The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Portland Sketch Book, by Various

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Title: The Portland Sketch Book

Author: Various

Editor: Ann S. Stephens

Release Date: March 27, 2012 [EBook #39278]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Transcriber's Note:

In "Descriptions of the Divine Being," P. 96, the block quote inside ~ (tilde) marks is a transliteration of the Hebrew. The transliteration was not present in the original and has been added by the transcriber; [h.] is used for Het, to distinguish it from h for Hey. The UTF8 and HTML versions also have the Hebrew script shown in the original.

Remaining transcriber's notes are at the end of the text.


half-title image






Arthur Shirley, Printer.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by Edward Stephens, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Maine.



The object of the Portland Sketch-Book, is to collect in a small compass, literary specimens from such authors as have a just claim to be styled Portland writers. The list might have been extended to a much greater length, had all been included who have made our city a place of transient residence; but no writer has a place in this volume who is not, or has not been, a citizen of Portland, either by birth or a long residence. Therefore, all the names contained in these pages are emphatically those of Portland authors. Among those who were actually born here and either wholly, or in part educated here, will be found the following names, most of which are already known to the world of literature.

S. B. Beckett—James Brooks—William Cutter—Charles S. Daveis—Nathaniel Deering—P. H. Greenleaf—Charles P. Ilsley—Joseph Ingraham—Geo. W. Light—Henry W. Longfellow—Grenville Mellen—Frederick Mellen—Isaac McLellan, Jr.—John Neal—Elizabeth [iv]Smith—William Willis—N. P. Willis.

Considering the population of our city—hardly fifteen thousand at this time—the list itself we apprehend will be considered as not the least remarkable part of the book.

It was the design of the Publishers to furnish a book composed of original articles from all our living authors, and to select only from those who have been lost to us; but though great exertions were made, the editor found much difficulty in collecting original materials, even after they had been promised by almost every individual to whom she applied. According to the original design, each living author was to have contributed a limited number of pages; but after frequent disappointments, all restrictions were taken off; each writer furnished as many original pages as suited his pleasure, and the deficiency was supplied by selected articles. In her selections, the editor has endeavored to do impartial justice to our authors, and, in almost every instance, she has been guided by them in her choice. If in any case she has been obliged to exercise her own judgment, in contradiction to theirs, it was because the publishers had restricted her to a certain number of pages, and the articles proposed would have swelled the volume beyond the prescribed limits. Original papers are inserted exactly as they were supplied by their separate authors. A general invitation was extended; therefore it should give no offence, [v]if those who have contributed largely fill the greater portion of the Book, to the exclusion of much excellent matter, which might have been selected. Several writers who did not forward their contributions as expected, have been omitted altogether, as the editor could find nothing of theirs extant which was adapted to a work strictly literary.

In order to avoid all appearance of partiality, it has been thought advisable to make an alphabetical arrangement of names, and to let chance decide the position of each author in the Book.

The compiler has a word of apology to offer, before she consigns her little book to the public. Reasons which will be easily understood would have prevented her appropriating any considerable portion to herself; but she had contracted with the publishers to furnish a volume, which should be at least two thirds original, and when the pages forwarded to her were found insufficient for her object, she was obliged, however unwillingly, to supply the deficiency.

The Editor now submits her Portland Book to the public, with much solicitude that it may meet with approbation—feeling certain that indulgence would be extended to her, could it be known how much labor and difficulty have attended her slender exertions, in the literature of a city she has never ceased to love.[vi]

P. S. Among the papers omitted from necessity, is one by the Rev. Dr. Nichols, which, owing to accident, did not arrive till the arrangements for the work were entirely completed. In the absence of the Editor, whose own leading article arrived almost too late for insertion, we have taken the liberty to state the facts, that our readers may understand the cause of an omission so extraordinary.



Diamond Cove—By S. B. Beckett9
Our Own Country—By James Brooks13
The Cruise of The Dart—By S. B. Beckett21
To M—, on her Birth-Day,—By William Cutter59
Religious Obligation in Rulers—By John W. Chickering60
A New-England Winter Scene—By William Cutter74
Loch Katrine—By N. H. Carter78
Worship—By Asa Cummings82
The Valley of Silence—By William Cutter86
Descriptions of The Divine Being—By Gershom F. Cox88
The French Revolution—By Charles S. Daveis98
Mrs. Sykes—From the papers of Dr. Tonic, recently brought to light—By Nathaniel Deering102
Old and Young—By James Furbish115
Autumnal Days—By P. H. Greenleaf119
The Plague—By Charles P. Ilsley123
'Oh, This is not My Home'—By Charles P. Ilsley125
The Village Prize—By Joseph Ingraham126
Indifference to Study—By George W. Light134
[viii] The Village of Auteuil—By Henry W. Longfellow138
The Past and The New Year—By Prentiss Mellen145
The Ruin of a Night—By Grenville Mellen150
Courtship—By William L. McClintock152
Venetian Moonlight—By Frederick Mellen158
Ballooning—By I. McLellan, Jr.160
Ode—By Grenville Mellen166
The Boy's Mountain Song—By I. McLellan, Jr.167
The Unchangeable Jew—By John Neal168
A War-Song of The Revolution—By John Neal183
Musings on Music—By James F. Otis185
Sin estimated by the Light of Heaven—By Edward Payson194
The Way of the Soul—By L. S. P.200
Fragments of An Address on Music—By Edward Payson206
The Blush—By Mrs. Elizabeth Smith212
The Widowed Bride—By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens216
Jack Downing's Visit to Portland—By Seba Smith227
The Deserted Wife—By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens272
Portland as it Was—By William Willis231
The Cherokee's Threat—By N. P. Willis239
Grecian and Roman Eloquence—By Ashur Ware256
Religion—By Jason Whitman269




A beauteous Cove, amid the isles
That sprinkle Casco's winding bay,
Where, like an Eden, nature smiles
In all her wild and rich array.
'Tis sheltered from the ocean's roar
By beetling crags and foam-girt rifts,
And mossy trees, that ages hoar
Have braved the sea-gales on its cliffs!
The broad-armed oak, the beech and pine,
And elm, their branches intertwine
Above its tranquil, glassy face,
So that the sun finds scarcely space
At mid-day, for his fervid beam
To shimmer on the limpid stream;
And in its rugged, sparry caves,
Worn by the winter's tempest waves,
Gleams many a crystal wildly bright
Like diamonds, flashing radiant light,
And hence the fairy spot is 'hight.'
The forests far extending round,
Ne'er to the spoiler's axe resound;
Nor is man's toil or traces there;[10]
But resteth all as lone and fair—
The sunny slopes, the rocks and trees,
As desert isles in Indian seas,
That sometimes rise upon the view
Of some far-wandering, wind-bound crew,
Sleeping alone mid ocean's blue.
The lonely ospray rears her brood
Deep in the forest-solitude;
And through the long, bright summer day,
When ocean, calm as mountain lake,
Bears not a breath its hush to break,
The snow-winged sea-gull tilts away
Upon the long, smooth swell, that sweeps,
In curving, wide, unbroken reach,
Into the cove from outer deeps,
Unwinding up the pebbly beach.
Oft blithly ring the wide old woods,
Within their loneliest solitudes,
To youthful shout, and song, and glee,
And viol's merry minstrelsy,
When summer's stirless, sultry air
Pervades the city's thoroughfare,
And drives the throng to seek the shades
Of these green, zephyr-breathing glades!
The dance goes round; the trunks so tall—
Rough columns of the festal hall—
Sustain a broad and lofty roof
Of nature's greenest, loveliest woof!
The maiden weaves, in lieu of wreath,
The bending fern-plumes in her hair,
And the wild flowers with scented breath,
That spring to blossom every where
Around; the forest's dream-like rest
Drives care and sorrow from each breast,
And makes the worn and weary blest!
And when the broad, dim waters blush
Beneath the tints of ebbing day,[11]
When comes the moon out in the hush
Of eve, with mellow, timid ray,
And twilight lingers far away
On the blue waste, the fisher's skiff
Comes dancing in, and 'neath the cliff
Is moored to rest, till morning's train
Beams with fresh beauty o'er the main,
And wakes him to his toil again!
O, lovely there is sunset-hour!
When twilight falls with soothing power
Along the forest-windings dim,
And from the thicket, sweet and low,
The red-breast tunes a farewell hymn
To daylight's latest, lingering glow—
When slope, and rock, and wood around,
In all their dreamy, hushed repose,
Are glassed adown the bright profound—
And passing fair is evening's close!
When from the bright, cerulean dome,
The sea-fowl, that have all the day
Wheeled o'er the far, lone billows' spray,
Come thronging to their eyries home;
When over rock and wave, remote,
From yon dim fort, the bugle's note
Along the listening air doth creep,
Seeming to steal down from the sky,
Or with out-bursting, martial sweep
Rings through the forests, clanging high,
While echo waked bears on the strain,
Till faint, beyond the trackless main,
In realms of space it seems to die.
But lovelier still is night's calm noon!
When like a sea-nymph's fairy bark,
The mirrored crescent of the moon
Swings on the waters weltering dark;
And in her solitary beam,
Upon each bald, storm-beaten height,
The quartz and mica wildly gleam,
Spangling the rocks with magic light;[12]
And when a silvery minstrelsy
Is swelling o'er the dim-lit sea,
As of some wandering fairy throng,
Passing on viewless wing along,
Tuning their spirit-lyres to song;
And when the night's soft breeze comes out,
And for a moment breathes about,
Shaking a burst of fresh perfume
From every honied bell and bloom,
Startling the tall pine from its rest,
And sleeping wood-bird in her nest,
Or kissing the bright water's breast;
Then stealing off into the shade,
As if it were a thing afraid!
The Indian prized this beauteous spot
Of old; beneath the embowering shade
He reared his rude and simple cot;
And round these wild shores where they played
In youth, still—pilgrims from the bourn
Of far Penobscot's sinuous stream,
Aged and bowed, and weary worn—
Lingering they love to stray, and dream
O'er the proud hopes possessed of yore,
When forest, isle and mainland shore,
For many a league, owned but their sway;
When, on the labyrinthine bay,
Now checkered o'er with many a sail,
Alone his lightsome birch canoe
Fast, by the bright, green islets flew,
Nor bark spread canvas to the gale.
Matchless retreat! mayst aye remain
As wild, as natural and free
As now thou art; nor hope of gain,
Nor enterprize a motive be
To lay thy hoary forests low;
Gold ne'er can make thy beauties glow,
Nor enterprize restore thy pride,
When once the monarchs round thy tide,
Have felt the exterminating blow.



By James Brooks.

What nation presents such a spectacle as ours, of a confederated government, so complicated, so full of checks and balances, over such a vast extent of territory, with so many varied interests, and yet moving so harmoniously! I go within the walls of the capitol at Washington, and there, under the star-spangled banners that wave amid its domes, I find the representatives of three territories, and of twenty-four nations, nations in many senses they may be called, that have within them all the germ and sinew to raise a greater people than many of the proud principalities of Europe, all speaking one language—all acting with one heart, and all burning with the same enthusiasm—the love and glory of our common country,—even if parties do exist, and bitter domestic quarrels now and then arise. I take my map, and I mark from whence they come. What a breadth of latitude, and of longitude, too,—in the fairest portion of North-America! What a variety of climate,—and then what a variety of production! What a stretch of sea-coast, on two oceans—with harbors enough for all the commerce of the world! What an immense national domain, surveyed, and unsurveyed, of extinguished, and unextinguished Indian titles within the States and Territories, and without, estimated, in the aggregate, to be 1,090,871,753 acres, and to be worth the immense sum of $1,363,589,69,—750,000,000 acres of which are without the bounds of the States[14] and the territories, and are yet to make new States and to be admitted into the Union! Our annual revenue, now, from the sales, is over three millions of dollars. Our national debt, too, is already more than extinguished,—and yet within fifty-eight years, starting with a population of about three millions, we have fought the War of Independence, again not ingloriously struggled with the greatest naval power in the world, fresh with laurels won on sea and land,—and now we have a population of over thirteen millions of souls. One cannot feel the grandeur of our Republic, unless he surveys it in detail. For example, a Senator in Congress, from Louisiana, has just arrived in Washington. Twenty days of his journey he passed in a steam-boat on inland waters,—moving not so rapidly, perhaps, as other steam-boats sometimes move, in deeper waters,—but constantly moving, at a quick pace too, day and night. I never shall forget the rapture of a traveller, who left the green parks of New Orleans early in March,—that land of the orange and the olive, then teeming with verdure, freshness and life, and, as it were, mocking him with the mid-summer of his own northern home. He journeyed leisurely toward the region of ice and snow, to watch the budding of the young flowers, and to catch the breeze of the Spring. He crossed the Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne; he ascended the big Tombeckbee in a comfortable steam-boat. From Tuscaloosa, he shot athwart the wilds of Alabama, over Indian grounds, that bloody battles have rendered ever memorable. He traversed Georgia, the Carolinas, ranged along the base of the mountains of Virginia,—and for three months and more, he enjoyed one perpetual, one unvarying, ever-coming Spring,—that[15] most delicious season of the year,—till, by the middle of June, he found himself in the fogs of the Passamaquoddy, where tardy summer was even then hesitating whether it was time to come. And yet he had not been off the soil of his own country! The flag that he saw on the summit of the fortress, on the lakes near New Orleans, was the like of that which floated from the staff on the hills of Fort Sullivan, in the easternmost extremity of Maine;—and the morning gun that startled his slumbers, among the rocky battlements that defy the wild tides of the Bay of Fundy, was not answered till many minutes after, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The swamps, the embankments, the cane-brakes of the Father of Waters, on whose muddy banks the croaking alligator displayed his ponderous jaws,—the cotton-fields, the rice-grounds of the low southern country,—and the vast fields of wheat and corn in the regions of the mountains, were far, far behind him:—and he was now, in a Hyperborean land—where nature wore a rough and surly aspect, and a cold soil and a cold clime, drove man to launch his bark upon the ocean, to dare wind and wave, and to seek from the deep, in fisheries, and from freights, the treasures his own home will not give him. Indeed, such a journey as this, in one's own country, to an inquisitive mind, is worth all 'the tours of Europe.' If a young American, then, wishes to feel the full importance of an American Congress, let him make such a journey. Let him stand on the levee at New Orleans and count the number and the tiers of American vessels that there lie, four, five and six thick, on its long embankment. Let him hear the puff, puff, puff, of the high-pressure steam-boats, that come sweeping in almost[16] every hour, perhaps from a port two thousand miles off,—from the then frozen winter of the North, to the full burning summer of the South,—all inland navigation,—fleets of them under his eye,—splendid boats, too, many of them, as the world can show,—with elegant rooms, neat berths, spacious saloons, and a costly piano, it may be,—so that travellers of both sexes can dance or sing their way to Louisville, as if they were on a party of pleasure. Let him survey all these, as they come in with products from the Red River, twelve hundred miles in one direction, or from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, two thousand miles in another direction, from the western tributaries of the vast Mississippi, the thickets of the Arkansas, or White River,—from the muddy, far-reaching Missouri, and its hundreds of branches:—and then in the east, from the Illinois, the Ohio, and its numerous tributaries—such as the Tennessee, the Cumberland, or the meanest of which, such as the Sandy River, on the borders of Kentucky—that will in a freshet fret and roar, and dash, as if it were the Father of Floods, till it sinks into nothing, when embosomed in the greater stream, and there acknowledges its own insignificance. Let him see 'the Broad Horns,' the adventurous flatboats of western waters, on which—frail bark!—the daring backwoodsman sallies forth from the Wabash, or rivers hundreds of miles above, on a voyage of atlantic distance, with hogs—horses—oxen and cattle of all kinds on board—corn, flour, wheat, all the products of rich western lands—and let him see them, too, as he stems the strong current of the Mississippi, as if the wood on which he floated was realizing the fable of the Nymphs of Ida—goddesses, instead of pines. Take the young traveller[17] where the clear, silvery waters of the Ohio become tinged with the mud from the Missouri, and where the currents of the mighty rivers run apart for miles, as if indignant at the strange embrace. Ascend with him farther, to St. Louis, where, if he looks upon the map he will find that he is about as near the east as the west, and that soon, the emigrant, who is borne on the wave of population that now beats at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and anon will overleap its summits—will speak of him as he now speaks of New-England, as far in the east. And then tell him that far west as he is, he is but at the beginning of steam navigation—that the Mississippi itself is navigable six or seven hundred miles upward—and that steam-boats have actually gone on the Missouri two thousand one hundred miles above its mouth, and that they can go five hundred miles farther still! Take him, then, from this land where the woodsman is leveling the forest every hour, across the rich prairies of Illinois, where civilization is throwing up towns and villages, pointed with the spire of the church, and adorned with the college and the school,—then athwart the flourishing fields of Indiana, to Cincinnati,—well called 'the Queen of the West,'—a city of thirty thousand inhabitants, with paved streets, numerous churches, flourishing manufactories, and an intelligent society too,—and this in a State with a million of souls in it now, that has undertaken gigantic public works,—where the fierce savages, even within the memory of the young men, made the hearts of their parents quake with fear,—roaming over the forests, as they did, in unbridled triumph,—wielding the tomahawk in terror, and ringing the war-hoop like demons of vengeance let loose from below! Show him our immense[18] inland seas, from Green Bay to Lake Ontario,—not inconsiderable oceans,—encompassed with fertile fields. Show him the public works of the Empire State, as well as those of Pennsylvania,—works the wonder of the world,—such as no people in modern times have ever equalled. And then introduce him to the busy, humming, thriving population of New-England, from the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Switzerland of America, to the northern lakes and wide sea-coast of Maine. Show him the industry, energy, skill and ingenuity of these hardy people, who let not a rivulet run, nor a puff of wind blow, without turning it to some account,—who mingle in every thing, speculate in every thing, and dare every thing wherever a cent of money is to be earned—whose lumbermen are found not only in the deepest woods of the snowy and fearful wilds of Maine, throwing up sawmills on the lone waterfalls, and making the woods ring with their hissing music—but found, too, on the banks of the St. Lawrence, and coming also on mighty rafts of deal from every eastern tributary of the wild St. John, Meduxnekeag and Aroostook, streams whose names geographers hardly know. And then too, as if this were not enough, they turn their enterprize and form companies 'to log and lumber,' even on the Ocmulgee and Oconee of the State of Georgia—and on this day they are actually found in the Floridas, there planning similar schemes, and as there are no waterfalls, making steam impel their saws. Show him the banks of the Penobscot, now studded with superb villages—jewels of places, that have sprung up like magic—the magnificent military road that leads to the United States' garrison at Houlton, a fairy spot in the wilderness, but approached[19] by as excellent a road as the United States can boast of.

