grass, which sometimes attained a heighth of

p. 191

three or four feet, opposed their progress. Added to these obstructions, were the oppressive warmth of the weather, and a scarcity of provisions. The new corn having been but recently planted, and that of the previous year expended, they had scarcely a better substitute for bread, than the roots dug at random, in their march. A small quantity of parched ccorn, from their Indian friends, was esteemed a luxury.

Exhausted with their labors through this trackless country, they arrived, at the close of a sultry day, within two miles of Fort Mystick. There they made their simple encampment, in a valley between two hills. Even the rocky pillow was sweet to our wearied ancestors. Little did they imagine that they rested to near the spot, where Groton monument should arise, to tell the traveller of battle and carnage between the sons of the island of their birth, and the country of their adoption. Had their profound slumbers been visited by visions of this warfare between their children’s children, would they not then have accounted it as a strife of the brothers of Eden, and mourned, like our first parent, when it was shown him by the archangel?

The sentinels, who were placed considerably in advance of the army, heard echoes of wild laughter, and savage mirth, breaking upon the stillness of midnight. They came from the fort, where the Pequot warriors held a festival, their last on earth, ominous as the revelry of the French, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt. At length, deep silence settled on the fortress of the red men. The moon came up clear in the heavens. Mason and Underhill roused their soldiers. They

p. 192

quickly arrayed themselves, and the chaplain in few and solemn words, commended them to God. They bore with them those deep, low tones, linking their hopes with the high name of the God of Israel, as they pursued their way, without whisper or sound, guarding even their lightest footfall. In the heart of every man, was a picture of his home, where wife, or children, or aged parents slumbered, whose helplessness he felt himself commissioned to defend. The valor that springs from such guardianship, is not like other valor. It imagines itself an image of his might, who protects a slumbering world, and believes that even its severity is holy.

They reached the hill which is crowned by the rude, yet formidable fortress. As they began to ascend, their allies, the Narragansets, were perceived hanging back, like a dark cloud around its base. Mason commanded them to advance. They sill lingered.

‘Is it perfidy or terror, that detains them?’ he demanded of the Mohegan king.

‘They fear Sassacus,’ he replied, calmly, ‘more than the spirit of evil. Miantonimoh’s heart is now like water, at the sight of their fort.’

‘Give them orders not to fly,’ said Mason, ‘but to stand still, and see how brave men fight.’

He then divided the little band of seventy-seven soldiers between himself and Underhill, for the attack. So silent were their movements, that they stood under the very walls of the fort, without discovery. Just at that moment, a dog barked. Like the winged sentinel of Rome, he alarmed the beleagured citadel, but could not save it.

p. 193

Starting from the brief and deep sleep, which had succeeded their revel, the Indians evinced a lion-like courage. They rushed unarmed upon drawn swords; they grasped the bayonets in their hands; they wrested the weapons from their foes; they grappled with desperate strength, and yielded only when they were cut in pieces. While blood was pouring in torrents, Mason gave the terrible order to burn the fort and the village that was sleeping beneath its wing. Columns of fire sprang up from seventy cone-like roofs; and so combustible were their materials, that only a few minutes elapsed, ere one broad sheet of flame, encompassed the horizon. The affrighted inmates, whose dream was broken by the smoke that suffocated them, rushed forth. Mothers with babes in their arms, and little ones chrieking in vain for protection, appeared and disappeared. Death was ready for them. Scarce one escaped. Some, at the sight of their enemies, fled back to their flaming dwellings to die there; as the miserable Jews preferred the burning coals of their consuming temple, to the mercy of the Romans.

Scarcely, in the records of history, has war done her work with greater despatch, or more entire desolation. The hour opened upon a slumbering village, and a fortress quietly crowning the green and woody hill-top. That hour closed, and six hundred souls had taken their flight, and every dwelling was ashes, and every family extinct. Where the tower of their strength frowned, was a mound of blackening cinders, smouldering in the blood of their bravest hearts.

The victorious army commenced their returning march.

p. 194

They had not escaped unscathed, though but two were left among the slain. A fourth of their part were disabled by wounds. In this emergency, the friendship of their Mohegan allies was invaluable. Constructing litters of the woven branches of trees, they bare the sufferers on their shoulders, and by their knowledge of the styptic and healing virtues of plants, assuaged their sufferings.

But the retreat was not without danger. The uproar of conflict had been heard afar, startling the ear of night. Throngs of enraged Pequots hung upon their rear, and took deadly aim at them from the shelter of rocks and trees. Mason found himself called upon like Xenophon, to the difficult task of conducting a retreat through the enemy’s country, as he also afterwards imitated him, in becoming the historian of his own expedition. A distance of six miles was to be achieved, with the foe in their footsteps. But for the aid of their red brethren, they would probably have been intercepted, and cut off. They protected the harassed army, often forming a circle, and literally receiving the exhausted veterans in their friendly and faithful bosoms. At length, the white sails of the waiting vessels were seen, expanded by a favoring breeze; the harbor attained, and the wasted and wearied, yet triumphant band, embarked on their homeward boyage.

During the tumult of battle, the chaplain retired to a deep-woven thicket, and lifted up his prayer to the Father and Judge of all. He besought the preservation of his brethren, and that the needless effusion of blood might be restrained. While faith maintained a painful

p. 195

struggle with the emotions of his gentler nature, there was a rushing towards the thicket, as of a deer pursued by the hunters. Ere he could arise from the humble posture of devotion, a young girl threw herself on the earth, and clasped his feet. It was with difficulty that he disengaged himself. Her grasp was like the rigor of death. Fixing her wild eyes, for a moment, on his countenance, she shrieked fearfully and long, and closed them, as he thought, forever. There was blood on her forehead and bosom. He believed, that in the torture of a mortal wound, she had fled, not knowing whither.

‘The Saviour, of whom thou hast never heard, have mercy upon thy poor soul,’ said the man of peace. Bending over her with pity, as she lay at his feet, like a beautiful bronze statue, he thought, ‘surely my people might have spared the life of the child.’

She seemed at that period when childhood and youth mingle in doubtful yet pleasing union, as differing tints may blend without destroying each other, and still fail to produce a perfect color. At length, her respiration became distinct, a succession of deep sighs. Again life stirred in her deadened cheek. The trance of fear was broken. She partially raised herslef, but when she saw the face of a white man, she covered her eyes with a shrill, shuddering cry. It was not her own blood that was upon her breast, but the blood of her mother, and of her little sisters, to whom she had clung through the flame, and under the sword. The holy man laid his hand upon her throbbing forehead, and strove to assure her spirit by the smile and tone of kindness, that

p. 196

universal language, intelligible to the heart of the savage, and whose tablet even the heart of the brute can read.

‘Poor bird, God hath sent thee unto me, perhaps, to save a soul alive,’ and he threw his mantle around the shivering child. When the battle was done, and the shouting victors sought him in their joy, he led her through ranks of scowling soldiers and wondering red men.

‘God hath given her to me,’ said he, and they were silent. He protected her through the perilous retreat, and upon the waters, and brought her to his home, and gave her to his wife, and to his daughters. And at their family altar, morn and even, was a petition, that the soul of the red-browed orphan, might be dear to their Father in heaven.

Gentle treatment and Christian culture, were as the dew and sunbeam to this broken forest flower. Her feelings expanded in gratitude, and confirmed into the most affectionate trust. every service within the measure of her power, was cheerfully rendered to her benefactors. She learned to love the God of Christians, and early sought permission to enrol [sic] herself among the followers of the Redeemer.

Seven years passed away, and brought to this gentle creature the ripeness of youth. There was about her a flexibility of form and movement, approaching to grace; and that sweetness of voice, by which our aboriginal females are distinguished, was in her pre-eminent. Her raven locks, profuse and glossy, twined in thick braids around her head, gave strong relief to a complexion, whose darkness did not prevent the eloquent blood from

p. 197

revealing its frequent rush to cheek or temple. Every physical and intellectual developement, indicated exquisite sensibility, over which pure religion diffused a serenity which made her interesting to the most careless beholder.

I have said that seven years hd elapsed since the destruction of fort Mystick. Connecticut had rapidly gathered strength and importance. Already had she stretched forth her hand to aid the incipient efforts of her elder sister, Massachusetts, in the cause of education. Her simple offerings, though of only a few bushels of corn, or strings of wampum, came up with acceptance to ancient Harvard’s mite-replenished treasury.

Hartford had also assumed an aspect of comparative comeliness and vigor. One of its beautiful heights was adorned with a spacious mansion, far exceeding in elegance, the other structures of that newly planted colony. It was the seat of the Wyllys family, whoxe founder was not less conspicuous for wealth, than for saintly piety. A garden and grounds, in imitation of his own fair estate in Warwickshire, appeared, attracting the admiration of travellers, and the wonder of roaming hunters. Among the ornaments of his domain, was an oak, the monarch of the forest, honored in tradition, as the refuge, not of his ‘sacred majesty,’ but of the charter, which his sacred majesty’s brother, would fain have rifled. Still revered, and introduced to strangers as the ‘Charter Oak,’ it flourishes in green old age, though generation after generation, have withered beneath its shade.

At the period of which we speak, the year 1644, a

p. 198

funeral train passed forth from that stately dwelling. The head of that ancient house was no more. Not slightly mourned, did he part from a colony, which had conferred on him the highest office in its power to bestow. Hartford and the vicinity, poured forth their inhabitants, from the child to him of hoary hairs, to attend those obsequies. There Hooker lifted up his voice, and with fervid eloquence, blessed the dust of him, who ‘for righteousness’ sake had preferred a wilderness, to the palaces of mammon, and like the prophet, borne on angel’s wings from Pisgah, esteemed the reproach of Christ, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt[.]

‘Behold,’ he said, ‘in what manner death despoileth man. He doth not uproot the groves which he planted, or the gardens that he adorned, but he chaineth the foot that walked there. He taketh not away the pleasant pictures from the walls, but he taketh light from the eye that looked upon them. The desirable children, the loving wife are left, but the head and husband, is cut down with a stroke. He burneth not the fair and goodly mansion, but he taketh the master out of it. He doth not destroy his honors, but he summoneth him away from them. ‘This night! This night!’ is the cry, and immediately he giveth up the ghost.’

His eulogium upon the departed was minute, and according to the quaint taste of the age. He spoke of his doctrines, and of his deeds, of his genealogy, clearly traced back to the times of the fourth Edward, in wealth and honor, and throughout the stormy feuds of the houses of York and Lancaster, maintaining a consistent

p. 199

valor. Yet his aim was not to magnify adventitious distinction, but the grace of God, and to shew that the ‘glory of man, at his best estate, is altogether vanity.’ Impressed with these sentiments, the weeping multitude, followed in solemn order, the corpse to its last narrow habitation. The long procession moved slowly down the hill, and extended itself toward the cemetery. Scarce one remained behind, save the Indian maiden, who pensive and alone, wandered to the brow of the eastern declivity, which commanded a noble view of the valley of the Connecticut. She fixed her eye upon its line of blue, seen in sparkling snatches, through the foliage of embowering trees. But her reverie was broken, by a muffled form, springing towards her from a copse, just beneath the height where she stood. She would have started away like the bounding fawn, but the complexion, the gesture of her own people, the murmured tones of her native language, arrested her. With a consciousness as rapid as the memory of the heart, she recognized the young warrior Ontologon, of the ancient line of her nation’s royalty. In the accents of one, anxious to avoid discovery, and more by actions than words, he signified that he had tidings of importance to communicate, and requested an interview in the grove that skirted her residence. Scarcely had she assented, ere he vanished so suddenly as to leave on her mind the bewildering recollection of a phantom visitant. Twilight had but faintly taken the hue of evening, when she repaired to the grove, in which the simple garden of her protector terminated.

Orramel;’ said a voice, whose deep inflections thrilled

p. 200

through every nerve, and the lofty young chieftain of her people stood before her. Then he contemplated her fervently, and in silence, with the keen glance of the eagle, who balanced on the cloud, scans its nest on the cliff beneath, to see if aught evil hath befallen its nurslings in its absence, and to exult in their beauty.

‘Orramel, thou rememberest me. I saw it in the flash of thy wondering eye, when on the hill-top I stood suddenly before thee. I knew it from the blood in thy cheek, which spoke its message ere thy lips parted.’

‘Ontologon, thy tones open all the cells of memory. They call back the dead. I see my mother fondling her babe. I sit by her side, with my little sisters. Again our home seems peaceful and happy, as when thou didst bring to my childish hand, birds of bright plumage, which thy young bow had taken.’

‘Where is that mother and those little ones, playful and timid as the fawns? Where is thy home, so softly visited by the sea breeze? Where are thy people? Black ruins and the grass that grows so rankly where blood is spilt, answer thee. Thou can’st tell me of the flame and the battle, when our fortress fell. I saw them not. I was far away with our king. Would that I had been there, that I might have died, when my people died, or cut in pieces their oppressors.’

The maiden replied not, save with deep sobs, and the warrior continued.

‘Where are all our nation? Parcelled out as slaves, or covered in the grave. The grave, did I say? That were too blest a refuge. They cast us out from thence. The ploughshare turneth up the bones of our fathers, for the

p. 201

dogs of white men. They hunt down the Pequot, like the wolf. How long have I lurked among these hated dwellings, that I might thus look upon thee? Were it known that my feet rested upon this earth, what, suppose ye, would be my doom? The tender mercies of the honorable court? the tomahawk of Uncas? or the friendship of the Narragansets? the torture? or the flame?’

Orramel bent on him her humid eyes, through which the soul of tender pity looked forth.

‘Lonely maiden! are we not the last of our race? I have braved every peril to find, and to save thee. I seek to bear thee to the far west, where the eye of the pale race dare not follow. I will build our cabin where are many warriors, and thou shalt be their queen. My voice shall control them, as the blast drives the swelling wave. We will sweep down like the mountain torrent, and destroy those accursed whites. we will quench our thirst in their blood, till not a drop remains.’

‘Ontologon, the desolation of my race, the destruction of my kindred, are heavy on my heart, both when I lie down and when I rise up. Henceforth, there will be another burden there, the thought of thy sorrows. Yet curse not the people, who have given me bread and a shelter, and taught me of Jesus Christ, and the hope of a heavenly home.’

And so, thou art at peace with the white man’s God!’ exclaimed the chieftain, with an eye that flashed through the darkness, like kindled flame. ‘They have spoken soft words to thee, and thou hast forgotten the wrongs of thy people, and thy mother’s blood. Art thou the

p. 202

daughter of the red man, and yet content to crouch at the feet of his murderers? And to take bread from hands stained with his blood, and rusted with the chains that have eaten into his soul? Wert thou not dearer to me than heaven’s light, I should have cleft thy brow, when thou didst speak of loving him, whom white men worship.’

‘Ontologon, I have told thee truth. The God of Christians is my God. I have sworn at his altar. I will not turn back from following him. I have said to thee, that no music like thy voice had met my ear, since I sat on my mother’s knee. And I could find it in my heart to dwell with thee in the deep forest, as the dove dwelleth with her mate. But I cannot forsake the Saviour, to whose keeping I have committed my soul.’

The stately form of the chief was shaken with violent and contending emotions, as the oak reels in the storm.

‘Meet me yet once more, Orramel, only once more. for thy sake I will endure to hide yet another day, amid the haunts of those I hate. When again the sun sleeps and the stars begin their watch, come to me, where the rivers mingle. My boat shall be moored there. If thou wilt go with me, it shall bear us away together, to a happier region. If thou wilt not, thou shalt be free to return, as the forest bird to her nest.’

He plunged into the thicket, and in a moment was lost to her view. The meditation of that sleepless night, and of the day that ensued, were trying and tumultuous to the red browed maiden. He who had prepared her innocent childhood for the germ of love, had suddenly come, like the husbandman, to claim the fruits of the

p. 203

vineyard, when she supposed him buried with her fellow kindred. To her kind benefactors she dared not resort for counsel, since a knowledge of the proximity of her lover, would endanger both his liberty and life. Often during this period of agitation, was she on her knees, in her solitary chamber, imploring His aid, who confirmeth the doubting heart, and ‘giveth discretion to the simple.’

Evening tardily spread her curtain over the spot appointed for their meeting. It was at the conjunction of the Connecticut with a considerable tributary. The Dutch, who exhibit the same shrewdness in the appropriation of sites favorable to commerce, with which the monks of England anciently discovered warm and sheltered nooks for their convents and cloisters, had originally erected here a fortress or trading house, which they denominated the ‘hirse of Good Hope.’ Though their occupancy was transient, the locality still retains the designation of ‘Dutch Point,’ and is distinguished by its gentle and graceful undulations, and the velvet richness of its shaven lawn.

The rising moon, as its broad disk silvered the tree tops, revealed the slight form of the maiden, seated on the projecting root of a mighty elm, while the stately warrior sitting on the ground at her feet, bowed his head on his hand, in melancholy thought.

‘Orramel, I spake strong and stormy words to thee, when last we parted. My heart burned within me to see thee in the coil of the serpent. Thou art as the moon to my midnight path. Without thee, what would be my life, but a weed to be thrown away. I was maddened with the fear of losing thee. But now, I

p. 204

read other language in thy gentle eye. I know that thou wilt go with me. I will make thine home in the heart of the green forest, where the thrush and the wood-robin sing. And thou shalt be more to me than the music of birds or the breath of spring to the ice bound stream.’

The maiden replied not. There was in the tones of his deep and tender voice, something that made her heart a listener, when he ceased to speak.

‘Our race have vanished away,’ said he, mournfully, ‘like the shadow, like the dew, when the sun ariseth. From these waters, from the shores of the broad sea, where our kings held dominion, our power has departed. Our council fires are quenched. Upon the very lands that were his at the beginning, the Pequot dares not set his feet. As for me, who of all my kindred are left? Is there one to take Ontologon by the hand, and call him brother? When he is sick, has he a mother or a sister, to spread the blanket over him? When he dies, who shall bury him with his fathers? There is none left to remember him, or to shed one tear over his grave.’

‘Ontologon, I cannot bear to hear thee say that our whole race have perished. My heart is sad at the thought that thou hast neither brother, or sister, or mother. I will go with thee, that thou mayest no more lament in loneliness, or be sick, and fine no comforter. For thee I will forsake those who have been to me as parents. But thou wilt not refuse that I should remember their God, and my God, that I should speak to him when the light fades, and when the morning rises, and that I should keep his Sabbaths in my soul.’

p. 205

‘Orramel, I may not deceive thee. The white man would promise thee with the oath on his lips, whatsoever thou desiredst. But when thou wert in his power, his vows would be lighter than the summer wind. he would mock at thee, that thou hadst trusted them. The red man dares not thus to sin. He knows that the Great Spirit hath an ear, which the lightest breath of falsehood reaches. I will not consent that thou shouldst love the Christian’s God. I could not rest, if the plague spot of our foes, was upon thy bosom.’

‘Ontologon, is not my request small? Doth the flower offend its companion, when it turneth toward the sun? Doth the stream dishonor its fountain, when it findeth rest in the sea? Would it wrong thee, that my hope was in Him, who made heaven and earth? or that my prayer went up for thee while thou wert sleeping?’

‘Maiden of the dark and tender eye, the path in which we walk upon earth is short. Hoary headed men say that it is to them, but as a little dream. When thou diest, could I see thee go to the white man’s heaven[?] Could I go there with thee? Could I remain in that heaven, if his soul dwelt there? No. No. Our home after death, must be the same. Could I bear to miss thee forever in those fields of light, where our fathers roam, above the roll of the thunder? Orramel! it shall not be so. Let me lead thee gently back to the Great Spirit. He will forgive thee, that thou hast wandered. He knoweth that the heart of woman is weak. When thou leanest upon me, thou shalt fall no more.’

‘Ontologon, thou art more noble than the kings from

p. 206

whom thou art descended. Thou hast not hidden the truth from me. Now could I lay down my life for thy sake. But I dare not lay down my faith. While I live the book of God is my guide, and when I die, my soul must go unto its Redeemer.’

‘Is it then for this,’ said the warrior, ‘that I have borne long years of darkness, whose only light was thy childish smile, which memory held forth to me, like a feeble lamp? For this, that when life grew hateful, and I was about to cast it away, I again walked onward, with a strong step, and a lifted brow, at the sound ‘Orramel liveth?’ Is it for this that I have bowed my pride, to grovel as a snake in the thicket, that I might breathe the same air that thou didst breathe, and look once more upon thee? All these troubles were forgotten, when the sound of thy voice fell upon my ear. At the words ‘I will go with thee,’ a new existence entered into my soul. And now have I found this treasure, only to lay it down? Have we met but to part forever? Must the rest of my path be as midnight, till I sink into the grave, the last of all my race?’

‘Let me be to thee, Ontologon, the light which thou hast sought. When thou art weary and sad, let me teach thee how to smile. And we will walk together, till that dark angel divide us, who cometh but once to all. Yet let me speak to thee of my story. Long after my abode was with white men, I was sorrowful, and without hope. He who saved me from destruction, was as a father, and his wife a mother, and their children spake kind words to me. But I found no comfort. Every night my pillow was as a fountain of tears. And

p. 207

thus it ever was, till their sweet religion entered into my soul. It set the seal of peace on my eyes, when I lay down to slumber, and when I awoke, it talked with me. All day long, it put meek and happy thoughts into my heart, and it promised to pluck for me, the sting from death, and to take away the victory from the grave. Then I partook of its holiest rite, and bound my soul by an everlasting covenant, and took that Holy Book to my heart, which teaches of its precepts. Gladly would I read to thee, from those blessed pages, of a clime without sorrow or injustice, where none shall be forced from his inheritance, and where all the righteous shine forth as the ‘sun, in the kingdom of their Father’ Yet if it troubleth thee, I will not speak of my faith. I will shut it close in my soul. Thou shalt see it only by the smile that beams from it, and the courage which it brings at the gate of death.’

The lofty chieftain threw himself upon the earth. Groans burst from his laboring bosom, and his whole form was convulsed. Let none believe that he has seen anguish, till he witnesses the agony of the strong, proud man. he may have beheld the lightning and the tempest, but not the earthquake rending the rock in pieces.

At length, the strife of passion yielded. He rose, as if in heightened majesty. His voice was firm and awful, as he extended his hand towards the maiden.

‘If thou wilt be mine, wholly and forever, put thy hand into my hand, and not even death shall part us. But if thou choosest the faith of the murderers of thy people,

p. 208

and to dwell in their heaven, rather than in the heaven of our fathers, say so, and let me see thy face no more.’

The answer was distinct, though the heart’s tears gushed with it:

I may not renounce my Redeemer.’

With a rush that seemed superhuman, the chieftain threw himself from the high bank into his boat. A few strokes of the oar, as from a giant’s arm, threw it from the deep shadow where it lay, out upon the broad, bright waters. Then it seemed to drift onward at its will. In that despairing re-action which succeeds passionate excitement, he lay prostrate, with a powerless arm, submitting to the guidance of the tide, and reckless of life or death.

Orramel stood upon the point of the promontory, where the rivers mingle. She watched the boat of her lover, until the sinuous and projecting shores shut it from her view. But he raised not his head, nor waved his hand. He gave no farewell signal, to soften that bitter parting. She listened for some echo of his voice. Nothing was heard, sve the rush of the waters and the sigh of the gale through the boughs of the drooping willows.

A strong burst of feeling swept over her. She returned to the place where they had parted. She seated herself on the rock where he had sat. She strove to recall every word that he had spoken. She wove every tone into the tissues of memory. It was late ere she roused herself from her grief, and recovered strength to retrace her homeward way.

p. 209

She still continued faithful in all her duties, full of gratitude to her benefactors, and humble as the weaned child. It was evident to a close observer, that some sorrow had passed over her, but a sorrow in which remorse had no part. A pure conscience so girded the swelling heart, that it broke not. Peace that the world giveth not, made her brow its tablet. Thus she lived, till youth faded, respected by the race, among whom she had found refuge. Yet the soul of her lover was ever upon her prayers, and when the last pale messenger came to summon her, and her eye brightened at the welcome of that Saviour, in whom she had believed, the ear that approached nearest to her dying lips, perceived that their faint, parting whisper, was ‘mercy for Ontologon.’

In reviewing the circumstances which have given to this sketch a subject and a name, we are struck with the prominence and discordance of some of the features in the character of our ancestors: the bravery, with which, in the very birth of their colonial existence, they hazarded this formidable enterprise, the cruelty with which it was consummated, and the piety to which they turned for a sanction, even when deed and motive seemed at variance. Their extreme responsibility, as planters of a New World, the proximity of heathen foes, and the danger of utter extermination, with which they conceived themselves to be environed, partially reconciles points otherwise incongruous. Yet the vengeful and unresting vigilance, with which they blotted out the very name of Pequot, partitioning the last remnant of that race in vassalage between the Mohegans, the Narragansets, and themselves, was not

p. 210

less abritrary than the dismemberment of Poland, and savored more of the policy of heathen Rome, than of Christ.

Mason, with the usual consistence of heroes, adopted a system, which he had himself decried. In common with the historians of that age, he loudly condemned the Indians for stratagem in war; though it was their acknowledged creed, the very essence of their tactics. Still, he chose to illustrate what he had despised. And he proved himself an adroit scholar, able to foil the professors at their own game.

In the annals of pagan warfare, there is nothing more sanguinary than the destruction of Fort Mystick. Women, children, the decrepit, and the babe, were alike made victims. The murder of the unresisting, and the flame kindled over the head of the infant, sleeping in its mother’s arms, are its traces upon our annals. How such carnage of the helpless, may be made to harmonize with the prayers and thanksgivings of the followers of Jesus we pretend not to say. Probably, some perverted train of reasoning, justified this ‘doing of evil that good might come.’ The need of ‘working out their own salvation,’ was at that time more imperative than the law of mercy, and the charity which is ‘well-pleasing in the sight of God,’ took flight, when an Indian stood before her.

Yet we would contemplate with filial respect, the memory of our father. We venerate their exalted virtues, and in viewing their faults, would ever bear in mind due extenuation. The light which visits our advancing age, had not beamed on them. Luminous

p. 211

minds had not then arisen, to present the war-spirit in its true aspect, and to analyze and disrobe it of that false glory, with which Antiquity in her folly had invested it. No moral philosopher had demonstrated the utter incompatibility of the ‘Christian character, with the heroic’ No statesman had designated war as an ‘instrument wholly inefficient to redress wrong, and which multiplies instead of indemnifying losses.’ No divine had eloquently pointed out that ‘universal ballot, by which mankind might cast from its seat of power, the bloody idol of a long infatuated world.’ Believing war to be a necessary appendage of the condition of man, which had existed from the beginning, and must continue to exist till the second coming of Christ, the peculiarity of their own attitude, led to those revolting traits of barbarism, which we cannot survey without abhorrence and regret.

Let the young student of American history, record the date of May twenty-sixth, 1637, as the day in which a once powerful aboriginal tribe, received its death-wound. It indeed breathed for a short season, but only in distortion and convulsion, with gasping and fierce pangs. It perished without a hand to write its epitaph: an emblem of the fate of all those red browed nations, to whom the brotherhood of the white man, has been as the kiss of Judas.

[p. 212]


’T was night—upon a rock I stood—

Before me rolled the troubles seas;

A groaning wreck was on the flood,

And screams came floating on the breeze.

Tho’ home was near, and close the land,

And these had come o’er many a wave—

Yet here, no hope, no help at hand,

Despairing, they must find a grave!

I heard the last faint gurgle hush’d,

I heard the whirling waters clash,

As o’er the vanished hull they rushed,

And seemed in merry mirth to flash.

I heard no more, except the dirge—

The hollow dirge that waters sing,

When o’er a wreck the boiling surge,

Its winding sheet of waves doth fling.

I heard no more, for soon the gale,

In sighing breezes died away,

And struggling through the midnight veil,

The moon sent down its mellow ray.