Show him the hundreds and hundreds of coasters that run up every creek and inlet of tide-water there, at times left high and dry, as if the ocean would never float them more: and then lift him above considerations of a mercenary character, and show him how New-England men are perpetuating their high character and holy love of liberty,—and how, by neat and elegant churches, that adorn every village,—by comfortable school-houses, that appear every two miles, or oftener, upon almost every road, free for every body,—high-born, and low-born,—by academies and colleges, that thicken even to an inconvenience; by asylums and institutions, munificently endowed, for the benefit of the poor:—and see, too, with what generous pride their bosoms swell when they go within the consecrated walls of Faneuil Hall, or point out the heights of Bunker Hill, or speak of Concord, or Lexington.

Give any young man such a tour as this—the best he can make—and I am sure his heart will beat quick, when he sees the proud spectacle of the assemblage of the representatives of all these people, and all these interests, within a single hall. He will more and more revere the residue of those revolutionary patriots, who not only left us such a heritage, won by their sufferings and their blood, but such a constitution—such a government here in Washington, regulating all our national concerns—but who have also, in effect, left us twenty-four other governments, with territory enough to double them by-and-by—that regulate all the minor concerns of the people, acting within their own sphere; now, in the winter, assembling within their various capitols, from[20] Jefferson city, on Missouri, to Augusta, on the Kennebec;—from the capitol on the Hudson, to the government house on the Mississippi. Show me a spectacle more glorious, more encouraging, than this, even in the pages of all history; such a constellation of free States, with no public force, but public opinion—moving by well regulated law—each in its own proper orbit, around the brighter star in Washington,—thus realizing, as it were, on earth, almost practically, the beautiful display of infinite wisdom, that fixed the sun in the centre, and sent the revolving planets on their errands. God grant it may end as with them!



By S. B. Beckett.

"There was an old and quiet man,
And by the fire sat he;
And now, said he, to you I'll tell
Things passing strange that once befell
A ship upon the sea."—Mary Howitt.

"There she is, Ricardo," said I to my friend, as we reached the end of the pier, in Havana, while the Dart lay about half a mile off the shore,—"what think you of her?"

"Beautiful!—a more symmetrical craft never passed the Moro!"

So thought I, and my heart responded with a thrill of pride to the sentiment. How saucy she looked, with her gay streamers abroad upon the winds, and the red-striped flag of the Union floating jauntily at the main peak—with her lofty masts tapering away, till, relieved against the blue abyss, they were apparently diminished to the size of willow wands, while the slight ropes that supported the upper spars seemed, from the pier, like the fairy tracery of the spider. Although surrounded by ships, xebecs, brigantines, polacres, galleys and galliots from almost every clime in christendom, she stood up conspicuously among them all, an apt representative of the land whence she came! But let us take a nearer view of the beauty. The hull was long, low, and at the bows almost as sharp as the missile after which she was named. From the waist to the stern she tapered away in the most graceful proportions,[22] and she had as lovely a run as ever slid over the dancing billows. Light and graceful as a sea-bird, she rocked on the undulating water. But her rig!—herein, to my thinking, was her chiefest beauty—every thing pertaining to it was so exact, so even and so tanto. Besides the sail usually carried by man-of-war schooners, she had the requisite appertenances for a royal and flying kite, or sky-sail, which, now that she was in port, were all rigged up. Not another vessel of her class in the navy could spread so much canvas to the influence of old Boreas as the Dart.

Her armament consisted of one long brass twenty-four pounder, mounted on a revolving carriage midships, and six twelve-pound carronades. Add to this a picked crew of ninety men, with the redoubtable Jonathan West as our captain, Mr. Dacre Dacres as first, and your humble servant, Ahasuerus Hackinsack, as second lieutenant, besides a posse of minor officers and middies,—and you may form a faint idea of the Dart.

Bidding adieu to my friend, I jumped into the pinnace waiting, and in a few minutes stood on her quarter deck.

But it will be necessary for me to explain for what purpose the Dart was here. She had been dispatched by government to cruise among the Leeward Islands, and about Cape St. Antonio, in quest of a daring band of pirates, who, trusting to their superior prowess and the fleetness of their vessel, a schooner called the Sea-Sprite, had long scourged the merchantmen of the Indian seas with impunity. Cruiser after cruiser had been sent out to attack them in vain. She had invariably escaped, until at length, in reality, they were left[23] for awhile, the undisputed 'rulers of the waves,' as they vauntingly styled themselves. It was said of the Sea-Sprite, that she was as fleet as the winds, and as mysterious in her movements; and her master spirit, the fierce Juan Piesta, was as wily and fierce a robber, as ever prowled upon the western waters. Indeed, so wonderful and various had been his escapes, that many of the Spaniards, and the lower orders of seamen in general, believed him to be leagued with the Powers of Darkness!

But the Dart had been fitted up for the present cruise expressly on account of her matchless speed, and our captain, generally known in the service by the significant appellation of Old Satan West, was, in situations where fighting or peril formed any part of the story, a full match for his namesake.

After cruising about the western extremity of Cuba, for nearly a month, to no purpose, we bore away for the southern coast of St. Domingo, and at the time my story opens, were off Jacquemel. The morning was heralded onward by troops of clouds, of the most brilliant and burning hues—deep crimson ridges—fire-fringed volumes of purple, hanging far in the depths of the mild and beautiful heaven—long, rose-tinted and golden plumes, stretching up from the horizon to the zenith,—forming altogether a most gorgeous and magnificent spectacle, while, to complete the pageant, the sun, just rising from his ocean lair, shed a flood of glaring light far over the restless expanse toward us, and every rope and spar of our vessel, begemmed with bright dew-drops, flashed and twinkled in his beams, like the jeweled robes of a princely bride.[24]

"Fore top there! what's that away in the wake o' the sun?" called out Mr. Dacres.

"A drifting spar, I believe, Sir—but the sun throws such a glare on the water I cannot see plainly."

I looked in the direction pointed out, and saw a dark object tumbling about on the fiery swell, like an evil spirit in torment. We altered our course and stood away toward it. It turned out to be a boat, apparently empty, but on a nearer inspection we perceived a man lying under its thwarts, whose pale, lank features and sunken eye bespoke him as suffering the last pangs of starvation. My surprise can better be imagined than described, on discovering in the unfortunate man a highly loved companion of my boyhood, Frederick Percy! He was transferred from his miserable quarters to a snug berth on board of the Dart, and in a few hours, by the judicious management of our surgeon, was resuscitated, so as to be able to come on deck.

His story may be told in a few words. He had been travelling in England—while there had married a beautiful, but friendless orphan. Soon after this occurrence he embarked in one of his father's ships for Philadelphia, intending to touch at St. Domingo city, and take in a freight. But, three days before, when within a few hours' sail of their destined port, they had fallen in with a piratical schooner, which, after a short struggle, succeeded in capturing them. While protecting his wife from the insults of the bucaneers, he received a blow in the temple, which deprived him of his senses; and when he awoke to consciousness it was night, wild and dark, and he was tossing on the lone sea, without provisions, sail or oars, as we had found him. For three days he had not tasted food. Poor fellow! his anxiety[25] as to the fate of his wife almost drove him to distraction.

This circumstance assured us that we were on the right trail of the marauder whom we sought. We continued beating up the coast till noon, when the breeze died away into a stark calm, and we lay rolling on the long glassy swell, about ten leagues from the St. Domingo shore. The sun was intensely powerful, glowing through the hazy atmosphere, directly over our heads, like a red-hot cannon ball; and the far-stretching main was as sultry and arid as the sands of an African desert. To the north, the cloud-topped mountains of St. Domingo obstructed our view, looming through the blue haze to an immense height—presenting to as the aspect of huge, flat, shadowy walls; and one need have taxed his imagination but lightly, to fancy them the boundaries dividing us from a brighter and a better clime. The depths of the ocean were as translucent as an unobscured summer sky, and far beneath us we could distinguish the dolphins and king-fish, roaming leisurely about, or darting hither and thither as some object attracted their pursuit; while nearer its surface the blue element was alive with myriads of minor nondescripts, riggling, flouncing and lazily moving up and down,—probably attracted by the shade of our dark hull.

The men having little else to do, obtained from the captain permission to fish. Directly they had hauled in a dozen or more of the most ill-favored, shapeless, unchristian-looking articles I ever clapped eyes on, which, when I came from aft, were dancing their death jigs on the forecastle-deck, much to the diversion of the captain's black waiter, Essequibo.[26]

"Halloo!—this way, blackey!" shouted an old tar to the merry African, who, by the way, was a kind of reference table for the whole crew—"Egad! Billy, look here,—what do you call this comical looking devil that has helped himself to my hook? Why! his body is as long as the articles of discipline, and his mouth almost as long as his body!—your own main-hatch-way is not a circumstance to it!"

"Him be one gar fish—ocium gar!—he no good for eat," answered the black with a grin that drew the corners of his mouth almost back to his ears, so that, to appearance, small was the hinge that kept brain and body together.

At the sight the querist dropped the fish, exclaiming with feigned wonder, "By all that's crooked, an even bet!—ar'n't your mouth made ov injy rubber, Billy!"

"Good ting to hab de larsh mout, Misser Mongo,—eat de more—lib de longer," said Billy.

"Screw your blinkers this way, Jack Simpson, there's a prize for you," said another, as he dragged a huge lump-headed, bull-eyed, tail-less mass out of the water, with fins protruding, like thorns, from every part of his body!—"Guess he's one of the fighting cocks down below, seeing his spurs!—any how, he's well armed,—I'll be keel-hauled, if he don't look like the beauty that we saw carved out on the Frencher's stern, with the Neptune bestride it, in Havana, barin' he wants a tail! Han't he a queer un?—but how in natur do you suppose he makes out to steer without a rudder?"

"Steer wid he head turn behin' him!" answered Seignor Essequibo, bursting into a chuckling laugh—mightily tickled with the struggles of the ungainly[27] monster,—"Che, che, che!—him sea-dragum—catch um plenty on de cos ob Barbado. Take care ob him horn!"

"Yo, heave, ho! Shaint Pathrick, an' it's me what's caught a whale!" drawled out a brawny Patlander, while he tugged and sweated to heave in his prize.

"My gorra! you hook one barracouter!" cried Billy, as his eye caught a glimpse of the big fish curveting in the water at the end of Paddy's line,—"Bes' fish in de worl'!—good for make um chowder—good for fry—for ebery ting,—me help you pull him in, Massa Coulan," and without further ado, he laid hold of the line. The beautiful fish was hauled in, and consigned to the custody of the cook.

"Stave in my bulwarks, if this 'ere dragon-fish ha'n't stuck one of his horns into my foot an inch deep!" roared an old marine,—"Hand me that sarving mallet, snow ball, I'll see if I can't give him a hint to behave better!"

"Hurrah!—here comes an owl-fish, I reckon;" shouted a merry wight of a tar, from the land of wooden nutmegs,—"specimen of the salt-water owl! Lord, look at his teeth—how he grins!—What are you laughing at, my beauty?"

"Le diable! une chouette dans la mer?" exclaimed a little wizen-pated Frenchman, who had seated himself astraddle of the cathead.—"Vel, Monsieur Vagastafsh, comment nommez vous dish petit poisson?"

"Poison! No, Monsheer, I rather guess there han't the least bit o' poison in natur about that ere young shark!" replied Wagstaff, "though for that matter a shark's worse'n poison."

"I not mean poison—I say poisson—fish."[28]

"O, poison fish—yes, I know—you'll find plenty of them on the Bahamy copper banks. I always gets the cook to put a piece of silver in the boilers, when we grub on fish in them ere parts."

"O, mon dieu! le rashcalle hash bitez mon vum almos' off! Sacré, vous ingrat, to treatez me so like, when I am feed you wis de bon dîner!"

My attention was called away from this scene of hilarity, by the voice of the watch in the fore-top, announcing a sail in sight.

A faint indefinable speck could be seen in the quarter designated, fluttering on the bosom of the blue sea like a drift of foam. With the aid of the glass we made it out to be the topsail of a schooner, so distant that her hull and lower sails were below the brim of the horizon. Her canvas had probably just been unloosed to the breeze, which was directly after seen roughening the face of the broad, smooth expanse as it swept down toward us.

"That glass, Mr. Waters—she is standing toward us, and by the gods of war! the cut of her narrow flying royal, looks marvellously like that of our friend, the Sea-Sprite!" said the captain, while the blood flashed over his bald forehead, like 'heat lightning' over a summer cloud; "Mr. Hackinsack, see that every thing is ready for a chase."

The broad sails were unloosed and sheeted close home. Directly the wind was with us, and we were bowling along under a press of canvas.

"Now, quartermaster, look to your sails as closely, as you would watch one seeking your life." Another squint through the glass. "Ha! they have suspected us, and are standing in toward the land, jam on the[29] wind;—let them look to it sharply; it must be a fleet pair of heels that can keep pace with the Dart,—though to say the least of yonder cruiser, she is no laggard!"

After pacing the deck some ten minutes, he again hove short and lifted the glass to his eye.

"By heavens! the little witch still holds her way with us!—Have the skysail set, and rig out the top-gallant-studd'n'sail!"

Every one on board was now eager in the chase. The orders were obeyed almost as soon as given. Our proud vessel, under the press of sail, absolutely flew over the water, haughtily tossing the rampant surges from her sides, while her bows were buried in a roaring and swirling sheet of foam, and a broad band of snow stretched far over the dark blue waste astern, showing a wake as strait as an arrow. She was careened down to the breeze, so that her lower studd'n'sail-boom every moment dashed a cloud of spray from the romping billows, and her lee rail was at times under water. Her masts curved and whiffled beneath the immense piles of canvas, like a stringed bow.

"She walks the waters bravely," said the captain, casting a glance of exultation at the distended sails and bending spars, and then at our arrowy wake.—"But, by Jupiter, the chase still almost holds her way with us. We need more sail aft. Bear a hand, my men, and run up the ringtail."

"That will answer,—a dolphin would have a sweat to beat us in this trim!"

"Well, Mr Percy, is yonder dasher the craft that pillaged your ship, and sent you cruising about the ocean in that bit of a cockle-shell, think you?"

"That is the pirate schooner—I cannot mistake her,"[30] replied Percy, who stood with his flashing eyes rivetted on the vessel, and his fingers impatiently working about the hilt of his cutlass, while his brow was darkened with an intense desire of revenge.

Three hours passed, and we had gained within a league of the noble looking craft. She was heeled down to the breeze, so that owing to the 'bagging' of her lower sails, her hull was almost hidden from sight. Like a snowy cloud, she darted along the revelling waters, the sunbeams basking on her wide-spread wings, and the sprightly billows flashing and surging around her bows. Never saw I an object more beautiful.

The land was now fully in sight—a stern and rock-bound coast, against which the breakers dashed with maddening violence, and for half a mile from the shore, the water was one conflicting waste of snowy surf and billow. No signs of inhabitants, on either hand, as far as the eye could view, were discernible. The long range of stern, solitary mountains arose from the waves, and towered away till lost in the clouds. Their sides, save where some splintered cliff lifted its gray peaks in the day, were clothed with thick forests, among which the tufted palm and wild cinnamon stood up conspicuously, like sentinels looking afar over the wide waste of blue. Here and there a torrent could be traced, leaping from crag to cliff, seeming, as it blazed in the fierce sun-light, to run liquid fire; and gorgeous masses of wild creepers and tangled undergrowth hung down over the embattled heights, swaying and flaunting in the gale, like the banners and streamers of an encamped army.

Not the slightest chance for harbor or anchorage could be discovered along the whole iron-bound coast,[31] yet the gallant little Sea-sprite held steadily on her course, steering broad for the base of the mountains.

"Why, in the name of madness, is the fellow driving in among the breakers?" muttered our captain;—"Thinks he to escape by running into danger? By Mars, and if I mistake not, he shall have peril to his heart's content, ere nightfall!"