The light was mingled with the tide,

Which seemed to flow a sea of gold,

And glorious in its swelling pride,

No secret of its bosom told.

’T is past—yet like that wreck so low,

I too shall sink into my grave,

While o’er my head, both friend and foe,

Shall dance as reckless as the wave!


a naked white man seems unimpressed by the five winged putti around him
Painted by Guerin.      Engraved by Cheney.
Published by Chas. Bowen.

Printed by R. Andrews.

[p. 213]


In days of yore, while yet the world was new,

And all around was beautiful to view,

When spring and summer ruled the happy hours,

And golden fruit hung down with opening flowers;

When if you chanced amid the woods to stray,

The rosy-footed Dryads led the way,

Or if beside a mountain brook your path,

You never failed to catch some Naid in her bath:

’T was in that golden day, that Damon strayed,

Musing, alone, along a Grecian glade:

Retired the scene, yet in the morning light,

Athens in view, shone glimmering to the sight.

’T was far away, yet painted on the skies,

It seemed a marble cloud of glorious dyes,

Where yet the rosy morn, with lingering ray,

Loved on the snowy pediments to play.

But why did Damon heed the distant scene?

For he was young, and all around was green—

A romping brook was playing through the dell,

And on his ear the laughing echoes fell—

Along his path the stooping wild flowers grew,

And woo’d the very zephyrs as they flew.

Then why young Damon heeding nought around,

Seemed in some thrall of distant vision bound,

I cannot tell—but dreamy grew his gaze,

And all his thought was in a misty maze—

p. 214

A while he sauntered—then beneath a tree,

He sat him down, and there a reverie

Came o’er his spirit like a spell,—and bright

A truth-like vision, shone upon his sight.

Around on every side, with glowing pinions,

A circling band, as if from Jove’s dominions,

All wooing came, and sought with wily art,

To steal away the youthful dreamer’s heart.

One offered wealth—another spoke of fame,

And held a wreath to twine around his name—

One brought the pallet, and the magic brush,

By which creative art bids nature blush

To see her rival;—and the artful boy,

His story told—the all entrancing joy

His skill could give,—but well the rogue concealed

The piercing thorns that lie, all unrevealed,

Along the artist’s path—the poverty, the strife

Of study, and the weary waste of life—

And when, perchance, all glowing from his hand,

The landscape lives, as by a god’s command,

To see his work by some conceited ass,

Who knows a landscape, for he ’s fed on grass,

Trampled and torn, because this spot of green

He deems too faint, and that too broadly seen—

Says the perspective here is out of joint,

And this foreshortening is a case in point!

All this, the draw-back of his wily tale,

The little artist covered with a veil.

Young Damon listened, and his heart beat high—

But now a cunning archer gained his eye—

p. 215

And stealing close, he whispered in his ear,

A glowing tale, so musical and dear,

That Damon vowed, like many a panting youth,

To Love, eternal constancy and truth!

But while the whisper from his bosom broke,

A fearful image to his spirit spoke—

With frowning brow, and giant arm he stood,

Holding a glass, as if in threatening mood,

He waited but a moment for the sand,

To sweep the idle dreamer from the land!

Young Damon started, and his dream was o’er,

But to his soul, the seeming vision bore

A solemn meaning, which he could not spurn—

And youth perchance may from our fable learn,

That while the beckoning passions woo and sigh,

Time, with his ready scythe stands listening by.

[p. 216]



Black spirits and white,

Blue spirits and gray;

Mingle, mingle, mingle,

You that mingle may.


Mr. Milstead, a clergyman, who to the most sincere piety united a cultivated mind, a benevolent heart, and a cheerful and liberal disposition, had been recently appointed to a church in one of the small towns of a certain Atlantic section of the union, that shall be nameless. His wife was a young and beautiful woman, whose character harmonized in every respect with his own. They had no children; they were good managers, and Mr. Milstead soon found that his salary would not only afford them all they wanted, but that it would leave them something to give away. They became very popular with the congregation; for Mr. Milstead, though indefatigable in administering to the spiritual wants of his flock, was never unmindful of their temporal happiness, and his judicious and amiable wife went hand in hand with him in every thing.

They had not been long established in Tamerton, when Mr. and Mrs. Milstead observed with regret, that

p. 217

though the inhabitants shewed the best possible disposition to be on intimate terms with the minister and his lady, there was little sociability or familiarity among themselves. The society of Tamerton had gradually divided into numerous circles; some of these circles being so small as to comprise but one or two families. For instand, Mrs. Gutheridge, the most wealthy woman of the place, revolved entirely in her own orbit. She was the childless widow of Zephania Pelathia Gutheridge, who had for several successive sessions, filled the office of speaker, in the senate of the state legislature: an office that suited him exactly, as he had never been known to speak in the house, and very rarely out of it.

Mr. Gutheridge had long been the chief man of Tamerton, and his widow now reigned in his stead: alone in her glory, and occupant of the broadest, the longest, and the tallest white-framed domicil in the village. She was originally from the city, and of a very genteel family: her grandfather having made his fortune, quitted bricklaying, and turned gentleman long before he was superannuated. Her father had not contaminated his hands by putting them to any trade whatever: having, after he left college, attended to no other business than the care of preserving his life by studying to guard himself from all possible maladies and accidents. Therefore he died of no particular disease, at the age of thirty-four.

Mrs. Gutheridge was a large woman, with a majestic figure. She had an aquiline nose, immense black eyes, and a prominent mouth, with very good teeth. After she became a widow, she preferred remaining at

p. 218

Tamerton to removing to the city: for, like Cæsar, she thought it better to be first in a village than second at Rome. She had, however, a soverign contempt for every man, woman, and child in the neighborhood, with the exception of the clergyman and his wife, whom she tolerated, because she had heard that in England the aristocracy make a point of upholding the church, and she professed to be aristocratic in all her ways.

With the assistance of her maid, she spent an hour every day in attiring herself for her solitary dinner, and she sat down alone to her sumptuous table, ‘all drest up in rich array.’ This she called self-respect. Her abigail reported that Mrs. Gutheridge had a set of night curls for sleeping in; and that her nightcaps were far superior to any daycaps that had ever appeared in Tamerton.

She rarely walked beyond her own grounds, but she rode out i her carriage every afternoon. She was seldom seen at full length, except on Sunday morning, when she proceeded up the middle aisle of the church, swinging a magnificent reticule, and followed by her black man, carrying two magnificent books. Her pew was richly lined and carpeted, and it was surrounded by curtains through which she could peep, without being exposed to the gaze of the vulgar; for of that class she considered the whole congregation. She reminded Mr. Milstead of the sovereign of one of the Asiatic Islands, who always kept his own name a profound secret, lest it should be profaned by the utterance of his subjects.

Mrs. Gutheridge, being unquestionably at the head (or rather over the head,) of Tamerton society, the next position was occupied by the families of two lawyers,

p. 219

and the third circle consisted of three physicians: for except in Philadelphia, lawyers are generally supposed to rank doctors: but in the city of brotherly love, that point is still contested. With regard to the medical fraternity of Taerton, it might be said, in the words of Shelty, that ‘every man shook his own hand,’ for they never met in amity, and were seldom on speaking terms. Dr. Drainblood referred every disease to the head: Dr. Famishem deduced ‘all the hills that flesh is heir to,’ from the state of the stomach: and Dr. Juste Milieu, (who was a Frenchman,) maintained a strict neutrality: keeping half way between the two theories, doing neither good nor harm to his patients, and incurring the contempt and reprobation of both his fellow practitioners. He was, however, in high favor with the young ladies and the mothers; the grandmothers did not like him quite so well.

In the fourth circle were the store keepers: and they found it convenient to be tolerably friendly. Next came the tavern keepers, who were rivals and foe-men. The mechanics ll took precedence of each other: there being no reason why a carpenter should vail his bonnet to a wheelwright, why a shoemaker should do reverence to a wheelright, why a shoemaker should do reverence to a tailor, or why a butcher should succumb to a baker. As to the clerks, milliners and mantua makers, they got in where they could. The teachers got in no where: except one lady, who under the signature of Polyhymnia, supplied the weekly newspaper with odes, ‘after the manner of Pindar,’ (not Peter Pindar,) and was therefore generally invited to meet strangers, and to show them that the town of Tamerton possessed a live author.

p. 220

Let it, however, be understood that the integrity of the circles was chiefly preserved by the ladies. The gentlemen, when their wives were not by, frequently gave way to their natural dislike of restraint, and talked to ech other familiarly enough, particularly on politics: for when that subject is started, no American can possibly keep silent.

Such was the state of society in the village of Tamerton, when Mr. and Mrs. Milstead first removed thither. They soon discovered the position of affairs by visiting round among the congregation; and when the pastor and his lady perceived that they had given some dissatisfaction by not assorting the guests according to rank.

Mrs. Gutheridge kept herself entirely hors de combat, and shewed no other civility to Mr. and Mrs. Milstead, than that of coming in her carriage to leave at their door two cards printed in gold.

Mr. Milstead took occasion in one of his sermons to deprecate the sin of pride and arrogance, which he justly represented as being particularly absurd and inconvenient in a small community, every member of which was a citizen of a republic. His discourse was eloquent and impressive, and it was heard with due attention. Yet the only effect it produced was, that none of the congregation took his admonitions to themselves, but all hoped that their neighbors would.

However, Mrs. Milstead gained in popularity, and he came to the conclusion that it was best to spare any further exhortation, and to endeavor by some indirect

p. 221

means to win the people of Tamerton into habits of more sociability. Though a few individuals made some pretensions to literary taste, Mr. Milstead had observed in the majority of his congregation, a lamentable want of interest in every thing connected with that subject. He now thought of attempting the establishment of periodical reading parties, with the double view of alluring the members into a relish for book knowledge and book amusement, and of bringing the families together at least once a week; so that the points on which they founded their foolish notions of reserve and exclusiveness, might be insensibly worn away by frequent collision.

Mrs. Milstead heartily concurred in the plan, and her husband drew up proposals for the reading parties, in which it was suggested that one should take place every Wednesday commencing at the house of the pastor: the hour of assembling to be seven in the evening. The parties were, of course, to be held by housekeepers only, with the privilege of inviting who they pleased. It was very properly intimated that these meetings should be attended with no more trouble and expense than was sufficient to ensure the comfort of the guests; that the refreshments should be of the simplest description, and that the costume of the ladies should be of the same that they would wear if spending the evening with only their own families.

Mr. Milstead went round to all the respectable houses of the town, and presented his paper of proposals for the reading parties. He would have thought it scarcely worth while to apply to Mrs. Gutheridge, but he had

p. 222

understood that she sometimes did extraordinary things, when her rigid system of non-intercourse pressed so hard upon her own comfort, that human nature, (even such as hers,) could endure it no longer.

When Mr. Milstead was ushered into the presence, he found Mrs. Gutheridge spread out in a large fauteuil, with her feet on a great square cushion. Over the mantle piece was an immense mirror, so fixed that as she sat before the fire, she could survey herself from head to foot; and this was her usual occupation. Her morning dress was as elegant as a close gown and cap could possibly be. Beside her stood a table with a splendid work basket, a splendid writing case, and a splendid book; all which articles held their places as sinecures.

She received Mr. Milstead as graciously as her natural haughtiness would allow, and surprised him by promising to attend the first reading party, as it was to be at his house. Further she said not: neither did she vouchesafe to imply that the meeting should ever be held at her mansion.

Mr. Milstead then went round to the members of the congregation whom he knew to have ‘the appliances and means’ of receiving company. He explained the purport of his project with so much good sense and good humor, that he found no great difficulty in enlisting as many as he wished. It is true that there was considerable curiosity to know to whom he had already applied, and who were the persons that had agreed to join the reading society, but Mr. Milstead had tact enough, and influence enough to overrule all objections.

p. 223

On the following Wednesday evening, Mrs. Milstead’s largest room was ready for the accommodation of her guests. A table with a reading lamp was placed in the centre of the floor. On it lay several books by the best modern authors, and a few numbers of the latest periodicals.

The company assembled within a quarter past seven. Dr. Drainblood and Dr. Famishem had both excused themselves: it being impossible for them to sit down together in the same room. Dr. Juste Milieu had promised to attend ‘with all proper felicity,’ and he kept his word.

As soon as the female part of the guests were disengaged from their cloaks, hoods, and india-rubber shoes, and had taken their seats, it was proposed that the business of the evening should commence: but Mrs. Milstead suggested the propriety of waiting for the arrival of Mrs. Gutheridge. Upon this, the ladies with one accord broke out into loud invectives against Mrs. Gutheridge ‘and all her airs.’ Preposterous and incredible anecdotes were related of her pride and her insolence, and a general conspiracy was organized for the purpose of treating her ‘as if she were no better than themselves,’ and letting her know ‘that they considered her company no honor.’

The confusion of tongues was suddenly interrupted by the stopping of a carriage at the gate, and the sound of steps letting down. The ladies, who in the excitement of discussing Mrs. Gutheridge had all left their seats, now scrambled back to them; and the great woman of

p. 224

the village made her appearance, like queen Anne, in jewels and black velvet.

Mr. and Mrs. Milstead advanced to meet her: but she stopped short, and looked amazing that the fauteuil had not been left vacant for her. It was occupied by Mrs. Parley Utley, a lady that made a particular point of being always designated by her husband’s christian name, to distinguish her from her sister-in-law, Mrs. John Utley, who lived at Mobile.

Mrs. Parley Utley was the shortest, the thinnest, the dowdiest, and the most insignificant looking of all the ladies of Tamerton, and on this evening she appeared but little better than usual. Her hair had been scratched up under a cap that had neither shape nor feature: her gown was of the worst possible fit, (the belt had slipped several inches below the waist:) and her muslin collar was yellow, rumpled, and pinned awry. She often acknowledged herself to be negligent in her dress, but still she believed that somehow, she always looked well. Perhaps she went on the principle of that unfortunate line of Thomson’s, that ‘beauty when unadored is dorned the most:’ for she pretended to some reading, and called herself a bit of blue bass. Never did a woman enjoy more of the happiness of self satisfaction: for though she had a sort of vague consciousness of her deficiencies, and suspected that she was without one decided qualification that was either useful or ornamental, she still believed that after all, there was something very agreeable aobut her, and that it was impossible for people not to like her. The man that had married this woman,

p. 225

was really in all other transactions a very sensible and judicious sort of person, but somehow, he had, since the first year, been much addicted to long journeys, and long absences from home.

Mrs. Parley Utley, having rallied from the confusion into which the arrival of Mrs. Gutheridge had thrown her, sat conspicuously rocking herself in the arm-chair, and whispering to her friend, Miss Fixby, ‘Who ’s afraid? Who cares for her?’

Mr. Milstead having conducted Mrs. Gutheridge to a seat on the opposite side of the fire, there were a few moments of uncomfortable silence, which was interrupted by Mrs. Parley Utley, speaking out to her in a pert, quick voice: ‘How do you do, Mrs. Gutheridge; I suppose you found the walking very bad, this evening, as the snow is beginning to thaw.’

Mrs. Gutheridge turned her large black eyes full upon her, and gave the little woman a demolishing look. Then addressing her reply to Mr. Milstead, she uttered in her usual deep, slow tone, that was always meant to be very impressive, ‘I never walk of an evening, and rarely in the day time; I have too much self respect.’

‘Don’t you find your front parlor very cold?’ continued Mrs. Utley; ‘facing the north, as I believe it is.’

Mrs. Gutheridge again turned to Mr. Milstead: ‘There is no reason why I should allow either of my parlors to be cold; I should be wanting to myself if I did.[’]

p. 226

‘I think I did not see you at church last Sunday;’ pursued Mrs. Utley; ‘had you a cold?’

‘Are you talking to me, madam?’ replied Mrs. Gutheridge, fixing on her a look still more appalling than the last. Mrs. Parley Utley shrunk back into her shell, ceased rocking, and having brought her knitting, she sought refuge among the ladies that surrounded a work table, in another part of the room.

With the exception of Mrs. Milstead, none of the female part of the company made any farther attempt on Mrs. Gutheridge. She was too rude and too repelling even to be flattered or fawned upon. Still, though they ‘felt the iron enter their souls,’ all were glad to suffer under her, that they might afterwards boast of the honor of ‘having met Mrs. Gutheridge in company.’

There was one person, however, who came to the reading party, with a determination that no rebuff on her side, should check his attention to the wealthy widow, whom, as yet, he had seen only at a distance. This was Mr. Timmings, first and last teller in the bank of Tamerton: a little, thin, light-complexioned, small-featured old bachelor, verging on fifty-five, very spruce in his dress, and very much of a lady’s man. He was supposed to be looking out for a rich wife, a blessing which he had no doubt his numerous attractions would eventually procure him. He had in the course of his life, been in business in most of the chief cities of the Atlantic states, and had performed four bankruptcies: beginning at Boston, and proceeding down regularly along the seaboard, till he

p. 227

had failed successively in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Happy to find that he had met Mrs. Gutheridge face to face, and yet lived, Mr. Timmings was emboldened to locate himself permanently in the vicinity of her chair, and occasionally to address her with a few complimentary words. It is true that she deigned no reply: but she did not otherwise insult him, and that was something.

Mr. Milstead now prepared to open the session, and for that purpose, placed himself at the reading table, and took up a book; when Mr. Timmings stopped him hastily by saying: ‘Mr. Milstead—sir—perhaps sir—in all probability there is something that Mrs. Gutheridge would particularly prefer. Pray madam—may I presume—would you have the goodness to mention what piece you would especially recommend. Mr. Milstead, of course you will be guided by Mrs. Gutheridge’s taste.’

Mr. Milstead half closed the volume: for after this appeal he could do no less than wait for the mandate of the lady. Mrs. Gutheridge paused a moment, but as she really knew nothing of books, she prudently and haughtily replied, addressing herself to Mr. Milstead: ‘Go on, sir. It is, of course, a matter of perfect indifference to me. I should be wanting to myself if I took any interest in these things.’

Mr. Milstead colored, and the cheeks of his wife were suffused in sympathy; however, he recovered in a moment, and again opened the book, which was the Western Souvenir: a little work highly creditable to the taste and genius of our brethren beyond the

p. 228

mountains. He selected Judge Hall’s simple and thrilling tale of the Indian Hater, and read it with so much effect as completely to enchain the attention of most of his auditors; only, that in the fine passage where the backwoodsman describes with such agonized feeling the destruction of his whole family, Mrs. Neckgusset in a loud whisper asked Mrs. Hemmings across the work table for the loan of a spool No. 43, and Mrs. Scratchgather lamented audiby the present scarcity of three threaded sewing cotton.

Mrs. Milstead read next, and she chose Irving’s beautiful and affecting story of the Widow and her Son, which drew tears from the eyes of many of the audience. To be sure, Mrs. Milstead had to stop short in the heart-rending description of the burial of the poor young sailor, and to wait till a commotion at the work table had subsided; Mrs. Puckerseam having dropped her thimble, and her companions all rising at her request, and moving back their chairs to give her an immediate opportunity of seeking it on the carpet. However, the thimble was recovered, and order restored: the tale was concluded, and those who were capable of feeling it as they ought, were somewhat annoyed at the pert voice of Mr. Timmings, saying, ‘Quite pathetic!’ and at Mrs. Parley Utley foolishly observing, ‘I declare we shall all be solemnized.’

‘I vote,’ said Mr. Timmings, ‘that we now have something lively; something to brighten the eyes and bring out the smiles of the ladies, unless indeed, Mrs. Gutheridge prefers pieces of a serious cast.’

‘Pray madam,’ said Mrs. Utley, once more venturing

p. 229

on Mrs. Gutheridge, [‘]which do you like best of the two muses we used to read of in Scotch Lessons,* the one that was ever musing melancholy, or she that was full of quips and cranks?† Now I must say that for myself I am rther for quips and cranks: especially at reading parties.’

Mrs. Gutheridge turned on her an awful look, folded her arms, leaned back in her chair, and fixed her eyes on the ceiling. Mrs. Parley Utley bent her diminished head over her knitting.

Mr. Chetwin, the schoolmaster, a sensible man and an excellent reader, was sitting near her: and pitying her confusion, he said gaily; ‘Well, Mrs. Utley, I will give you something that I think you will find diverting.’ And with much spirit and humor he read Paulding’s admirable account of the night in the steam-boat, when he was so much incommoded by the presence of an inveterate snorer. A moment before Mr. Chetwin began, Dr. Juste Milieu made his appearance, having been detained during the early part of the evening by visiting a far-off patient. He took his seat between the reading-table and Mrs. Gutheridge, and was much struck by the immovable gravity of her countenance. At the first laugh, he could not forbear saying to her in his imperfect English; ‘You keep your serious!’ regarding her with a look of unfeigned surprise. Mr. Chetwin read on, and another peal of laughter again directed the french doctor’s attention towards Mrs.

*Scott’s Lessons on Elocution.

†See Milton’s Il Penseroso and L’Allegro.

p. 230

Gutheridge, and still he saw the same determined rigidity of muscle. ‘You keep your serious still,’ he exclaimed in amazement, and then murmured to himself. ‘C’est inconçévable!’

The piece concluded amid audible demonstrations of risibility, and the astonished Frenchman turning to Mr. Timmings, ejaculated; ‘En effect c’est trop, she keeps her serious all through! I protest, avec solemnité, that she is the most hard-faced lady I ever had the honor to meet with in my life.’

Mrs. Gutheridge fixed on the French doctor one of her looks of annihilation, but he now only regarded her as an object of professional study, and as such, he gazed on her face with a curiosity that nothing could repel.

Mrs. gutheridge slowly arose, and pompously advancing towards Mr. and Mrs. Milstead, she coldly took leave of them. ‘It is yet quite early, madam,’ said Mrs. Milstead, in some surprise. ‘Will you not wait till your carriage can be sent for?’ asked Mr. Milsted. ‘I shall be too happy to run up to your house, and have it brought for you, volunteered Mr. Timmings; ‘I beg you will honor me by commanding my services in every thing.’ ‘I want them not,’ replied Mrs. Gutheridge, ‘wherever I go, I always keep my carriage waiting, that I may depart whenever I please; I suppose it is still at the door.’

She stopped a moment in the hall to put on her cloak: Mr. Milstead attended her to the gate, and Mr. Timmings ran beside her. When assisting her to the carriage, he touched her arm with his hand, which she shook off; and then turning to Mr. Milstead (who said

p. 231

something implying his fear that she had not found the reading party agreeable) she replied: ‘No sir; after that person was permitted to read aloud, in the presence of a lady, a ridiculous story about a man snoring in a steam-boat, I should have been wanting to myself had I stayed. Much that was offensive to me has taken place this evening. For yourself and Mrs. Milstead, I know not that I can accuse you of any improper intentions. But, as it is, I cannot consistently with the respect that is due to myself, again run the risk of coming in contact with the people that seem likely to frequent these reading parties.’

After this tirade, which was delivered with one foot on the step of the carriage, she took her seat, coldly bowed to Mr. Milstead, and ordered her servant to shut the door.

‘Mr. Milstead,’ said Timmings, as they returned to the house. ‘This is really very unfortunate—quite a contra-temps, positively a most lamentable circumstance.’

‘Not at all;’ replied Mr. Milstead.

‘Yes sir, it is;’ reiterated Timmings, warmly. ‘To seriously offend Mrs. Gutheridge, is not a thing of so little consequence as you seem to suppose. Now to affront parley Utley’s wife, I own, would be nothing, and could not deserve a second thought. But the widow Gutheridge of Eaglebury Hall. Really, Mr. Milstead, I am surprised at you.’

‘For what?’ asked Mr. Milstead, smiling.

‘For permitting in your house, the reading of a piece that was likely to shock the refinement of such a lady as Mrs. Gutheridge.’

p. 232

‘Pho!’ returned Mr. Milstead, ‘I never supposed that she had any refinement. Her pride and insolence afford no evidence of it. But after all, the story is an excellent one, and no woman, with even a moderate degree of intellect, could possibly take exception to it. However, I am expressing myself with too much warmth. In alluding to Mrs. Gutheridge, I should rather say, ‘Alas! poor human nature!’ for most sincerely do I consider her an object of compassion.’

When the two gentlemen returned to the parlor, they heard the tongues of all the ladies going at once, and found the whole female part of the company standing round the fire, and talking of Mrs. Gutheridge in no very gentle terms: and Mr. Timmings could not even gain one assent to his assertion, that ‘it was merely her manner, and that she was certainly a splendid woman.’

Refreshments were now handed round, and Mrs. Buttercrumb, who was something of a gourmand, wondered that Mrs. Gutheridge had not stayed for them.

‘Oh! You need not suppose that she would have condescended to taste them, even if she had stayed,’ remarked Mrs. Parley Utley. ‘Proud people always behave as if they thought nothing fit to eat in any house but their own.’

After the little repast was over, Miss Ackworth, the village schoolmistress, read Mrs. Sigourney’s beautiful little poem of Henry the First of England, and read it extremely well; and then a young gentleman named Edwards amused his hearers with Francis Hopkinson’s jeu d’esprit, entitled Washing-day: a subject which came home to the feelings of every man in the room.

p. 233

Mrs. Crampton then informed the company that her daughter would read. This daughter was a pale, thin, angular looking girl of fourteen, whom Mrs. Crampton had requested permission to bring with her. The young lady had just returned from the city, whither she had been sent to complete her education at Mrs. Harrowbrain’s seminary: a large and fashionable establishment, where every thing was forced at once on the tender minds of the pupils, who were all day going from ology to ology, and all the evening trying to load their memories with the words (not ideas) that they were to repeat the next morning.

Mrs. Crampton having whispered around the room that Mary Ann had obtained, successively, two premiums for history, Mr. Milstead enquired of the young lady what she would like to read. She replied, that ‘she would read Gibbon’s decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, that being the book she was most accustomed to at Mrs. Harrowbrain’s.’ Mr. Milstead brought the first volume from his library, and laid it before Miss Mary Ann, expecting that she had in view some particular passage. But the capability of selecting was not to be found in the over-worked and deadened mind of the poor girl, and her benumbed understanding was now incapable of the slightest original effort. So she regularly began at the first chapter, and regularly read on till she had set one half of her audience to nodding, and Mrs. Parley Utley to sleeping outright. This truly ‘dull lecture,’ continued till the well-watched hands of the clock pointed to the hour of retiring: and then all the company made a simultaneous movement

p. 234

indicative of departure; Mrs. Utley awaking and rubbing her eyes, and assuring Miss Mary Ann that she could have listened all night to her delightful reading.

Before the company broke up, Mrs. Parley Utley invited them all to meet at her house on the following Wednesday, by which time she promised them that her husband (who was, as usual, absent on business,) would certainly be at home.

Accordingly, on the next Wednesday evening, the reading-party assembled at Mrs. Utley’s. Mr. Parley Utley had not yet returned: his wife declaring, in the simplicity of her folly, that she was not at all disappointed, as whenever he went from home he always enjoyed himself so much that he never knew when to get back again. This no one could possibly doubt who was acquainted with Mrs Utley as a wife, mother and housekeeper. In the latter capacity she was especially deficient: for though she spent, or rather wasted more money than any woman in the village, yet such was her indolence and mismanagement that every thing on her establishment betokened discomfort. Like all bad housewives, she always had bad servants, and frequently no servants at all. As a set off to these manifold failings, she possessed the redeeming qualities of a smiling manner, a good temper, and a disposition to make herself agreeable, (as far as she knw how,) to every body that treated her with civility.

On the appointed evening, she received her company with a very pleasant countenance, apologizing for the badness of the fire, which had not been replenished in due season; and for the disorder of the room, her

p. 235

children having as she said, turned every thing topsy turvy. Her children were eight in number, and all were present except the baby, and one that was almost a baby: the six elder ones having been promised by their mother that they should sit up to the party. They were all palpably dirty and dowdy, therefore Mrs. Utley need not have taken the trouble to inform the company that ‘somehow, her children were never fit to be seen.’ Several of them on the entrance of Mr. and Mrs. Milstead, who were the first arrivals, called out. [sic] ‘Ma’ has the party begun now?’

We need not specify that the children were very troublesome and extremely inconvenient all the evening.

Mrs. Utley in her good-nature, had invited a large proportion of honorary members, and many of them were persons whom Mr. Milstead was surprised to meet at any thing denominated a reading party.

‘I suppose,’ said one of the ladies, ‘we are not to expect the honor of Mrs. Gutheridge’s company this evening.’

‘Oh! no, certainly not!’ was the general exclamation.

‘I had the pleasure of seeing the lady this morning,’ said Mrs. Timmings. ‘I met her walking.’

‘Wonderful!’ cried Mrs. Utley, ‘her horses must be lame. But after all, I dare say she sometimes does walk.’

‘I had the honor,’ pursued Mr. Timmings, conceitedly, ‘of calling off a dog that ran out from a gate, and barked at her.’

‘Really,’ asked Mr. Edwards, ‘and what did she say in return for your civility?’

p. 236

‘Oh! nothing,’ replied Timmings, looking foolish, she merely said, ‘Let the dog alone.’

Mrs. Parley Utley then proposed commencing the duties of the evening, and took her seat at the reading table. She selected from a magazine, a weak, insipid, unmeaning tale, called ‘The Unheard Of,’ a fair specimen of the thousand and one stories of Italy, that are scattered through the periodicals, and are descriptive of murderous noblemen, sentimental cottagers, diabolical monks, and graceful robbers. Though the time of the narrative was in the thirteenth century, and the scene in Calabria Ulterior, the author had prudently avoided giving names at full length, the monk being incog. all through, and not discovered even at the denouement; and the other characters were designated as Il Marches F—, Il Contessa D—, Giulietta M—, Giovanni D—, &c.

While Mrs. Utley was favoring the company with this story, her son Johnny swung on the back of her chair, trying to overset her: and her youngest girl rolled on the floor at her feet, pulling off and on her mother’s shoes.

The room was lighted with candles, as Mrs. Utley said that her lamps were out of order, as usual: and one of the amusements of her boy Billy was to snuff the candles incessantly and scatter the snuff all about. The other children dispersed themselves among the company, performing various feats of annoyance.

Mr. Milstead read, in his usual excellent manner, Cooper’s admirable description of the wreck of the Ariel. Miss Ackworth, the poetical schoolmistress, was then

p. 237

invited to read by Mrs. Utley, who thought it very witty to address her as Miss Polly Himmany. Miss Ackworth read with much taste and feeling Miss Milford’s [sic] exquisite little poem of the Young Novice, Bridget Plantaganet [sic].

She was followed by Mr. Barkaway, who volunteered to read, notwithstanding that, as he said, ‘he was laboring under a severe cough.’ His selection was Alexander’s Feast, which he got through with much difficulty: his cough being particularly loud and troublesome at the line, ‘Softly sweet in Lydian measure.’ And when he described Darius as ‘Fall’n, fall’n, fall’n from his high estate,’ Billy Utley added greatly to the effect, by knocking one of the candles off the table as he snuffed out the other.

The next readers were Mr. Snitterby and Mr. Sniffin, two friends that always hunted in couples. Mr. Snitterby had a cold in his head; so had Mr. Sniffin. Nevertheless, they persisted in reading together in dialogue, the prison scene between Alonzo and Rolla. Luckily it was short.

They were followed by Mr. Ugford, an immensely large man, tall and stout, with a black shock head, black beetling eyebrows, and tremendous black whiskers. He had brought a volume of his favorite Wordsworth, that he might gratify the company with the Pet Lamb, and he began in a Stentorian tone:

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink,

I heard a voice, it said, ‘Drink, pretty creature, drink.’

After him came little Mr. Timmings, who with his

p. 238

small, mild features, and sharp, weak tones, chose the Battle of Hohenlinden; and as he rose into a squeak at the lines,

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,

Then rush’d the steed to battle driven,

And louder than the bolts of heaven,

Far flash’d the red artillery,

Billy’s apron caught fire, and there was a general disturbance in extinguishing it.

Mrs. Parley Utley then said that she believed the best way to keep the children quiet, was to have the refreshments brought in. In fact, they had been loudly teazing [sic] during the last hour, to know when the almonds and raisins were coming. The mother then distributed handfuls to the children, before the waiters were carried round to the company, saying to the other mothers, ‘Poor dears; any thing to keep them quiet, you know’ The almonds and raisins now afforded occupation to the children, till they all became so tired and sleepy that they could keep up no longer. Not that they were taken to bed, but they ‘addressed themselves to repose’ under the table, on the sofa, or wherever they could.

Peace being restored, the reading went on.

There was among the guests this evening, Mr. Binnage, a farmer, whose domain was at the other end of Tamerton. He had stayed away from the first reading party, in consequence of his new suit not having come from the tailor’s: wishing, as he said, to make a respectable appearance, and not disgrace himself or the company. He was now in full costume; clean-shaved, and his hair combed smooth. He kept his right hand

p. 239

continually fumbling in his coat pocket, particularly whenever a piece was concluded: at which time, also, he drew his chair nearer to the table. His comment upon every successive article was always something in this way:

‘Well, now—I must say that ’s very good. It is not every body that knows how to read out loud. To be sure I never had much booktionary knowledge, but still I know what good reading is. And there are some people that can read as well as others, even if they are not quite up to all sorts of bells letters.’

This was repeated so often, that it attracted the attention of Mr. Milstead. Observing that the farmer had half drawn a book from the deep recess of his pocket, and was keeping his thumb in it, Mr. Milstead said to him in a low voice, ‘Perhaps, Mr. Binnage, you wish to read?’

‘To be sure I do;’ replied the farmer, ‘what else did I come here for?’

‘Mr. Edwards is the next reader,’ said Mr. Milstead; ‘he is just about to commence. When he has finished, we shall be happy to hear you.’

Mr. Edwards, who read admirably, began Bryant’s spirited and beautiful little poem of ‘Marion and his Men[.]’ The farmer started at the first line, turned very red, sat uneasily on his chair, took his book quite out of his pocket, opened it, shut it, and seemed extremely uncomfortable. He could scarcely restrain himself till Mr. Edwards had concluded his reading, and he then broke out: ‘Well, sir, I must say you have not treated me like a gentleman.’

p. 240

‘How, sir?’ enquired Mr. Edwards, much surprised. ‘Why, sir,’ replied the farmer, ‘what right had you to cheat me out of my poem? That ’s the very thing I had set my mind upon reading myself. I cut it out of a newspaper when it was going the rounds, and liked it above all things, because my father was one of Marion’s men. Many a winter’s evening have I sat upon the bench in the chimney, and heard him tell about brave old Frank. And I was very glad when I found there were verses written concerning him. And such verses as these are enough to make soldiers of every body. I don’t pretend to be a booktionary man, but I have sense enough to know good verses when I see them. So as soon as I heard that they were printed in Bryant’s Poems, I bought the book without objecting to the price. And I brought it here to read out of, because I thought it would not look well to read out of a scrap of newspaper. There I have been studying this poem this two weeks, of evenings and all my spare time, and marking what words should be read high and what words low, and what fast and what slow. And I have been taking my wife’s advice upon it; for she is a very good scholar. So I had got it all exactly right, and my wife (who could not come out to night because of a fresh rheumatism,) is quite disappointed at not being here to hear me; for she says I can now read it equal to any play-actor; and I intended to give the whole company a surprise. So now another man ’s read my poem instead of me, and I have lost my chance’

Mr. Edwards, on hearing this explanation from the honest farmer, was seriously sorry that he had uncon-

p. 241

sciously anticipated him: and apologized on the plea of his entire ignorance of Mr. Binnage’s intention, expressing his regret at not having been apprized of it as soon as he began to read. ‘Why, sir,’ said the farmer, warmly, ‘do you take me for a mere bushwhacker? do you suppose I had no more manners than to interrupt a gentleman in his reading?’

‘Is there nothing else that you would like to read?’ asked Mr. Milstead, kindly.

‘No, sir—nothing;’ replied the mortified farmer. ‘[I am] not like you that can read off a thing at once, whether you are used to it or no. And, indeed, this poem of Marion and his Men, is the only piece I ever did set my mind on reading: because, as I say, my father was one of the very men himself, and, of course then, I could read it much better than any body else.’

‘We must all look for disappointments in this life,’ said Mrs. Parley Utley, demurely.

Mr. Milstead, with his usual address, soon succeeded in pacifying the poor farmer, and bringing him to shake hands with Mr. Edwards: who privately proposed to assist him in studying any piece that he might wish to read at the next meeting. But Mr. Binnage declined the offer: saying that as he had lost the opportunity of Marion and his Men, he was quite discouraged, and should never again prepare himself for reading any thing in company. However, to show that he did not bear malice, he punctually attended all the subsequent reading parties.

Mrs. Gutheridge appeared no more at these assemblages, and Mr. Timmings dropped off after the second.

p. 242

He was now seldom seen in company, but occasionally some one ‘prated of his whereabout.’ The Miss Rambleroads reported that they often saw him prowling round Mrs. Gutheridge’s premises: that one day he ventured so far as to lean over her front gate, and fix his eyes on her parlor windows; and that the lady raised the sash, and called to the gardener, and bade him ‘ask that man what he wanted?’ Upon which, Mr. Timmings sneaked off round the corner. And Miss Quickscent was close behind her, when Mrs. Gutheridge in coming out of church dropped her laced and embroidered pocket handkerchief, which Mr. Timmings ran hastily to pick up, oversetting in his career two little girls and a boy. Miss Quickscent deposed that the widow received the handkerchief on the end of her fore finger, and then turned to her servant saying, ‘Here, Peter, you may take this handkerchief to your wife. I should be wanting to myself were I ever to use it again.’

We should far exceed the limits allotted to our narrative, and most probably tire the patience of our readers, were we to enter into any further particulars of the proceedings of the Tamerton Reading Parties. Gradually, the original plan became perverted, and the avowed purpose of the meetings sunk into a matter of minor consideration.

The Scrapefield family, the least opulent of the reading society, had their refreshments in the most expensive style, to show that they were not poor; handing round in abundance, jellies, ice creams, wine, liqueurs, and plumb cake. After this, their example

p. 243

was followed, and it was thought expedient that at every meeting, the entertainment, as they called it, should be more and more sumptuous.

The Miss Dodcombs, having returned from town with great accessions to their wardrobes, sported ball dresses at one of the parties: and from that night, all the young ladies came in thin frocks, bare necks, and flowers; and the elder ones appeared in their best silks, and got new dress caps.

At the close of one of the reading evenings, Mr. Hopkins proposed an extempore cotillon. This was eagerly acceded to by all the young people. There was no piano: but Mis Skreakington and Mr. Quobly volunteered to sing for the dancers; the one performing treble, the other enacting bass. The vocalists proceeded steadily through all the varieties of ‘La la lalla, la la lay. La lalla lalla, la la lay. Lally lally lally, lally lally lay, &c.’ till Mr. Milstead disturbed their gravity by remarking that he admired the cotillon very much, particularly the words.

At the next assembly, there was visible impatience in the lady of the house and the young people, to get the reading party over as soon as possible. Only three or four of the guests were asked to read, and hints were given, that in the choice of pieces, brevity was desirable. As soon as they had gotten through, the centre-table was moved into a corner, the carpet was rolled away (the tacks having been extracted, and the floor prepared in the morning,) most of the chairs were carried out of the room, the fire was nearly extinguished, the scraping of a fiddle was heard in the entry, and black Cæsar, the

p. 244

village Paganini, was ushered into the parlor, and enthroned on a high stool near the door. Cotillons were then the order of the night.

From that time the reading parties were only so in name: none but Mr. and Mrs. Milstead being invited to read after the host or hostess had made a beginning. They were virtually converted into dancing assemblies, with the usual concomitants of ball-dresses and ball-refreshments. Having been the first proposers of the parties, Mr. and Mrs. Milstead were unwilling to withdraw from them entirely, till the season was over, but they now rarely stayed more than an hour.

At length the spring set in, and as the pastor and his lady were going home from the last party, Mrs. Milstead lamented that the ostensible object of the meetings should have been so strangely lost sight of: deducing the cause from the incontrovertible fact, that but few of the congregation were capable of deriving much pleasure from any thing connected with books.

‘True, my dear,’ replied Mr. Milstead, ‘but, after all, one of our chief designs has been successfully accomplished. These parties have certainly been the means of putting the families on a more sociable footing, and inducing a more friendly state of feeling towards each other. If the younger members of the company did not take as much interest in the reading as they might have done, they probably found those meetings very much to their satisfaction in other respects. You know we have observed indications of at least half a dozen courtships, possible, probable, and positive. Nay, I have already been bespoken in my clerical

p. 245

capacity by no less than three couple. To say the truth, I had little hope of improving the literary taste of my congregation, but I rejoice to have done some good, though indirectly, in breaking down the ridiculous barriers which they had absurdly set up against each other.’

A few days after the final reading-party, a note arrived for Mr. Milstead just as he quitted the breakfast table. He read it with a smile, then put it up and took his hat to go out. His wife enquired from whom the note came. He replied, ‘You shall know very shortly: but it concludes with an injunction of secrecy, which for the present must be complied with.’

He then left the house, and walked up the main street.

In little more than half an hour he returned, and he had scarcely entered the front door, when the sound of wheels induced Mrs. Milstead to raise her eyes to the window. She saw the carriage of Mrs. Gutheridge drive rapidly past, with trunks behind, and curtains up: and in it, side by side, sat the lady and Mr. Timmings.

‘What can this mean!’ exclaimed Mrs. Milstead, ‘Mrs. Gutheridge going to town, and Mr. Timmings with her!’

‘And he will return with her also,’ said Mr. Milstead, ‘for I have just converted her into Mrs. Timmings!’

[p. 246]



Job Fustick was the very merriest dog

Of any in the city—

He never car’d for fog

Or failure:

And certainly ’t was farthest from a ditty,

To see him make a face or tell a story:

Much did he in his humor glory—

He would particularly nail ye!

Job was a Dyer—

A man of very dark and reputable calling:

His uncle Hezekiah,

To save him from the gaol

Into which Job was falling,

Had suddenly turn’d pale,

And sunk ill

Upon the bed from which he did’nt rise—

But as he closed his eyes,

(This uncle)

‘My dear, wild Job,’—he said,

‘Being about to part,

You have a legacy of my black art,

By which to make your bread:

Grow steady—

p. 247

And, Job, to dye, be always ready’—

Job cried.

He mumbled out—‘aye—aye’

And so his uncle died.

Finding he was past taking color,

(And not to tire,)

To keep himself from growing duller,

Job buried Hezekiah.

Now, working at his trade,

Our wag had quite a fortune made,

And not to do himself to death,

Grown fat, and short of breath,

Went to his dye-house only once a week;

For, independent as a Greek,

He car’d not when he rose,

Or went to bed;

And such a curious life he led,

(Being for othodox [sic] no stickler,)

He thought it not partic’lar

To mention at what time he’d dip the clothes.

So at all times of night,

As well as day,

His customers would come, and make such fray

As any common man would fright,

Tho’ dull ear’d,

Merely to see,

Who should have precedency

In being colored.

p. 248

Grown patient of the noise, Job never chid,

Or even woke;

Or if he did,

He never spoke.

At length by some reverse

In pot and purse,

Job, feeling rather sinkish,

Determin’d to relinquish.

For hark’ee!—not to flatter,

This rainbow kind of life,

Together with his wife,

As plain as any glass could speak,

Began to take the coloring matter,

From either cheek.

So, finding by good chance

A little nervous man of France,

He took an opportunity to let

His house.

And still as any mouse,

(After the hire,)

Without a notice by Gazette,

Or crier,

Or any other way,

He took his leave one day,

And moved up street, a few doors higher.

Job felt a wicked fun

To think he had not advertized;

Thought he, ‘as sure as gun

p. 249

They’ll make a clatter—

He’ll be most shockingly surprized!—

Right—lord! how they will bawl

At this poor d—l of a Gaul—

No matter!’

It happened about twelve o’clock,

Or thereabouts,

Monsieur awoke;

He listen’d—there were shouts,

And then a knock—

And after,

A rattling peal of laughter—

At last one spoke.

‘Halloo! there—master Job!

I’ve travelled half the globe

In trying

To find some reasonable dog

To do my dyeing.

Get up, if you’ve a soul’—

(The Frenchman doubted,)

But thought it best, upon the whole,

To out head.

Just then, another luckless wight

Who came that night,

Commenced, as usual at the door,

To cry ‘Job—Job’—o’er and o’er.

‘Confound ye, Job—why dont [sic] you come?’

Was still the cry!

But Job was very slow—

‘I tell ye, Job, I want to know

p. 250

When you intend to dye!’—

Monsieur felt very sick—

His sight grew thick.

‘Die! die! messieurs—mon Dieu!

I mean no die—parbleu!’

‘Dye blue!’—another cried,

‘There, Job, you lied—

Come, no excuses borrow—

You promised me, you sinner, you,

You would dye black, to-morrow.’

The Frenchman felt unpleasantly numb—

He thought his time was come.

Another fellow with his bundle came,

A witty one—and lame.

‘Good Mr. Fustick,’ said this one,

‘I’ve hither run,

Half limping—and half flying,

To know, what time to-morrow, by the sun

You will be dyeing.’

The Frenchman struck his bristling head,

Merely to see

If he might dead

Or living be!

For tho’ these calls in daylight might be civil,

Just at this murky hour

They had the power

Poor monsieur’s nerves to overwhelm;—

He thought each mother’s son of them,

The D—l!

Another fellow came;

‘Good Mr. Job—if that’s your name—

p. 251

I call you solemnly;

Get up and see

If you as well as not can dye for me.’

That ended,

the case was no wise mended,

When quick another cried,

‘Lord bless us!

He is’nt worth the winning!—

I saw him when he dyed,

No longer than three days ago—

How he would dress us!

He cheats! men—cheats—aye—say I told ye so,

His life has been a black—blue—purple sinning—

He cant [sic] dye decently!’

This certainly was high-toned;

The Frenchman groaned.

Another came in haste,

He said he had no time to wste;

‘But all, friend Job, I seek,

And shall be trying,

As for you just to put off dyeing

Until next week.’

As you would probably have guess’d,

The Frenchman acquiesced.

At last a noisy fellow

Louder than all the rest did bellow—

‘Be ready, Job, by St. Paul’s chime,

To dye in four hours from this time—

I give you a fair warning,

You laughing, wicked, lazy, color’d rogue,

(This was but half the catalogue)

p. 252

To be up in the morning;

For by the love of Moses,

You’ll know it to your sorrow,

As sure as you and I’ve got noses

If you dont dye to-morrow!’

This was enough—

Indeed ’twas shocking—

For a lean Frenchman, made of penetrable stuff,

’Twas sorry joking;—

He felt that he was going

With some considerable rapidity,

And knowing

The only way to be,

In which to save his life,

Was calling of his wife,

He naturally fell crying

‘Ma chere!—ma chere!—

Vill you be slow come here—

I dying—dying!

His wife was lame—

Of course it was some time before she came.

And when she did,

She heard some fellow at the door

In accents surly,

(and not to let the truth be hid—

’Twas Job himself—alone—)

‘Why Job—you certainly are coming on—

’Tis what you never did before;’

(And then he sword,)

‘You never used to dye one half so early!’

p. 253

The Frenchman went to bed,

And charg’d his wife, when next those scoundrels came,

To stop their shameful crying,

To tell them to the head

That he was dying—

Or what was just the same,

’Twould be a miscellaneous kind of lying—

That he was dead.

G. Mellen.



And thou wert Ireland’s martyr! Thou the fond,

The true in heart, fair scion of the tree

Which o’er that land long waved, and lifted free

Its noble branches. Thou when but a wand,

Transplanted to our country’s strand, took root

In liberty’s rich mould, and when once more,

Thou wert removed to thy loved native shore,

Fair freedom’s soil still clung to every shoot.

Thou, when oppression’s tempest fiercely swept

Over the Emerald Isle, didst strive to shield

Her sons from all its fury, nor didst yield

Until in death’s embrace thou calmly slept.

In life, thy country, and her glorious past,

Were dear to thee, still dearer, till the last.

[p. 254]


Oh! give me not unmeaning smiles,

Though worldly clouds may fly before them,

But let me see the sweet blue isles

Of radiant eyes when tears wash o’er them.

Though small the fount where they begin,

They form, ’tis thought in many a sonnet,

A flood to drown our sense of sin;

But oh! Love’s ark still floats upon it.

Then give me tears, oh! hide not one;

The best affections are but flowers

That faint beneath the fervid sun,

And languish once a day for showers.

Yet peril lurks in every gem,

For tears are worse than swords in slaughter,

And bards are still subdued by them

As humming birds are shot with water.



a young white woman looks out at you
Engraved by Cheney.
Published by Chas. Bowen.

Printed by R. Andrews.

[p. 255]


The numerous lamps which illuminated the road leading from St. Petersburgh to the magnificent palace of Czarsko-zelo, shining upon the columns of marble and jasper, which mark the wersts; the splendidly attired horsemen galloping all in one direction over the frozen ground; the innumerable sledges that skimmed along the road with the speed of light; their musical peals of bells without, and still gayer peals of laughter from the furred and masked inmates within; all announced, that Catharine the Autocratrix and her sumptuous court, were holding revelry that night. Every succeeding mile presented a pyramid of lamps, before which were erected booths, where the peasants of each nation in the civilized or uncivilized world seemed successively to have congregated, in honor of the Imperial fête. Sometimes, the cavalcade drew up to admire a party of fair-haired Brunswickers, with their high caps and laced boddices, [sic] waltzing to the sound of the horn; then their attention was attracted by a group of Italian peasants singing in chorus a Venetian Barcarole, little in unison with the blazing fires before which they warmed their freezing fingers; or again by a band of warlike Cossacks stamping the frozen ground in time to their barbarous and clanging music.

The foremost sledge advanced with astonishing rapidity. It was drawn by twenty fiery horses, whose brilliant caparisons, together with the splendor of the

p. 256

guards galloping with lighted torches on either side, announced a royal freight. As it approached, the whole multitude, Italians, Cossacks, Germans, Poles and Russians, fell prostrate with their faces to the ground. Two thousand sledges followed in rapid succession. Within half a mile of the palace, a burning mountain, no mimic representation of Vesuvius, vomited forth torrents of flame; and loud cries of admiration, and smothered shrieks of fear, real or affected, were heard from the fair Russians, as swiftly the joyous cavalcade swept along its base.

At the extremity of a thick forest, whose gloom was banished by temporary illumination, appeared Czarsko-zelo, the grandest of Imperial palaces; stretching forth in one vast amphitheatre of light; while Chinese temples, villages and bridges, English gardens, Turkish mosques, artifical lakes, Egyptian pyramids and marble obelisks, shone forth in dazzling and grotesque splendor as far as the eye could reach.

This night the interior of the palace realized in its gigantic and Asiatic luxury, the gorgeous imaginings of Eastern romancers. The long and lofty galleries, the number and size of the apartments, the countless multitude by which these were filled; the gorgeous dresses of the ladies and of the young grandees, who performed in appropriate costume the national dances of each country, Chinese, Turks, Armenians, Persians, Cosscks; all vying with each other in the splendor of their dress and diamonds; the glittering halls of banquet, the flowers, music and jewelry; the whole scene was on a scale of fabulous splendor, and she, at

p. 257

whose frown that multitude trembled; in whose smile they rejoiced, what marvel if from their lofty elevation they seemed to her mental eye as a generation of pygmies, whose destinies she was born to wield en masse!

At midnight the Empress took off her domino, and her example was followed by her ladies in waiting. The spacious hall destined for the reception alone of the êlite of rank and royalty, was suddenly thrown open; while the less favored mortals, rushing to the galleries, beheld from afar in awe-struck admiration, the golden banquet, which seemed to their wondering eyes like the hallowed council of Olympus. Prince Henry of Prussia, formal as an antique effigy in armor, took the offered hand of the Empress, and placed himself by her side, and as she bent towards him in smiling majesty, all eyes were turned on the Imperial countenance.

Catharine of Russia, colossal alike in her greatness, her political wisdom and her crimes, was now at the summit of her fortunes, and in the prime of womanhood. Her person was large, though in stature she was somewhat below the middle height. Her hair was auburn, her eyes of a deep blue. When serious, her dark brow, aquiline nose and serene but lofty demeanor, bespoke a severity befitting the sovereign of all the Russias; but when she unclosed her lips, and unbent into a smile, she seemed the very embodying of gracious condescension. Yet her countenance had little defined expression. In viewing its perfect calmness and serenity, no one could discover what tempestuous

p. 258

thoughts might lurk beneath that perfect repose. She was habited this evening as Cleopatra; and each gem that glittered in her tiara or on her girdle, were a gift well worthy a Sultan’s munificence.

When the banquet was drawing to a close, and the health of the various European sovereigns had been proposed by the Imperial hostess, and drank with enthusiasm, the greater perhaps that they were pledged by some of the mustachio’d guests in a liquor which the unitiated [sic] in the galleries deemed nectar, but which on a closer inspection might have proved to be brandy; the Countess Nariskkin unclasped from the neck of the Empress the order of St. Andrew, covered with large diamonds. Catharine hung it herself over the shoulders of the Prussian prince, who received it on bended knee. Then from her glittering fingers she drew a ring valued at forty thousand roubles, and containing her miniature. Again the formal Prince bent over the fair hand which thus lavished favors on him, while the noble guests smiled at the royal gallantry; and all the masked visages and bushy beards and jewelled heads and nodding plumes round the galleries seemed in a flutter of intense admiration. They could not indeed hear the aside of the Princess, as wiith one of those benignant smiles peculiar to the ‘Mother of the Country,’ she leant towards Prince Henry, whose thoughts seemed divided between his uniform and his brandy-cherries; ‘Ainsi soit-il! I will frighten Turkey; I will flatter England; you shall bribe Austria, and she shall lull France into apathy, and now for the Mazurka.’ The Prince led the Empress

p. 259

from the banquetting room, and the dismemberment of Poland was agreed upon to the sounds of horn and clarionet. [sic]

A discharge of cannon, and the assembly were in darkness. The Empress and her ladies rushed to the windows, followed by thousands. One could have fancied the dominions of the fire-king. Trees of fire waved their resplendent foliage. Fiery arches from whence issued innumerable blazing balls and streams of light seemed to threaten Heaven and earth with destruction. Fire was around, above, beneath, streaming and shooting and sparkling in every fantastic variety, and mocking the dull dominion of night. At a second discharge of artillery the darkened apartments became re-illumined as by enchantment. Dancing re-commenced with renewed gaiety, and daylight was glittering over mosque and turret before Catharine retired to her Hermitage.

It was one of those clear and dazzling mornings peculiar to a northern latitude, when the sun’s brightest rays adorn without disturbing the domain of winter, awakening the dull frost into brightness, and glittering on the fantastic icicles. The Empress, refreshed from her fatigues by a short sleep and a slight breakfast, stood in her palace garden unattended and in an attitude of profound meditation. It seemed as if earthly despotism had for once overruled nature herself; for while the forest trees in the distance were bending under a weight of snow, here roses and hyacinths were blooming around in all the luxuriance of summer, and amongst peaches and nectarines and the pink blossoms of the almond

p. 260

tree, birds of rare plumage and bright wing chirped their matin-song and carolled as gaily as if in their own sunny climes; verdant was the foliage of the trees, and bright the green leaves underneath. The Empress sat down under the shade of a flowering catalpa. Beside her lay an open volume of Didérot. She wore a green dress with close sleeves; her hair, slightly powdered, fell over her shoulders; and as she held out a downy peach which had fallen from a neighboring tree, a little purple winged bird alighted on her finger and pecked the fruit. Never was there a more perfect picture of feminine gentleness and mild, retiring philosophy!