But fate willed that we should be disappointed; for just as every thing had been arranged to treat the bucaneer with a fist full of grape and canister, one of those sudden tempests, so common to the West Indies in the autumn months, was upon us. A vast, black, conglomerated volume of vapor swung against the mountain summits, and curled heavily down over the cliffs. Brilliant scintillations were darting from its shadowy borders, and the zigzag lightnings were playing about it, and licking its ragged folds like the tongues of an evil spirit! Suddenly it burst asunder, and a burning gleam—a wide conflagration, as if the very earth had exploded—flashed over the hills, accompanied with a peal of thunder that made the broad ocean tremble, and our deck quiver under us, like a harpooned grampus in his death gasp! The electric fluid upheaved and hurled to fragments an immense peak near the summit of the mountains, and huge masses of rock, with thunderous din, and amid clouds of dust, smoke and fire, came bounding and racing down from crag to crag, uprooting the tall cedars, and dashing to splinters the firm iron-wood trees, as though they had been but reeds—sweeping a wide path of ruin through the thick forests, and shivering to atoms and dust the loose rocks that obstructed their career, till, with a whirring bound, they plunged from a beetling cliff into the sea, causing[32] the tortured water to send up a cloud of mist and spray. All on board were struck aghast at the blinding brilliancy of the flash and its terrible effects.

We were aroused to a sense of our situation, by the clear, sonorous voice of Satan West, whom nothing pertaining to earth could daunt, calling all hands to take in sail.

Instantly the trade-wind ceased, and a fearful, death-like silence ensued. This was of short duration; hardly were our sails stowed close, when we saw the trees on shore drawn upwards, twisted off and rent to pieces, while a dense mass of leaves and broken branches whirled over the land; and a wild, deep, wailing sound, as of rushing wings, filled the air, foretelling the onset of the whirlwind.

"The hurricane is upon us!—helm hard aweather!" thundered the captain.

But the Dart was already lying on her beam-ends, heaving, groaning and quivering throughout every timber, in the fierce embrace of the tremendous blast! After its first overpowering shock, however, the gallant craft slowly recovered, and by dint of the strenuous exertions of our men, she was got before the gale. Away she sprang, like a frighted thing, over the tormented and whitening surges, completely shrouded in foam and spray. A dense cloud, murky as midnight, spread over the face of the heavens, where a moment before, naught met the gazer's eye, save the fleecy mackerel-clouds, drifting afar through its cerulean halls. The blue lightnings gleamed, the thunder boomed and rattled, the black billows shook their flashing manes, the whole firmament was in an uproar; and amid the wild rout, our little Dart, as a dry leaf in the autumn winds,[33] was borne about, a very plaything in the eddying whirls of the frantic elements.

The tempest was as short lived as it was sudden, and, as the schooner had sustained no material injury, directly after it had abated she was under sail again. When the rain cleared up in shore, every eye sought eagerly for the pirate craft.

She had vanished!

Nothing met our view but the tossing and tumbling surges, and the breaker-beaten coast. If ever old Satan West was taken aback, it was then. His brow darkened, and a shadow of unutterable disappointment passed over his countenance.

"Gone!—By all that is mysterious and wonderful—gone!" he muttered to himself,—"escaped from my very grasp! Can there be truth in the wild tales told of her? No, no!—idiot to harbor the thought for a moment—she has foundered!"

But this was hardly probable, as not the slightest vestige of her remained about the spot.

Poor Percy, too, was the picture of despair. His hat had been blown away by the hurricane; and his hair tossed rudely in the wind, as he stood in the main-chains, gazing with the wildness of a maniac over the uproarous waters.

"The lovers of the marvelous would here find enough to fatten upon, I ween," said Dacres, composedly helping himself to a quid of tobacco. "What think you is to come next? for I hardly think the play ends with actors and all being spirited away in a thunder gust!"

I was interrupted in my reply by the energetic exclamations of the captain, who had been gazing seaward, over the quarter-rail.[34]

"Yes, by all the imps in purgatory, it is that devil-leagued pirate," burst from his lips; and at the same moment the cry of Sail O! was heard from the forward watch.

A long-sparred vessel could be seen, relieved against the black bank of clouds, that were crowding down the horizon. Surprise was imaged on every countenance, and when the order was passed to crowd on all sail in pursuit, a murmur of disapprobation ran through the whole crew. However, such was their respect for the regulations of the service, and so great their dread of old Satan West, that no one dared demur openly. Again the Dart was bounding over the waves in pursuit of the stranger, which had confirmed our suspicions as to her character, by hoisting all sail and endeavoring to escape us.

But here likewise we were disappointed. She proved to be a Baltimore clipper, and had endeavored to run away from us, taking us for the same craft we had supposed her to be.

After parting from the Baltimorean, we ran in; and as the evening fell, anchored under the land, sheltered from the waves by a little rocky promontory. It was my turn to take the evening watch. Our wearied crew were soon lost in sleep, and all was hushed into repose, if I except the shrill, rasping voices of the green lizards, the buzzing and humming of the numerous insects on shore, and the occasional, long-drawn creak, creak of the cable, as the schooner swung at her anchor. The evening was mild and beautiful. The moon, attended by one bright, beautiful planet, was on her wonted round through the heavens, and the far expanse of ocean, reflecting her effulgence, seemed to roll in billows[35] of molten silver beneath the gentle night-wind, which swept from the land, fragrant with the breath of wild-flowers and spicy shrubs.

Little Ponto, the royal reefer, lay on a gun carriage near me. This boy, whom, when on a former cruise, I had rescued from a Turkish Trader, was a favorite with all on board. Although, in person, effeminate and beautiful as a girl, and possessing the strong affections of the weaker sex, he still was not wanting in that high courage and energy which constitutes the pride of manhood. He was an orphan, and with the exception of a sister and aunt, who were living together in England, there was not, in the wide world, one being with whom he could claim relationship. When very young, he had been entrusted to the charge of the friendly captain of a merchant ship, bound to Smyrna, for the purpose of improving his health. But the vessel never reached her destined port. She was captured by an Algerine rover, and the boy made prisoner. It was from the worst of slavery that I had rescued him, and ever after the occurrence his gratitude toward me knew no bounds. He appeared to be contented and happy in his present situation, save when his thoughts reverted to his lone sister. Then the tears would spring into his eyes, and he would talk to me of her beauty and goodness, till I was almost in love with the pure being which his glowing descriptions had conjured to my mind. I loved that boy as a brother, and he returned my affection with a fervor, equalling that of a trusting woman.

As I leaned against the companion-way, absorbed in pleasant dreams of my far home, a touch on the shoulder aroused me. I turned and Percy stood by my[36] side. The beauty of the evening had soothed his wild and agitated feelings. He spoke of his wife with touching regret, as if certain that she was lost to him forever. For nearly an hour he stood gazing on the moon's bright attendant, as if he fancied it her home.

At length he disappeared below, and again Ponto, who seemed to be wrapped in a deep revery, was my only companion. We had remained several minutes in silence, when suddenly, as if it had dropped from the clouds, a female form appeared far above us, on a precipitous bluff that leaned out over the deep, on which the solitary moonlight slept in unobstructed brightness. The form advanced so near the brink of the fearful crag, that we could even distinguish the color of her drapery as it fluttered in the wind. By the motion of her arms she seemed beckoning us on shore; then, as if despairing to attract our attention, she looked fearfully about, and the next moment a strain of exquisite melody came floating down to us, like a voice from heaven. We remained breathless, and could almost distinguish the words.

The strain terminated in a startling cry, and with a frantic gesture the figure tore a crimson scarf from her neck, and shook it wildly on the winds; at the same moment the dark form of a man leaped out on the cliff. There was a short struggle, with reiterated shrieks of 'help! help! help!' in a voice of agony, and all disappeared in the deep shadow of another rock.

Ponto, who at the first burst of the song, had started up and grasped my arm with a degree of wild energy I had never witnessed in him before, now suddenly released his hold, and with a single bound plunged into the sea. So lost was I in amazement at the whole[37] scene, that for a moment I remained undecided what course to pursue; then, not wishing to alarm the ship, I ordered Waters, the midshipman of the watch, to jump into the boat with a few of the men, and pull after him.

The head of my little favorite soon became visible in the moonlight. With a vigorous arm he struck out for the shore, and was immediately hid in the deep shadow of its mural cliffs. A moment, and I again saw him on the beetling rocks, whence the female had just disappeared; then he, too, was lost in the darkness.

Waters, after being absent in the boat about half an hour, returned without having discovered the least sign of the fugitive. Hour after hour I awaited the return of my adventurous boy, filled with painful anxiety.

As the night deepened, the clouds, which during the day had slumbered on the mountain battlements, as if held in awe by the majesty of the burning sun, rolled slowly down the steeps and gradually spread out on the sea, enveloping us in their humid embrace. A denser mist I never saw; my thin clothing was soon wet through and clinging to me like steel to a magnet, and we were completely lost in darkness. As I paced the deck, not willing to go below while my young favorite was in peril, Waters tapped me on the shoulder.

"Did you notice any thing then, Mr. Hackinsack? I thought I heard a splash in the water, like the dip of an oar."

"Some fish, I suppose, Waters."

"I think not, Sir; besides, just now I saw a dark object gliding slowly across our bow in the mist, which I then took for a drifting log."[38]

I walked round the deck and peered into the fog on every side, but could discover nothing. I listened; all was silent save the tweet, tweet, of the lizards and the roar of the surf, as it beat on the rocks astern. Presently old Benjamin Ramrod, the gunner, came aft.

"I wish this infernal fog would clear up!" said he, "for the last half hour, I have heard strange noises about us! I am much mistaken, or we are surrounded by enemies of some sort or other. When that shining apparition arose from the bluff there, and began to beckon to us, I said to myself, some accident is going to happen before many hours, and you see if my pro'nostics ar'n't true. Minded you how, by her sweet voice, she lured that poor boy, Ponto, overboard?—and even I, who may say I've had some experience in such matters, began to feel a queerish sensation, as I harkened to her witchery. Many a poor sailor has lost his life by listening to their lonesome-like songs. I remember once when I was on the coast of Africa, in a gold-dust and ivory trader, we heard the water-wraiths and mermaids singing to each other all night long, and the very next day our ship was driven upon the rocks in a white squall, and wrecked, and only myself and a Congo nigger escaped alive, out of a crew of twenty-three!—It strikes me, too," he continued, after listening a moment, "that we shall have a storm before morning; the fog seems to be brushing by us, and the noise of the breakers on shore grows terribly loud. I would give all the prize-money I ever gained to be out of the place, with good sea-room, a flowing sheet, and our bows turned toward home—no good ever came of fighting these pirate imps.—Heaven help us! what is that?" he exclaimed with a start, as a tall, white form[39] shot up, a few rods under our stern, seen but dimly through the fog.

The fact flashed upon me at once; our cable had been cut; it was the spray of the breakers rebounding from the shore. The best bower anchor was instantly let go, which brought us up; not however till we had drifted within a cable's length of the breakers, which ramped and roared all the night with maddening violence, as if eager to engulf us. The alarm was given, and in a few minutes every thing was prepared for any emergency that might occur.

I ordered Ramrod to clap a charge of grape into one of the bow-chasers and let drive at the first object that came in sight. As I gave the order the dip of oars could be plainly distinguished, receding from our bows. Benjamin did not wait to see the marauders, but fired in the direction of the sound. The fog was swept away before the mouth of the gun, to some distance, and I caught a glimpse of a boat filled with men. A deep groan told that the gun had been rightly directed.

There was now no doubt that we were surrounded by enemies. It was only by the foreboding watchfulness of the gunner that we were prevented from going ashore, where, doubtless, the pirates expected to have obtained an easy victory over us.

About ten minutes after this incident I was startled by the faint voice of Ponto, hailing me from under the schooner's side. I joyfully lowered the man-ropes, and immediately had the adventurous boy beside me, on the quarter-deck. He grasped my hand, and I felt him tremble all over with eagerness.

"You heard that song; the voice was that of my own sister! That shriek, too, was hers; do you wonder[40] that I leaped overboard? I scarcely know how I reached the rock from which she was dragged. I climbed up and up, in the direction I supposed they must have taken, until I gained the very summit of one of the hills. I looked down, and as it were floating in the haze, many feet below me, saw the face of a rock reddened by the blaze of a fire opposite. I clambered from cliff to cliff, clinging to the branches of the trees, and letting myself down by the mountain creepers that hung like thick drapery over the descent, till all at once I dropped over the very mouth of a deep cavern. A massy vine fell in heavy festoons down over the rugged pillars that formed its portal. Securing a foothold among its tendrils, concealed by its luxuriant foliage, I bent over and looked in. A large party of fierce-looking men, with pistols in their belts and cutlasses lying by them, were seated round a rude table, feasting and making merry over their wine beakers. I paid little attention to them, for against the rough wall was an old woman, and leaning upon her—as I live, it is true—was my own, my beautiful sister, she whom I had left in England! I thought my heart would have choked me, as I looked upon her pale, sorrowful face, and heard her low sobs. In my tremor the vine shook; some loose stones were started, and went clattering down into the very mouth of the cavern. Two of the pirates sprang up, and seizing a flaming brand, rushed out. The red blaze flashed over her face as they passed, and I heard them threaten her with a terrible fate, if they were discovered through her means. At the first start of the rocks I drew back into the vines, where I remained breathless and still, while they scanned the recesses of the crag. 'We were mistaken,[41] Jacopo,' at length said one of them, 'it was probably a guana, drawn hither by the fire.' Satisfied that no one was near, they returned to their comrades, who ridiculed them for their temerity.

"Again I listened, and heard them plan to cut the cable of the Dart, and run her into the breakers. If they failed in this attempt, they were to haul the Sea-Sprite out of her hiding place and leave the coast, trusting, with the aid of the fresh land-breeze, to get beyond pursuit before day-break.—The mist had come on, and knowing it impossible to reach the Dart over the rough precipices in time to give you warning, I remained in my concealment, undecided what course to pursue, when I saw a party of the pirates leave the cavern to go to their boats. Perceiving beneath me, on the bough of a wild tamarind, sundry articles of clothing, similar to those worn by the bucaneers, a bold thought occurred to me. When they had gone beyond the light from the cave, I cautiously lowered myself down, and drawing on a jacket and one of the caps, jumped with them into the boat, no one in the darkness suspecting me.

"To appearance we were in the very heart of the mountains. I am certain that rocks and foliage were piled up all around us.—After a short row we passed through what seemed to be a deep chasm, between two crags, which must have been very high, as the darkness between them was almost palpable, and in a few moments we were riding over the long swell of the open sea. We groped about in the mist for some time, till the position of the Dart was ascertained by the chafing noise of one of her booms, when, gliding softly up, with their sharp knives they cut her cable, and she[42] began to drift astern. The strictest silence was enjoined upon us all, so that had I moved or made the least noise, as I had intended, my life had been the forfeit. However, I had just made up my mind to run all hazards, when the flame of the gun gleamed through the fog. One of the pirates fell dead in the bottom of the boat, and in the hurried stir which this produced, I contrived to slip into the water.

"Now let me conjure you to take measures for the rescue of my poor sister. How she came into their power is a mystery. But my heart will break if she is not soon freed from these lawless men."

I informed the captain of Ponto's discovery, but he saw at once that it would be madness to attempt any thing in our present situation, with sunken rocks around us, the breakers astern, and a thick mist wrapping all in obscurity.

At last, after a night of the most wearisome watching, the day dawned, and the mists returned to their mountain fastnesses. Burning for a brush with the desperadoes, we towed the Dart out of her critical situation and got her under sail. The launch and cutter were ordered out, but here we were at fault. The morning sunlight slept calmly on the forest clad ridges and gray cliffs, and every irregularity and indentation of the shore were strongly shadowed forth; but not the least sign of harbor or anchorage could be seen, except under the rocky promontory we had just left, and every thing looked as forsaken and solitary as a creation's birth. However, not doubting that we should be able to sift the mystery, the boats put off, with full and well-armed crews, and on nearing the shore discovered a narrow inlet, that wound in between the two lofty cliffs,[43] the one projecting out with a magnificent curve, so as entirely to conceal the channel until we approached within a few rods of the shore.

"We've got on the right scent of the old fox now, I think," said Waters.

"Speak low, gentlemen; if discovered we may meet with a reception here not altogether so agreeable—I don't like the appearance of those grave looking fellows, yonder," said Dacres, pointing to four cannon mounted on a low parapet, with their muzzles bearing directly toward us.

"Why, the place is as silent as a grave-yard," muttered the old cockswain of the cutter.

We advanced softly up the inlet, and found it to branch out into a broad basin. Here was explained the mystery of the Sea-Sprite's sudden disappearance; this was the Pirate's Retreat, and from their escaping hither and into similar resorts known only to themselves, arose the many wild stories that were abroad respecting their supernatural prowess. Fifty well armed men might have defended the place against five hundred assailants, as there was only one point, the inlet, susceptible of an attack. The entrance was not more than thirty feet in width—only sufficient for one vessel to enter at a time; but the water was bold and deep, with a sandy bottom. An enormous cavern yawned at the farther extremity of the basin, which Ponto immediately recognized as that where the pirates held their revel the previous night. But now the place was evidently deserted; the Sea-Sprite had made her escape.

The crew of the barge were despatched on shore to explore the premises, while we, as a corps-de-reserve,[44] lay on our oars, with fire-arms loaded, ready for any emergency. While waiting I had an opportunity of surveying the magnificent scene around me. We lay in the deep shadow of a beetling precipice of such immense altitude, that the snow-white morning clouds, as they floated onward, like messengers from heaven, swept its summit. Thousands of gray sea-birds were sailing around their eyries, along its dark craggy sides far above us, while its hollow recesses reverberated their shrill cries, till to our ears they sounded like one continued scream. The cliffs all around were tumbled about in the most chaotic confusion, as if they had been upheaved by some tremendous throe of nature. Stinted forest trees and brush wood, with here and there a wild locust or banana, had gained a footing in the seams and fissures of the crags, and thick masses of the lusty mountain creepers, intertwined with wild flowering jessamin and grenadilla, fell in gorgeous festoons down the embattled heights, draping their rough projections in robes of the most magnificent woof. Nearly opposite was a yawning ravine, filled with myriads of huge, shattered trees, ragged stumps, loose stones and gravel, which probably had been swept from the mountains, by the foaming torrents that rush down to the sea in the rainy months. The desolation of this scene was in a measure relieved by the quick springing vegetation that had found sustenance among the decayed trunks, and in the black earth that still adhered to the matted roots; so that green foliage, and wild flowers of the most brilliant dies in sumptuous profusion, were waving and nodding over prostrate trees, which perchance a year before, had stood up in the pride of primeval lustihood, on the mountain ridges.[45] Further back, beyond this gorge, the sloping steeps were clothed with dark waving forests, stretching up their sides, till they faded into the blue haze resting on the mountain summits. The freshness of early day had not yet been dissipated. Among the undergrowth and brakes, on the tips of the tall, sweeping guinea grass, and in the cups of the wild flowers, the pure dews hung in glittering globules, sparkling with brilliant prismatic tints, as they flashed back the glances of the rising sun. Calmness and repose reigned over the unequalled sublimities of the place; and although the billows were madly beating and roaring against the outer base of the crescent-like promontory, within, the water was silent and unruffled by a breath, reflecting in its depths the wild and gorgeous array of rock and verdure around, almost as unwavering as reality itself; and had it not been for the tiny wavelets that rippled up a small sandy beach, adorning the water's edge with a narrow frill of foam, its likeness to a broad sheet of glass had been perfect.

At length, after the premises had been thoroughly reconnoitered, the crew of the cutter were permitted to go on shore. They were soon revelling amidst the costly merchandize and the luxuries, with which the cavern was gorged.

"Holloa, Price!" said Waters to a fellow mid, as he came out of the cave, dragging an old hag of a woman after him, apparently much against her will; "I've found the presiding goddess of the place. Isn't she a Venus?"

"Wenus indeed!" echoed the old beldame, "take that, young madcap, and larn better how to treat a[46] lady!" administering a thwack on his ear that sent him staggering a rod from her.

Waters gathered himself together, and a general laugh took place at his expense.

"A fair representative of the amorous goddess—quite liberal with her love pats!" said Price in a tantalizing tone.

"Confound the old hag," muttered the discomfited mid, "if it were not a waste of good powder and ball, I'd make a riddle of her in the twinkling of a grog-can!"

This female and one man, found wounded and languishing on his pallet, were the only denizens of the place.

"Croesus! what hav'nt we here?" exclaimed Price, glancing over the medley of rich merchandize heaped together in one of the apartments of the huge cavern; "boxes of silks and satins, sashes, ribbons, lace, tortoise shell!—whew!—I say, Waters, what heathen are these pirates to let such a profusion of pretty gewgaws lay here, which ought to be setting off the fairy forms of the Spanish lasses! Now there's as handsome a piece of trumpery as one often sees," tying a delicate crimson silk manta about him—"as I'm a sinner I'll carry that home to Nell Gray!—Ha! Burgundy wine?

Is the gush of bright wine;
'Tis the life, 'tis the breath of the soul,
'Tis the—the—

"Odds! but I must quicken my memory, and clear my pipes with a can of the critter to get into the spirit of song!"

He drew a beaker from the cask and took a deep draught.[47]

"Capital, by Bacchus!" he exclaimed, smacking his lips,—"Try it, Waters, these fellows fare like princes."

"Bear a hand, Mr. Price, and don't set the men a bad example," thundered the first lieutenant, who had stationed himself as a sentinel outside.

In the meantime the men had not been idle. The sight of such a profusion of riches, all at their own mercy, had turned their brains, and the confusion that prevailed among the silks and finery would have rivalled that of a London milliner's shop on a gala day.

But the voice of the lieutenant, as if by magic, restored them to order, and Waters ordered the most costly of the goods to be carried to the boats.

"An 'ai'nt it Roary McGran 'as found a nest o 'the shiners," exclaimed a son of Erin, as he emerged, covered with dirt, from a small, deep cavity at the inmost extremity of the cavern, dragging after him a large bag of doubloons,—"'Ai'nt them the beauties, Misther Waters?—its what they're as plenty there as paraites in a parson's cellar."

Half a dozen similar bags were brought to light; besides which more than a score of boxes containing rix dollars, and a great many parcels of coin of different nations, silver and gold, tied up in old pieces of canvas, were discovered.

"Some sport in sacking such a fortress as this," observed Price,—"no blood and plenty of booty! By Jove, though, what a confounded pity it is we hav'nt a ship of some size, that we might load her with these silken goods? Our share of the prize money would be a fortune to us."

While the men were ransacking the cavern, I had climbed by a narrow foot-path to the top of a lofty bluff.[48] A small telescope, found in a hollow that had been worked in the rock, assured me that this served as a look-out station. It commanded a wide view of the surrounding ocean, now tenanted only by the sun-beam and solitude, if I except the presence of the Dart, which sat lilting on the glittering swell, with her white wings outspread, like a huge sea-bird stretching his pinions for flight.

The boats shoved off, loaded gunwale deep with gold and silver, ivory, tortoise-shell and the most choice of the merchandise found in the cavern, and in fifteen minutes all was safely secured on board the schooner. After a short consultation it was agreed to run the Dart into the Pirates' Retreat, and there await the return of the Sea-Sprite, deeming that the bucaneers would scarcely be long absent from the chief depository of their treasures. She was soon safely anchored in the basin. A lookout was stationed at the mouth of the inlet, while Ponto and Percy undertook, with the consent of the captain, the task of watching from the cliff. Waters was then sent with a party of the men to explore the cavern more thoroughly, and before noon there was not a chink nor cranny of the place which had not been thrice overhauled. Immense treasures, in gold, silver and jewelry, were brought to light.

Toward the latter part of the afternoon, Percy gave the signal agreed upon for an approaching vessel, and directly after made his appearance on the beach, informing us that they had examined her carefully, and that there could be no mistaking her—it was the Sea-Sprite.

"Strange!" said the captain; "I knew that they[49] were brave—fearless to desperation, but I did not expect to see them show such fool-hardiness. However, they shall meet with a welcome reception. Mr. Dacres, see that all the men are on board, and have things put to rights for a brush. If I mistake not, there will be desperate work ere the rascal receives his deserts."

In a few minutes every thing was ready; the boats were got out forward, and the Dart was towed to the mouth of the inlet, remaining concealed.

The Sea-Sprite, which could be seen from the outer edge of the rocks, stood gallantly in, driving a drift of snow before her, till within about a mile of the shore; when, as if she had discovered some signs of our presence, she wore round, hoisted her studd'n'sails, and stood away in a south-westerly direction.

"Pull away cheerily," said the captain to the men in the boats, who had lain on their oars in readiness.

Slowly the Dart emerged from her hiding place—the sails were squared round so as to present their broad surfaces to the wind, and away she darted in swift pursuit, like an eagle in quest of his prey. A stern chase is proverbially a long one; so it proved in this instance. The wind was light, and although we hung out every rag of sail, the sun was sinking beyond the sea when we approached within gun-shot of the rover. Not a soul could be seen on her decks,—she was worked as if by magic.

"Mr. Ramrod," said the captain, "clap a round shot into the long-tom, and let us see if we cannot make them show some signs of life."

Benjamin loaded the gun, and having got it poised to his fancy, applied the match. Away whizzed the iron messenger. The chips flew from the stern of the[50] rover, and a swarm of grizzly heads, belonging to bona fide bodies, popped up above the bulwarks, and then settled down again, like so many wild sea-fowl disturbed in their nests.

"Well done, Benjamin!—I see you have not lost any of your skill for lack of practice."

The pirate, at length finding it impossible to escape us, shortened sail.

"Now my men," said the captain, "to your duty!—let every gun be double-shotted—a round shot and grape!"

By a well-timed manoeuvre, we ranged up under her stern. Our men stood with their arms extended, ready to apply their lighted matches.

"Fire!" thundered Satan West.

A storm of flame burst from our side, and the Dart reeled half out of water under the recoil of the overloaded guns. The iron shower raked the pirate fore and aft, hurling those deadly missiles, the splinters, in every direction, and doing terrible execution on their decks. Two more such broad-sides would have sent her to the bottom.

"Helm aweather—jam hard!" roared the captain.

"Ay, ay, sir!"—and we wore round so as to present our other broad-side to the enemy.

While this manoeuvre was going on, the bows of the Sea-Sprite had fallen off in the wind, so as to bring us side by side, within half pistol shot. She returned the fire with a vengeance, and several of our brave tars fell wounded or slain to the deck.

"Ready! blaze away!"—but the sound of our captain's voice was lost in the thunder of the heavy ordnance.[51]

The battle now commenced in real earnest. The cannon bellowed, small arms rattled, the combatants yelled, the dying groaned, the iron thunder-bolt crashed, riving the vessel's oaken timbers, and a dense sulphur-cloud overspread the scene of furious commotion, so that we fought with an invisible enemy. We could see nothing save the streaming lightning of the cannon, or the fiend-like figures that worked our aftermost guns, begrimmed with powder and blood, stripped nearly naked, and sweltering in their eager toil. As the smoke occasionally lifted, however, the battered bulwarks of the enemy, and the glimmering streaks along her black waist, showed that our fire had been rightly directed; and the irregularity with which it was returned, told the confusion that prevailed on her decks. Several times we attempted to run her aboard, but they discovered our intentions in time to avoid us.

At length a discharge from the well-directed gun of old Benjamin, took effect in her fore-top. The topmast came thundering down with all its rigging, over the foresail. Having thus lost the benefit of her head sail, she rounded to, and her jib-boom came in contact with our fore rigging.

"Now is our time!—into her, boarders!" roared Dacres, leaping upon the pirate's forecastle deck.

But the order was useless—they were already hard on his track. A close and desperate struggle now took place. Pistols cracked, sabres gleamed, and deadly blows were dealt on either side, till a rampart of the slain and wounded was raised high between the furious combatants. Gloomy and dark as an arch-fiend, the pirate leader raged among his men, urging them on with threats and curses, in a voice of thunder, and[52] sweeping down all opposition before his dripping blade. But Dacres, backed by his well-trained boarders, received them on the points of their pikes, with a coolness and bravery that made them recoil upon each other, like surges from a rock-ribbed coast. Thus the fight continued with various success, till the attention of the bucaneers was arrested by an unearthly shout in the rear, and the tall figure of Percy was seen, laying about him with whirlwind impetuosity, his long, untrimmed hair flying wildly in the commotion of the atmosphere, his features working with the madness that controlled him, and his dilated eyes flashing with a fierce, unnatural fire upon his opponents. All quailed before him. Wherever his merciless arm fell there was an instant vacancy. Although a score of cutlasses were glancing, meteor-like, around his person, as if by a spell, he remained uninjured. At length his eye detected the pirate leader. Dashing aside all before him, with one bound he was at his side. The fierce chief started in amazement at the sight of him whom he supposed many a league from the spot, if not dead, but quickly recovered his stern and gloomy bearing.

"Monster! where is she?" shouted Percy.

"Ask the sharks!" replied the captain, lunging at him with his sabre.

These were his last words. Percy, quick as thought, drew a pistol from his belt and fired into his face! He fell heavily to the deck, and the combatants closed around him, as tempest-waves close over a foundering ship!

The pirates, now that their leader was slain, fought with less spirit, and the victory was soon decided in our favor. Sooth to say, it was dearly earned; and many[53] who sought the battle with a quickened pulse, and eager for the strife, were that evening consigned to the waves. Of all the pirate's crew, consisting of nearly a hundred men, but thirteen remained unharmed. Heavens!—what a ghastly spectacle her decks presented! Fifty stalwart forms lay there, stiffened in death, or writhing in the agony of their deep wounds, severed and mangled in every way imaginable; and so slippery was the main deck that we could hardly cross it, while the sea all around was died with the red waters of life, that gushed in a continuous stream from her scuppers.

On the forecastle deck, where the last desperate struggle had taken place, I recognized many of our own crew among the lifeless heaps. Poor old Ramrod, the gunner, lay there, with the black blood trickling over his swarthy brow, from a bullet hole in his temple. He had died while the might of battle was yet upon him—and the fierce scowl which he darted at his foes, still remained on his rigid features. His hand, even in the agonies of death, had not relinquished its firm grasp on his cutlass, and the gigantic form of a swart pirate, with his skull cloven down, close at hand, showed that it had been swayed to some purpose. Poor Benjamin! I could have wept over him. He had been in the service from his earliest days, and the scars of many a sanguinary fight were visible upon his muscular arms, and on his bronzed and powerful chest. My brave boy, Ponto, was there also, hanging pale and wounded over the britch of the bow gun. He had followed me when we boarded, like a young tiger robbed of his mate. Although faint and helpless with the loss of blood, which belched at every heave of his bosom, from a deep sabre wound in[54] his shoulder, and which had completely saturated his checked shirt and his duck pantaloons, yet his firmness was unshaken. I ordered one of our men to take charge of him, until he could be looked to by the surgeon. "Not yet," faintly exclaimed the generous child, pointing to Mengs, the boatswain, who lay wounded over a coil of the cable, with three or four grim looking bucaneers stretched dead across his chest, the blood from their wounds streaming into his face and neck,—"look to him first, he may be suffocated."

"No, no, youngster," murmured the hardy Briton, "I'd do very well till my turn comes, if I had this ugly looking craft cast off from my gun-deck, and a can of water stowed away in my cable tier!"

After the prisoners were secured, I sought the cabin, where I had ordered Ponto to be carried. It was a richly garnished room, with berth hangings of crimson damask and amber colored silk, a gorgeous carpet from the looms of Brussels, and furniture in keeping. Opposite the companion-way hung a superb picture of the virgin mother and her infant, and over it a golden crucifix, while beneath, on a rose wood table, lay a guitar, implements for sketching, and various articles for female employ and amusement. Indeed, one might have supposed himself entering the boudoir of a delicate Spanish belle, rather than the domicil of a lawless rover. This I remember but from the glance of a moment. My attention was drawn to the occupants of the place. There lay my wounded boy, by the side of a silken sofa-couch, his face buried in the garments of a female stretched lifeless upon it, and over them bent the tall form of Percy, gazing upon the group with a fixed, vacant stare, which told that suffering[55] could wring his soul no longer—desolation and madness had come upon him. His attitude, the expression of his features, and the low, convulsive sobs and broken murmurs of the boy, at once explained the scene. The one had found a wife, the other a sister, in that inanimate form. I advanced nearer, in hopes that life might not be altogether extinct. The sight was appalling, but beautiful. The pale, dead face, upon which the mellow radiance of sunset streamed through the sky-light, was lovely as a seraph's. Her eyes were closed as if in sleep; the long braids of her bright hair lay undisturbed upon her marble forehead, and there was no appearance of violence, save where the dress of sea-green silk had been torn back from her bosom, as if in her dying agonies, displaying a dark puncture, as of a grape-shot, just below the snowy swell of the throat, from which the crimson blood oozed, slowly trickling down over her white and rounded shoulder. She had probably been killed by our first raking broad-side.

"Fire! fire!" shouted a dozen voices on deck. I sprang up the companion-way. The fore-hatch had been removed, and a dense volume of smoke was rolling up from below. A glance was sufficient to show that no effort of ours could save the vessel, and preparations were speedily made to rescue the wounded, and abandon her to her fate. It being impossible for me to leave my duty on deck, I sent a trusty Hibernian to rescue my helpless boy and to inform Percy of our situation. He returned with a rueful countenance.

"Ochone! Mr. Hackinsack," said the tender hearted fellow, "it almost made the salt wather come intil my een, to see the poor man and the beautiful kilt[56] leddy,—an' whin I tould 'em as how the schooner was burnin' and would be blown to Jerico in a twinklin' all he said was to give me a terrible, ferocious-like scowl and point with a loaded pistol to the companion; so I took his mainin' an' left 'em."

Two other messengers, sent to take him away by force, met with no better success.

The flames were ready to burst out on every side, and from each chink and crevice around the hatches—which had been replaced and barred down—the smoke was darting up with the force of vapour from a steam engine. The deck had become so heated that it was painful to stand upon it—the fire was fast progressing towards the run, where the magazine was situated. Thrice had the order been given to quit the burning vessel, but I could not forsake my friend without one more effort to rescue him from the terrible fate that awaited him, if left behind. He still held the loaded pistol in his hand and sternly forbade my approach. Poor Ponto had fainted from grief and loss of blood, and lay across his sister's body. I sprang forward and raised him in my arms, regardless of the maniac's threats. The pistol banged in my ear, but fortunately the ball passed over me as I stooped, and I regained the companion-way without injury. By this time, he had drawn another from his belt.