The sudden approach of hasty footsteps put her feathered companion to flight; and a figure of nearly gigantic dimensions, the very personification of a northern Hercules, booted and spurred, moustaches on his lip and a diamond star at his button-hole, knelt before her. The Empress uttered an exclamation of joy, and stretching out her hand, cordially welcomed the Count Alexis Orloff, the conqueror of the Turks, the murderer of her husband, the most devoted and faithful of her subjects.

Orloff was the bearer of good tidings. Fortune smiled upon the northern Minerva. Her armies were victorious by land, her fleets rode the seas triumphant. The Crescent hd grown pale before the Eagle.

‘And have you,’ said the Empress after a pause in their long and confidential conversation, ‘attended to my desire in regard to the paintings representing the conflagration of the Turkish fleet?’ ‘Your Majesty’s orders are obeyed,’ said Orloff. ‘The fellow ventured

p. 261

to complain that he had never seen a ship blow up. I soon remedied that matter[.]’ ‘How?’ ‘Ordered a vessel to be blown up immediately in the port of Leghorn; and made him stand on the beach and draw it.’ ‘A hazardous experiment in the cause of the beaux arts,’ said the Empress smiling. ‘There is yet one circumstance which troubles me, good Orloff, and once more I must employ you, and in a more delicate service.’

‘Name it. My life is your majesty’s.’

‘I have indeed ever found you and your family ready to hazard life at my desire; and you have not found, nor shall you ever find me an ungrateful mistress. But this is a matter requiring much tact, discernment, and above all, secrecy. You have no doubt heard of a child, whom Radziwill, in a moment of spleen, would have brought forward as a rival to myself?’

‘The daughter of the late Empress? She whom they call the Princess Tarakanoff?’

‘The same. To further his treasonable views he brought her to Rome. To save his possessions, he agreed to abandon her to her fate. Like all vile souls, he took temporizing measures, and while he thus consents to leave her in poverty and almost in starvation, he yet refuses to deliver her into my power. Now, good Orloff, while this child lives free, I feel my throne insecure. You smile, but you are not aware of the depth of that smothered love yet burning in every Russian breast for the lineal descendants of Peter the Great. The name of the daughter of Elizabeth once spoken, would act like a watch-word from one end of our Empire to the other. That name must not be spoken. The girl must be removed.’

p. 262

‘She shall be so. Your majesty’s will is my law, now as ever. With the first fair wind, I sail for Leghorn.’

So saying, Orloff departed, and the Empress, apparently dismissing the subject from her imperial mind, returned to her birds and Didérot.

* * * * * * *

At the corner of a narrow, miserable and nearly uninhabited stret in the outskirts of Rome, and not far from the once famed Tarpeian rock, stood a tall, dark, suspicious looking house, at the top of which, up three pair of ruined stairs, was a small apartment, chiefly celebrated as having been the scene of an atrocious assassination, the perpetrators of which had escaped the vigilance of the Roman sbirri. The present proprietor of this uninviting domain, whose father hadd thus been murdered in his bed for the sake of a few piastres, had gladly closed with the offer of the first unhappy being who had become possessed with the desire of inhabiting his wretched tenement; and the more so, as besides its natural disadvantages, it possessed the disagreeable reputation of being a supernatural locale, seeing that unavenged ghosts rest not.

In this miserable room, one lamp was dimly burning, and shedding its flickering light over the inmates. Close to the chimney, sat an old lady in a high backed wooden chair, rocking herself to and fro in an attitude of uneasy drowsiness, and muttering her prayers in a semi-barbarous tongue. The waning light shone upon the face of a young girl, seated before a broken table and leaning her head upon her hands, her eyes sadly

p. 263

fixed upon the decaying embers of a small wood fire. Her countenance was so lovely, so youthful and so expressive of grief, that a mournful history might be traced in its every lineament. It was no Italian face. A profusion of fair hair, with the slight tinge of gold which guido loved, eyes of a bright and clear blue, shining sweetly even through the tear drops that would have dimmed them, a mouth like a half blown rose bud, and a complexion of dazzling fairness, all shewed the child of some more northern cline. Her dress was a loose black robe, something like those worn by the female pilgrims; and a bright diamond ring, which assorted ill with the poverty of her garb, sparkled on her white and slender hand.

‘Kathinka, are you hungry?’

‘No my child, no, light of my eyes. And if I were, have we not the remains of our last night’s supper?’ ‘Let me see. A piece of brown loaf, some cold macaroni. Well, we shall not starve this night. I wonder what the Empress has at her table now. Kathinka, were I Empress, you shall hear what I would have for supper.’

‘Hush, my child, better a pure heart and scanty fare’

‘True, were that all; but without a prospect before us! Alas! Alas! that we ever left Russia, ever listened to the specious Radziwill. We were so happy, my little brothers and I in our lonely castle under the tall forest trees, or in our little sledge with its merry bells. And if summer were short, it was so bright and beautiful! But this dark, dismal garret, where the very spirit seems pent up and shrunk, that

p. 264

melancholy burial ground with its scattered cypresses, which bounds our prospects, even as the grave holds out in truth our only hope of peace and rest, that sad and ominous chanting, the only interruption to the eternal silence! and then to sell one by one each memento of past happiness, all passing away into the hands of the stranger. And now this ring must go too, it must Kathinka, though I have kept it to the very last, my mother’s gift, the only remaining emblem of a royal house.’ And the tears burst from between her slender fingers, which want and confinement had made so white and transparent.

Hark! the mighty clock of St. Peter’s tolled the midnight chime. ‘Now, good Kathinka,’ said the Princess, drawing her chair close to that of her gouvernante, and raking together the expiring embers, ‘tell me one of those stories which we used to listen to in the large hall, on the long winter evenings, when we would shudder, and creep close to you, and yet pray you to go on. Let it be of the death of Prince Iwan, or—no! that comes too much home to me. Tell me of the spectre Knight in the Black Forest. It will pass the time, and I have no mind for slumber.’

“Once upon a time,” said Kathinka, “there dwelt upon the borders of the Black Forest, an aged man, who had but one daughter, whom he tenderly loved. They lived together in total seclusion, yet undisturbed in their solitude, since it was well known that they had no riches. But one night, it might be about this hour, a low knock was heard at the cottage door,—” ‘Holy Virgin! What noise was that! the saints

p. 265

protect us! A footstep on the stairs!’ ‘Fear nothing!’ said the Princess, who felt that the entrance of old Giacomo’s ghost could hardly fail to better their situation. ‘We are like the old man and his daughter, too poor to rob.’ But the old woman sunk back in her chair, devoutly crossing herself, a thousand stories of Italian banditti and midnight murderers, rushing upon her imagination. There was a knock at the door, another! ‘Come in,’ said the clear youthful voice of the Princess. ‘By the soul of Peter the Great!’ cried Kathinka, ‘the child is distracted! Holy St. Nicholas, protect us! Sweet St. Sergius be our aid!’

But at the inviting sound, the door was gently turned on its hinges, and a young military man, with a dark, Italian countenance, though wearing the Russian uniform, entered the room. He looked round him with an appearance of surprize [sic] and sadness; then advancing with an air of profound respect, knelt at the feet of the Princess. ‘Let me,’ said he, ‘be the first to do homage to the rightful Empress of all the Russias!’ The young girl drew up her slight form to its fullest height, while a crimson blush overspread her cheek, and fixed her clear, calm eye, upon the intruder. ‘Illustrious and unfortunate scion of a noble house, last branch of a royal race! Is it thus I find thee? Pardon this intrusion madam, and at this late hour. My purpose, the necessity for secrecy and for despatch, all must plead my apology.’

With these words, and before the Princess had time to express either her doubts or her astonishment, the young officer put a paper into her hands, signed by

p. 266

almost all the grandees of Russia. At the head of the list was the name of the Count Alexis Orloff. The Princess hastily read the contents, then stood bewildered and uncertain. The undersigned declared, that disgusted with the tyranny and ingratitude of the reigning Empress, they bound themselves by a solemn vow to place upon the throne the legitimate successor of the Empress Elizabeth, the grand-daughter of Peter the Great, and swore henceforth to acknowledge and obey her as their only lawful Sovereign. The old nurse fell upon her knees, and kissing the hand of the orphan, ejaculated a prayer of thankfulness to Heaven. Two hours were spent in deliberation with the emissary of Orloff, afterwards known as the Chevalier de Ribas, and the next day, joy and hope illumined that sombre dwelling.

The chevalier, with every appearance of delicacy, persuaded the future Empress to accept a small sum for present necessities; the first, was a good breakfast, the next, an addition to her ward-robe. A commodious house in the environs was next procured, and two days after, while the whole yet seemed as a sudden and surprising dream, Alexis Orloff arrived in Rome, and presented himself to the Princess. He was welcomed by her as a friend and benefactor, by Kathinka, as a guardian angel; and he soon found that he had little to fear from the penetration of either.

Orloff was eminently handsome, and his usually ferocious expression was now softened to one of respectful devotion; while the bluntness of his manner and his plainness of speech seemed befitting one who

p. 267

owed his fortune to his sword, and moreover gave to his words an air of simple sincerity which could scarcely fail to disarm suspicion. Day after day he passed in the company of the Princess, in deliberation upon their future plans, or in giving her details concerning the political situation of Russia, and the causes of the discontent against Catharine so rapidly spreading throughout the whole empire. Soon he infused into the mind of the Princess the same certainty of success by which he appeared to be animated; she placed her destiny in his hands; and at length, gratitude unconsciously became converted into a more tender feeling.

No scruple concerning the justice of her cause had ever arisen in the mind of the Princess. She had been early taught to consider the Empress as an usurper, as one who had stepped to the throne over the murdered body of her husband. Brought up in the firm conviction of being herself the lawful heiress to that throne, surrounded by the few but faithful adherents of the former dynasty, endowed with a romantic and visionary disposition, with an energy of character which only wanted an opportunity to display itself, and yet with the most childish simplicity and guilelessness of heart, little is it to be wondered at, that unadvised and unprotected, she fell into the snare so dextrously spread for her destruction.

Meanwhile, time passed on in one bright and delusive dream. The manner of Orloff gradually became more tender, without becoming less respectful. He treated her as his sovereign, yet sometimes ventured to assume the language of an admirer.

p. 268

One morning, as the count was standing by the chair of his intended victim, a letter was brought to her. She opened it, cast her eyes over its contents, and with a smile of perfect confidence, put it into his hands. A dark cloud passed over the brow of Orloff, and an oath escaped his lips. The letter was from an unknown friend, warning the Princess to beware of the trust she placed in a traitor who was leading her to destruction. She shrunk for a moment from the malignant expression of her lover’s countenance, then gently taking the letter from his hands, threw it into the fire. ‘So perish,’ said she, ‘all suspicions of my benefactor; no, Orloff, not even the basest of mankind could thus, under the semblance of friendship, betray an unprotected orphan. My trust is alike in Heaven and in thee.’ Orloff muttered between his teeth, and turned to the window, to hide som conflicting feelings which moved even his savage nature.

He looked at the fair vision before him, so young, so confiding, with love and faith in him illuminating her beautiful eyes. Though no more than fifteen summers had passed over her head, yet her dignified air, graceful figure and imperial brow proclaimed the royalty of her birth. A strange and vague feeling of superstitious reverence mingled with pity came over Orloff, as he gazed upon her. With hasty strides he traversed the apartment, and for a moment, his better angel prevailed. Suddenly, his eye fell upon the order of St. George, the gift of his imperial patroness. Then the demon re-entered his soul; and the murderer of Peter the Third, fell at the feet of the daughter of Elizabeth.

p. 269

‘Be mine!’ said he, ‘then will your fate be secure, and neither man nor devil shall prevail to separate us.’ While the Princess hesitated, the aged attendant rose from her seat, and taking her hand, placed it in that of Orloff’s. ‘My child,’ said she, ‘he woos you when you are poor and friendless. He will the better deserve you when you shall be the greatest Empress in the world. If his courtship be rough, it is the more sincere. Accept him, and may heaven bless you! and may your mother smile upon you from Heaven, even as she smiled when first she placed you, a lovely infant, in these arms!’ The young girl blushed, while Orloff, kneeling before her, swore an oath of eternal love and fidelity.

It was agreed that their marriage should be solemnized according to the rites of the Greek church, and that immediately after the ceremony, they should, for the sake of greater seclusion, leave Rome for Pisa. With all the appearance of an impatient lover, Orloff hastened the preparations for the ceremony. Lawyers were introduced. A contract was drawn up. With blind fearlessness, the Princess put her signature to every thing.

* * * * * * *

The night was dark and stormy, the church was cold and deserted; but the victim was richly decked for the sacrifice, and a coronet of gems, Orloff’s first gift, emitted its fitful gleams among the rays of the few and dimly burning tapers. A villain, habited as a priest, pronounced the nuptial benediction. A travelling carriage was at the door, and in a few moments the bride of Orloff was on her way to Pisa.

p. 270

Preparations had been made for her reception, the splendor of which was suitable to her rank. She found herself the mistress of a sumptuous palace. She passed through long files of domestics, who bent before her in mute respect. Orloff was all tenderness and gallantry, and as the hours sped swiftly by, the Princess almost forgot, saving for her husband’s sake, to sigh for a more brilliant destiny. At length, a courier, long expected by Orloff, arrived with despatches from Leghorn, and as the count perused them, his countenance wore a strange expression of savage delight. He turned soon after towards his bride, and observed that the Russian squadron, under the command of the English admiral, had arrived at Liverno; and that his immediate presence there was absolutely necessary. He expressed his regret at being obliged to part from her even for so short a period; then, as if struck by a sudden happy thought, proposed that she should accompany him. The Princess was charmed with the project; and eagerly expressed the pleasure she should feel at seeing the magnificence of the Russian fleet, and the beauty of the harbor. That a rapid journey would be too fatiguing for the aged Kathinka, was the only draw-back to her anticipated felicity; but her absence would be so short, she would leave her in so splendid an establishment.—All her objections were speedily overruled. Orloff’s magnificent equipage was ordered round, and six horses swiftly bore them towards Livorno.

From this moment, the young Princess trod on air. Pleasures sprung up like flowers beneath her footsteps,

p. 271

hiding the dark precipice on whose brink she stood. A numerous court attended her. Her beauty and rank rendered her an object of universal admiration; her extreme youth and simplicity of universal interest; while her peculiar position, her hazardous fortunes, and the great game in which she was engaged, terminating in empire or destruction, rendered her an object of intense pity to all who believed themselves acquainted with the circumstances in which she stood. Some indeed there were, who knowing the character of Orloff, could scarcely believe, that blinded by passion, he had sacrificed his sovereign to the empire of beauty; yet the few who suspected treachery, dreaded too much his power and audacity to hazard the slightest disclosure of their opinion, and all anonymous communications was received by the Princess with scorn.

Besides, they could scarcely believe that even the audacious Orloff would venture to violate the territories of the grand Duke, or would, by introducing his bride to the intimate society of the English ladies of distinction resident at Leghorn; and above all, by taking up his residence at the house of the English minister and his wife, have given an appearance of perfect concurrence on their part to his projects; should these projects have been otherwise than honorable. Thus, all concurred to lull the victim into a fatal security.

A thousand fêtes were invented to amuse her, and her time was passed in one dazzling round of novelty and pleasure. At the theatre, all eyes were fixed upon her. In the public promenades the people crowded

p. 272

to gaze at her. When she walked on the beach with Orloff, even the indolent boatmen would rouse themselves to exclaim in wonder at the magnificent Russian and his fair young bride.

But the Count soon grew wearied of playing the part of a tender and assiduous husband. It was time to bring the game to a conclusion. One evening, as the Princess, surrounded by her suite, and leaning on Orloff’s arm, admired the beauty and order of the Russian fleet, some one proposed that her highness should go on board one of the largest ships, and view its interior arrangement. The Princess and all the company, eagerly applauded the idea. A few days however elapsed before Orloff could find himself at leisure to accompany her; though morning and evening he might have been observed during the intervening period, standing on the sea-shore with some of his emissaries, and remarking the direction of the wind. At length he informed the Princess, that an entertainment was prepared in her honor, on board the Ekatharinislov, which alone had occasioned the delay. There was, as all afterwards observed, something strangely hurried in the manner of Orloff when he made this announcement.

A superb dinner was given that day at the house of a foreign Duke, and Orloff drank an immoderate quantity of spirits, which seemed only to possess the effect of steadying his nerves. But before the repast was well over, he started from his seat, and declared that the barges were in readiness. No time was given to the ladies, for a change of dress. The Princess threw a veil over her jewelled diadem, while Orloff

p. 273

with affectionate solicitude enveloped her in a pelisse of ermine. The evening was beautiful and serene. A slight breeze rippled the surface of the water, on whose bright bosom the sun was slowly sinking in crimson glory; as if Narcissus-like he lingered over his own reflection in the mirror of ocean.

The Princess was seated between two English ladies, under the pink and silver awning of her gay barge, and joyously she kissed her hand to the assembled multitude, who shouted their noisy vivas as the boats receded from the shore. Next came the barge of Orloff, in which was also the vice admiral; then a third, filled with Russian and English officers; while the fourth was occupied by musicians, from whose wind instruments a soft melody stole over the waters and mingled with the breeze of evening. As they advanced towards the fleet, salutes of cannon were fired in honor of the Princess, and enlivening airs were struck up by the military bands. The whole was a scene of enchantment; the balmy air wafted from Italian shores, the soft music, gay dresses and varied uniforms, all were in brilliant harmony. When the barge of the Princess had come alongside the ship, where the entertainment was to be given, she was gently hoisted upon deck in a velvet fauteuil, let down on the side for that purpose. The rest of the company followed.

Orloff led his bride to the head of the table which was covered with a sumptuous repast, and gave orders that the band should not cease to play during the entertainment. The Chevalier de Ribas proposed the health of the Princess, and three cheers were given

p. 274

to the bride. It was said in after days that Orloff grew pale, as he pledged this toast, and that his hand trembled as the Princess smilingly bowed to him; that he laid down his wine untasted, and eagerly tossed off a tumbler of brandy; that he grew fierce and quarrelsome, and to shew his extraordinary strength, crushed in his hand several goblets of crystal; that one of the pieces having struck a young Italian of high rank on the eye, the count smiled unconcerned, while the Princess alone expressed her regret for the accident; nay, that he even boasted of having assisted in the murder of Peter the First, which he called ‘a necessary catastrophe, though very disagreeable to a man of his humane feelings,’ at which the Princess grew blanched with terror, whereupon, he laughed at her credulity.

Soon after, he gave orders that the barges should be in readiness; and when all the guests had left the ship, he whispered to the Princess that they should return together by moonlight. She smiled approvingly, though her face was still pale, and continued to stand upon deck, leaning on his arm, and listening to the retreating splash of the oars, the hum of human voices, and the last faint notes of the Russian horn, gradually softening by distance. In a short time, all was silent.

A signal, low and mysterious, and four ruffians surrounded the Princess, rudely tore off her robes, and loaded her with chains! In vain the victim struggled. In vain she appealed to Orloff. She read no pity in his eyes. The horrors of her situation flashed over her mind. She felt a faintness of the spirit, her heart died within her. A mist past over her eyes, and she sunk into insensibility.

p. 275

When recollection came, she found herself lying in the hold, on a heap of cloaks, her hands and feet fettered. There was a sound of bustle upon deck. She heard the creaking of the canvass, the wind whistling through the sails, the loud voices of the sailors, and raised above all, the stentorian tones of Orloff,—of Orloff! her husband, her betrayer! The ship was in motion. It was evident that they had sailed. There was then no hope, but her pure and innocent heart commended itself to the God of the orphan.

Her short life passed in dreamy review before her; the lonely castle where her childhood was spent, and where the words of Radziwill first awakened ambitious hopes within her; the miserable garret in Rome the eternal; the arrival of Orloff like a sunbeam in the darkness; her love, her marriage, her Pisan palace, and the poor, faithful Kathinka! Oh heaven! if she could now behold the child of her affections! Then Orloff’s tenderness, her pleasant sojourn at Leghorn, her last sight of beautiful Italy, the gay barges, the soft music, the ruffians who had bound her, the last ferocious look of Orloff, and her chains!

Now the silence grew appalling, and she called aloud for help, but no one answered. Towards evening, a sailor came into the hold, and laid some food beside her. Then it was not her death they meditated. What then were to be their tender mercies? A dungeon? and perhaps the fate of Prince Iwan? She appealed to the humanity of the man, but he stared at her in stupid surprise, and left her, muttering between his teeth some words unintelligible. Then time passed on

p. 276

in solitude and darkness, and hope was extinguished in the breast of the captive.

But one morning, a loud noise upon deck roused the Princess from her stupor. There was a sound of violent altercation, and the clashing of swords. The ship’s crew had mutinied. Her own name was mentioned in different accents of pity and rage by these rough voices. She dragged herself to the length of her chain, and a faint hope revived in her heart. She felt that the crisis of her destiny had arrived. At length a pause, the voice of Orloff in a loud and commanding strain of high authority, the name of the Empress Catharine, a shot, a groan, and all was silent. She knew not for what to hope or to pray.

Not long lasted that dread silence! Two men entered, and ordered her to rise; then striking off her chains, carried her upon deck. And there she stood in the pure light of heaven, the fresh breeze blowing on her fevered temples, the bright blue sky above, and the dark blue sea around her, faint, pale and exhausted. There, and thus she stood, till her eyes slowly fell on the commanding figure of Orloff. Then, with a strength that seemed supernatural, she disengaged herself from her supporters, rushed forward, and fell at his feet. Her rich robes and long fair tresses swept the deck, and on her forehead still glittered Orloff’s bridal gift, the diamond coronet. Strangely it contrasted with the dishevelled hair.

Never a word spoke Orloff; but with unmoved and rigid countenance disengaging himself from her, he beckoned to his men, and gave the signal that she must die! ‘Orloff! my husband!’ cried the unfortunate

p. 277

girl. ‘What is my crime? To what, for whom do you sacrifice me?’ ‘To justice and my sovereign, said Orloff. ‘Your wife? She whom at the altar you swore to protect?’ ‘Behold,’ said Orloff coolly, ‘the priest who united us; he is now about to sanction by his presence the dissolution of the knot.’ Slowly and fearfully the young bride turned round, and fixed her eyes upon the ruffian who grasped her wrist, and knew again the features of the pretended priest. She started from her knees. ‘I see it all,’ said she, and her words though low were distinct. ‘The murderer of Peter the Third has not hesitated to dishonor the daughter of Elizabeth. Now God be my refuge. I have no help in man. I am ready.’

She stood undaunted; and her pale and girlish beauty appeared at this instant to assume a supernatural character. Orloff stamped his feet, and ground his teeth in fury. ‘Bandage her eyes!’ cried he, for their calm, clear light seemed to penetrate and wither his soul. ‘Not so,’ said the victim, gently but firmly repulsing the hand that would have obeyed the order. She took the coronet from her forehead, and it was handed to Orloff. He dashed it impatiently into the waves. ‘Fire!’ cried he. The Princess cast upon him a last look, which spoke of pity and forgiveness, then folded her arms, and looked to Heaven. Yet still the men hesitated. ‘ ’Tis like firing on the Holy Madonna,’ said one of the sailors. ‘Fire!’ shouted Orloff, springing forward with the glare of a tiger, his eye flashing fierce lightning. A shot, another, and the Princess fell!

It was night, a night of darkness and storm. The thunder rolled, and the lightning pierced it way

p. 278

through the dark clouds, flashing over the foaming billows. The wind moaned with a hollow sound; and as Orloff strode to and fro in the darkness, like the gigantic demon of the tempest, the superstitious sailors eyed him askance, with mingled looks of fear and abhorrence. The body of the Princess, hastily wrapped in a coarse shroud, was laid upon the cabin table. The storm was so sudden, that her mortal remains had not yet been committed to the deep. Orloff descended the stairs, and approached the body. A flash of lightning played over her diamond ring. He took her hand, whose icy coldness thrilled through his veins; hastily drew off the gem, and fastened it to a ribbon which hung round his neck.

Then in a whisper which sounded strange and hollow, he gave an order which was quickly executed. The body was committed to the waters. There was a plash amidst the wailing of the elements, a dead silence, and a hoarse call from Orloff’s cabin for brandy. As if the ocean were appeased by a human sacrifice, it suddenly grew calm, the wind lulled, the thunder ceased, and all was still.

Three days and three nights the ship was becalmed in the midst of the mighty waters, close to the orphan’s grave; and on the third night, so sure as Orloff watched and could not sleep, so certainly did the pale face of the Princess with her long fair hair, rise above the waters, and gaze upon him with fixed and glassy eyes. Loudly he called for help, and pointed convulsively to the deep, but the form had sunk; and the wind rose, and onward went the gallant ship, and never again did Orloff see his fair young bride.

p. 279

The Ekatharineslav (the glory of Catharine) entered the harbor of Petersburgh, and Orloff, as he passed through the crowd, was hailed with acclamations of welcome. The Empress was in her imperial chapel at Czarsko-zelo, prostrate under a crimson canopy, with her son by her side, and rendering thanks to Heaven for the success of the Russian arms.

It was evening, and the solemn vocal music of the Greek ritual resounded through the lofty chapel. The folding doors were thrown open, and the penetralia displayed to view. The light of the tapers fell upon the holy symbols, on the altar with its golden hangings, its richly wrought chalices and other sacred vessels; and before it were the venerable priests, with their flowing beards, and costly robes, and jewelled mitres. The host veiled with cloth of gold was administered to the Empress. Then the sanctuary closed, and the lofty anthem was answered by solemn voices from within, like the hidden chords of the human heart, when responding to external impressions of harmony and sublimity.

The Empress rose to leave the chapel, and Orloff stood before her with wild and haggard looks. He knelt, and presented her with the ring of her rival. ‘Your majesty’s orders are executed.’ The Empress smiled benignantly, and added the gem to the others which glistened on her imperial hand, then passed on, apparently like her Medicean namesake.

‘San remords, sans plaisir, maitresse de ses sens,

Et comme accoutumée à de pareils présens.’

[p. 280]



The child is father of the man. Men are but children of a larger growth. How often do we meet with this array of words! Yet how insensible we are to the profound philosophy they enwrap. Sublime and astonishing truths! Uttered every day in our hearing, set before our eyes at every step of our journey through life, written over all the monuments of Earth, upon the pages and banners of all History, upon the temples and the pyramids, the palaces and the sepulchres of departed Nations, upon all the doings of the Past and the Present, as with unextinguishable fire, and sounding forever and ever in the unapproachable solitudes of the Future! Yet heard with indifference, read without emotion, and repeated from mouth to mouth, day after day, and year after year, without a suspicion of their deep meaning, of their transcendant importance, of their imperishable beauty. And why? The language is too familiar, the apparent signification too simple and natural for the excited understandings of the multitude. There is no curtain to be lifted, no vail [sic] to be rent as with the hands of giants, no zone to be loosened, no mystery to be expounded afar off, as in the language of another world, nothing to be guessed at, or deciphered, nothing but what anybody might understand if he would; and therefore nothing to be remembered or cared for.

p. 281

But in simple truth, a more sublime interrogation could not be propounded than that which may appear to be answered by the language referred to. What are children? Step to the window with me. The street is full of them. Yonder a school is let loose, and here just within reach of our observation, are two or three noisy little fellows, and there another party mustering for play. Some are whispering together, and plotting so loudly and so earnestly, as to attract every body’s attention, while others are holding themselves aloof, with their satchels gaping so as to betray a part of their plans for to-morrow afternoon, or laying their heads together in pairs, for a trip to the islands. Look at them, weigh the question I have put to you, and then answer it, as it deserves to be answered. What are children?

To which you reply at once, without any sort of hesitation perhaps,—‘Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined;’ or ‘Men are but children of a larger growth,’ or peradventure, ‘The child is father of the man.’ And then perhaps you leave me, perfectly satisfied with yourself and with your answer, having ‘plucked out the heart of the mystery,’ and uttered without knowing it, a string of glorious truths, pearls of great price.