"Put away the pistol, and come with me," I urged,—"the vessel is on fire and will soon be blown to atoms."

He looked at me with a grim stare for a moment, then burst into an idiotic laugh. That wild laugh is still ringing in my brain. "Ha! ha! ha!—Fire?[57] fire? here it is, wreathing and coiling!—here! here!" dashing his hand against his forehead.

Perceiving that it was vain to reason with his madness, and fearing for the life of the wounded boy in my arms, I reluctantly left the hapless man to his fate.

The boat had already put off for the last time, but I succeeded in prevailing upon them to return, and leaping in, soon reached the Dart in safety.

The night set in wild and black as Death. Disparted and ragged masses of cloud were rushing over the face of the heavens, where once and again, the soaring moon, and that same bright, solitary star, would show their calm faces through the reeling rack, apparently flying from this scene of turmoil and death. The increasing wind howled mournfully through the rigging, and our battered hull staggered along the inky main writhing and shuddering on the heave of the surge like a weary, wounded thing.

We followed in the track of the burning vessel as she fled along before the gale, awaiting in breathless suspense the consummation of her wild career. The black smoke, interfulgent with tortuous tongues of lurid fire, rolled in immense volumes over her!—the red flames darted up her masts, along the spars and rigging, and gushed in swirling sheets from her ports and bulwarks, while in their fierce gleams, the billows that ramped and raved about her, glowed like a huge seething cauldron of molten iron, and the gloomy clouds that lowered above were tinged in their ragged borders, as with blood. Occasionally the jarring thunder of her cannon, as they became heated to explosion, announced to us the progress of the insidious destroyer.[58]

But a still more thrilling spectacle awaited us. In the height of the conflagration, the hapless Percy, bearing his dead wife in his arms, emerged as it were from the very midst of the flames, and took a stand on the companion-way. So strongly was the tall, dark-figure relieved against the glowing element, that his slightest gesture could not escape our scrutiny. While with one arm he spanned the waist of the supple corse, which apparently struggled to escape from his grasp, he waved the other on high as if exulting in the whirl and commotion around him. He seemed like the minister of some dark rite of heathenism, preparing to offer up a victim to the Moloch of his superstition.

At length arrived the dreadful moment! The black hull seemed to be lifted bodily out of the water. A volume of smoke burst over her like the first eruption of a volcano! A spire of flame shot up to the heavens, filling the firmament with burning fragments, while the clouds that overhung the sea, were torn and scattered by the tremendous concussion. A crash followed—a deep, bellowing boom, as if the solid globe had split asunder!—then all was darkness—dreary, void, silent as death!



By William Cutter.

What though the skies of winter
Look cold and cheerless now!
What though earth wears no mantle
But that of ice and snow!
Though trees, all bare and leafless,
Stretch up their naked arms,
In sad and mournful silence,
To brave the wintry storms!
There is enough of sunshine,
Fond memory will say,
Around this morning clustered—
This is thy natal day!
What though the birds of summer,
Flown far and long away,
In gentler climes are warbling,
Their loved and grateful lay!
What though, in field and garden,
No fragrant incense pours
From nature's thousand altars—
Her blossoms and her flowers!
There's music sweet as angels',
And fragrance sweet as May,
In the thoughts that breathe and blossom
Around thy natal day!
To me, the skies above us
Are bright as summer's noon!
And trees, in crystal blossoms,
More brilliant than in June!
There's music in the wintry blast—
There's fragrance in the snow—[60]
And a garb of glorious beauty
On every thing below!
For oh! affection, wakened
With morning's earliest ray,
Has never ceased to whisper—
This is thy natal day!


By John W. Chickering.

It is a great truth, and worthy of a place among the few grand principles which lie at the foundation of all wise and just government, that 'the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men.' This may be understood de jure, or de facto; and in either sense must be believed, not only by those who admit, on the authority of the prophet, that it was spoken by a divine voice, but by all who do not deny the whole theory of an overruling Providence.

That the almighty Ruler retains both a right and an agency in the management of terrestrial governments, is undisputed by all who recognize his right and his agency in any thing. It is the atheist alone who would insulate the kingdoms of the earth from the kingdom of heaven. None would banish Jehovah from the smaller empires his providence has organized and sustained, but those who banish him from the universe his power has created.

Thus atheism in philosophy is sole progenitor of atheism in politics; and it should not excite our surprise,[61] that he who 'sees' not 'God in clouds nor hears him in the wind,'—who beholds in the great things of the earth, the air and the sea, no footsteps of divine power, and no finger-prints of divine wisdom, should be equally blind concerning the progress of civil affairs, and should so have perverted his mind, and so tortured the moral sense which God gave him, as to believe, and to rejoice, that without God, kingdoms rise and fall, and that it is not 'by him' that 'kings reign, and princes decree justice.'

But with the atheist, that moral monster,'—— horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum,' we are not now concerned. We leave him to the darkness he has brought upon himself through his 'philosophy and vain deceit,' and to the enjoyment, if enjoyment it be, of his dreary cavern, more dreary than that of Polyphemus,—a godless world.

We come to inquire, by way of preparation for the more direct prosecution of the object of this article, concerning the views entertained by the great mass of mankind who believe in the existence and providence of Jehovah, as to his particular connection with the subordinate governments on earth, and the station which it is his holy pleasure to occupy in their control and management. And here we find at once, wide and hurtful mistakes; occupying relatively, such is man's tendency to extremes, the position of antipodes. Some, overlooking the twofold agency, partly civil, partly ecclesiastical, by which the Most High promotes his own ends and the well being of his creatures, have resolved each into the other, making religion an affair of the state, and civil government a matter for ecclesiastical influence; producing in practice the unseemly[62] compound, commonly called "church and state," but which might be more accurately characterized as the ruin of both.

As the fruits of this mistake, the world has seen profane monarchs invested with titles of religion and piety. In some countries, aided by ambition and intrigue, it has brought kings to kiss the feet of the professed ambassadors of Jesus Christ; and gained for them honors and power, which their divine but humble master declined for himself. This mistake has been confirmed, if it was not originated, by the organization of the great Jewish theocracy. This was, indeed, church and state. But it was under a divine administration.—And although the fact that the Deity not only attested and ratified the alliance, but condescended to be legislator, judge, and executive, might at once have prevented the inference; yet men have inferred that the civil and ecclesiastical powers ought always to be thus commingled. The consequences might have been anticipated. The history both of Christianity and of the world, is darkened by their melancholy shade. Religion, unguarded by the miraculous intervention of Him who, under a former dispensation, smote the offerers of strange fire, has been corrupted by those who would do her honor, and crushed by the embraces of false friends;—and her splendid sojourn in the halls of power, has been met by reverses not less striking, and far more disastrous, than Moses met after being the protege of royalty; while the civil rights of men, invaded by ambition and avarice, under the name of religion, and with the sanction of God's name, have been yielded up without a struggle, under the impression, that resistance would be "fighting against God." What[63] would not have been demanded in the name of man, has been freely given in the name of God;—men who in defence of their rights, would have ventured cheerfully upon treason, have shrunk with horror from sacrilege.

Thus religion and liberty have well-nigh perished together, and their present resting-place on earth resembles rather the one found by Noah's dove on her second flight, than the broad home, illimitable but by the world's circumference, which as philanthropists we hope, and as Christians we pray, they may soon enjoy.

Others again, warned, perhaps, by the disasters consequent upon the policy last described, have gone to the extreme, not less hurtful, and far more presumptuous, of excluding religious motives and religious principles from all influence in the affairs of the commonwealth. They have thus become quoad hoc, practical atheists. Content indeed, that the Deity should keep our planet in motion, and regulate its seasons and its tides; and surround and cover it with the blessings of Providence, nor careful to forbid him a participation even in the internal concerns of Jupiter, or Herschell,—perhaps even willing to admit in theory, the truth of the statement from the inspired record with which this article commenced,—they yet deem it best for man, considered either as a governing or as a governed being, that the notion of a presiding Deity should be as much as possible excluded from his mind. The mere juxtaposition of the words "religion" and "politics," or any of their correlates, is sufficient to excite the fears of these scrupulous alarmists; and if they do not imitate the example of the French, who were seen near the close of the last century, rushing madly with the pendulum-like oscillation of human nature, from[64] the bonds of religious despotism, into the very wilderness of atheism, and denounce Jehovah as a usurper, and his adherents as rebels against "the powers that be," they strive to separate all questions and acts of government from God and his laws, as if there were no God; thus making, if not an atheistic people, an atheistic government. Far otherwise, we cannot but pause here to remark, acted the noble men, the sifted wheat of three kingdoms, who were thrown by God's providence through ecclesiastical tyranny, upon these shores. If they for a time, with a strange tenacity of old habits, which showed that principle, not passion, led them, clung to the very usages respecting toleration, which had exiled them, they at least preserved the nation which they founded, from the character and the curse of a nation which despises God. Heaven grant, that the pendulum may not even now be swinging to the other extreme!

While we would have the affairs of the nation managed as if there were no church in the world, we would not have them managed as if there were no God in the world. Could our voices reach the millions of our countrymen, as Joshua's voice reached the thousands of Israel, we would say as he said, 'If the Lord be God, serve him.' In a word, while we believe that the civil and ecclesiastical departments ought to be distinct, and that their union is a departure from the intention of Him who formed both, and that it is fraught with the most disastrous consequences to both, we do not believe that the almighty Ruler has excluded himself from the control of either, or given the least permission that either should be managed on any other principles than the eternal principles of right, which are embodied in his character, and laid down in his word.[65]

When we speak of a sense of religious obligation, we mean more than a general undefined belief that such an obligation exists. Such a belief is withheld, we trust, by comparatively few who hold important places in our national and State governments. But can it be doubted by any man who has accustomed himself to contemplate the distinction between mere intellectual assent, and the warm, practical conviction which reaches the heart, and controls the conduct, that this belief may coexist with as total an insensibility to the claims of Jehovah, as if it were William IV., or Nicholas of Russia, who performed them, instead of the Most High God?

Is it too much to desire, nay to infer, as a duty, from what has already been said, that our rulers in the executive, legislative, and judicial departments, both in the general and State governments, should have an abiding consciousness of accountability—should live under a felt pressure of obligation—to the Sovereign of the universe, which should assume, as it must where it exists at all, a practical, binding force? Is it too much to ask, that they should remember that they are the servants of God for good to this great people, and that to their own Master they stand or fall? That they rule by God's permission, and for his ends; and that a higher tribunal than any on earth awaits the termination of their responsibility to man? That they should remember their obligation, in common with those who elevated them to office, "whatever they do, to do all to the glory of God;" and the solemn truth, that a sin against God or man, whether of omission or of commission, whether committed in private, in the family circle, or in the high places of authority, is no less a[66] sin, when committed by a judge, or a legislator, or a chief magistrate of a State or nation, than by the humblest of his constituents? In a word, do we claim too prominent a place for religious principle in the administration of public affairs, when we avow our desire that the rulers of a people, who are the nominal, and in a free government the real, representatives of the people, should be daily and practically aware, that they are accountable to a higher Power, thus realizing, if not in the highest and most Christian sense, yet in the literal signification, the picture of a good ruler drawn by the prophet, who, in the name of the almighty Ruler, declares, "He that ruleth over men, must be just—ruling in the fear of God!"

We cannot reflect without occasion for the deepest gratitude, that in contemplating the advantages of such a state of mind and of heart, as possessed by men in authority, we are not confined to a priori reasoning. England has had her Alfred, her Edward VI., and her Matthew Hale; Sweden her Gustavus Adolphus; our own most cherished and beloved country, a Washington, and a Wirt, with many others among the dead, and not a few among the living, to whom our readers may recur as we proceed, both for illustration of our meaning, and proof of our assertions.

Among the effects of this sense of obligation, which go to show its importance to every man in public life, we mention first, its influence in checking the love and pride of power. It will not be said by any man, who has acquired even a smattering of the science of human nature, that the simplicity of our republican institutions excludes all danger from this source. It is the great weakness of man, to desire power; and, having[67] it, to be proud of it; and, in his pride, to abuse it. It matters not whether it be the power of a monarch on his throne, or of the humblest village functionary. If it be power, or even the semblance of power, it charms the eye of the expectant, and, too often, turns the head of the possessor.

True, in this land, power walks in humble guise. She rides in no gilded chariot—is clothed with no robes of state—is preceded by no heralds with announcement of noble titles—is decorated with no ribbons and stars. Nor is there an office worth seeking, as a matter of gain, except in some special cases, growing rather out of individual character and circumstances, than from design on the part of legislators. But who will deny, that rank, here, as elsewhere throughout the wide world, has its attractions? And who, that has thought upon the subject carefully, doubts that they are as strong, as if it were hereditary? As far as pride of heart in the possessor is concerned, undoubtedly the temptation is even greater. That rank is not hereditary, and is therefore attainable by individual effort, opens a fountain of ambition in a thousand hearts, which, under another constitution of society, would never have known ambition, but as a strange word, while the fact that it is ordinarily the prize of talent, attaches to it an additional power to tempt and seduce the mind. It need not be said, that so far as this love and pride of power exists, it tends to subvert all the true ends of government.

That the influence of a sense of subordination and accountableness to the Supreme Being, will be direct and strong in checking these tendencies of human nature, is so plain as to command assent without argument.[68] Who can be proud in the perceived presence of infinite splendor and worth? How can ambition thrive under the overshadowing greatness of almighty Power?

It is recorded of Gustavus Adolphus, that being surprised one day by his officers in secret prayer in his tent, he said: "Persons of my rank are answerable to God alone for their actions; this gives the enemy of mankind a peculiar advantage over us; an advantage which can be resisted only by prayer and reading the Scriptures." This remark, though it does not specify the moral dangers to which the royal worshipper was exposed, has reference, undoubtedly, in part, if not mainly, to that pride and loftiness of heart, which are the unrestrained denizens of those high regions in the social atmosphere, which lie above the common walks of life. Let a man in one of the high places of the earth, be accustomed only to look down, and he is ready like Herod of old, to fancy the flattery, truth, which tells him he is a god;—let him look up;—there Jehovah sitteth above the water floods and remaineth king forever!

Another important effect of such views of religious obligation, will be seen in restraining the blind and ruinous excess of party feeling. He is a short-sighted politician indeed, who utters a sweeping denunciation of party distinctions. And if they may be harmless, and even in some cases form the very safety of the nation, then party feeling, without which parties could not exist, is, in some of its degrees and developements right and desirable. But like the lightning of heaven, while it purifies the political atmosphere, how easily and how quickly may it desolate and destroy! In its[69] healthful action, it is like the gentle breeze, which refreshes man and fertilizes the earth; in its excess, like the tornado, which sweeps away every green thing, and even upturns the foundations of many generations.

When it is a modification of true-hearted patriotism, seeking the public good by party organizations, it is right and safe; but when it is the offspring of the wicked selfishness, already described, it is restrained by no bounds, and directed to no good end. When a public officer, of whatever rank, becomes the servant of a party, instead of being a servant of God, for good to the people, it is not difficult to foresee the consequences.

No argument is necessary to show that he who feels himself accountable to God, will be but slightly constrained by the bonds of party influence. So far as he regards the ends of a party as accordant with the true ends of government, which in some cases may be nothing more than the truth, and in others nothing less—his sense of religious obligation will of course not interfere with his diligent prosecution of those ends. But at that critical point, where ends zeal for party, for the sake of the common weal, and begins zeal for party, for the party's sake, and for ambition's sake, there a sense of paramount obligation, like the magnetic power, will still the whispers of selfishness, and counteract the tendencies of party commitment. The Christian politician knows no party but the party of patriots, or, if that party be divided, he seeks not the building up of either fragment for its own sake—but the building up on the best and most hopeful, or if need be, on the ruins of both, the great fabric of public welfare. Who does not desire to see a deep sense[70] of allegiance to one who is our Master, pervading the leaders and the adherents of the great political parties, into which it is so common and perhaps necessary, for nations to be divided?—under such an influence, how might excesses be restrained, needless repellances be neutralized, and how soon, instead of fierce bands of brethren gathered in distinct and opposing array, like the dark clouds of summer, meeting over our heads, might we see the beauty and the strength of party organization, without its wide severance and its deadly hate, like the rainbow, which is not more beautiful in the variety of its colors, than in the grace with which the divine Painter has blended them.

It will be denied by none, of whatever religious or political faith, that public morals are, under a government like ours, the life-blood of national strength and safety. The day that shall behold us a nation of gamblers, or duelists, or profane swearers or drunkards, or Sabbath-breakers—will be the day of our political death. Armies, and navies, and enterprise, and numbers, with a sound hereditary government, may for a time give prosperity to a dissolute immoral people. But in a government like ours, where the laws and the administration of law, are as quickly and as certainly affected by the popular sentiment, owing to frequent elections, as the sunbeams are reflected from the summer clouds, prosperity cannot survive morality a single day. And who can tell how important, in this view, it is, that our public men should be public models of private virtue!

Oh, when, our hearts exclaim, when shall the evil example be unknown in the high places of power; and purity, truth, high-toned Christian morality, beam like[71] another sun, from the seats of influence? The true answer to this question would afford another argument for the importance of that sense of religious obligation which has now been considered. The command of God is the only mandate in the universe which can effectually restrain human passions and desires. The voice which comes attended by the sanction, "Thus saith the Lord," is the only voice which can successfully say, "peace! be still," to the winds and the waves of wrong inclination. When our rulers shall "all be taught of God,"—and yield themselves to a constraining sense of his dominion, and their own accountableness—then, and not till then, will they as a body, be such models of private correctness and virtue, as many of them, both among the dead and among the living, have been, for the imitation of the young men, the hope and glory of our land.

Again, and it is the last consideration we shall present, how powerful a tendency would such views on the part of our rulers, possess, to awaken the utmost vigilance in the guardianship of their sacred trust, and to elevate the mind and heart to the purest feelings, and the noblest efforts.

A sense of accountability, in some manner and to some tribunal, is essential to ensure fidelity under all temptations to indolence or perversion, in every case in which men are the recipients of any trust. Apply this principle to the case of him who holds some political station of high importance. He feels himself responsible, not only to men, but to God. He knows and remembers that he is the servant of God for good, to the people. This remembrance and impression is the sheet anchor of his steadfastness. Other principles[72] might hold him amidst the storms and commotions of the popular sea, and of his own heart; this must. With what care will he watch the precious trust, which comes to him under the seal of heaven! How sedulously will he guard the doors of the temple of liberty, when he perceives within it the altar of God, and finds his sentinel's commission countersigned with the handwriting of Jehovah! His heart, too, will be filled with the purest and most exalted sentiments.

The fountain from which such a man daily drinks, sparkles with the elements of all that is grateful and refreshing.

The purest patriotism, the sweetest charities of domestic life, the most expansive and wise benevolence, all spring up in the heart together, the consentaneous and harmonious fruits of the love and fear of God. It was in the same school that Wilberforce learned to love the slave—Howard to love the prisoner—Wirt to love his country—and all to love the world. They feared and obeyed God—and all noble and generous emotions grow spontaneously in the soil of the heart thus prepared and enriched.

Nor is the effort less marked or less salutary upon the mind. Its thoughts are loftier, and its purposes deeper and more steadfast, for being conversant with the great subject of divine obligation. No man can think much of the Deity, and realize strongly His constant presence and inspection, without an elevation of views, and a growing consciousness of that mental power, for the right use of which he is accountable to Him who bestowed it. We were not made to inhabit a godless world, and we cannot make it so, in speculation and in practice, without a deterioration analogous[73] to the dwarfish tendency of emigration to a region colder than our native clime. "God is a sun," to the mental as well as to the moral powers; and in the frozen zone of practical atheism, both degenerate and die. The noble motto, "Bene orasse est bene studisse," applies with hardly less force to secular, than to sacred studies.

With what energy must it arm the soul of the patriot statesman struggling against wrong counsels, and discredited dangers, to know that the God of truth and of right, sees and approves his course! With what new power does his mind grasp a difficult and embarrassed subject, when he feels that the Former of that mind, now demands from him an exertion of its highest powers! What exciting power, to call forth the most thrilling eloquence, can be found in the crowded senate-chamber, compared with the consciousness that for every word he must give account to Him, whose applause, if he fulfils his high behest, will surpass in value the shouts of an enraptured universe besides!




By William Cutter.

I have sometimes almost envied you the perpetual summer you enjoy. You have none of the bleak, dark wastes of Winter around you, and have never to look, with aching heart, upon all fair, bright, beautiful things, withering before your eyes, in the severe frown of frosty Autumn. It is always green, and fresh, and fragrant, in your Islands of eternal June. Your gardens are always gardens, gay and redolent with sweet blossoms, and rich with ripe fruits, mingling like youth and manhood vying with each other, "from laughing morning up to sober prime," pursuing, without blight or dimness, the same gay round—blooming and ripening—ripening and blooming, but never falling, through all generations. Through all seasons, you have only to reach forth your hands, and there are bright bouquets, and mellow, delicious fruits, ready to fill them. Your trees have always a shade to spread over you; and they cast off their gorgeous blossoms, and their luxuriant load, as if they were conscious of immortal youth and energy—as if they knew they should never fade, become fruitless, or die. There is no frail, bending, withering age, in any thing of nature you look upon—no blasting of the unripened bud by untimely frosts—no falling prematurely of all that is beautiful[75] and rare, to remind you daily that time is on his flight, and that you will not always be young. I wonder you do not think yourselves immortal in those everlasting gardens! Oh! that perpetual youth and maturity of every thing lovely!—how I have sometimes envied you the possession!

But I shall never envy you again. No—delightful as summer is, soft as its breezes, and sweet as its music, I would not lose the unutterable glory of this scene, that is now before me, for all the riches of your Island,—its unfading summer, and everlasting sweets. I wish I could describe it to you—could give you some faint idea of its celestial splendor. But, to do it any justice, I should have travelled through the fields of those glittering constellations above me, to borrow images from the host of heaven. The attempt will be vain—presumptuous—but I will try to tell you as much of it as I can.

The day has been dark, cold, and stormy. The snow has been falling lightly, mingled with rain, which, freezing as it fell, has formed a perfect covering of ice upon every object. The trees and shrubbery, even to their minutest branches, are all perfectly encased in this transparent drapery. Nothing could look more bleak and melancholy while the storm continued. But, just as evening closed in, the storm ceased, and the clouds rolled swiftly away. Never was a clearer, a more spotless sky. The moon is in the zenith of her march, with her multitude of bright attendants, pouring their mild radiance, like living light, upon the sea of glass that is all around us. Oh! how it kindles me to look at it! how it maddens me that I have no language to tell it to you! Do but imagine—The[76] fields blazing out, like oceans of molten silver!—every tree and shrub, as far as the eye can reach, of pure transparent glass—a perfect garden of moving, waving breathing chrystals, lighted into unearthly splendor by a full, unclouded moon, and scattering undimmed, in every direction, the beams that are poured upon them. The air, all around, seems alive with illuminated gems. Every tree is a diamond chandelier, with a whole constellation of stars clustering to every socket—and, as they wave and tremble in the light breeze that is passing, I think of the dance of the morning stars, while they sang together on the birth-day of creation. Earth is a mirror of heaven. I can almost imagine myself borne up among the spheres, and looking through their vast theatre of lights. There are stars of every magnitude—from the humble twig, that glows and sparkles on the very bosom of the glassy earth, and the delicate thorn that points its glittering needle to the light, to the gorgeous, stately tree, that lifts loftily its crowned head and stretches its gemmed and almost overborne arms, proudly and gloriously to the heavens—all glowing—glittering—flashing—blazing—like—but why do I attempt it? As well might I begin to paint the noon-day sun. Give a loose to your imagination. Think of gardens and forests, hung with myriads of diamonds—nay, every tree, every branch, every stem and twig, a perfect, polished crystal, and the full, glorious moon, and all the host of evening, down in the very midst of them—and you will know what I am looking at. I am all eye and thought, but have no voice, no words to convey to you an impression of what I see and feel—No, I'll not envy you again! What a picture for mortal eyes to look on undimmed! The eagle, that[77] goes up at noon-day to the sun, would be amazed in its effulgence. It is the coronation-eve of winter—and nature has opened her casket, and poured out every dazzling gem, and brilliant in her keeping, and hung out all her rain-bow drops, and lighted up every lamp, and they are all glowing, twinkling, sparkling, flashing together, like legions of spiritual eyes, glancing from world to world, in such unearthly rivalry, that the eye, even of the mind, turns away from it, pained and weary with beholding. There—look—but I can say no more, my words are consumed, drunk up in this unutterable glory, like morning mist when the sun looks on it!



By N. H. Carter.

An eminence in the road afforded us the first view of Loch Katrine, a blue and bright expanse of water, cradled among lofty hills, though moderate both in point of altitude and boldness, when contrasted with those which had already been seen. The first feature that arrested attention, was the peculiar complexion of the water, which is cerulean, and differs several shades from that of the other Scotish lakes. Its hue is probably modified by the verdure upon the shores, as well as by the geological structure of its bed, in which there is little or no mud. Like some of our own pellucid waters, it is a Naiad of the purest kind, sleeping on coral and crystal couches. Its blue tinge was doubtless in some degree heightened by the distance whence it was first descried, as well as by the deep azure of the skies after the late storm.

Hastening to the shore, we waited some time for the oarsmen, who accompanied us from Loch Lomond, to bring out their boat from behind a little promontory, which for aught I know, was the very place where Rob Roy and Ellen Douglas used to hide their canoes. There is no house within several miles of the landing. The only building of any kind is a small temporary hut, of rude construction, serving as a poor shelter in case of rain. As this lake has become a fashionable resort, one would suppose the number of travellers would justify the expense of a boatman's house, which[79] would relieve the oarsmen from the trouble of walking half a dozen miles, and the tourist from the vexation of paying for it.

At two o'clock in the afternoon, seven of us, including the boat's crew, embarked, and commenced a voyage to the foot of the lake, a distance of nine miles in a south-eastern direction. Winds and waves both conspired to accelerate our progress, and no Highland bark probably ever bounded more merrily over the blue billows. The cone of Ben-Lomond rapidly receded, and Ben-venue and Ben-an, on opposite sides of the outlet, came more fully in view. At the head, Glengyle opens prettily from the north-west, with serrated hills forming the lofty ramparts of the pass, in the entrance of which is a seat belonging to one of the descendants of Rob Roy M'Gregor. The width of the lake is about two miles, with deeply indented shores, which are generally bold and romantic, exhibiting occasionally scattered houses and patches of cultivation, particularly on the north-eastern borders. Our course was nearest the south-western side, touching at one little desolate promontory, to exchange boats, and often approaching so close, as to enable us to examine the scanty growth upon the margin.

In about two hours from the time of embarkation, we reached Ellen's Island, near the outlet; and half encircling the green eminence, rising beautifully from the bosom of the lake, our Highland mariners made a port in the identical little bay, where the far-famed heroine was wont to moor her skiff, fastening it to an oak, which still hangs its aged arms over the flood. This miniature harbor is also signalized, as the place where Helen Stuart cut off the head of one of Cromwell's[80] soldiers. As the story goes, all the women and children fled hither for refuge. After a decisive victory, one of the veterans of the Protector attempted to swim to the island for a boat, with an intention of pillaging and laying waste the asylum; but as he approached the shore the above mentioned heroine, stepped from her ambuscade, and with one stroke of her dirk decapitated the marauder, thus rescuing her narrow dominion with its tenants from destruction.

The Island is small and rises perhaps fifty feet above the water. It rests on a basis of granite, covered with a thin coat of earth, through which the rocks occasionally appear, and which affords scanty nutriment to a growth of oak, birch, and mountain ash. The red berries of the latter hung gracefully over the cliffs, in many places shaded with brown heath. A winding pathway leads to the summit, which is beautifully tufted, and affords a charming view of the surrounding hills and waters.

In a little secluded copse near the top stands Ellen's Bower, fashioned exactly according to the description of the same object in the Lady of the Lake. Those who are curious to form a minute and accurate image of it, have only to turn to that picture. The exterior is composed of unhewn logs or sticks of fir, fantastically arranged, with a thatched, moss-covered roof, and skins of beasts converted into semi-transparent parchment for windows. Every thing within is in rustic style. A living aspen grows in the centre, and supports the ceiling. Upon its branches hangs a great variety of ancient armor, with trophies of the chase. Here may be seen the Lochaber axe, Rob Roy's dirk, and sundry other curiosities. A table strewed with[81] leaves extends nearly the whole length of the bower. The walls are hung with shields, and the skins of various animals. Chairs and sofas woven of osiers fill the apartment. The chimney is formed of sticks, and the head of a stag with his branching horns decorates the mantlepiece. Half an hour was passed in lolling upon Ellen's sofas, and in examining her domestic arrangements.

Bidding a lingering farewell to the sweet little island, we again embarked and soon completed the residue of our voyage. The foot of Loch Katrine is very romantic and beautiful. Innumerable hills of moderate elevation raise their grey, pointed peaks around and above a deeply wooded glen, opening towards the south-east and forming the outlet of the lake. The highest of these are Ben-venue and Ben-an, rising on each side of the pass. Both are fine mountains, something like two thousand feet in height, with naked masses of granite overhanging wild and woody bases. From the great number of peaks or pikes which are crowded into this narrow district, it has been called the Trosachs, or bristled region. The lake is here reduced to less than half a mile in width, sheltered on all sides from the winds by high promontories, jutting so far into the water, as to appear like a group of islands.

Towards the north-west, the eye looks up the glen of Strathgartney, in which tradition says that the grey charger of Fitz-James fell. The boatman gravely informed us, that his bones are to be seen to this day! Such stories, and the sketches of certain topographers, have afforded us an infinite fund of amusement.

We landed at the foot of Loch Katrine, and after walking a mile and a half reached our hotel.



By Asa Cummings.

That heart must be desolate indeed, which is a stranger to devotion. Were it possible to remain undevout, and at the same time not be criminal, it were still a state of mind most earnestly to be deprecated. It is a joyless condition, to live without God in the world; to be unsusceptible to the attractions of his moral excellence; to pass the time of our sojourning in a world of trial, without ever communing with the Father of our spirits, or voluntarily casting ourselves on an Almighty arm for support, and breathing forth to the Author of our being, the language of supplication and praise.

And how is the effect of devotion heightened by the junction of numbers in the same service—even of the "multitude who keep holy day!" A scene, so honorable to Him "who inhabiteth the praises of Israel," so fit in itself, so congruous to man's social nature and dependant condition, so impressive on the actors and spectators, and so salutary in its influence,—awakened in the "sweet singer of Israel," the most ardent longings for the courts of the Lord, and constituted the glowing theme of more than one of his unrivalled songs. Nay, under the influence of that inspiration which prompted his thoughts and guided his pen, he does not hesitate to affirm:—"The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob."[1]


Far from us be the thought of casting upon the Psalmist the imputation of undervaluing himself, or of designing to lead his fellow-men to undervalue domestic or private worship. Every contrite heart is an abode where God delights to dwell—a temple where he abides and operates—a chosen habitation, where he reveals his love and displays his grace. It is a complacent sight to the Father of spirits, to behold one prodigal returning, to see an individual prostrate before him, and lifting up his cry for pardon and spiritual strength. It is pleasing in his eyes to see a family at their morning and evening devotions, pouring out their souls with all the workings of pious affection, and the various pleadings of faith. No sweeter incense than this, ever ascends to heaven. When, therefore, God expresses his preference for the worship of the sanctuary, it is not the quality which he regards, but the degree; not the kind of influence exerted, but the amount. In the sanctuary is the concentrated devotion of many hearts. Here are more minds to be wrought upon; here is a wider scope for the operation of truth; here a light is raised which is seen from afar, and attracts the gaze of distant beholders, as the temple on the summit of Moriah, "fretted with golden fires," arrested the eye of the distant traveller. Here is a public, practical declaration to all the world, that there is a God, and that adoration and service are his due.

In the sanctuary the Creator and the creature are brought near to each other. The character and perfections of God, his law and government, the wonders of his providence, the riches of his grace, the duty and destiny of man, are brought directly before the mind by the "lively oracles." "Beholding, as in a glass,[84] the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image." Truth, enforced by the energies of the life-giving Spirit, "is quick and powerful." God "pours water on them that are thirsty;" and in fulfilment of the prophetic word, "young men and maidens, old men and children," awakened to "newness of life," spring up "as willows by the water-courses," and flock to the Refuge of souls, "as doves to their windows." A spectacle this, well pleasing to God, and cheering to the hearts of his friends on earth—none more so this side heaven. None produces such a commingling of wonder, love, humility, and gratitude; none calls forth such adoring thankfulness; none makes the songs of the temple below so like that new song of Moses and the Lamb, which is perpetually sung before the throne above. Heaven is brought down to earth—eternity takes hold on time; this world yields its usurped throne in the hearts of men, and Jehovah reigns triumphant, the Lord of their affections. "The power and glory of God are seen in the sanctuary."

Here, too, are ample provisions to meet all future wants—moral means to restore the wandering, to recover the spiritually faint, to refresh and fortify their souls to sustain the conflict with temptation, to inspire the heart with religious joy, to nourish that spiritual life which has dawned in their souls. Here is the "sincere milk of the word," on which they may "grow;" the significant ordinances, so quickening to the affections, so invigorating to man's spiritual nature. The Baptismal water affects the heart through the medium of the eye, and enforces the worshipper's obligation to abjure the world, and to be pure as Christ is pure. The Emblematic Feast, exhibiting "Jesus[85] Christ set forth crucified before his eyes,"—while it affectingly reminds him of his lost condition as a sinner, contains an impressive demonstration of the power and grace of his Deliverer, "in whom we have redemption through his blood." His faith fastens itself on this sacrifice. He is loosed from the bondage of sin; his "soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness." His fellowship is with the Father, and with the Son. He has communion with the saints. He derives new support to his fainting faith, and goes on his pilgrimage rejoicing.