But instead of answering you as another might, instead of saying, Very true, what if I were to call you back to the window with words like these,—Do you know what you have said? Do you know the mening of the language you have employed? or in other words, Do you know your own meaning? What would you think of me? That I was playing the philosopher perhaps, that I wanted to puzzle you with a childish

p. 282

question, that I thought I was thinking, or at best that I was a little out of my senses. Yet if you were a man of understanding, I should have paid you a high compliment; a searcher after truth, I should have done you a great favor; a statesman, a lawgiver, a philanthropist, a patriot, or a father who deserved to be a father, I should have laid you under everlasting obligations, I should have opened a boundless treasury underneath your feet, I should have translated you instantly to a new world, carried you up into a high mountain as it were, and set before you all the kingdoms of the earth, with all their revolutions and changes—all future history—the march of armies—the growth of conquerors—the waxing and waning of empire, the changes of opinion, the apparition of thrones dashing against thrones, the overthrow of systems, and the revolutions of ages.

Among the children who are now playing together, like birds among the blossoms of earth, haunting all the green shadowy places thereof, and rejoicing in the bright air, happy and beautiful creatures, and as changeable as happy, with eyes brimful of joy and with hearts playing upon their little faces like sunshine upon clear waters.—Among those who are now idling together on that slope, or pursuing butterflies together on the edge of that wood, a wilderness of roses, you would see not only the gifted and the powerful, the wise and the eloquent, the ambitious and the renowned, the long-lived and the long-to-be-lamented of another age; but the wicked and the treacherous, the liar and the thief, the abandoned profligate and the faithless

p. 283

husband, the gambler and the drunkard, the robber, the burglar, the ravisher, the murderer and the betrayer of his country. The child is father of the man.

Among them, and that other little troop just appearing, children with yet happier faces and pleasanter eyes, the blossoms of the future—the mothers of nations—you would see the founders of states and the destroyers of their country, the steadfast and the weak, the judge and the criminal, the murderer and the executioner, the exalted and the lowly, the unfaithful wife and the broken-hearted husband, the proud betrayer and his pale victim, the living and breathing portests and prodigies, the embodied virtues and vices, of another age and of another world, and all playing together! Men are but children of a larger growth.

Pursuing the search, you would go forth among the little creatures, as among the types of another and a loftier language, the mystery whereof had been just revealed to you, a language to become universal hereafter, types in which the autobiography of the Future was written ages and ages ago. Among the innocent and helpless creatures that are called children, you would see warriors, with their garments rolled in blood, the spectres of kings and princes, poets with golden harps and illuminated eyes, historians and painters, architects and sculptors, mechanics and merchants, preachers and lawyers; here a grave-digger flying a kite with his future customers; there a physician playing at marbles with his, here the predestined to an early and violent death for cowardice, fighting the battles of a whole neighborhood, there a Cromwell, or

p. 284

a Cæsar, a Napoleon, or a Washington, hiding themselves for fear, enduring reproach or insult with patience; a Benjamin Franklin higgling for nuts or gingerbread, or the ‘old Parr’ of another generation, sitting apart in the sunshine and shivering at every breath of wind that reaches him. Yet we are told that ‘just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.’

Hereafter is made up of the shreds and patches of Heretofore. If ‘Men are but children of a larger growth,’ then what are children? Men of a smaller growth. And this happens to be the truth not only in the world of imagination, but in the world of realities; not only among poets, but among lawyers. At law children are men; little children murderers. A boy of nine, and others of ten and eleven have been put to death in England, two for murder, and a third for ‘cunningly and maliciously’ firing two barns. Of the little murderers, one killed his playmate and the other his bedfellow. One hid the body, and the other himself. And therefore said the judges, they knew they had done wrong, they could distinguish between good and evil; and therefore, they ordered both to be strangled. And they were strangled accordingly. As if a child who is old enough to know that he has done wrong, is therefore old enough to know that he deserves death.

So with regard to children of the other sex. At law, babies are women, women babies. The same law which classes our mothers and our wives, our sisters and our daughters, with infants, lunatics, idiots and ‘persons beyond sea’ allows a child to be betrothed at seven, to be endowed of her future husband’s estate at nine,

p. 285

and to agree or disagree to a previous marriage at twelve. And what is law in England, is law here. We are still governed by the court of King’s Bench, the lawyers and the judges of Westminster-Hall. Let no man say therefore that these are the dreams of poetry, the glittering shapes that wander about for ever and ever among the vast chambers of a disordered imagination. They are not so. They are no phantasms, they are realities, they are substantial existences, they ‘are known to the law.’

Such are children. Corrupted, they are fountains of bitterness for ages. Would you plant for the skies? Plant in the live soil of the warm and generous and youthful, pour all your treasures into the hearts of children. Would you look into the future as with the spirit of prophecy, and read as with a telescope the history and character of our country, and of other countries? You have but to watch the eyes of children at play.

What children are, neighborhoods are. What neighborhoods are, communities are, states, empires, words! They are the elements of Hereafter made visible.

Even fathers and mothers look upon children with a strange misapprehension of their dignity. Even with the poets, they are only the flowers and blossoms, the dew-drops or the playthings of earth. Yet ‘of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ The Kingdom of Heaven! with all its principalities and powers, its hierarchies, dominations, thrones! The Saviour understood them better; to him their true dignity was revealed. Flowers! They are the flowers of the invisible world; indestruc-

p. 286

table, self-perpetuating flowers, with each a multitude of angels and evil spirits underneath its leaves, toiling and wrestling for dominion over it! Blossoms! They are the blossoms of another world, whose fruitage is angels and archangels. Or dew-drops? They are dew-drops that have their source, not in the chambers of the earth, nor among the vapors of the sky, which the next breath of wind, or the next flash of sunshine may dry up forever, but among the everlasting fountains and inexhaustible reservoirs of mercy and love. Playthings! God! If the little creatures would but appear to us in their true shape for a moment! We should fall upon our faces before them, or grow pale with consternation, or fling them off with horror and loathing.

What would be our feelings to see a fair child start up before us a maniac or a murderer, armed to the teeth? to find a nest of serpents on our pillow? a destroyer, or a traitor, a Harry the Eighth or a Benedict Arnold asleep in our bosom? A Catharne or a Peter, a Bacon, a Galileo, or a Bentham, a Napoleon or a Voltair, clambering up our knees after sugar-plums? Cuvier laboring to distinguish a horse-fly from a blue-bottle, or dissecting a spider with a rusty nail? La Place trying to multiply his own apples, or to subtract his play-fellow’s gingerbread? What should we say to find ourselves romping with Messalina, Swedenbourg, and Madame de Stæl? or playing bo-peep with Murat, Robespierre, and Charlotte Corday? or puss puss in the corner, with George Washington, Jonathan Wild, Shakspeare, Sappho, Jeremy Tailor, Mrs. Clark, Alfieri, and

p. 287

Harriet Wilson? Yet stranger things have happened. These were all children but the other day, and clambered about the knees, and rummaged in the pockets, and nestled in the laps of people no better than we are. But if they could have appeared in their true shape for a single moment, while they were playing together! What a scampering there would have been among the grown folks! How their fingers would have tingled!

Now to me there is no study half so delightful as that of these little creatures, with hearts fresh fro the gardens of the sky, in their first and fairest and most unintentional disclosures, while they are indeed a mystery, a fragrant, luminous and beautiful mystery. And I have an idea that if we only had a name for the study, it might be found as attractive and as popular; and perhaps—though I would not go too far—perhaps about as advantageous in the long run to the future fathers and mothers of mankind, as the study of shrubs and flowers, or that of birds and fishes. And why not? They are the cryptogamia of another world, the infusoria of the skies.

Then why not pursue the study for yourself? The subjects are always before you. No books are needed, no costly drawings, no lectures, neither transparencies nor illustrations. Your specimens are all about you. They come and go at your bidding. They are not to be hunted for, along the edge of a precipice, on the borders of the wilderness, in the desert, nor by the sea-shore. They abound, not in the uninhabited or unvisited place, but in your very dwelling-houses, about the steps of your doors, in every street of every village, in

p. 288

every green field, and every crowded thorough-fare. They flourish bravely in snow-storms, in the dust of the trampled highway, where drums or beating and colors flying, in the roar of cities. They love the sounding sea-breeze and the open air, and may always be found about the wharves and rejoicing before the windows of toy-shops. They love the blaze of fire-works and the smell of gunpowder, and where that is, they are, to a dead certainty.

You have but to go abroad for half an hour in pleasant weather, or to throw open your doors or windows on a Saturday-afternoon, if you live anywhere in the neighborhood of a school-house, or a vacant lot with here and there a patch of green or a dry place in it; and steal behind the curtains, or draw the blinds, and let the fresh wind blow through and through the chambers of your heart for a few minutes, winnowing the dust and scattering the cobwebs that have gathered there while you were asleep, and lo1 you will find it ringing with the voices of children at play, and all alive with the glimmering phantasmagoria of leap-frog, prison-base, or knock-up-and-catch.

Let us try the experiment. There! I have opened the windows, I have drawn the blinds, and hark! already there is the sound of little voices afar off, like ‘sweet bells jangling.’ Nearer and nearer come they, and now we catch a glimpse of bright faces peeping round the corners, and there, by that empty enclosure, a general mustering and swarming, as of bees about a newly-discovered flower-garden. But the voices we now hear proceed fro two little fellows who have with-

p. 289

drawn from the rest. One carries a large basket, and his eyes are directed to my window; he does’nt half like the blinds being drawn. The other follows him, with a tattered book under his arm, rapping the posts, one after the other, as he goes along. He is clearly on bad terms with himself. And now we can see their faces. Both are grave, and one rather pale, and trying to look ferocious. And hark! now we are able to distinguish their words. ‘Well, I ain’t skeered o’ you,’ says the foremost and the larger boy. ‘Nor I ain’t skeered o’ you,’ retorts the other; ‘but you need’nt say you meant to lick me.’ And so I thought. Another, less acquainted with children, might not be able to see the connexion; but I could—it was worthy of Aristotle himself or John Locke. ‘I did’nt say I meant to lick ye,’ rejoined the first, ‘I said I could lick ye, and so I can.’ To which the other replies, glancing first at my window and then all up and down street, ‘I should like to see you try it.’ Whereupon the larger boy begins to move away, half backwards, half sideways, muttering just loud enough to be heard, ‘ah, you want to fight now, jest ’cause you’re close by your own house.’ And here the dialogue finished, and the babies moved on, shaking their little heads at each other and muttering all the way up street. Men are but children of a larger growth! Children but Empires in miniature.

How beautiful and how strange are the first combinations of thought in a wayward, or peevish child! And then, how alike we all are in our waywardness and peevishness! It is but a change of name, and one trifle is as good as another to breed a quarrel, or to

p. 290

throw the wisest and best of our grown babies off their balance. A bit of writing, the loss of a paper with pictures on it, a handful of glittering dust, or somebody making mouths at us, a word or a look, and we are stamping with rage or miserable for half a day. A cloud coming up when the horses are at the door, a little bad weather, a spot upon our new clothes, or a lump of sugar not quite so large as another’s; and what children we are! How perfectly wretched!

I knew a little boy, who after sitting awhile as if lost in thought, turned to his mother and said, ‘Mother! what did you marry my father for? why didn’t you wait till I grew up, and then marry me?’ Rather a strange question to be sure, and the little fellow was but just old enough to put his words together. But compare it with many a question put by the sages of earth. Consider it, side by side, with the ponderings and the misgivings, the inquisitiveness and the apprehensions of a great philosopher when he interrogates the Builder of the Universe, and sets himself in array, face to face, with Jehovah.

Nay, I have heard a very intelligent person of mature age betray a confusion of thought, as laughable as that of the poor boy. She had been to see a captious old lady whom her father in his youth had once intended to marry. ‘And how did you like her?’ said I. ‘Not at all,’ she replied, ‘oh you dont know how glad I am that father did not marry her; I never could have liked her, I am sure.’ As if, marry whom he might, she must have been born, she herself, with precisely the same sentiments, prejudices and opinions!

p. 291

I remember a little boy who was a lexicographer from his birth, a language-master and a philosopher. From the hour he was able to ask for a piece of bread and butter, he never hesitated for a word, not he! If one would not serve, another would, with a little twisting and turning. He assured me one day, when I was holding him by the hand rather tighter than he wished, (he was but just able to speak at the time,) that I should choke his hand; at another, he came to me all out of breath to announce that a man was below shaving the wall. Upon due enquiry, it turned out that he was only white-washing. But how should he know the difference between white-wash and lather, a big brush and a little one? Show me if you can a prettier example of synthesis or generalization, or a more beautiful adaptation of old words to new purposes. I have heard another complain of a school-fellow for winking at him with his lip; and he took the affront very much to heart I assure you, and would not be pacified till the matter was cleared up. Other children talk about the bones in peaches—osteologists are they; and others when they have the tooth-ache, aver that it burns them. Of such is the empire of poetry. I have heard another give a public challenge in these words to every child that came near, as she sat upon the door-step with a pile of tamarind-stones, nut-shells and pebbles lying before her. ‘Ah! I’ve got many-er than you!’ That child was a better grammarian than Lindley Murray. And her wealth, in what was it unlike the hoarded and useless wealth of millions?

Not long ago, while passing through a narrow

p. 292

unfrequented street, my attention was attracted by two little girls at play together, one a perfect tom-boy, with large laughing eyes and a prodigious quantity of hair, the other a little timid creature, altogether too shy to look up as I passed. The romp was balancing her body over the gate, and the little prude was looking at her. On the opposite side of the way were two smart looking boys, whom I did not observe till I heard a sweet clear voice at my elbow saying, almost singing indeed, ‘I’ll give oo a kith if oo want one!’ I stopped and heard the offer repeated by the shy looking puss, while the romp stared at her with her mouth wide open, and the boys cleared out with a laugh, being too shame-faced to profit by the offer. Verily, verily, men are but children of a larger growth—and women too.

there was the language of truth, of innocence, of unadulterated nature! There are no mealy-mouthed human creatures among the pure. But lo! that child is going forth into the world, leaving behind her the green and beautiful places haunted with wild flowers, where every thing appeared in the language of truth; and after a little time, with far less purity, she may blush and tremble at every thought of being kissed, with or without her leave. And the poor boys, anon they are to be the pursuers and pray and beseech, where but for a newly-acquired and counterfeit nature, they might loiter along by the way-side and be sure of a call from the rosy lips and bright eyes that hovered about their path. Poor boys!

‘Ah, ah, hourra! hourra! here’s a fellow’s birth-day!’ cried a boy in my hearing once. A number had got

p. 293

together to play ball, but one of them having found a birth-day, and not only the birth-day, but the very boy to whom it belonged, they all gathered about him as if they had never witnessed a conjunction of the sort before. The very fellows for a committee of enquiry!—into the affairs of a national bank if you please.

Never shall I forget another incident which occurred in my presence between two other boys. One was trying to jump over a wheel-barrow. Another was going by; he stopped, and after considering a moment, spoke. ‘I’ll tell you want you can’t do,’ said he, ‘Well, what is it?’ ‘You can’t jump down your own throat.’ ‘Well, you can’t.’ ‘Can’t I though!’ The simplicity of ‘Well, you can’t,’ and the roguishness of ‘Can’t I though!’ tickled me prodigiously. They reminded me of sparring I had seen elsewhere—I should not like to say where—having a great respect for the temples of justice and the halls of legislation.

‘I say tis white-oak.’ ‘I say its red-oak.’ ‘Well, I say its white-oak.’ ‘I tell ye taint white-oak.’ Here they had joined issue for the first time. ‘I say tis.’ ‘I say taint.’ ‘I’ll bet ye ten thousand dollars of it.’ ‘Well, I’ll bet you ten thousand dollars.’ Such were the very words of a conversation I have just heard between two children, the elder about six, the other about five. Were not these miniature men? Stock-brokers and Theologians?

‘Well my lad, you’ve been to meeting, hey?’ ‘Yes sir.’ ‘And who preached for you?’ ‘Mr. P—’ ‘Ah! and what did he say?’ ‘I can’t remember sir, he put me out so.’ ‘Put you out!’ ‘Yes sir—he kept lookin’ at

p. 294

my new clothes all meetin’ time.’ That child must have been a close observer. Will any body tell me that he did not know what people go to meeting for?

It was but yesterday that I passed a fat little girl with large hazle [sic] eyes, sitting by herself in a gateway, with her feet stretching straight out into the street. She was holding a book in one hand, and with a bit of stick in the other, was pointing to the letters. ‘What’s that!’ cried she, in a sweet chirping voice, ‘hey! Look on! What’s that, I say?—F.—No—o—0—0oh!’ shaking her little head with the air of a school-mistress who has made up her mind not to be trifled with. It reminded me of another little girl, somewhat older, who used to sit and play in the long green grass underneath my windows, and shake her head and laugh and talk by the hour, as if she had a baby with her, to the infinite amusement of all the neighborhood. That girl should have betaken herself to the stage. She was the very spirit of what may be called the familiar drama.

But children have other characters. At times they are creatures to be afraid of. Every case I give is a fact within my own observation. There are children, and I have had to do with them, whose very eyes were terrible; children, who, after years of watchful and anxious discipline, were as indomitable as the young of the wild beast, dropped in the wilderness, crafty and treacherous and cruel. And others I have known, who if they live, must have dominion over the multitude, being evidently of them that from the foundations of the world have been always thundering at the gates of power.

p. 295

There sits a little girl with raisins in her lap. She had enough to spare a few minutes ago, but she has given them all away, handful by handful, to a much older and more crafty child. She has not another left; and as she sits by him, and looks him up in the face, and asks him for one now and then so innocently, he keeps cramming them into his mouth, and occasionally doles one out to her with such a look! so strangely made up of reluctance and self-gratulation. And she, poor thing, whenever she gets one, affects to enjoy it prodigiously, shaking her head, and making a noise with her mouth as if it were crammed full. Just as the twig, &c. &c.

And it is but the other day, not a month ago, I had an opportunity of seeing a similar case. A girl of eighteen months was overhauling her play-basket before a boy of seven. She was ready enough to show all her toys, but whatever he took into his hand, she would instantly reach after. Before two minutes were over, I found him playing the man of business, pretending to like what he did not, and to dislike what he most coveted. There were heaps of play-things strewed about over the floor. Among them were the remains of a little dog which had been sadly pulled to pieces, but which the boy took a decided fancy to nevertheless. He kept his eye upon them, and after taking possession, leaned over toward the little girl, and shook his head, and spoke in that peculiarly soothing voice, and with that coaxing manner which are common to horse-dealers, and which children so well know how to counterfeit when they have a worthy object in view.

p. 296

‘Oh, the pretty tea-pot! Oh my! Mary want it,’ said he, turning it over and over, and carefully displaying the crooked nose, the warped handle, and the useless bottom, while he secured the dog. That over, he tried his hand at a little Indian-basket, talking all the time as fast as his tongue could run, in favor of the toys he had no relish for. A diplomatist in embryo, a chess-player, a merchant, a lawyer? What more can the best of them do? What more have they ever done?

I saw three children throwing sticks at a cow. She grew tired of her share in the game at last, and holding down her head and shaking it, demanded a new deal.—They cut and run. After getting to a place of comparative security they stopped, and holding by the top of a board-fence began to reconnoitre. Meanwhile, another troop of children hove in sight, and arming themselves with brick-bats, began to approach the same cow. Whereupon two of the others called out from the fence. ‘You, Jo! you better mind! that’s our cow!’ The plea was admitted without a demurrer; and the cow was left to be tormented by the legal owners. Hadn’t these boys the law on their side?

A youth once lived with me who owned a little dog. One day I caught him worrying what I supposed to be a rat, and the boy standing over him and encouraging him. It proved to be a toad; the poor creature escaped during my interference. About a month afterwards, the dog showed symptoms of hydrophobia, and I shot him. Not long after this, I found the boy at a pump trying to keep the tub full, which appeared to have no bottom. I enquired what he was doing, and it turned

p. 297

out that he was trying to drown a frog. I asked the reason. Because a toad had poisoned the poor little dog. Here was a process of ratiocination worthy of any autocrat that ever breathed. Because A. suffered soon after worrying B. therefore C. shall be pumped to death. Precisely the case of Poland.

I know a little boy who once lost a favorite dog. About a week afterwards the dog reappeared, and the boy was the happiest creature alive. But something happened a little out of the way, which caused further enquiry, when it turned out that the new dog was not the old one, though astonishingly like. The only difference I could perceive was a white spot under the neck. Well, what does our boy do? receive the stranger with thankfulness and adopt him with joy for his extraordinary resemblance to a lost favorite? No indeed. But he gives him a terrible thumping and turns him neck and heels out of doors on a cold rainy night! As if the poor dog had been guilty of personating another! How perfectly of a piece with the behaviour of grown people who have cheated themselves, and found it out. Wo to the innocent and the helpless who lie in their path! or sleep in their bosom, or inhabit among their household-gods!

But children are not merely unjust and cruel and treacherous, even as men are. Like men, they are murderers, mischief-makers, devils, at times. I knew two boys, the oldest not more than four, who caught a hen, and after having pulled out her eyes with crooked pins, they let her go; after which, on seeing her stagger and tumble about, and perhaps afraid of discovery, they

p. 298

determined to cut off her head. One was to hold her and the other to perform the operation; but they could not agree for a long while upon their respective shares in the performance. At last they hit upon a precious expedient. They laid her upon the steps, put a board over her body, upon which one of the two sat, while the other sawed off her head with a dull case knife! Parents! Fathers! Mothers! What child of four years of age was ever capable of such an act, without a long course of preparation, for neglect is preparation! Both were murderers, and their parents were their teachers. If ‘the child is father of the man,’ what is to become of such children? If it be true that ‘just as the twig is bent, the tree ’s inclined?’ how much have you to answer for? If ‘men are but children of a larger growth,’ watch your children forever, by day and by night! pray for them forever, by night and by day! and not as children, but as men of a smaller growth, as men with most of the evil passions, and with all the evil propensities, that go to make man terrible to his fellow men, his countenance hateful, his approach a fiery pestilence, and his early death a blessing, even to his father and mother!

[p. 299]



Did it ever come in your way, to pass

The silvery pond with its fringe of grass,

And treading the lane hard by, to see

The veteran Elm of Newbury?

You saw how its roots had grasped the ground,

As if it had felt that the earth went round,

And fastened them down with determined will,

To keep it steady, and hold it still.

Its aged trunk, so stately and strong,

Has stood the blasts as they’ve rushed along,

Its head has towered, and its arms have spread,

While more than a hundred years have fled!

Well, that old Elm, that is now so grand,

Was once a twig in the rustic hand

Of a youthful peasant, who went one night

To visit his love, by the tender light

Of the modest moon and her twinkling host,

While the star that lighted his bosom most,

and that gave to his lonely feet their speed,

Abode in a cottage beyond the mead.

’Twas the peaceful close of a summer’s day—

Its glorious orb had past away;

The toil of the field till the morn had ceased,

For a season of rest to man and beast.

p. 300

The mother had silenced her humming wheel,

The father returned for the evening meal,

The thanks of one who had chosen the part

Of the poor in spirit, the rich in heart,

Who having the soul’s grand panacea,

Feel all is added that’s needful here,

And know this truth of the human breast,

That, wanting little, is being blest.

And the good old man in his chair reclined

At a humble door, with a peaceful mind,

While the drops from his sun-burnt brow were dried

By the cool, sweet air of the eventide.

The son from the yoke had unlocked the bow,

Dismissing the faithful ox, to go

And graze in the close; he had called the kine

for their oblation at day’s decline;

He’d gathered and numbered the lambs and sheep,

And fastened them up in their nightly keep;

He’d stood by the coop till the hen could bring

Her huddling brood safe under her wing,

And made them secure from the hooting owl

Whose midnight prey was the shrieking fowl.

When all was finished, he sped to the well,

Where the old grey bucket hastily fell,

And the clear cold water came up to chase

The dust of the field from his neck and face

And hands and feet, till the youth began

To look renewed in the outer man,

And soon arrayed in his Sunday’s best,

The stiff new suit had done the rest;

p. 301

And the pale young lover was on his way,

Where through the fen and the field it lay,

And over the bramble the brake and grass,

As the shortest route to the cot of his lass.

It is not recorded how long he staid

In the cheerful home of the smiling maid.

But when he came out, it was late and dark,

And silent; not even a dog would bark

To take from his feeling of loneliness,

And make the length of the way seem less.

He thought it was strange, that the treacherous moon

Should have bidden the world good night, so soon;

And whether the eyes of the girl had made

The stars of the sky, in his own, to fade,

Or not, it certainly seemed to him

That each grew distant and small and dim.

He shuddered to think he now was about

To take a long and a lonely route,

For he did not know what fearful sight

Might come to him through the shadows of night.

An elm grew close by the cottage eaves,

So he plucked him a twig well clothed with leaves,

And sallying forth with the supple arm,

As a powerful talisman parrying harm,

He felt that though his heart was so big,

’Twas e’en the stouter for have the twig.

for this he thought, would answer to switch

The horrors away, as he cross the ditch,

The meadow and copse, in which, perchance,

Will-o-the-wisp might wickedly dance;

p. 302

And wielding it keep him from having a chill

At the menacing sound of ‘Whip-poor-will!’

And his flesh from creeping, beside the bog

At the harsh, base voice of the viewless frog;

In short, he felt that the switch would be

Guard, play-thing, business and company!

And when he got home and joyfully found

He still was himself, and living and sound,

He planted the twig by his father’s cot,

To stand a monument marking the spot

It helped him to reach, and what was still more,

Because it had grown by the fair one’s door.

The twig took root, and as time flew by,

Its boughs grew wide and its head grew high,

While the priest’s good service had long been done

Which made the youth and the maiden one;

And their young scions arose and played

Around the tree, in its leafy shade.

But many and many a year has fled

Since they were gathered among the dead.

And now, their names by the moss o’ergown,

Are veiled from sight on the church yard stone

That leans away, in a lingering fall,

And owns the power that shall level all

The works that the hand of man hath wrought,

Bring him to dust, and his name to naught.

While near in view, and just beyond

The grassy skirts of the silver pond,

In its ‘green old age,’ stands the noble tree,

The veteran Elm of Newbury.

[p. 303]



I suppose that the intelligent readers of the Token, would be delighted to hear something about those beautiful prairies, that all have read about, and few have seen; and being an advocate for the diffusion of useful knowledge, I feel disposed to gratify so laudable a curiosity, promising, that as it is a plain subject, I shall treat it in simple language. As for the tale that I shall tell, it has nothing to recommend it but truth to nature, a quality so remarkably common, that it may not perhaps be appreciated, even as much as it deserves. Should any sceptical person be inclined to doubt the veracity of the ensuing narrative, I can prove its reality, by the evidence of a lady, a pretty cousin of my own, who is to be my heroine, and who never told a fib, that is, a downright fib, in her life. It is possible however, that she may have forgotten the circumstances, or that she may not be found, within the reach of any process of subpoena, which a court of honor, or of criticism, may issue; in which case, I depend upon my own character for truth, as a writer of legends, assuring the candid reader, that this is as faithful a history, as any of those which usually grace the pages of the Token.

I would not set out with the base insinuation, that any of my fair readers can have the slightest reminis-

p. 304

cence, of an event which occurred twenty years ago; but they may know historically, that about that period has elapsed, since our happy country was engaged in a war with Great Britain. Many aspiring young gentlemen enlisted in that contest, with all the ardor of youthful gallantry, and earned laurels which are still fresh, while they themselves have ripened into grey old bachelors, or sedate heads of families. The most of them were persons who did not intend to embrace permanently the profession of arms, but having made one successful adventure, were content to return to the ranks of civil life, and to the virtuous cultivation of the acquisitive and philoprogenitive propensities.