The entire exercises and scenes of the house of worship—the reading of the scriptures, the confessions, prayers, and praises, the songs of the temple—for "as well the singers as the players on instruments" are there[2]—the preaching of the gospel, the celebration of the sacraments,—all combine their aid to strengthen pious principle, holy purpose, virtuous habit, and to render the children of God "perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work." The place, the day, the multitude, the power of sympathy, all conspire to give effect to truth, and to rouse them up to labor for God, for their species, for eternity: all combine to render the house of God "the gate of heaven," the image of heaven, and a precious antepast of the enjoyments of heaven!

"My willing soul would stay
In such a frame as this,
And sit, and sing herself away
To everlasting bliss."



By William Cutter.

It was a perfect Eden for beauty. The scent of flowers came up on the gale, the swift stream sparkled like a flow of diamonds in the sun, and a smile of soft light glistened on every leaf and blade, as they drank in the life-giving ray. Its significant loveliness was eloquent to the eye and the heart—but a strange deep silence reigned over it all. So perfect was the unearthly stillness, you could almost hear yourself think.—Katahdin.

Has thy foot ever trod that silent dell?
'Tis a place for the voiceless thought to swell
And the eloquent song to go up unspoken,
Like the incense of flowers whose urns are broken;
And the unveiled heart may look in, and see,
In that deep strange silence, its motions free,
And learn how the pure in spirit feel
That unseen Presence to which they kneel.
No sound goes up from the quivering trees,
When they spread their arms to the welcome breeze;
They wave in the Zephyr—they bow to the blast—
But they breathe not a word of the power that passed;
And their leaves come down on the turf and the stream,
With as noiseless a fall as the step of a dream;
And the breath that is bending the grass and the flowers,
Moves o'er them as lightly as evening hours.
The merry bird lights down on that dell,
And, hushing his breath, lest the song should swell,
Sits with folded wing in the balmy shade,
Like a musical thought in the soul unsaid.
And they of strong pinion and loftier flight,
Pass over that valley, like clouds in the night—
They move not a wing in that solemn sky,
But sail in a reverent silence by.[87]
The deer, in his flight, has passed that way,
And felt the deep spell's mysterious sway—
He hears not the rush of the path he cleaves,
Nor his bounding step on the trampled leaves.
The hare goes up on that sunny hill,
And the footsteps of morning are not more still,
And the wild, and the fierce, and the mighty are there,
Unheard in the hush of that slumbering air.
The stream rolls down in that valley serene,
Content in its beautiful flow to be seen,
And its fresh flowery banks, and its pebbly bed
Were never yet told of its fountain head;
And it still rushes on—but they ask not why,
With its smile of light, it is hurrying by;
Still, gliding, or leaping, unwhispered, unsung,
Like the flow of bright fancies, it flashes along.
The wind sweeps by, and the leaves are stirred,
But never a whisper or sigh is heard;
And when its strong rush laid low the oak,
Not a murmur the eloquent stillness broke.
And the gay young echoes—those mockers that lie
In the dark mountain-sides—make no reply,
But, hushed in their caves, they are listening still
For the songs of that valley to burst o'er the hill.
I love society;—I am o'erblest to hear
The mingling voices of a world; mine ear
Drinks in their music with a spiritual taste;
I love companionship on life's dark waste,
And could not live unheard;—yet that still vale—
It had no fearful mystery in its tale;—
Its hush was grand, not awful, as if there
The voice of nature were a breathing prayer.
'Twas like a holy temple, where the pure
Might blend in their heart-worship, and be sure
No sound of earth could come—a soul kept still,
In faith's unanswering meekness, for heaven's will,
Its eloquent thoughts sent upward and abroad,
But all its deep hushed voices kept for God!



By Gershom F. Cox.

It is a difficult task to shadow forth spirit. The best emblems of the earth can give but faint and distant views of its incomprehensible nature. Our own consciousness, too, must fail to give us adequate notions of the mysterious traits of its character. Aided by the brightest images of earth, or the most subtle principles of philosophy, who can bring to view any tolerably good picture of a human soul!—who can draw the outlines of thought!—thought that is as immeasurable as the universe!—thought that could encompass, with more than the quickness of the lightning's flash, all that God has made!—thought that gives to us, at once, the gravity of the merest atom, the beauties and properties of the petal of a single flower, or the structure, density, size and weight of the worlds that border on the outskirts of our own universe; and when it has done its noble work, as if plumed for fresh conquests, stretches itself far beyond the material universe, into the deep solitudes of eternity, in quest of something more! Who, we ask again, can give the outlines of thought? Who can tell us of its yet hidden resources; or of a mind like that of Newton, or of Bacon, which, after they had taken from the arcana of nature some of her most hidden principles, "entered the secret place of the Most High, and lodged beneath the shadow of the Almighty?" How much less, then, can we give just descriptions of the Deity! How can we describe Him[89] "who covereth himself with light as with a garment,"—whom no man hath seen, nor can see.

We are aware that every thing speaks of a God. All nature has its language; and however dark the alphabet, it still speaks, and speaks every where; for there is no place where he has not "left a witness." We acknowledge, too, that the only reason why the deep tones of nature are not more audible, may be found in the imbecilities or transgressions of man. But, while the babbling brook hath its story to tell of its Maker, and the willow that bends and sighs by its side, and the pebble o'er which the streamlet rolls;—while the glorious dew-drop has its power of speech—the soft south breeze, and "the hoar-frost of heaven;" while the deep vale may offer its chorus to the waving corn, or to the lofty summit by its side; while often may be heard the full notes of the angry tempest, and of the tornado as it sweeps by us, carrying fearful desolation in its path; although these may all speak forcibly of the power, of the goodness, of the wisdom, of the terrible justice of God; yet, without divine revelation, like the inscription at Athens, they only point to a God unknown. The awful precipice, where

"Leaps the live thunder,"

in the hour of the tempest, doth but stun the intellect of man with its overhanging and dizzy heights. And "the sound of many waters," or "the deep, lifting up his hands on high,"—although they may arouse every passion of the spirit, and address it as with the voice of God; yet, to man, these all want an interpreter. Lo! these are but "parts of his ways." But what a mere "whisper of the matter is heard in it, and the thunder of his power who can understand!"[90]

Nature speaks—we repeat it—but her language, to us, is often indefinite; like the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, it may arouse the spirit to inquiry—agitate every passion to consternation; but without a Daniel to interpret her admonitions, "the thing is passed from us." Else why this gross ignorance of the character of God among even the enlightened, or rather civilized, nations of antiquity? Why did not Egypt, when all the "wisdom of the east" was concentrated in her sons, have some notions of the Deity that would have raised their minds above the serpent or crocodile, or some insignificant article of the vegetable creation? Why did not the savage, roaming in the freedom of his interminable forests, have some correct views of God? He had talked with the sun, and heard the roar of the tempest; the evening sky in its grandeur was an everlasting map spread out before him, and the broad lake mirrored back to him its glories. But how confused—how degraded were the loftiest notions of the Deity, among the most powerful of Indian minds!

But I have already strayed from my purpose. I intended only to give a specimen or two, of attempted descriptions of the Deity, for the purpose of showing the infinite superiority of those contained in the bible, above every other in the world.

It ought, however, to be recollected, that the descriptions we find among heathen authors, are doubtless more or less indebted to sentiments borrowed from the Jewish scriptures; although we believe the contrast will show that they have passed through heathen hands. One of the most sublime to be met with in the world, out of the bible, was engraved in hieroglyphics upon the temple of Neith, the Egyptian Minerva. It is as follows:[91]

"I am that which is, was, and shall be: no mortal hath lifted up my veil: the offspring of my power is the sun."

A similar inscription still remains at Capua, on the temple of Isis:

"Thou art one, and from thee all things proceed."

In the above, evident traces are to be seen of the Hebrew term Jehovah. Some of Homer's descriptions have their excellencies; but they all suffer from the fact, that he clothes the deities he describes, not only with human passions, but with human appetites of the most degrading character. And he never seems more satisfied with himself than when he represents them heated for war! "Warring gods," when placed at the foot of Calvary, or contrasted with any just description of the true God, is certainly a revolting idea; and it is still worse to introduce them as does Homer, with the shuddering thought that,

"Gods on gods exert eternal rage!"

And our impressions are scarcely more favorable when he presents us with an unincarnate, and yet "bleeding god," retiring from the field of battle, "pierced with Grecian darts," "though fatal, not to die." The following from this author is singular indeed:

"Of lawless force shall lawless MARS complain?
Of all the most unjust, most odious in our eyes!
In human discord is thy dire delight,
The waste of slaughter, and the rage of fight.
No bound, no law thy fiery temper quells,
And all thy mother in thy soul rebels!"—Illiad, Book 5.

The following is far less exceptionable:

"And know, the Almighty is the God of gods.
League all your forces then, ye powers above,
Join all, and try the omnipotence of Jove;
[92] Let down our golden everlasting chain,
Whose strong embrace holds heaven, and earth and main:
Strive all, of mortal or immortal birth,
To draw, by this, the thunderer down to earth:
Ye strive in vain! If I but stretch this hand,
I heave the gods, the ocean, and the land;
I fix the chain to great Olympus' height,
And the vast world hangs trembling in my sight!
For such I reign unbounded and above;
And such are men, and gods, compared to Jove."—Ill. b. vi.

Some of the above ideas are certainly sublime, and considering the age that produced them, they have no superior but the bible.

As the koran has attained considerable celebrity, we should hardly be pardoned should we not notice it. The passage on which the Mohammedan rests his whole faith, for sublimity, and which is confessedly unapproached by any thing else in the koran, is the following:

"God! There is no God but he; the living, the self-subsisting; neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him; to him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven, and on earth. Who is he that can intercede with him but through his good pleasure? He knoweth that which is past, and that which is to come. His throne is extended over heaven and earth, and the preservation of both is to him no burden. He is the High, the Mighty."

If the above passage contained a single original thought, it might entitle it to higher praise than it can now receive. But as there is no thought expressed, but may be found in the book of Job, or among the inimitable Psalms of David, written from sixteen hundred to two thousand years before Mohammed, and which this pretended prophet had before him—and as we can hardly allow their originality of expression—the only praise that can be bestowed upon its author is, that of having studied the Jewish scriptures pretty closely, a[93] fact that is exhibited throughout his famous production. But while we acknowledge that this is a brilliant passage, it evidently does not surpass, nor even equal, either of the following, selected from our own times.

"Eternal Spirit! God of truth! to whom
All things seem as they are. Thou who of old
The prophet's eye unsealed, that nightly saw
While heavy sleep fell down on other men,
In holy vision tranced, the future pass
Before him, and to Judah's harp attuned
Burdens which make the pagan mountains shake,
And Zion's cedars bow,—inspire my song;
My eye unscale; me what is substance teach,
And shadow what, while I of things to come,
As past rehearsing, sing the course of time.
—Hold my right hand, Almighty! and me teach
To strike the lyre——to notes
Which wake the echoes of Eternity."—Pollok.

In the above extracts there is this remarkable difference: Mohammed, in his description of Deity, has no thought that refers to a moral perfection of God! And indeed gross sensuality, and a destitution of high and spiritual views, characterize his whole work.

But with Pollok, the first thought is spirit—a second, truth. And aside from this peculiarity, although you turn over every leaf of the koran, we affirm that you cannot find so sublime a conception as the following:

"Hold my right hand, Almighty! and me teach
To strike the lyre,——to notes
That wake the echoes of eternity."

But how infinitely, both in grandeur and simplicity, do all these fall short of the inimitable original of most of these, penned by David of the Old, or Paul of the New Testament.

"O, my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth, and the[94] heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."

"Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in Light which no man can approach unto,—whom no man hath seen, nor can see!"

Or as in another place, "The King eternal, immortal, invisible,—the only wise God."

In the above specimens, there is a grandeur and simplicity not to be found in any merely human composition.

The following is very fine, from Habakkuk:

"God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens,
And his praise filled the earth.
His brightness was like the sun,
Out of his hand [or side] came flashes of lightning,
And there was only the veil of his might.
Before him walked the pestilence,
And burning coals went forth at his feet.
He stood, and the earth was moved;
He looked, and caused the nations to quake.
And the everlasting mountains were broken in pieces,
And the perpetual hills did bow.
His goings are from everlasting."

We scarcely know which to admire most, the above or the following from the same author:

"The mountains saw THEE and trembled,
The overflowing waters passed away.
The deep uttered his voice,
And lifted up his hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their habitations.
At the shining of thine arrows, (i. e. the lightnings,) they disappeared—
At the brightness of thy glittering spear!"

The following paraphrastic reference may be regarded as barren in some respects, compared with others[95] that might be selected from the same living fountain.

The Eye of the Supreme Being is regarded as so piercing as to pervade heaven, earth and hell, and the awful depths of eternity. His countenance is as the sun shining in his strength. The wind, in its endless whirl, is but his breath or breathing. His hand is represented so immense, that even its "hollow" will "contain the waters of the great deep,"—and, when "spanned," he "measures with it the whole heavens." While "sitting in the circle of the heavens," the earth is represented as the place where his feet rest. So rapid in his motion, that "He walks upon the wings of the wind." Of such awful strength, "that the earth," with its countless inhabitants, are "less than the dust" that accumulates "upon the balance." At one time "He covereth himself with light as with a garment,"—and at another, "He maketh darkness his pavilion, and the thick clouds of the skies."

These however are images all borrowed from sensible objects, and, magnificent as they may be, they fail of throwing upon the mind a full image of Him who hath "no likeness in the heavens above, nor in the earth beneath." And, besides, these glowing pictures present to the mind none of his moral attributes. For a description of these, we must look either to the events of his providence, or a more particular disclosure in the bible. And it may well astonish us, that, after the lapse of more than three thousand years, we may look in vain for a fuller or more perfect description of the Divine Being, in words, than is given by Moses in that memorable moment upon Mount Sinai—

"Whose grey tops did tremble, when God ordained their laws."


A description that is like the sun rising upon the chaos that surrounded him in the Egyptian mythology, which at that time was so gross that no object in nature was too mean for a deity. But "in the midst of this darkness that might be felt," God was pleased to reveal himself in the following language, at once sufficiently grave and impressive to afford irrefragable proof of its high origin.

ויעבור יהוה על־פניו ויקרא יהוה יהוה אל רחום וחנון ארך אפים ורב־חסד ואמת׃ נצר חסד לאלפים נשא עון ופשע וחטאה ונקה לא ינקה פקד עון אבות על־בנים ועל־בני בנים על־שלשים ועל־רבעים׃

~Vay'avor Adonai 'al panav vaykra Adonai Adonai El ra[h.]um ve[h.]anun erekh apayim verav [h.]esed veemeth. Notzer [h.]esed laalafim nose 'avon vafesha ve [h.]atah venakeh lo yinakeh poked 'avon avoth 'al banim ve'al bnei vanim 'al shileshim ve'al ribe'im.~

"And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

Or, as these striking appellatives of the Divine Being might be translated, without offering any violation to the Hebrew,—the Jehovah, the strong and mighty God, the merciful One, the gracious One, the long-suffering One, the great and mighty One, the Bountiful Being, the True One, or Truth, the Preserver of Bountifulness, the Redeemer, or Pardoner, the Righteous Judge, and He who visits iniquity.

This is a remarkable description indeed to come[97] from one educated in the midst of Egyptian mythology; and the awful names by which the Supreme Being is designated, can only be accounted for, under such circumstances, on the supposition that Moses received them directly from the Almighty himself.

But to close our article. The Divine Being is nowhere so perfectly, so interestingly described as in the character of Christ. Here love is unbosomed as it could not be by language. Here heaven drops down to earth; and the otherwise invisible beauties of the invisible God, are made tangible even to the eye. The arm of mercy, outstretched to the sinner—the eye of justice softened by the tear of mercy—the heart of love beating intensely with benignity, as well as every perfection of the divine nature; are all laid open to the view of sinful, helpless man, and we become "eye witness of his glorious majesty." Here the tears of mercy may be seen dropping upon its wretched objects of commiseration; and the most secret emotions of the divine mind, we may behold, heaving in the bosom of the immaculate Jesus. Here indeed "God tabernacles and walks with man." And as a confirmation of the glorious truth, at beholding Him, "the sun stood still in his habitation." "The sea saw him, and was afraid." The earth trembled at his presence, and gave back the dead at his voice. Well indeed might one exclaim, to behold such a personage, "My Lord and my God."



By Charles S. Daveis.

Never—since the period that Cæsar conquered Gaul, when the inhabitants enjoyed a barbarian license under their native chiefs and druids, had the voice of liberty been heard in France, till the 14th of July, 1789. Never before did such a note of exultation spread over the vine-covered hills,—and echo among the beautiful valleys, of that fair country. Never perhaps before was there such a burden lifted from the minds of men. In the unwonted consciousness of power, they seemed to tread a new earth. In the intoxication of triumph they burst from the bonds of morality and humanity. So very singular, and strange, indeed, was the position in which the people of France were placed by the revolution, that their vernacular language was found deficient in the appropriate phraseology of freedom; and they were obliged to resort to a foreign idiom, and to the customs of other climes, and the usages of other nations, and to ransack the regions of fancy and invention, for the vocabulary, as well as the drapery, of their new republic.