Among others, an officer who had been highly distinguished for his gallantry, in some of the hardest fought battles upon the frontier, and who was among those retained upon the peace establishment, proposed to resign his commission, to emigrate to the West, and settle in that new region in the practice of his original profession, the law. Like many other gentlemen, civil and military, he was married; and knew his duty too well to undertake a distant expedition of such importance, without first calling a council of war, the result of which was, that the lady, who was his second in command, objected strongly to the proposed emigration. She thought that her husband had already reaped a sufficient harvest of laurels; but in her imagination the dangers to which he had been exposed, in facing the training battallions of the enemy upon the field of battle, dwindled into very common-place affairs, in comparison with the perils which she supposed would

p. 305

beset the path of civil duty, and environ all the employments of domestic life, in any town or city of the west. She believed that she had very credible evidence, to support at least a violent presumption, that Pittsburgh, Louisville, and St. Louis, were not safe places of habitation—that they were the abodes of lawless men, surrounding b savage tribes, where the baying of the wolf, and the midnight yell of the Indian, were as common as household words, and where she would live with the fear of the tomahawk continually before her eyes. She imagined that the judicial officers of the west, sat upon the bench clad in warlike panoply, or administered justice under the spreading canopy of a majestic cotton-wood, as they were wont to do in the days of Daniel Boone; that lawyers carried their rifles into the court house, and received their fees in peltry; that bullets and blows were the only currency; and that a lady who should attempt to leave her card, at the house of an acquaintance, must do so at the hazard of leaving her scalp by the way. She therefore earnestly besought her husband to resign his commission, and betake himself to some peaceful calling in their native town upon the shores of the Atlantic, rather than risk both their lives, in one of the new cities, of the far distant valley of the West. This the gentleman declined, preferring to remain in service, and not thinking that resignation was, in this particular instance, a conjugal duty. And the lady was well satisfied; for although very timid, as we have seen, she had no special objection to being an officer’s lady, on the peace establishment; the chief

p. 306

subjects of her terror being the gloomy forest and boundless prairie, the wolf and the alligator, the ranting boatman, and the relentless savage.

But it often happens in this world of vicissitudes, that when people think they have fixed things very comfortably, and have nothing to do but to sit quietly down, and let time and chance move pleasantly over them, like the gentle breeze of summer, a change comes o’er the spirit of their dream, and in a moment the agreeable prospect is reversed. Thus it happened, with this fair lady: a year or two had rolled away, when the regiment, to which the gallant captain belonged, was ordered to Missouri, not only to the West, the far West, but even a vast deal farther west than the lady deemed it possible for civilized people to go. But it was now absolutely impracticable to back out; she loved the captain passing well, and rather than submit to even a temporary separation, resolved

‘To follow to the field a warlike lord.’

Poor lady! the very idea of going to that terrible wilderness had like to have been the death of her. She dreamed of Indians, alligators, rattlesnakes, and gougers. Nothing but the most elevated conjugal affliction, could have prevailed upon her to tempt the dangerous gloom; she considered herself as the very best of wives, and a perfect martyr to her sense of duty. And well she might, for her fears, though ill grounded, were real, and the spirit with which she determined to overcome them, that of true heroism. Her greatest consolation was that she would be under

p. 307

military protection, and would be much more safe from danger, than she could possibly have been if residing in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or any other western city, as the wife of an unarmed citizen.

How people will change their minds! Two or three years more passed away: and the lady had been at St. Peter’s on the Mississippi, at the council Bluffs on the Missouri, and at the post of Arkansas. She had seen the alligator basking in the sunshine of the south, and the grisly [sic] bear prowling over the icy plains of the north. She had traced the meanders of our largest rivers, in the open boat, had been at many camps, and witnessed the erection of several forts. She had beheld the Saukies, the Osages, the Sioux bands, and the treacherous Winnebagoes, and could look a painted savage in the face without shuddering: she had even looked death in the face with composure, when it stalked through New Orleans in the shape of an unsparing pestilence. So far from trembling at the bare idea of residing in a populous western town, surrounded on every side with extensive settlements, and rich in the comforts of social life, she now dwelt contentedly in a fort, distant a thousand miles from the habitations of civilized men, far beyond even the last straggling cabin of the hunter, and marched fearlessly from post to post, throughout the whole wide extent of our western frontier. Under our economical government, military ladies have gone through, and are annually going through, all that I have described; and other females, who have come to the west, filled with

p. 308

imaginary alarms, have, though in a less degree, endured the same hardships, supported them with equal fortitude, and learned to reckon them among the ordinary incidents of life.

We select the following, from among the adventures which befel [sic] the heroine of this story. The lady was at a post on the Arkansas, her husband at another military station, three hundred miles distant. She was on her return from a visit to her friends on the sea board, and having travelled, without a husband, nearly a thousand miles to the Ohio, another thousand by the meanders of that stream to the Mississippi, another thousand to the Arkansas, and ever so many hundred up that river, she was not likely to be deterred by the dangers of an overland journey, of only three hundred miles through the wilderness. Accordingly, having procured an escort, consisting of a sergeant and seven or eight men, she proceeded on horseback.

Her route lay through a mere desert, a genuine unsophisticated wilderness—not a constructive wild, such as emigrants from the East, and travellers from abroad, find on the shores of the Ohio—but a real wilderness, such as would have delighted the honest heart of Daniel Boone, far from the settlements of white men, where not even the hunter roved, nor an Indian village afforded a resting place. It was over a wide region of prairie, pathless, destitute of timber, intersected by but few water-courses, and where the travellers esteemed themselves fortunate, if they found a rivulet, near which to encamp at night, and a grove to furnish fuel for their camp fire.

p. 309

If any lady, who has taste enough to read the Token, and does me the distinguished honor, of listening to the voice of one crying in the wilderness, happens to have never seen a prairie, I despair of being able to convey to her, any adequate idea of the exquisite beauty, of this most attractive of all natural scenery. The wide, the boundless plain, where the eye roves off indefinitely, and the spirit rejoices in the expansive scene—the undulating contour of the surface swelling and sinking gracefully—the rich verdure and gaudy flowers—the fat buffalo, the slender deer, and the lively bee—the gay sunlight shining gloriously over the whole, without a hill to limit the vision, an unpleasant object to deform the prospect, or a shadow to obscure; all this afford such infinite matter for delighted admiration, yet so little for description, that in alluding to it, I can only awaken, without attempting to gratify curiosity.

There was, of course, no road; and our little party pursued its way, like a ship at sea, guided only by the points of the compass. They had two imminent dangers to apprehend, namely: being lost, and being found; if they had become bewildered in these trackless plains, and missed their way, the danger of starvation, was quite obvious, and if they had been found travelling here by Indians, the consequences might have been equally unpleasant. For although some of the savages who roam over these plains are friendly, and would have perpetrated no other incivility, than that of robbing the party of their arms, horses, and provisions, others, who are hostile, might have though the delicate scalp

p. 310

of this fair wanderer, a capital prize. Had she been asked, therefore, in the words of the poet:

‘Lady, dost thou not fear to stray,

So lone and lovely through this bleak way?’

she could hardly have answered:

‘Sir knight! I feel not the least alarm,

No son of this land will offer me harm,

For though they love women and golden store,

Sir knight, they love honor and virtue more!’

But she went bravely and cheerfully forward, thinking more of the smile of affection, that would reward the termination of her perilous adventure, than of the difficulties that frowned upon her path. The sergeant, a neat, active, bold young fellow, proud of the duty of escorting his captain’s lady, was all attention; and the men, though composed of the vulgar materials of which common soldiers are made, were elevated above their ordinary deportment, by a sentiment of gallantry which a female of pure and elevated manners always inspires even in the coarsest minds.

Three very terrible adventures, befel the heroine of this legend, which I shall briefly recite, as ‘three sufficient warnings,’ to any high spirited damsel, who may feel disposed to encounter the peril of a similar enterprize.

One evening, the party was encamped, near a small grove. A tent had been pitched for the lady, on the plain, and in part of it, ‘the sentry walked his lonly round,’ to watch over her slumbers, while she enjoyed the long sweet oblivion of sorrow and fatigue. The

p. 311

soldiers, who were bivouacked round a fire, slumbered soundly, all nature was in repose—every thing slept, except the sentinel, and the moon, who poured the full effulgence of her light upon the quiet beautiful plain. Suddenly, the lady was awakened, by a slight motion of the pillow on which her head rested. With the return of consciousness a sound arrested her ear. It was that of a hard, suppressed breathing, near her head. For a moment, she listened in agonized suspence. [sic] Again, the pillow moved: the breathing, short, deep, and strong, was too plainly heard to be mistaken. She fancied she could feel the warm breath upon her cheek. She remained for another instant motionless; while thoughts flashed through her excited mind, with the rapidity of lightning. At first she imagined that one of the soldiers had intruded into her tent for plunder; then the horrible suggestion occurred, that a band of Indians had surprised the escort, and that a relentless savage warrior stood over her, with one hand on the pillow—which again moved—and the other grasping the uplifted knife. She sprang from her mattress, uttering a piercing shriek; the alarmed sentinel turned in time to discharge his musket at the retreating intruder, a large black wolf, who was seen galloping away over the prairie, with an excellent ham of bacon in his mouth, which he had stolen from a basket under the lady’s pillow.

On another occasion, they had halted in the day time, on the margin of a small stream, the opposite bank of which was steep, and covered with bushes. The sergeant had taken his gun, and walked out, to

p. 312

seek for game in this thicket. Suddenly, an exclamation of terror attracted the attention of the whole party. The sergeant had reached, by a circuitous route, the brink of the declivity, which faced the spot on which the party was encamped, and was distant from it but a few yards. Perceiving the bushes to move below him, he stooped over, and in his eagerness to discover the cause, was precipitated towards the very spot which had attracted his notice. At this instant, the attention of the lady was drawn to the scene. The sergeant had grasped a bush, which arrested his descent, and had nearly recovered himself, but was still in a kneeling posture. A large panther, who had been startled from his concealed lair, and stood ready to spring upon his foe, was also distinctly visible; and the lady saw her protector, the only one of the escort, in whose intelligence, courage, and fidelity, she could place full reliance, one to whom she felt grateful for the assiduity, as well as the delicacy, with which he had thus far discharged his trust, in the power of an enraged beast of prey. To rescue him was impossible, for the next instant must decide his fate. The infuriated animal drew himself up for the fatal plunge, his eye-balls glared fiercely upon his intended victim, and he was in the act of springing, when the self-possessed soldier, still in a kneeling posture, discharged his gunwith so true an aim, as to lay his enemy prostrate at his feet.

New dangers awaited the heroine of this little story. She had passed through six troubles, and the seventh, more terrible than all, was lying in ambush in her path; for her course was that of true love, which ‘never

p. 313

did run soomth.’ She had travelled for a whole week over boundless prairies: sometimes delighted with the rich profusion of flowers that decked its verdant surface, sometimes interested in watching the graceful deer bounding over the plain, or in beholding the vast droves of lazy buffalo that waded through the grass and galloped away at the approach of the strangers, now surveying with pride her little military band who seemed very heroes at the appearance of danger, and now amusing herself with patting the neck of the docile and noble spirited horse that bore her day after day, gently and swiftly on her journey, while more frequently she ‘chewed the cud of sweet and bitter fancy,’ looking forward to the end of her weary tour, conjecturing whether she should find her commanding officer dead or alive, sick or well, how delighted he would be to see her, and how many adventures she would have to tell him. Above all, she spent many anxious moments in wondering if they had not lost the way, and whether they should ever get to the end of these interminable prairies. Yet she kept up her spirits, and the men marvelled, that so delicate a creature should be able to endure so much fatigue, and should evince such cheerfulness and intrepidity, under every vicissitude and danger.

Seven days had thus passed, when it was discovered that in consequence of the larceny of the wolf, above narrated, and other accidents, the stock of provisions was entirely exhausted; while, according to the best calculations that could be made, it would still require two days to reach the point of destination. To persons

p. 314

thus situated, the sight of their empty wallets was, as Macbeth said, when he looked upon his bloody hands, ‘a sorry sight!’ But it was a bright and beautiful morning, the prairie was lighted up with unusual splendor, the sun poured his flood of light upon millions of flowers, that ‘neither toil nor spin,’ and from whose dewy faces, the beams were reflected back as from myriads of sparkling eyes, while the spot was so still, so lonly, so wild, that this seemed to be the very place the poet had in his eye, when he said,

‘Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its fragrance on the desert air.’

Heavy at heart, and already hungry in anticipation, they yet rode cheerily on, putting the best face on this unpromising state of things; for there are none who bear the crosses of life with so much fortitude, as those who are well convinced that they cannot help themselves. Before them was a wide plain, without a tree, a shrub, or any other object, visible above its surface of bloom and verdure, green and motionless as the calm ocean, with the sunlight resting quietly upon its bosom.

At length, in the far horizon, directly before them, was seen a dark spot, which ight be a lone tree. As they advanced, mile after mild, over the undulating plain, it sunk and rose, without apparently increasing in size, so great is the distance at which objects are seen on these plains, and so singularly delusive the nature of the vision, under such circumstances. at last it began to widen, like a low shore when seen at

p. 315

a distance from sea; and they then supposed it to be one of those little groves, or islands of woodland, which are scattered thinly over these great natural meadows.

Those only who have traversed the prairie region, can have an adequate conception of the intense interest with which distant objects are seen by the traveller, even within the boundaries of states, where such appearances awaken no suspicion of danger. The solitary horseman, who rides one long hour after another, over plains where the horizon alone bounds the vision, without seeing a human being, or an animal, beholds a distant object with the same curiosity with which the mariner discovers a sail at sea. He sees it at first, a mere speck, a dim apparition, low in the horizon; but as the intervening space is lessened, it grows upon the vision, deceiving the imagination by seeming to assume a variety of shapes; he fancies it to be alternately a tree, a grove, a wild animal, or a mounted traveller, and hour after hour is spent in fruitless conjecture, or amusing speculation.

How greatly was this interest increased, in the case of our little party, who were wandering over an unknown, pathless wild, beset with perils. Again they rode, mile after mile, watching intently every change of shade and outline, under which this interesting, and perhaps dangerous object, was dimly presented. Suddenly, one of the party pronounced it to be a moving body; some contested, while others advocated this opinion; but the conjecture was soon confirmed by appearances which the more vigilant had learned to recognize, in watching the numerous wild herds

p. 316

that they had passed on their way. Now every eye was strained to aching, and the question was eagerly discussed, whether it was a drove of buffalo, advancing in single file, or a band of roving Indians. It was soon distinctly ascertained, that a train of living objects was approaching in regular order; with an occasional sinuosity of direction, which sometimes presented the lengthened flank to view, and again narrowed the body to a mere point, as the front of the column only was seen. As it was now the time of the day when the buffalo are usually scattered over the plain grazing, the better opinion seemed to be, that this was an Indian war party; a conjecture which grew almost into certainty, when all at once, the line on reaching an elevated spot, spread out and seemed to halt, as if those that composed it, were pausing to reconnoitre the little escort. It was evident that they were Indians, but whether friendly or hostile, was less certain.

The sergeant also halted his party, and made preparations for defence. The guns were unslung, the loads carefully examined, the priming renewed, and the flints picked. The men tightened their saddle-girths, adjusted their equipments, and drew their belts closer round their bodies. The sergeant, in whom it was difficult to discover, whether fear for the safety of his charge, or pride in having the opportunity of displaying his soldiership before the captain’s lady, predominated, spoke to his men in animating language; and the fair traveller found herself on the eve of witnessing a battle, the bloodiest and most unsparing of all battles, the border fight between the white man

p. 317

and the savage. But she retained her presence of mind: for ladies can be very brave, when it is not particularly graceful to be otherwise; and riding to the point of the party addressed the men. She said, that as a lady, she had a right to appeal to them for protection, but as the wife of their commander, she felt for their safety, and the honor of the regiment. For herself she had no fear, and would be the last to fly. She begged them to act with caution, and not provoke hostilities unless they should be unavoidable; but if forced to fight, to conduct themselves with coolness and courage. ‘This,’ she said, smiling gracefully, ‘was the advice of a soldier’s wife,’ and the men, giving three cheers, swore they would ‘fight their death for the captain’s lady.’

In the mean while, the enemy was again in motion. There was now no doubt, as to the character of the strangers. They were horsemen, and the glittering of their arms and trinkets, could be plainly distinguished. Throwing aside their former caution, they were now advancing at a gallop, while the little band of Americans stood immovable on the position they had chosen. The lady’s heart almost ceased to beat; and a deadly sickness came over her, as she anticipated that in a few minutes more, the terrific war-whoop of the savage would be heard, bullets would be whistling in the air, and men struggling in the agonies of death.

And now the advancing party was hidden from view, by a swell of the prairie, and many long minutes passed, before they again appeared. A half an hour rolled away: for the distance which separated the

p. 318

belligerents, was greater than had been supposed. All eyes were fixed on a rising ground, within a few rods in front of the escort, over which the enemy was expected to appear, and on reaching which they would be within musket shot, and their pacific character, or hostile intentions, would be demonstrated. Presently they made their appearance, sweeping gallantly up, at an easy gallop; and the Americans discovered them to be, a detachment of their own regiment, headed by a captain, the lady’s captain, who having heard by an Indian runner of the arrival of his wife, was hastening to meet her.


a young white peasant woman knits near a window
Painted by E. Landseer.      Engraved by Cheney.
Published by Chs. Bowen.

Printed by R. Andrews.

[p. 319]



She is a lovely creature—is she not?

And there is, doubtless, many a charming story,

Linked with her life and loves; and I would give

The prettiest keepsake of my youthful fortunes

To know them as they happened. It may be,

She never found a suitor to her mind,

And died in single blessedness. No blood,

Which thrilled her heart, may flow in living fountains,

Or mantle in the cheek of innocent beauty.

It may be that her lover was untrue,

And left her to a solitary fate—

It may be that he died, and left her wretched,

And that she felt herself in duty bound

To stray about the fields, and bind her hair,

Ophelia-like, with wild-flowers, and perchance

Finish her griefs as did the maid of Denmark.

I mention these among the possibles

Of life, the things that may be or may not;

But I do not believe them. Were I asked

To read the fortunes of so fair a maid,

To tell her story—I should answer briefly,

Something in this way.

She was pure as lovely;

Humble her lot, but holy was her life.

p. 320

She strayed in childhood freely, by the brooks

Murmuring their course in music, by the vales,

Sheltered from common sight, and in the woods—

Beneath their leafy canopy. By night,

She wandered with the stars for her companions,

And the free winds, all solitary else.

Her days were a perpetual Sabbath; still,

And interrupted only by the tasks

That wait on common life—the simple toil

Of village maidens.

When the time had come,

That teaches pretty girls to think of wedlock,

She found a husband to her choice, and married;

And she was happy, as so sweet a creature

Should be, when mistress of the heart she loves.

Well, this is much as usual. You may think,

Some great mishap should mar, or some strange chances

Light with new glow the life of such a being;

But it ran on in quiet. Many girls,

Fair as their mother, and a lot of boys,

Bright-eyed and curly-headed, filled the house

With noisy happiness, and in their turn

Grew up to wives and husbands. And when age

Had blessed her with all joys that wait on age—

Reverence, and peace of mind, and readiness

For other worlds—she died. A humble stone

Marks her last place of slumber, and the blessings

Of many loved and loving crown her memory!

p. 321

There! you have now her story. If you think

More sunlight should be shed about her pathway,

And tinge it with the myriad rosy hues

The world calls poetry—know that holy spirit

Flies not from common life, and common duties.

She dwells not merely in the world of splendor,

Fashion, and gilded pomp, and courtly beauty—

But lives sometimes in lowly homes, and breathes

In simplest hearts her holiest aspirations.


Farewell! I leave thee in a happy home,

Girt with bright faces, and approving eyes;

While I for many an anxious day must roam,

A stranger in the light of foreign skies.

Some swift hours flown, and wilt thou think again,

Of one who loves thee more than wors can tell,

And kindly keep the solitary strain,

In which he bids his native land farewell?

While ocean-tossed, thy thought my guide shall be,

My star by night, my life and love by day,

And when in distant climes I sadly stray,

My dreams and hopes shall fondly turn to thee.

Peace visit thee and bless thee. May the light

Of a true heart make all thy pathway bright!

* * * *

[p. 322]




‘Here’s a sudden change.’

‘Are you ill, Charles?’ said Mrs. Carlton, laying down her pencil: she had been sketching. Her husband did not answer, but seating himself heavily on the sofa, he pressed his right hand on his forehead.

His young wife arose gently, there was a slight suffusion on her cheek, but it was not wounded pride that her question had been unheeded. She leaned over the arm of the sofa, and tenderly laid her hand on his forehead. ‘Is there much pain in your head, my love?’

‘Yes, deep, terrible. Emily, you cannot relieve it.’

‘Let me try my skill at Mesmerism,’ said she, as she playfully ran her fingers through the clusters of his hair, and lifting the dark locks from his temple, pressed her rosy lip on the swollen and throbbing veins. Her kiss was so soft and still, that had a jealous lover been watching beside her he would not have heard a sound. Real and pure affection is always quiet and delicate in its attentions—and no man of refinement can long love a wife, whose demonstrations of attachment are obtrusive and importunate.

p. 323

Charles Carlton scarcely heard the kiss of his wife, but he felt its thrill through every pulse and nerve. It was the pledged affection of a loving and true heart. His hand trembled, fell, and his eyes, as they met hers, filled with tears. Emily’s heart sank within her, as the fear of some terrible calamity rushed upon her mind; but she strove to sustain herself; and taking her husband’s hand in both of hers, she sat down by his side.

‘Charles, dear Charles,’ said she enquiringly.


‘My dear husband, what can I do for you?’

‘Nothing’—said he, calmly.

‘Nothing!—O, do not say so. Let me comfort you, at least. Tell me, tell me, what has happened?’

‘I will tell you, Emily—for you must know. I am ruined.’

‘Ruined! How? Why?’

‘I am a Bankrupt, Emily. I have failed—lost all my property; all!’ and he again covered his face.

‘Well, my dear husband, if it be lost, let it go. There are a thousand ways to ive by industry; and I can do a good many things.’

‘But, Emily, you do not comprehend this at all. I am a broken merchant. I shall not be trusted with business. I owe thousands that I cannot pay. I have nothing, nothing left.’

‘Yes, my love, you have what you have often called your dearest treasures—your wife and little Hery. We will be your treasures still.’ And she twined her arm around the neck of her husband, and tenderly drew his head upon her shoulder.

p. 324

‘Bless you, bless you, my own Emily—my wife! you have comforted me.’


‘Ebbing men, indeed,

Most often do so near the bottom run

By their own fear.’

‘Any news this morning? Mr. Halford?’ said John Folson, to the gentleman who entered his counting room. He was a tall, pale man, with a commercial looking face, that is, bilious and rather care-worn; but the keen glance of his eye was tempered by a benevolent smile; and when he raised his hat, the high, full, smooth forehead bore the unequivocal stamp of a warm heart and good conscience.

‘The only news of the morning is that Carlton has failed,’ said Mr. Halford.

‘Yes, I knew that last evening,’ replied Folsom.

‘Is it a total failure? Or will he be doing business again in six months?’

‘Radical: a thorough failure. Given up all.’

‘That is rather an unusual course,’ remarked Mr. Halford. ‘Most of our broken merchants contrive to secure a share for themselves. You are his friend—why did you not advise him better?’

‘Your pardon, Sir. I never advise my friends. It only offends them. Throw physic to the dogs as soon.’

‘I heard that the failure was caused by signing for Hart & Co.—Was that true?’

p. 325

‘Partly so. Carlton lost about $20,000 by that firm; but then he might have gone on in business for some months, and perhaps have got over his embarrassments entirely, if he had not been so very squeamish.’

‘Squeamish.’ How do you mean? [sic]

‘Why, he applied to old Colonel Davis, to whom he was owing a considerable debt, and told him, how matters stood, and the reasons he had for believing he might retrieve his affairs, if he could obtain a loan of ten thousand for a few months, and he offered Davis good security for the money—but the old Colonel knows how to manage. He would not loan the cash, unless he would have his debt likewise provided for in the security. This Carlton thought would not be doing the honorable by his other creditors, and he refused; and Davis immediately levied an attachment.’

‘Carlton should have applied to his other friends; he ought to have many, for he has been a very obliging man. I think there must have been some who would have remembered his loans. Did he not once assist you, Mr. Folsom, materially?’

‘Yes, yes, his name was of some service at the time my creditors run me so hard; but I have paid him.

‘There are benefits which the mere value received never pays,’ remarked Mr. Halford dryly, as he left the store of the dashing merchant. He walked hastily up Chesnut Street. ‘I will call on Carlton,’ said he to himself, as he went on. ‘Perhaps I can hit on some plan to put him again in business. He has a lovely young wife, and it must sorely try the spirit of a man who loves his family to see them destitute. He owes

p. 326

me, but it is no matter. I find he has been honest, even under the hard temptation of bankruptcy. He has acted honorably, and he shall be sustained.’


—‘Partings, such as press

The life from out young hearts.’

It was June, the ‘bright and leafy June,’ and such a glorious day! There are mornings when it seems as though the angel at heaven’s portal had purposely left the ‘adamantine gates’ ajar, that our cold earth and callous hearts might be revived and purified with the hallowed tide of light, and life, and love. We idly talk of Nature as of a goddess, and say she renews her youth and beauty, and puts on the green robe of Spring, and the flowery mantle of Summer, and Autumn’s rich sheafy crown; but the energy of Nature is only the breath of the Almighty, the Creator; her beauty is but the reflection of his beneolence, and her bounty the overflowing of his ever-during love for the creatures He hath made. Rely on Him and thou wilt never be forsaken, never destitute, never in despair.

‘We will trust in God, my dear husband,’ said Mrs. Carlton, as she wiped the tears which, all unconsciously to herself, had, for minutes, been raining from her eyes on the fair forehead of her babe, as he stood at her knee, looking up with an earnest gaze at his mother. He had never before seen her face in sorrow: it seemed

p. 327

to astonish, almost petrify him. ‘Dear Henry,’ she continued, clasping him to her bosom, ‘how I wish you could speak! You should tell papa that we will think of him and love him every hour he is gone. But you will soon learn to talk. Charles, I shall have nothing to do but teach Henry and write to you, and Paris is not quite to the end of the world.’

Charles Carlton kept his station by the open window. A stranger, who had only remarked the rapid glance of his eye, as it wandered from earth to heaven, might have fancied him a poet, in the ecstacies of inspiration. Alas! His musings were of a sterner quality than poet’s dreams. He felt the reality of struggling with himself. There are few occasions that more deeply try the soul of a man, than parting with the only being he feels sure loves him. He is Adam, going from his paradise alone.

Emily suddenly started up with her infant in her arms, and stood by her husband’s side. She had caught the sound of coming wheels, and she knew he must go. There is no indulging in sentiment when a stage or steam-boat is waiting. But love, ay, real affection is as deeply expressed in one word as in twenty.

There was such a look of love, of unutterable affection in the tender smile which dimpled his pale cheek, as she held the babe to her husband for his farewell kiss, that it quite overcame the heart it was intended to encourage. Had she wept or complained, Charles Carlton would have rallied his manly fortitude to comfort and sustain her, but now he only felt that he was obliged to leave all he held dearest on earth, he was

p. 328

the sufferer, and clasping his dear ones to his bosom, his kisses were the only farewell his lips could frame.

‘And is he gone?’ on sudden solitude

How oft that fearful question will intrude.

’Twas but an instant passed, and here he stood!

And now, without the portal’s front she rushed,

And then at length her tears in freedom gushed!’


‘The love of show, alas, that it should warp

Our kindliest feelings, by its selfish pride.’

‘So, your beautiful friend Mrs. Carlton, the brightest star in the galaxy of fashion, has been shorn of her beams, they tell me, and has left Philadelphia, and buried herself somewhere in the shades of Kensington;’ said Mr. Mears.

‘Say rather, she is ruralizing in Kensington. I cannot endure to think of such a total eclipse for poor Emily,’ said Miss Arabella Folsom, affectedly sighing, as she cla[sp]ed her jewelled fingers, in a manner to display all the most costly and sparkling rings.

‘Have you visited her since her retirement?’ enquired Mr. Mears.

‘O, no. It would pain me so excessively to meet poor Emily under a sense of her altered fortune! Indeed I fear my emotion would be uncontrollable, and thus afflict her. I would not spare myself,’ said the young lady, again sighing deeply.

‘Bell is so devotedly attached to Mrs. Carlton, that

p. 329

this misfortune has nearly broken her heart,’ said Mrs. Folsom, the mother. ‘I wish she had not so much sensibility.’

‘Why it is rather an unpleasant affair to fail in business,’ remarked Mr. Mears; ‘but it is not very uncommon; and I don’t see as it is likely to do Carlton any serious injury. He has gone out to Paris, agent for Halford & Co. a good firm; and I hear he is allowed to do something besides for his own benefit. Perhaps, in a few years he will return rich enough to flourish as gay as ever.’

‘I think, Bell, you had better ride to Kensington, one of these fine mornings, and call on Mrs. Carlton,’ said Mrs. Folsom.

‘I would, mama, with all my heart, only she lives with her odd old aunt, the Mrs. Eaton, whom I used to detest so much. What made Emily endure her I never could imagine, perhaps it was that she might have a friend in time of need.’

‘Mrs. Carlton was incapable of such calculating selfishness, I am sure,’ said Mr. Mears warmly, forgetting in his zeal for the injured absent lady that he was dissenting from the opinion of her particular friend.

‘O, I dare say you are right, Mr. Mears,’ said Miss Folson, with an air of pique. ‘Emily had a most sweet and winning manner, and really she was very amiable, and always appeared to love her aunt; but that was no good reason why others should also adore the old lady. Really, to me she was disagreeable. Why, she was always prosing about the influence of woman, and her duties, and moral improvement, and all such

p. 330

obsolete stuff. She is a walking lecture, and I wonder how Emily can endure to live with her.’

‘You would not Bell, I am very sure,’ said John Folsom, as he entered the parlor.

‘No indeed, brother, I could not submit to such a humdrum life. Out of fashion, out of existence for me.’

‘Bell, how wildly you talk!’ said the mother. ‘I am really astonished. I never heard you so unsentimental before. Reverses sometimes happen to the very rich, and you are not certain of always being among the fortunate. To be sure I do not know what I could do if John should fail!’ and she elevated her large lace handkerchief with a swell of importance.

‘I know, I would die at once,’ cried the young lady, vehemently.

Her brother bit his lip, and Mr. Mears, politely bowing, bade the ladies good morning.


‘From the wreck of the past, which hath perished,

Thus much I at least may recall,

It hath taught me that what I most cherished,

Deserved to be dearest of all.’

From Mr. Carlton to his wife.

Paris, Sept. 1822.

* * * * * * *

You see then, dearest, that my business, or rather that of Halford & Co. goes on bravely here; and all

p. 331

that disquiets me is my separation from you. I often compare my former ideas of ‘gay and sunny France,’ with the desert-like feelings that now oppress me, whenever I visit, as I do occasionally, its scenes of fame and its temples of amusement. I feel little interest in these things, except as I can combine the new objects presented with your image in my heart. I will describe this to Emily, I will tell this to Emily, I will keep this for Emily, is the language of my soul when I see, hear, or obtain any thing that pleases and interests me. In the hurry of business your idea is constantly present, encouraging me to exertion, and I really enjoy my toil; but when I go to the solitude of my own chamber, and find no Emily to welcome me with a smile, and a kind word, I am desolate and sad.

I wonder how any man can endure life who only lives for himself! Dearest Emily, do write often, and tell me every thing about yourself and little Henry. God bless the boy!

* * * * * * *

From Mrs. Carlton to her husband.

Kensington, Oct. 1822.

I have a precious piece of news for you, my dear husband. Henry can speak a whole sentence. what do you think it is? but don’t guess. I want to tell you the whole story. Every morning after breakfast I have taken him to my chamber, and there shown him your miniature, and I say to him as he kisses it, ‘It is papa. Henry loves papa.’ I wanted he should be in the constant habit of remembering and loving

p. 332

you. And this morning he said it himself, of his own accord. ‘Henry loves papa!’ O, I never was so happy! I laughed and wept, and caressed and kissed him, and he was wild with joy, because he found, he had delighted me so; and he said fifty times over ‘Henry loves papa!’ How I wish you could hear him!

This incident, my dear Charles, has awakened a train of serious and happy reflections in my mind. I am quite a convert to my good aunt’s theory, that happiness is always found in the path of duty; and then she has another apothegm, which I hope I shall find as true, that adversity has deeper and purer pleasures than prosperity.

Had we, my husband, continued in our prosperity, I should probably have lost this dear and precious pleasure of hearing my child’s first sentence. Perhaps, too, instead of having his first accents imbued with filial love, and his heart strengthened in its pure feelings by his mother’s caresses, he might have given expression to some angry passion or selfish appetite, that would have defiled his sweet lispings, and might have given an evil impulse to his feelings which could never have been corrected. O, it is strange that woman can think so much of jewels from the mines of earth, when she holds the key of the heart’s treasures! I ask myself, what amount of wealth would have given me the unutterable transport which my babe’s first simple sentence has done? I can answer before God, that no amount could have made me so happy.

* * * * * * *

p. 333

From Mrs. Carlton to her husband.

Kensington, July, 1823.

* * * * * * *

—‘How do I pass my time this summer?’ is your question. Well, as you seem to rely so confidently on my confession, it shall be frank and full; though somewhat abridged, for patience over a long letter is not, I am told, the virtue of man.

First on my list of doings I rank my maternal duties, pleasures I call them; and if you could see little Henry; he is not little now, and hear him talk,—his voice is sweet as a bird’s,—you would think I was a good mother. And is not that something in my favor, Charles?

Then I assist my kind aunt in her housekeeping, and in her charities too: for though she has no great store of worldly goods, she is rich in good works. Do you wish to know what I contribute? My sympathies, my attentions, kind words and encouraging smiles, and, really, Charles, I never received, so expressive, and, as I think, so sincere gratitude for all my bounteous gifts, (you know we did give largely in Philadelphia,) as I now have showered upon me, for my good will merely. Charity of spirit towards the poor is more popular with them, and more beneficial too, than charities in money.

But amusements, ah; I have them in plenty; I walk, ride, read and botanize. If you could see Henry and me out gathering flowers, and hear his glad laugh when he finds one, and laugh as loud as he, you would think it is amusing to botanize. Then my music is

p. 334

a delightful pleasure, because then, Charles, I feel as if my spirit was communing with yours. Thank you a thousand times for your last collection, the pieces are all charming, and I can perform that ‘divine air,’ as you style it, charmingly; at least, so says Monsieur D.—; and you used to think him the standard of taste in music. Seriously, I do think I have made great proficiency in music this last year; send me the songs you prefer, and when you return you will hear me sing like a Prima Donna.

* * * * * * *

From Mrs. Carlton to her husband.

Kensington, July 4th. 1824.

* * * * * * *

You can hardly imagine, my dear Charles, how happy your last letter made me! and you think, that in one year more, you will be able to return, with sufficient to pay your creditors. And then we will celebrate our independence, Charles! What a happy day it will be; and how different, too, the sources of our happiness from that which I once foolishly thought was the basis of enjoyment!

I will tell you why I write with such warmth; you will, I know, be glad to learn that one debt is paid. About three months ago a poor woman came from Philadelphia to our neighborhood in search of employment. She called at our house; and aunt being out, I went down to see the woman. She looked wretchedly, and when she saw I pitied her, she went on to tell me a long story of troubles, how she had lived in the

p. 335

city, kept confectioner’s shop, been unfortunate in her customers, till finally she had to give up her trade; and her husband, for her debts, had been sent to jail.

I asked her why she was unfortunate in her customers? ‘O,’ said she, ‘they did not pay me;’ and she went on to name a number of ladies, who were foremost among the fashionables when I was in town, as delinquents. And then, Charles, she ‘named my name’ among the rest. ‘There was that pretty Mrs. Carlton, (I give her words) she owed me a hundred dollars when her husband failed.’

My face was crimson I believe: the woman started to see my agittion, and then she recollected me. I do not think she had before any idea who I was. Don’t think, Charles, that I am wofully altered. She had never seen me dressed so plainly, and shall I tell you the compliment? She said she had never seen me look so handsome, so very handsome, for, said she, ‘I never saw you have such healthy, rosy cheeks before.’

I remembered purchasing confectionary of her the last winter we were in town, but I had never thought of it since. One hundred dollars! and the articles were nearly all furnished, she said, for our last grand party. Of the ‘dear five hundred friends’ I then invited, only five have ever shown a wish to continue the friendship, since our failure.

One hundred dollars! The poor woman said it would release her husband from jail. I sold my pearls, Charles, and paid her. And the pride and pleasure I felt that first evening I wore them, when you whispered they became me, was nothing to my exultation

p. 336

when I had sent the poor creature to release her husband.

* * * * * * *

From Mrs. Carlton to her husband.

Kensington, January, 1825.

My dear Charles—I have sad, sad news. Poor John Folsom is dead; shot himself last Friday night! He left a note, stating that his property was gone; and that he trusted God would have more mercy for his sin, than the world would for his poverty. Mistaken man, to fear the world’s contumely more than the law of his God!

O, how I do pity his mother and sister! poor Bell, I once loved her like a sister; she has entirely neglected me since my retirement, and so I thought but little of her; but now I feel my affection all revive. Poor girl; how I wish I could comfort her! If they had only lost their property it would have been nothing. I could have told them that there are a thousand sources of happiness independent of wealth and fashion; pleasures which may be enjoyed without money; but what can I say now? What should I have done? How been, if you, O, my beloved husband—how thankful I feel that God has sustained us in our reverses—

* * * * * * *

From Mr. Carlton to his wife.

Paris, April, 1825.

What shall I say, love, respecting the sad news? I am greatly distressed. Poor Folson: he was much to be pitied. You do not, cannot know his temptations

p. 337

to the rash and wicked act; but my acquaintance with his character, and with the mania of his mother and sister to be among the fashionables, has led me to most painful reflections on his unhappy fate. He was ambitious, but naturally generous and enthusiastic, and had his pride been rightly directed towards useful and noble objects, he would have made a noble-minded and useful man.

But his mother and sister thought only of show and éclat; and they bound down his spirit to the circle of the world of fashion. In their esteem he was the greatest man, who could keep the most expensive establishment, and afford the females of his family the most costly array. It was their reproaches and complaints which poor John dared not meet. He could have braved the world; but there was for him no rest at home.

Do not think I am placing all the sins of my sex to the account of yours. We have a long and dark catalogue of our own: but I do think that, in our country, it is in woman’s power, if she would rightly exert her moral influence, to call forth our virtues, and even to make our more impetuous passions subservient to great and glorious purposes. But if American women worship wealth, the men will sacrifice their souls to gain it.

A thousand, thousand blessings on you, my love. You have sustained my spirit by your cheerful affection, and your example and counsel are every day strengthening in me the determination to be worthy of such a wife. Pray for me, that my heart may be purified

p. 338

from all sinful and worldly affections, and kept from those fierce temptations which only heavenly grace can enable us to overcome. Your husband,

Charles Carlton.


‘Ill-favored is the bearer of ill-news.’

‘There is a gentleman below who has a letter for Mrs. Carlton,’ said the domestic.

‘Why did he not send it up?’

‘He said it was not to you, madam, but he had brought it for you to read, and he wished to make some explanations.[’]

‘Did he give his name?’

‘Yes, madam. Mr. Cole.’

‘Cole, Cole, I do not recollect any person of that name. It is not a very elegant name, Cole;’ and Mrs. Carlton, as she hurried to finish her toilette, endeavored by dwelling on the name, to keep from her heart the agitating dread of some impending evil. What evil could she fear except as connected with the fate of her husband? She had not heard from him for several months.

‘Mrs. Carlton, Sir.’ Mr. Cole started at the announcement. He had not anticipated seeing a solitary wife looking so like an angel. She was arrayed in a pure white robe, no ornaments, angels never wear them.

‘I have received a letter from my French correspon-

p. 339

dent, making kind enquiries respecting Mr. Carlton, supposing him in Philadelphia, madam.’

‘Well, Sir.’

‘Mr. Halford wished me to ascertain if you had heard from your husband of late.’

‘It is some time since; about, about,’ and a burning blush rushed over her cheek, and then as suddenly ebbing, left her face white as new-fallen snow.

‘How long did you say? madam.’

‘Nearly six months;’ and her voice sank with the suffocating sensation at her heart, as she thought, ‘how long!’

‘Mr. Carlton, it seems left Paris about four months since.’

‘Just the time he named in his last letter that he should embark for home. O, what has happened? Where is he? Can you not tell me? The letter!’

‘Be calm, madam; pray be calm,’ said Mr. Cole, in a most soothing tone. ‘Nothing has happened that we can ascertain. Mr. Carlton was highly respected at Paris, and this letter, you may see it, only speaks in general terms of his departure. Be calm, Mrs. Carlton, pray do not afflict yourself. What! ho! help! the lady has fainted!’

‘Strange she should faint! I never thought a wife cared so much for her husband. I wonder who would grieve if I should be lost? I’ll marry; that’s settled; I’ll marry;[’]—so thought Mr. Cole as he rode homewards.

p. 340


‘Hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.’

‘Doctor, how do you find my poor little niece, Mrs. Carlton this morning!’ said Mrs. Eaton.

‘No better, no better, heart sick, Mrs. Eaton. Medicines do little good in such cases.’

‘You still recommend travelling?’

‘Yes, madam.’

‘A sea voyage?’

‘I should say it promised to be beneficial.’

‘To France.’

‘Yes, take her to Paris; let her see the friends of her late husband, and hear their praises of his character. Such things awaken the current of life, and its thoughts; if you can arouse these, the mother will triumph in her heart, and she will strive to become reconciled to the dispensation of Providence, and to life for her child’s sake.’

‘A Christian should always be reconciled,’ remarked Mrs. Eaton.

‘True, but Christians need motives to obedience; and in cases of sever affliction these motives should be placed in the most touching light. Pardon me, madam; I know I am only repeating our sentiments, those, indeed, which I have learned from your own lips and life.’

‘O, doctor, you have probed me to the quick. I am the selfish one, the unreconciled. I did not repine that the affections of my niece were given to Mr.

p. 341

Carlton. I felt that she ought to love her husband better than any other earthly friend. But I cannot bear that the whole heart of my precious child should be buried in the grave of her husband; I want her to turn to me.’

‘And so she will, madam, as soon as this torpor of grief is in some measure, removed.’

‘Dear Emily,’ said Mrs. Eaton, greatly moved. ‘She shall go to Paris. I will conquer myself. I will talk to her of her husband; he was an excellent man, and worthy her love. There! there! Is not that he? Merciful heaven, my prayers are heart! It is Charles!’

* * * * * * *

‘I sent you a long letter the day before I left Paris, detailing all the reasons which induced me to go to Constantinople; and stating also the probability that you might not receive another letter or hear from me, till I had the blessed privilege of thus assuring you of my health and happiness,’ and Charles Carlton alternately pressed the pale lip of his wife and the rosy cheeks of his boy, as they were both encircled in his arms.

‘The letter never reached me, and, Charles, you cannot know how this silence distressed me.’

‘I see it, I feel it too well, my own love. If I had anticipated your affliction, not all the bright prospects held out by Mr. Dupin, would have weighed a feather. I would have come to you.’

‘O, never think of it, Charles. It is over; you are here, and I shall soon be well; and then how happy we will be! you must not leave me again.’

p. 342

‘Never never. I have money enough, besides paying all my creditors, except Mr. Halford, who has voluntarily relinquished his claim, to begin business again for myself. We shall know to estimate our blessings, how to enjoy them. We will live for domestic happiness, for social improvement, for religious duties.’

‘But never again, my husband, for fashionable display.’

‘Never, Emily.’

[p. 343]




Few have been mourn’d like thee. The wise and good,

Do gather many weepers round their tomb.

And true affection makes her heart an urn

For the departed idol, till that heart

Is ashes. with such sorrow art thou mourn’d.

And more than this.

There is a cry of woe

Within the halls of yon majestic dome,

A tide of grief, which reason may not check,

Nor faiths deep anchor fathom. Straining eyes

That gaze on vacancy, do search for thee,

Whose wand could put to flight the spectral throngs

Of sick imagination. The wreck’d heart

*The late Dr. Todd, was one of the most gifted men of the age. He was eminent in his profession, and in private life was distinguished for his fascinating powers of conversation, and his quick and generous sensibilities. His benevolence of heart, knew no bounds, and he only needed a higher pitch of ambition, to have acquired the most extensive and lasting reputation. The allusions in the ‘monody’ to his care and skill in the management of the insane; to the docility with which, late in life he rejected vain philosophy, and adopted the Christian’s faith, and his fine taste in music, will be deeply affecting to all who knew him.


p. 344

Keepeth the echo of thy soothing voice,

An everlasting sigh within its cells,

And morbidly upon that music feeds.

Mind’s broken column, ’mid its ruins bears

Thy chisell’d features. Thy dark eye looks forth

From memory’s watch-tower on the phrenzy dream,

Ruling its imagery, or with strange power

Controling madness, as the shepherd’s harp

Subdued the moody wrath of Israel’s king.

Even where the links of thought and speech are broke,

’Mid that most absolute and perfect wreck,

When throneless reason flies her idiot foe,

Thou hast a place. The fragments of the soul

Do bear thine impress, shadowy, yet endear’d,

And multiplied, by countless miseries.

Around some happy hearth, where fireside joys

Swell high, in contrast with the maniac’s cell,

Thou art remember’d by the grateful heart,

With the deep rapture of that lunatic

Whom Jesus heal’d.

But there’s a wail for thee,

From throngs whom this unpitying world doth cast

Out of her company—the scorn’d, the bann’d,

The excommunicate. Thou wert their friend.

Thy wasting midnight vigil was for them.

The toil, the watching, and the stifled pang

That stamp’d thee as a martyr, was for them.

They could not thank thee, save with that wild shriek

That wounds the gentle ear. Yet didst thou walk

In thy high ministry of love and power

p. 345

As a magician ’mid their fancied ills,

And fiery visions. Thou didst mark sublime

Death’s angel sweeping o’er thy studious page,

And at his chill monition, laying down

The boasted treasures of philosophy,

Didst clothe thyself with meekness, as a child,

Waiting its father’s will.

And so farewell!

Thou full of love to all whom God had made,

Thou tun’d to melody, go home, go home,

Where music hath no dissonance, and love

Doth poise forever, on her perfect wing!

[p. 346]



‘And Harold Stands upon the place of skulls.’


‘I saw young Harry with his beaver on

Rose from the ground like feathered Mercury.’


* * * * * * Leaving the ‘city of brotherly love’ on the afternoon of a beautiful day, the brightness of which was only dimmed by the mellow orange hue incident to the atmosphere of the season—it being the Indian summer, and the pleasantest for travelling of either of the four, if fashionable people did but know it—we were soon wheeled westwardly from this wearisome and unvarying town of quadrangles, crossing a long arched bridge over the Schuylkill, and shortly found ourselves entering upon a finely cultivated rolling country, bearing abundant evidences of pains-taking and thrifty husbandry. The crops, it is true, had been chiefly gathered in; but the noble stone barns which rose massive and conspicuous on every farm, evidently filled to their utmost capacities, and the corn-stacks thickly studding the fields, to say nothing of the various other evidences of agricultural prosperity on all sides meeting the eye, left no room to doubt

p. 347

that the rural population hereabouts have abundant cause to celebrate with bright and thankful hearts the generous harvest home.

The road we were travelling was laid out by Penn himself, connecting his favorite Philadelphia with the settlement planted by his benevolent hand in Chester county, on the banks of the Brandywine. It was after night-fall when we reached Westchester, the principal village in the county, a very pretty quakerish looking place; but unfortunately located some six or eight miles from the river, which would have added much to the beauty of its landscape. It is the delightful country in which it is embosomed, however, from which Westchester derives its chief attractions. There is neither mountain-crag, nor the calm smooth lake, nor the rushing water-fall, to lend enchantment, or break its placid beauties. And yet a sweeter spot is rarely found in this beautiful world. Such, at least, it must be, when its fields are green, and the flowers in bloom, with its rich vegetation running down its vallies, and the wheaten fields waving over its gentle hills, the trees in the adjoining groves bending their grateful branches to the breeze, while the little birds are singing gaily their own wild melodies, and twittering about from limb to limb, brushing the sparkling dew-drops from the leaves, with their wings, and sporting in the free air, and the bright sun! On all sides, over many a deep green valley and laughing hill, the country is richly cultivated. The clean husbandry, the fences and hedges free from weeds and brush-wood, the large stone barns and comfortable

p. 348

dwelling houses, not forgetting the cool dairies, erected over every bubbling spring from the hill-sides, clean as lime and labor can make them, and sweet as their own delicious curds and cream, all bespeak a population of wealth, and thrift and intelligence, in short, a prudent, calculating and unobtrusive quaker population.

Among the peaceable disciples and descendants of George Fox, and the wise and benevolent Penn, it will at once be conceded that no herald is needed to proclaim the achievements of its own chivalry, for although in case of a sudden emergency, a quaker might peradventure throw an intruding pirate overboard, with the gentle rebuke, ‘Friend, thou hast no business here!’ yet their tenets are truly in accordance with the angelic proclamation to the shepherds of Bethlehem, ‘Peace on earth, and good will to men.’ Still, the neighborhood of Westchester is not without its history, authentic and legendary. A bard upon the consecrated banks of the Brandywine, might find ample materials for weaving

—A song of war for knight,

And lay of love for lady bright.

Here once mingled in bloody strife the American and the German—the Briton and the Gaul. One of the proud and ancient house of Percy, is said to have fallen here; and it was here that the then gay and gallant Lafayette first spilt his young blood in the cause of freedom. The brave Sarmatian, Pulaski, here battled in the same sacred cause, with the characteristic courage and impetuosity of his country, the land of John Sobieski.

p. 349

But we must hasten to the field. Our direction was to the forks of the Brandywine, or Jeffery’s Ford, the point at which Lord Cornwallis crossed the river, on the 11th of September, 1777, the day of the battle of which we are to give an account. The road traversed a pleasant rolling country of the same genuine character as that heretofore described, save that as it approached the Brandywine, the deepening of the vallies of course gave the appearance of a loftier swelling of the hills, the woodland sides of which were clothed in their gayest and richest autumnal livery, the season when the foliage of the trees, changing by degrees under the effects of the earlier frosts, and according to the distinctive natures and properties of the trees and shrubs themselves, has assumed every variety of color and hue, mingling in beautiful confusion the dark brown with the lively yellow, the purple and the rich carnation, the glowing red, the bright vermillion, and the deep and sombre umbrage of the evergreen. The florist, and the landscape gardener, may alike labor in vain to prepare a flower garden comparable to the copse of an American hill-side, illumined by the sunbeams of a bright October morning.

It was near the close of July, 1777, that the British army commanded by Sir William Howe, with their Hessian auxiliaries, under General Knyphausen, embarked from New York, on their meditated invasion of Pennsylvania. The squadron of ships and transports, had a long and unpleasant voyage, notwithstanding the shortness of the distance. Finding the shores of the Delaware too well prepared for defence to admit

p. 350

of a bloodless, if a possible ascent of that river, the British commander bore away for the Chesapeake, thence ascending Elk river into Maryland, to the head of the navigable waters of that stream, at which point the invaders disembarked, and on the 3d of September commenced their march for Philadelphia. In the mean time General Washington returned to Pennsylvania from the Jerseys, to attempt the defence of that important capital, which public opinion seemed to require should be done, even at the hazard of a pitched battle, an alternation which the American General justly doubted his ability to sustain. Having determined to encounter the risk, however, Washington threw himself in advance of Philadelphia, and marched upon the Brandywine, to intercept the approaching foe, crossing the river with a part of his forces. The British troops advanced until within two miles of the Americans, on the 8th of September; but after reconnoitreing the enemy in the evening, the American General, apprehending that the object of Sir William was to turn his right, and by seizing the heights on the north side of the river, but off his communication with Philadelphia, changed his plans by recrossing the river and taking position on the heights, near Chadd’s Ford, several miles below Jeffery’s at the Forks. From the dispositions of the enemy, it was supposed that he would attempt to cross with his whole army, at Chadd’s; but while the Americans were making preparations to receive them at that point, Lord Cornwallis, at the head of a strong column, took an unlooked for and circuitous march to the left, until he gained the Forks,

p. 351

where he crossed without difficulty or opposition. Continuing his march eastwardly about three fourths of a mile, he turned into the high road leading down the river to the south, in order to fall upon the right of the Americans. This movement was a partial surprise upon the American commander; but dispositions were soon made to frustrate, if possible, the designs of his Lordship by detaching General Sullivan, with all the forces that could be spared, to meet him. The latter officer took an advantageous and commanding position on grounds near the small quaker meeting-house in Birmingham, his left extending towards the Brandywine, his artillery suitably disposed, and both flanks covered with woods. General Wayne’s division, with Maxwell’s Light Infantry, remained at the lower Ford, to keep Knyphausen with his Germans, in check; while the division of General Greene, accompanied by the commander-in-chief, formed a reserve in a central position, between the right and left extremes of the army. At about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Cornwallis had approached within two miles distance of Sullivan’s position, though unconscious that such a movement had been made to intercept him; and such was the deliberation, and the fancied security of the British commander, that he halted for dinner upon the brow of a hill, but little more than a mile from the line of the Americans. An aged resident, yet living near the spot, and who was forced into the service of Cornwallis as a guide, affirms that the dinner was briefly despatched, but was a frolicksome hour among the officers, particularly the gay juniors in the service.

p. 352

The American troops being no where in sight, as the prospect was cut off by an intervening hill, rising rather higher than that upon which the British were resting, but little apprehension was felt, the younger officers probably supposing that the ‘yankee rebels’ would scarcely make a stand even when they should come up with them. The return of an officer, however, who had been despatched in advance to reconnoitre, rather hastened the dessert, or more probably induced the Earl and his suite to dispense with it for that day.

‘And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,

The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,

Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,

And swiftly foaming in the ranks of war.’

Among the gayest of the gay, according to the tradition of the times, acting as a volunteer in the staff of one of the British Generals, was a sprightly and chivalrous descendant of the house of Northumberland, not the Lord Percy who brought the ill-fated British detachment back from Lexington to Boston, at the commencement of the revolutionary struggle, but a still younger man. He was a spirited and generous youth, as noble by nature as by birth, and had volunteered on the present expedition, to see ‘how fields were won.’ He wore a splendid uniform, and rode like a Percy, a noble steed richly caparisoned. Indeed it was a goodly array of officers with the Earl, and when the order to horse was suddenly given, and every thing was instantly in hurried motion, the spectacle was such as to remind one of the description

p. 353

of the amy of King Henry the Fourth, by the Bard of Avon:

All furnished, all in arms,

All plumed like estridges that with the wind

Bated, like eagles having lately bathed;

As full of spirit as the month of May,

And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer,

Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.

The column was upon the march at half past 3 o’clock, and by four it had ascended the intervening hill already mentioned, which brought them in full prospect of the American troops, in battle array, and calmly awaiting the onset. Instant dispositions were made by his Lordship for battle, for which all seemed panting with eagerness. But as the young Percy came over the brow of the hill, he was observed suddenly to curb his impatient steed; and the gay smile upon his lively features, changing at first to an unwonted gravity, quickly became sad and pensive, as he glanced his bright eye over the extensive undulating landscape, now rife with animation. It was a glorious spectacle. The wide prospect of gentle hill and dale, with forest and farm-house, the bright waters of the Brandywine just appearing through the foliage upon its banks, in a low and beautiful valley on the right, formed of itself a picturesque view for the lover of the simple ‘garniture of nature.’ But enlivened as it now was, by the presence of two hostile armies, both eager for the onslaught, on that side the American line resting upon their burnished arms in order of battle; and on this, the brisk note of preparation, the displaying of columns,

p. 354

and other manoeuvres necessary to the sudden change of circumstances, and the matter directly in hand:

The neighing steed, and the shrill trump,

The spirit-stirring drum, the ear piercing fife,

The royal banner, and all quality,

Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war—

All combined to make up a scene which it would hardly be supposed would have damped the ardor, or clouded with gloom, the fine features of a young officer, whose proud lip would, at any other moment, have curled with scorn, and his eye kindled with indignation, at the remotest intimation of a want of firmness in the hour of trial. Yet with a subdued and half saddened eye, the young nobleman, who but a moment before was panting to play the hero in the impending contest, still paused for another moment, and another! Then calling his servant to his side, and taking his diamond studded repeater from his pocket, ‘Here, Clifford,’ said he, ‘take this, and deliver it to my sister in Northumberland. I have seen this field, and this landscape, before, in England, and idn a dream. Here I shall fall: and,’ drawing a purse of gold from his pocket, ‘take this for yourself.’ Saying this, he dashed forward with his fellows: the dispositions for action were completed, and at four o’clock the battle commenced. The onset was impetuous, and the Americans received their haughty invaders with coolness and courage. But their right wing being overpowered by numbers, was compelled to give way; and the remaining divisions, now exposed to a galling fire on the flank, continued to break, until at length, the battle terminated in a

p. 355

retreat, amounting almost to a route, although several strong posts were successively defended with distinguished but unavailing intrepidity.

The most obstinate part of the contest took place near the centre of the American line, resting upon the little stone meeting-house of the quakers, already mentioned, and in the contiguous grave-yard, defended on all sides by a thick wall of solid stone mason-work, which, with the meeting-house, are yet standing as firmly as at the period of which we are writing. This enclosure was long and resolutely defended by the Americans; and it was near the northern wall, about the middle of the action, that the presentiment of the noble young Percy was realized by his fall. He was a brave knight, and had he lived, the exploits of that day would have opened to him the portals of a bright and splendid career in arms. But believing himself doomed, it is not impossible that the disorder of the mind had the effect of producing the catastrophe.

The enclosure consecrated to the repose of the dead, was at length scaled, and carried by the bayonet, but not until the young and chivalrous Lafayette had shed his first blood in the cause of freedom. The wounded were taken into the meeting-house, built by peace-makers, for the worship of the God of Peace, though now the centre of bloody strife; and the dead were promiscuously interred in one corner of the burying ground, in which the greatest portion of them had been slain.*

*On the day of the visit here narrated, Oct. 1832, a new grave had been dug, and the remains of a British soldier disinterred. A

p. 356

There is a scrap of unwritten history attached to this little secluded meeting-house,—true, though living only in tradition—of an unusual character and singular interest. A few years before the war of the American Revolution, the obscure quaker parish of Birmingham was favored on a certain occasion by the presence of one of the most gifted and eloquent preachers of their peaceable and peculiar sect. The ‘spirit moved him’ to preach, and as he proceeded with an unpremeditated discourse, he rose to an unwonted elevation in his thoughts; an unusual fervor was breathed in each succeeding sentence, rising in eloquence of expression and warmth of feeling, to a degree of emotion without example even in the history of his own sacred exhortations. His words, moreover seemed to fall with holy unction upon his listeners. He proceeded thus, in language yet more and more glowing and lofty, until his kindling eye appeared to catch glimpses of things unseen, and to penetrate the curtain which screens from mortal view, things yet to come. At length a vision broke upon his rapt senses, and he gave utterance to the revelation in language similar to that of Milton:

—O what are these?

Death’s ministers, not men; who thus deal death

Inhumanly to men; and multiply

Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew

His brother.

part of his shoes remained; a few scraps of red cloth, which fell to pieces, however, on being exposed to the air, were discovered, together with a button marked ‘44th Reg’t.’ and a flattened bullet, probably the winged messenger of death to the wearer. These relics are in the writer’s possession.

p. 357

In words as though of lofty inspiration he then predicted the coming conflict with its attending scourges, its long train of inevitable horrors, declaring that there, even in that quiet community, whose precepts and examples breathed nothing but peace, harmony and brotherly love, where for more than a hundred years they had illustrated by their deportment ‘how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,’ and where there was seemingly so little to invite the attention of battling legions, even there the angel of destruction would spread his wings. Even there, the blood would flow to the horse’s bridles. Even there, and within the walls of that little sanctuary, would be piled up heaps of the dying and the dead.

No human event could have been more improbable at the time it was foretold, and the fulfillment was as exact as the prediction was surprising.

The obscure meeting-house, and the burying-ground, were alike objects of attentive examination, and were both viewed with that interest which the various associations of the spot were calculated so eminently to inspire. The enclosure for the repose of the dead, is of ample size for a country town, but it has been thus occupied nearly two centuries. It is secluded, there being no noisy village near it, nor clusters of houses adjoining the hallowed spot. There are spreading elms around the inclosure, and a cedar within it, of more than a century’s growth, as funereal in its appearance as the yew-tree. The whole area is now nearly filled with the little grassy mounds covering the dead, but no monumental marble designates the names, individuals, or families of those who sleep below. The air was ‘holding

p. 358

its solemn stillness,’ while we were contemplating the scene; and never was the simple pathos of the inimitable and deathless elegy of Gray so strikingly impressed upon our mind, as on this occasion, standing almost literally,

Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,

Each in his narrow cell forever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

But in sentimentalizing we have almost forgotten to finish the battle of the Brandywine. The carrying of the church-yard fortress, ended the fight in Birmingham, excepting the running skirmishes incident to a reluctant retreat, and a warm pursuit. In one word, the victory of Cornwallis was complete, and no sooner was the result known at Chadd’s Ford below, than General Knyphausen, after keeping the attention of Wayne, and his division the whole day in the expectation of an attack which he did not intend but in the event that had now occurred, crossed the river, carried the entrenchments, and captured the battery and cannon intended to cover and defend the passage. The conflict was a severe one, however, but the foe was too powerful at every point for the American arms. The retreat continued during the whole night, the main army under the commander-in-chief retiring towards Philadelphia, while Wayne, with his division diverged northwardly, towards the Lancaster road, and encamped at the Paoli, where his memorable surprise and defeat, at midnight, followed shortly afterwards. But of that cold-blooded massacre by General Gray, there is no necessity to speak. This article is moreover already quite long enough for a ‘Token’ of remembrance.

[p. 359]



‘In rich men’s halls the fire is piled,

And ermine robes keep out the weather;

In poor men’s huts the fire is low,

Through broken panes the keen winds blow,

And old and young are cold together.’

Mary Howitt.

As each age of our life has duties belonging to it, which are in a measure peculiar to itself; as a child is bound to some acts, to which a man is not equally bound; so each season of the year has duties, which differ in degree or kind from those of the other seasons, and Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are distinctly maked by these human duties, as well as by the signs of the zodiac.

The two principal duties, which, though belonging to all the seasons, seem to be peculiarly attendant on the season of winter, are those of instruction, and of charity; and of these duties I would now speak.

First, of instruction. In the warm portion of our year, when the sun reigns, and the fields are carpeted with herbs and flowers, and the forests are loaded with riches and magnificence, nature seems to insist on instructing us herself, and in her own easy, insensible way. In the mild and whispering air there is an invitation to go abroad which few can resist; and when abroad we are in a school where all may learn, without trouble or tasking, and where we may be sure to learn if we will simply open our hearts. But

p. 360

stern winter comes, and drives us back into our towns and houses, and there we must sit down, and learn and teach with serious application of the mind, and by the prompting of duty. As we are bidden to this exertion, so are we better able to make it than in the preceding season. The body, which was before unnerved, is now braced up to the extent of its capacity; and the mind, which was before dissipated by the fair variety of external attractions, collects and concentrates its powers, as those attractions fade and disappear. The natural limits of day and night, also, conspire to the same end, and are in unison with the other intimations of the season. In summer, the days, glad to linger on the beautiful earth, almost exclude the quiet and contemplative nights, which are only long enough for sleep. But in the winter the latter gain the ascendancy. Slowly and royally they sweep back with their broad shadows, and hushing the earth with the double spell of darkness and coldness, issue their silent mandates, and—while the still snow falls, and the waters are congealed—call to reflection, to study, to mental labor and acquisition.

The long winter nights! Dark, cold and stern as they seem, they are the friends of wisdom, the patrons of literature, the nurses of vigorous, patient, inquisitive and untiring intellect. To some, indeed, they come particularly associated, when not with gloom, with various gay scenes of amusement, with lighted halls, lively music, and a few (hundred) friends. To others, the dearest scene which they present, is the cheerful fireside, instructive books, studious and industrious children, and those friends, whether many or few, whom the heart and experience acknowledge to be such. Society has claims; social intercourse is profitable as well as pleasant; amusements are naturally sought for by the young, and such as are innocent they may well partake

p. 361

of; but it may be asked, whether, when amusements run into excess, they do not leave their innocence behind them in the career; whether light social intercourse, when it takes up a great deal of time, has any thing valuable to pay in return for that time; and whether the claims of society can in any way be better satisfied than by the intelligence, the sobriety and the peaceableness of its members? Such qualities and habits must be acquired at home; and not by idleness even there, but by study. The winter evenings seem to be given to us, not exclusively but chiefly, for instruction. They invite us to instruct ourselves, to instruct others, and to do our part in furnishing all proper means of instruction.

We must instruct ourselves. Whatever our age, condition, or occupation may be, this is a duty which we cannot safely neglect, and for the performance of which the season affords abundant opportunity. To know what other minds have done, is not the work of a moment; and it is only to be known from the records which they have left of themselves, or from what has been recorded of them. To instruct ourselves is necessarily our own work; but we cannot well instruct ourselves without learning from others. The stores of our own minds it is for ourselves to use for the best effects and to the greatest advantage; but if we do not acquire with diligence, form external sources, there would be very few of us who would have any stores to use. Let no one undervalue intellectual means, who wishes to effect intellectual ends. The best workman will generally want the best tools, and the best assortment of them.

We must instruct others. This duty belongs most especially to parents. All who have children, have pupils. The winter evening is the chosen time to instruct them, when they have past the tenderest years of their childhood. Those who have

p. 362

school-tasks to learn, should not be left to toil in solitude; but should be encouraged by the presence, and aided by the superior knowledge of their parents, whose pleasure as well as duty it should be to lend them a helping hand along the road, not always easy, of learning. While the child is leaning over his book, the father and the mother should be nigh, that when he looks up in weariness or perplexity, he may find, at least, the assistance of sympathy. They need not be absolutely tied to the study-table, but they should not often hesitate between the calls of amusement abroad, and the demands for parental example, guidance and companionship at home. They will lsoe no happiness by denying themselves many pleasures, and will find that the most brilliant of lustres are their own domestic lamp, and the cheerful and intelligent eyes of their children.

But all have not children; and the children of some are too young to be permitted to remain with their parents beyond the earliest hours of evening; and the children of others are old enough to accompany their parents abroad. For all those who think they could pleasantly and profitably receive instruction of a public nature, and for this purpose spend an hour or two away from their homes, there is, happily, a plenty of instruction provided. Winter is the very season for public instruction, and it must be said to their honor, that our citizens have excellently improved it as such. Opportunities of gaining useful knowledge have been provided, and they have not been neglected by those for whom the provision has been made. The fountains of waters have been opened, and the thirsty have been refreshed. Though home-instruction is to be placed at the head of all instruction, yet there are numbers who have not instruction at home, and numbers who have none at home to whom they may communicate instruction; and there are numbers who find it convenient and useful to mingle public and domestic instruction together,

p. 363

or alternate the one with the other. And when it is considered that the public lectures referred to, are charged with little expense to the hearers; that they are delivered by the best and ablest men among us; that hundreds of youth resort to them, many of whom are in all probability saved from idleness, and some from vice and crime; and that to all who may attend them they afford a rational employment of time, we may look to the continuance of such means of knowledge and virtue as one of the most inestimable of benefits.

I come now to the second great duty of winter, that of charity. Winter is the peculiar season of charity. The sun, that generous friend of the poor, is summoned to withdraw his heat, and seems to say to us that we must keep our hearts the warmer toward them till he returns with it again. The piercing cold finds an easy entrance through the broken panes and wide seams of the day-laborer’s room or hovel, and little fire on his hearth to tame its severity. The price of fuel is high. The children fall sick, from cold, and scantiness of clothing, and insufficient food; and by and by the father or the mother is obliged to give up labor and lie down on the bed of pain. This is the season for charity. If they who are in plenty, think not now and act not for those who are destitute, I believe that they will one day rue their insensibility. I know that difficulties surround this whole subject. I know that the benevolent are frequently imposed upon by the most outrageous falsehoods; I know that improvidence, intemperance and multifold vices are the prolific causes sof pauperism and misery. I know all this well, because I have seen it. I know that if we give ever so cautiously, we shall sometimes give to the undeserving. I have been imposed upon myself, and perhaps laughed at by the objects of my pity. Every one has been imposed upon who has listened to the suggestions of his heart; and if he

p. 364

has not been imposed upon at all, I believe that he has greatly imposed upon himself. I would rather be deceived once, twice, thrice, than to know that through my neglect, or my excessive caution, a fellow being had been frozen or starved, or had suffered severely through cold and hunger. It is certainly our duty to examine as well as to give, and make a wide difference, both in our regards and donations, between laziness and crippled industry, between the vicious poor and the virtuous poor. But when the most degraded cry out for food and clothing and fire, shall they be refused? Surely they err in every point of view, when they forsake the path of honesty and truth; for they inevitably lose by it. But ignorance, dark ignorance is some excuse, and pinching want is a strong and present temptation. And then how stands our own account with Heaven? Are we ready that our own offences should be strictly marked, and severely visited?

These circumstances are all worthy of consideration, as are others connected with the same subject, which I have no time even to hint at. And after all our views on this side and on that, after all our doubts and weighings and balancings, the prevailing arguments for immediate action are in the season, on the duties of which we are speaking. Frost, and ice, and snow, and sickness make forcible appeals. When the loud winds preach of charity, and the frequent storms call for alms, they must be heard.

And they are heard. There are many who hear them. Witness the large number of charitable associations which have been formed, and are pleading for means with those who possess means, almost every week through the winter, by addresses, and sermons, and circulars; and witness too those more private societies and circles, who make no public appeals, but carry on their work of charity in God’s domestic temples, their own homes. Some are wont to complain of this

p. 365

multiplication of societies; but how is it to be well avoided in a large and increasing population. The subdivision of charities becomes, like the subdivision of labor, necessary; it is a subdivision of labor; and while the widows and the fatherless are both numerous and both to be visited, there is no reason why the wants and the sufferings of the one should not be attended to by one society, and those of the other by another. No doubt these charities also are sometimes abused; but perhaps not so often as some vexatious instances we have known or heard of, may lead us to suppose. What good thing should we attempt, if the probability of its abuse were to stop our proceedings? What good thing should we receive from the Source of good, if that consideration should stop the blessings which are flowing down to us in perpetual streams? Certainly it is very bad that a poor self-forsaken being should take the pittance which is given to him for food or clothing, and purchase with it the intoxicating draught. It is almost too bad for charity herself to bear—did not charity bear all things. But there are greater abuses than this. I must say it plainly, though with no sentiment, I trust, stronger than that of sorrow, that a case of far greater abuse is the case of him who is in the possession of every comfort and luxury, and who devotes them all to the pampering of the self, and bestows little or no thought on those who would bless him for his crumbs and leavings, and are shivering and sickening for the want of them. As I am in the presence of God, I had rather be the former than the latter to stand before him in judgment.

I have no immediate purpose in these remarks. My only object is to lead feeling and sober reflection to the general duty of charity at this season.

Is it asked, where will be the end of all these efforts and of the demands for them/ ‘the poor ye have always with you.’

p. 366

Heaven and earth will pass away before that word. Poverty will always exist; and yet its amount in comparison with population, may be constantly decreasing in extent, or severity, or both. It must decrease in some proportion with the diffusion of knowledge, and the judicious efforts of charitable men. More is to be hoped for from the diffusion of knowledge, particularly of religious knowledge, than from anything else whatever. But this is too wide a field to enter upon now. One position may safely be assumed,—that were not aid extended in the mean time to the poor; were not food and fuel bought for them, and clothing made for them, and medicines and medical attendance provided for them; there would be a scene of desperation, violence and death around us too terrible to think of. It would be well for those who sneer at societies, and at the same time will make no personal exertion or sacrifice, to consider this, and admit the possibility, to say the least, that those whose efforts they are deriding, are contributing not a little to secure to them the possessions which they love so dearly.

If some things are dark and perplexing in relation to this subject, one thing seems to be very clear, which is that we should help one another through the short season of this our life. The winter of death will soon shut in upon the brightest and warmest prospects of the gayest and most flourishing. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever.’ If we look for a renovating and perpetual spring to chase the gloom, it must be in sole reliance on the word and power of God. The ice of that winter is so fast that nought but his breath may loosen it. ‘he sendeth out his word and melteth them; he bloweth with his wind, and the water sflow.’ What will procure us the enjoyment of that eternal spring? What will bring our souls into the full and gladdening beams of life’s Source and Sun? What can it be, but obedience to his great law of charity?


a Native American man on horseback shoots an American bison
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by W. E. Tucker.

[p. 367]



The surprises that await the traveller over these prairies, are like those of the ocean, to a landsman on his first voyage. The points of the compass are completely lost, and distant objects, though familiar in common circumstances, appear strange to the eye.

* * * * * * *

The weather was extremely pleasant, and it was now the middle of October; yet we had travelled the whole night, without perceiving a chill in the atmosphere, beyond a bracing and agreeable freshness. Soon after midnight we perceived a light on the margin of the sky, which I supposed to be the break of day, till I was assured that it was in the direction of sunset, instead of sunrise. It gradually increased; and before the dawn, the hazy sky shone like burnished copper, nearly to the zenith.

As the day opened, the illumination grew fainter, and the fire which we now perceived to occasion it, spreading in a narrow red line along the horizon, seemed much more remote than we had supposed. As we advanced, it gradually increased upon the view, and in front of the flames now sweeping over the prairie with glowing wings, we saw a herd of buffaloes, attacked by a party of Indians on horseback. One of these, in a few minutes came near our party, and I saw him with his short bow, drive an arrow entirely through the body of a buffalo. The weapon fell on the other side; and the stricken animal making no moan, galloped heavily for a few rods, when his fore legs faltered, and plunging forward, he fell dead upon the earth.

[p. 368]


We will not deplore them, the days that are past;

The gloom of misfortune is over them cast,

They were lengthened by sorrow and sullied by care,

Their griefs were too many, their joys were too rare;

Yet now that their shadows are on us no more,

Let us welcome the prospect that brightens before!

We have cherished fair hopes, we have plotted brave schemes,

We have lived till we find them illusive as dreams,

Wealth has melted like snow that is grasped in the hand,

And the steps we have climbed have departed like sand,

Yet shall we despond, while of health unbereft,

And honor, bright honor, and freedom are left!

O! shall we despond, while the pages of time

Yet open before us their records sublime,

While books lend their treasures unfailing, which still

Have been our high solace when compass’d by ill;

While humanity whispers such truths in the ear

As it softens the heart, like sweet music, to hear!

O! shall we despond, while with vision still free,

We can gaze on the sky, and the earth, and the sea;

While the sunshine can waken a burst of delight

And the stars are a joy and a glory at night;

While each harmony running through nature can raise

In our spirits the impulse of gladness and praise!

O! let us no longer then vainly lament

Over scenes which have faded, and days that are spent;

But by faith unforsaken, unawed by mischance,

On hope’s waving banner, still fix’d be our glance;

And should fortune prove cruel and false to the last,

Let us look to the future and not to the past!

E. S.

[p. 369]



Capricious truly? as the gleams

Of sun and shade in April skies,

And changing as the myriad dreams

That flit before thy radiant eyes.

An ornament ill-placed, a hue

Too bright or pale upon the brow,

A ribbon of too gay a blue,

Too kind a nod, too cold a bow,

Will stifle in my yielding clay,

Love I have nursed the livelong day.

Inconstant? Are the waters so,

That fall in showers on hill and plain,

Then, tired of what they find below,

Ride on the sunbeams back again?

Pray are there changes in the sky,

The winds, or in our summer weather?

In sudden change, believe me, I

Will beat both clouds and winds together:

Nothing in air or earth may be

Fit type of my inconstancy!

Thus dreamed I but an hour ago,

When thought was wild, and fancy free;

When all my pulses told me so,

And I had never met with thee.

But one bright glance has touched my heart,

And a new fount of joy unsealed;

And as its hidden waters start,

Firm hope, fixed purpose, are revealed;

And now, no time or change can sever

Ties that must bind my soul forever!

[three asterisks in a triangle]

[p. 370]

TO E—.

’Tis true, I’ve worshipp’d o’er and o’er

One idol in my soul’s deep shrine,

And ought not to have bowed before

Another, howsoe’er divine.

But thou art likest of the throng,

Likest of all to her, whose beauty

Of soul and feature, has thus long

Made love of her my holiest duty.

Thou hast the same confiding meekness

That made my fond heart first unwary,

The same omnipotence of weakness

That laid me at the feet of Mary.

The same blue eyes, not oft uplifted,

And mild as morn’s half slumbering beam,

The same quick blush, like rose leaves drifted

Lightly across a silver stream.

And when I meet that thrilling smile

Peeping from out thy dark brown lashes,

And cath thy lip’s unconscious wile,

And those faint, pure, yet fervid flashes

Playing about thy dimpled cheek,

Like summer lightnings, that oft glide

Harmlessly o’er the hills, and speak

Of warmth too much for heaven to hide;—

The sweet similitude calls forth

Such dear rememberings, that I own

I half forget a portrait’s worth

Lies in similitude alone.

A. A. L.


a white woman holds up a baby as she floats in a stormy sea
Painted by H. Dawe.      Engd by Thos. Illman.

Printed by T. Illman.

[p. 371]



A gallant ship! and trim and tight;

Across the deep she speeds away,

While mantled with the golden light

The sun throws back, at lose of day.

And who, that sees that stately ship

Her haughty stern in ocean dip,

Has ever seen a prouder one

Illumined by a setting sun?

The breath of summer, sweet and soft,

Her canvas swells, while, wide and fair,

And floating from her mast aloft,

Her flag plays off on gentle air.

And, as her steady prow divides

The waters to her even sides,

She passes, like a bird, between

The peaceful deep and sky serene.

And now, grave Twilight’s slender veil

The moon with shafts of silver rends;

And, down on billow, deck and sail,

Her placid lustre gently sends.

The stars, as if the arch of blue

Were pierced to let the glory through,

From their bright world look out, and win

The soul of man to enter in.

p. 372

And many a heart that’s warm and true,

That noble ship bears on with pride;

While, ’mid the many forms, are two

Of passing beauty, side by side.

A fair, young mother, standing by

Her bosom’s lord, has fixed her eye

With his, upon the blessed star

That points them to their home afar.

Their thoughts fly forth tho those who, there,

Are waiting now, with joy to hail

The moment that shall grant their prayer,

And heave in sight the coming sail.

For, many a time the changeful queen

Of night, has vanished and been seen,

Since, o’er a foreign shore to roam,

They passed from that dear, native home.

The babe, that, on its father’s breast,

Has let its little eyelids close,

The mother bears below to rest,

And sinks with it in sweet repose.

the while, a sailor climbs the shroud,

And in the distance spies a cloud!

Low, like a swelling seed, it lies,

From which the towering storm shall rise.

The powers of air are now about

To muster from their hidden caves.

The winds unchained, come rushing out,

And into mountains heap the waves.

Upon the sky the darkness spreads!

The tempest on the ocean treads;

p. 373

And yawning caverns are its track

Amid the waters wild and black.

Its voice—but who shall give the sounds

Of that dread voice?—The ship is dashed

In roaring depths, and, now she bounds

On high, by foaming surges lashed.

And how is she the storm to bide?

Its sweeping wing is strong and wide;

The hand of man has lost control

O’er her!—his work is for the soul.

She ’s in a scene of Nature’s war,—

The winds and waters are at strife;

And both, with her, contending for

the brittle thread of human life

That she contains; while sail and shroud

Have yielded; and her head has bowed!

Then, who that slender thread shall keep,

But He, whose finger heaves the deep?

A moment—and the angry blast

Has done its work, and hurried on!

With broken cables, shivered mast;

With riven sides, and anchor gone,

Behold the ship in ruin lie,

While, from the waves a piercing cry

Surmounts the tumult high and wild,

And sounds to heaven, ‘My child! my child!’

The mother in the whelming surge,

Lifts up her infant o’er the sea,

While lying on the awful verge

Where time unveils eternity—

p. 374

And calls to Mercy, from the skies,

To come and rescue, while she dies,

The gift that, with her fleeting breath,

She offers from the gates of death!

It is a call for heaven to hear.

Maternal fondness sends above

A voice that in her Father’s ear

Shall enter quick—for, God is love.

In such a moment, hands like these,

Their Maker with their offering sees;

And, for the faith of such a breast,

He will the blow of death arrest!

The moon looks pale from out the cloud,

While Mercy’s angel takes the form

Of him, who, mounted on the shroud,

Was first to see the coming storm!

The sailor has a ready arm

To bear relief, and cope with harm!

Though rough his hand, and nerved with steel,

His heart is warm, and quick to feel.

And see him, as he braves the frown

That sky and sea each other give!

Behold him, where he plunges down—

That child and mother yet may live—

To pluck them from a closing grave!

‘They’re saved! they’re saved!’ the maddened wave

Leaps, foaming, up, to find its prey

Snatched from its mouth and borne away!

‘They’re saved! they’re saved!’ but where is he,

Who lulled his fearless babe to sleep?


a white man lowered on a rope rescues a woman and baby from the water
Painted by H. Dawe.      Engd by Thos. Illman.

Printed by T. Illman.

p. 375

A floating plank on that wild sea,

Has now his vital spark to keep!

But, by the wan, affrighted moon,

Help comes to him, and he is soon

Upon the deck with living men,

To clasp that blooming boy again!

And now can he, who only knows

Each human breast, behold alone

That pure and grateful incense goes

From that sad wreck to his high throne.

The twain, whose hearts are truly one,

Will early teach their prattling son

Upon his little heart to bear

The sailor thus, to God in prayer:

O, Thou, who in thy hand dost hold

The winds and waves that wake or sleep,

Thy tender arms of mercy fold

Around the seamen on the deep!

And when their voyage of life is o’er,

May they be welcomed to the shore

Whose peaceful streets with gold are paved,

And angels sing, ‘They’re saved! they’re saved!’

[p. 376]



They’re fading, they’re fading

In solemn gloom away;

Like vapors of the mountain

At dawning of the day!

They’re falling, they’re falling,

Like leaves in autumn time,

When in the woods the cheerless breeze

Sighs forth its hollow chime!

They’re dying, they’re dying

Like those who feel at heart,

That stern consumption’s finger

Is beckoning to depart!

I look upon the mountain top,

Lo! all their fires are out!

I tread along the valleys,

Lo! silent is their shout!

Along the green marge of the lake,

Along the sandy shore,

A solemn voice doth seem to say

The old tribes are no more!

Their very names are all forgot,

Their ancient graves unknown,

And dim oblivion’s shadow

Around them wide is thrown.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
To “Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To “Voices from 19th-Century America
Some works for adults, 1800-1872
To Titles at this site | Authors at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.