It is remarkable, that the revolution in France, beginning in fact, with the destruction of the Bastile, should end in the re-establishment of despotism. It was a revolution indeed not more remarkable for the original character of its cause, than its catastrophe; for the astonishing contrast it exhibits between the splendor of its talents and the atrocity of its crimes:[99] for the reverence which it professed for antiquity, and the mischief it produced to posterity; for adopting the most enormous maxims, and enforcing them by the most audacious means; for the use which it made of its own freedom to enslave other nations to its law, for erecting the empire of Rome upon the democracy of Athens, for the adoption of a model of colossal grandeur, and establishing the most tremendous system of policy, that ever convulsed human kind:—a revolution, conspicuous also for the sudden appearance of a race of men springing up from the earth, as though it had been sown with dragons' teeth, and its monstrous fruits produced with hydras' heads and tigers' hearts;—resounding, together, with the tribune, and the guillotine;—not merely remarkable for tearing the priest from the altar, but for rasing the altar likewise to the ground; and distinguished for the successive destruction of some of the most ancient thrones and crowns in Europe;—for the ignominious death of the last in a royal line of seventy sovereigns, who, at any former period of the monarchy, would have been blessed as the father of his people, and canonized as the true descendant of St. Louis,—and the most affecting example on record of an anointed queen, not more famed for her charms than for her sorrows,—her errors more than atoned by her sufferings, perishing without a tear, in a land of ancient renown for chivalry, upon the scaffold! The revolution in France was a scene at which sensibility sinks. It seemed to extinguish the hopes of its friends in the blood of its martyrs; and it was hardly relieved by the virtues of its purest patriot, educated in the schools of America, banished from the air of France, and doomed to breathe the dungeons of despotism.[100]

To what are we indebted again for our escape from that wild turmoil, which involved the elements of society and government in Europe with an overwhelming violence? Why was it, that while the storm, that shook the continent abroad, beat against our iron-bound shore, its fury was expended at our feet; and we heard it howl along our agitated coast and die away at a distance? Why did we enjoy a light, like the children of Israel, in our dwellings, while Egyptian darkness brooded around? Why, in this universal chaos, had we such reason to congratulate ourselves on the good providence of God, in ordaining us to be a world by ourselves?—It was certainly not, that we did not enter into the cause of liberty in France with enthusiasm; for our hearts were in it as warmly as they were in our own. Our sympathy was with it as long as it could be sustained; our regret pursued it in dishonor,—and our affection followed it into misfortune. We lamented to see, that all the results of that amazing movement of the human mind, contemplating the happiness of millions, and looking to the improvement of ages, should follow the fortune of foreign war; and that they should centre in a single individual, carried away into captivity, and doomed to end his days upon a solitary rock. We grieved to behold the beautiful and brilliant star of the French Revolution sink at last into mid-ocean, the mere meteor of military glory.—Feeling all the disappointment of its friends, we cannot but contrast it with the deep repose, which our own illustrious and honored patriots enjoy, in the land which gave them birth, beneath the mighty shadows of our happy political revolution.

Although, as Americans, we cease to cling to the cause of revolutionary liberty in France with the lingering[101] fondness of early affection, we continue to follow its dying light, as though we could not believe it had entirely sunk in darkness and despair. If it be not possible to regard it uninfluenced by its unfortunate termination, if we can borrow nothing from its origin to relieve its mournful catastrophe, it behoves us still to embalm the wounds of liberty with its healing spirit, and it concerns us also, that all its sacrifices and services for the sake of man should not have perished with its victims. The vices of the ancient government rendered it unfit for the happiness of France, without essential alterations; and while we reflect with pain upon the results of the revolution, we must bear in mind that they were the excesses of men like ourselves, transported by hopes excited by our example, and exalted by a more ardent temper, untrained by the same favorable habits and beneficial institutions;—and although its transient violence may shock and repel our sympathy, it ought not to disgust us with its principles, or to alienate our attachment from its rational objects. Let us not fail to perceive, as we shall, if we are attentive to the facts, that what was good was in the cause; and what was evil was the effect of that long oppression by which it was corrupted. In this wonderful dispensation to mankind we may not perhaps pretend to scan the ways of providence; yet in common with the christian world we cannot fail to behold the dealing of a divine and overruling hand. Where the seed of liberty has been sown, and watered with the blood, as well as tears, of patriots, that seed is yet in the earth; and whether it spring up before our eyes or not, it may be the will of Him, to whom no eye is raised in vain, that nothing shall be lost!



By Nathaniel Deering.

One dark, stormy night in the summer of —— finding my system had lost much of its humidum radicale, or radical moisture, in truth a very alarming premonitory, I directed Mrs. Tonic in preparing my warm aqua fontana to infuse a quantum sufficit of Hollands; of which having taken a somewhat copious draught, I sought my cubiculum. Let no one imagine however, that I give the least countenance to the free use of alcoholic mixtures. They are undoubtedly poisonous, and like other poisons, which hold a high rank in our pharmacopeia, it is only when taken under the direction of those deemed cunning in our art, that they exert a healing power, and as one Shakspeare happily expresses it, "ascend me to the brain." Now as the radical moisture is essential to vitality and as this moisture is promoted in a wonderful degree by potations of Hollands, we of the Faculty hold with Horatius Flaccus "omnes eodem cogimur"—we may all cogue it. But to return to my narratio or story as it may be called. I had hardly "steep'd my senses in forgetfulness" as some one quaintly says, when I was effectually aroused by a loud knocking at the window. The blows were so heavy and frequent that Mrs. Tonic though somewhat unadorned, it being her hour for retiring, yet fearful of fractured glass, hurried to the door. I might here mention, in order to show the reason of Mrs. Tonic's fears, that my parlor front-window had been lately beautified[103] with an enlarged sash containing not seven by nine, the size generally used, but eight by ten—panes certainly of a rare and costly size and which Mrs. Tonic had the honor of introducing. The cause of this unseasonable disturbance proved to be a messenger from Deacon Sykes stating that good Mrs. Sykes was alarmingly ill and desiring my immediate attendance. Now in the whole range of my practice there was no one whose call was sooner heeded than Mrs. Sykes's; for besides being an ailing woman and of course a profitable patient, she had much influence in our village as the wife of Deacon Sykes. But I must confess that on this occasion I did feel an unwillingness to resume my habiliments, that night as I before remarked, being uncommonly stormy and myself feeling sensibly the effects of the sudorific I had just taken. Still I should willingly have exposed myself had not Mrs. Tonic gathered from the messenger that it was only a return of Mrs. Sykes's old complaint, that excruciating pain, the colic; for Mrs. Sykes was flatulent. As the medicine I had hitherto prescribed for her in such aliments had been wonderfully blessed, I directed Mrs. Tonic to bring my saddle-bags, from which having prepared a somewhat smart dose of tinct. rhei. with carb. soda, I gave it to the messenger bidding him return with all speed. In the belief that this would prove efficacious, I again turned to woo the not reluctant Somnus, but scarcely had an hour elapsed when I was again alarmed by repeated blows first at the door and then at the window. In a moment I sat bolt upright, in which attitude I was soon imitated by Mrs. Tonic, on hearing the crash of one of her eight by tens. Through the aperture I now distinctly recognized the voice of Sam[104] Saunders, who had hired with the Deacon, stating that good Mrs. Sykes was absolutely in extremis, or as Sam himself expressed it, "at her last gasp." On hearing this, you may be assured I was not long in naturalibus; but drawing on my nether integuments, I departed despite the remonstrances of Mrs. Tonic, without my wrapper and without any thing in fact except a renewed draught of my philo humidum radicale. My journey to the Deacon's was made with such an accelerated movement that it was accomplished as it were per saltum. This was owing to my great anxiety about Mrs. Sykes, though possibly in a small degree I might have dreaded an obstruction of the pores in my own person. Howbeit, on arriving at the Deacon's, I saw at once that she was beyond the healing art. There lay all that remained of Mrs. Sykes—the disjecta membra, the fragmenta—the casket! But the gem, the mens divinior was gone and forever. There she lay, regardless of the elongated visage of Deacon Sykes on the one side, and of the no less elongated visage of the widow Dobble on the other side, who had been some time visiting there, and who now hung over her departed friend in an agony of woe. "Doctor," cried the Deacon, "is there no hope?" "Is there no hope?" echoed the widow Dobble. I grasped the wrist of Mrs. Sykes, but pulsation had ceased; the eye was glazed and the countenance livid. "A caput mortuum, Deacon! defuncta! the wick of vitality is snuffed out." The bereaved husband groaned deeply; the widow Dobble groaned an octave higher.

On my way home my mind was much exercised with this sudden and mysterious dispensation. Had Sam Saunders blundered in his statement of her complaint?[105] Had I myself—good Heavens! it could'nt be possible! I opened my bags—horresco referens! it was but too palpable! Owing either to the agitation of the moment when so suddenly awakened, or to the deep solicitude of Mrs. Tonic, who, in preparing my philo humidum radicale, had infused an undue portion of the Hollands—to one of these the lamented Mrs. Sykes might charge her untimely exit; for there was the vial of tinct. rhei. full to the stopple, while the vial marked "laudanum," was as dry as a throat in fever. I hesitate not to record that at this discovery, I lost some of that self-possession which has ever been characteristic of the Tonics. I was not only standing on the brow of a precipice, but my centre of gravity seemed a little beyond it. There were rivals in the vicinity jealous of my rising reputation. The sudden death might cause a post mortem examination, and the result would be as fatal to me as was the laudanum to Mrs. Sykes. A thought, occurring, doubtless through a special Providence, suddenly relieved my mind. At break of day I retraced my footsteps to the chamber of the deceased. Accompanied by the Deacon I approached to gaze upon the corpse; when, suddenly starting back, I placed one hand upon my olfactories and grasping with the other the alarmed mourner, I hurried towards the door. "In the name of heaven!" cried the Deacon, "what is the matter?" "The matter!" I replied, "the matter! Deacon, listen. In all cases of mortality where the radical moisture has not been lessened by long disease, putrefaction commences on the cessation of the organic functions and a miasma fatal to the living is in a moment generated. This is the case even in cold weather, and it being now[106] July, I cannot answer for your own life if the burial be deferred; the last sad offices must be at once attended to." Deacon Sykes consented. Not, he remarked, on his own account, for, as to himself, life had lost its charms, but there were others near on whom many were dependent, and he could not think of gratifying his own feelings at their expense—sufficient, says he, for the day is the evil thereof. I hardly need add, that, when my advice to the Deacon got wind, the neighbors with one accord rallied to assist in preparing Mrs. Sykes for her last home; and their labors were not a little quickened by the fumes of tar and vinegar which I directed to be burnt on this melancholy occasion. Much as I cherished Mrs. Sykes, still I confess that my feelings were much akin to those called pleasurable, when I heard the rattle of those terrene particles which covered at the same time my lamented friend and my professional lapsus.

But after all, as I sat meditating on the ups and downs of life during the evening of the funeral, the question arose in my mind, is all safe? May not some unfledged Galens remove the body for the purpose of dissection?—Worse than all, may not some malignant rival have already meditated a similar expedition? The more I reflected on this matter and its probable consequences, the more my fears increased, till at last they became too great for my frail tenement. There was at this period a boarder in my family, one Job Sparrow, who having spent about thirty years of his pilgrimage in the "singing of anthems," concluded at length to devote the residue thereof to the study of the human frame, to which he was the more inclined, probably, as he could have the benefit of my deep investigations.[107] His outward man, though somewhat ungainly, was exceedingly muscular, and he had a firmness of nerve which would make him willingly engage in any enterprise that would aid him in his calling. Conducting him to my sanctum or study, a retired chamber in my domicil, "Job," I remarked, "I have long noticed your engagedness in the healing art, and I have lamented my inability of late to further your progress in the study of anatomy from the difficulty of procuring subjects. An opportunity, however, is at length afforded, and I shall not fail to embrace it though at the sacrifice of my best feelings. The subject I mean, is the lamented Mrs. Sykes. Bring her remains at night to this chamber, and I with my venerable friend Dr. Grizzle will exhibit what, though often described, are seldom visible, those wonderful absorbents, the lacteals.—It is only in very recent subjects, my dear Job, that it is possible to point them out." My pupil grinned complacently at this manifestation of kindly feelings towards him in one so much his superior, and hastened to prepare himself for the expedition. It was about nine of the clock when the venerable Dr. Grizzle, whom I had notified of my intended operations through Job, came stealthily in. Dr. Grizzle, though from his appearance one would conclude that he was about to "shuffle off this mortal coil," was a rara avis as to his knowledge of the corporeal functions. There were certain gainsayers, indeed, who asserted that his intellectual candle was just glimmering in its socket; but it will show to a demonstration how little such statements are to be regarded when I assert that the like slanders had been thrown out touching my own person. The profound Grizzle, above such malignant feelings,[108] always coincided with my own opinion, both as to the nature of the disease we were called to counteract, and as to the mode of treatment; and so highly did I value him, that he was the only one whom I called to a consultation when that course was deemed expedient. We had prepared our instruments and were refreshing our minds with the pages of Chesselden, a luminous writer, when to my great satisfaction the signal of my pupil was heard below. Hitherto our labors seemed to have been blest; but a difficulty occurred in this stage of our progress which threatened not only to render these labors useless, but to retard, if I may so say, the advance of anatomical science. It was this; the stairway was uncommonly narrow, and the lamented Mrs. Sykes was uncommonly large. As it was impossible, then, for Job to pass up at the same time with the defunct, it was settled after mature deliberation, that he and myself, should occupy a post at each extreme, while Grizzle assisted near the lumbar region. "Now," cried Job, "heave together;" but the words were hardly uttered, when a shreak from Grizzle, paralized our exertions. Our muscular efforts had wedged my venerable friend so completely between Mrs. Sykes and the wall, that his lungs wheezed like a pair of decayed bellows; and had it not been for the Herculean strength of Job, who rushed as it were in medias res, the number of the dead would have equalled that of the living. At length, after repeated trials, we effected, as I facetiously remarked, our "passage of the Alps;" an historical allusion which tended much to the divertisement of Grizzle and obliterated in no small measure, the memory of his recent peril. And now, having directed Job to go down and secure the[109] door, Grizzle and myself advanced to remove the bandages that confined her arms, previous to dissection. But scarcely was the work accomplished when a sepulchral groan burst from the defunct, the eyes glared, and the loosened arm was slowly lifted from the body. That I am not of that class who can be charged with any thing like timidity, is, I think well proved by my consenting to act for several years as regimental surgeon in our militia, a post undoubtedly of danger. But I must concede that at this unexpected movement, both Grizzle and myself were somewhat agitated. From the table to the stair-way, we leaped, as it were by instinct, and with a velocity at which even now I greatly marvel. This sudden evidence of vitality in my lamented friend, or I might say rather an unwillingness to be found alone with her in such a peculiar situation, also induced me to prevent if possible the retreat of Grizzle, and I fastened with some degree of violence upon his projecting queue. It was fortunate, in so far as regarded Grizzle, that art in this instance had supplanted nature. His wig, of which the queue formed no inconsiderable portion, was all that my hand retained. Had it been otherwise, such was the tenacity of my grasp on the one hand, and such his momentum on the other, that Grizzle must have left the natural ornament of his cerebrum, while I, though unjustly, must have been charged with imitating our heathenish Aborigines. As it was, his bald pate shot out from beneath it with the velocity of a discharged ball; nor was the similitude to that engine of carnage at all lessened when I heard its rebounds upon the stairs. How long I remained overwhelmed by the wonderful scenes which I had just witnessed, I cannot tell; but on recovering,[110] I found that Mrs. Sykes had been removed to my best chamber, and Job and Mrs. Tonic both busily engaged about her person. They had, as I afterwards ascertained, by bathing her feet and rubbing her with hot flannels, wrought a change almost miraculous; and the effects of the laudanum having happily subsided she appeared, when I entered, as in her pristine state. At that moment they were about administering a composing draught, which undoubtedly she needed, having received several severe contusions on the stairway in our endeavors to extricate Grizzle. But rushing forward, I exclaimed, "thanks to Heaven that I again see that cherished face! thanks that I have been the instrument under Providence of restoring to society its brightest ornament! Be composed, my dear Mrs. Sykes, ask no questions to night, unless you would frustrate all my labors." Then presenting to her lips an opiate, in a short time I had the satisfaction of seeing her sink into a tranquil slumber.

As I considered it all important that the matter should be kept a profound secret till I had arranged my plans; and as Mrs. Tonic had in a remarkable degree that propensity which distinguishes woman—I was under the necessity of making her privy to the whole transaction; trusting that the probable ruin to my reputation consequent on an exposure would effectually bridle her unruly member. My venerable friend too, I invited for a few days to my own mansion lest the bruises he received during his exodus from the dissecting room might have deprived him of his customary caution. The last and most difficult step was to prepare the mind of Mrs. Sykes, who was yet in nubibus as to her new location. With great caution I gradually[111] unfolded the strange event that had just transpired,—her sudden apparent death, the alarm of the village touching the miasma, and the consequent sudden interment. 'Your exit, my dear Mrs. Sykes,' I continued, 'seemed like a dream—I could not realize it. Such an irreparable loss! I thought of all the remedies that had been applied in such cases. Had any thing been omitted that had a tendency to increase the circulation of the radical fluid! There was the Galvanic battery,—it had been entirely overlooked, and yet what wonders it had performed! No sooner had this occurred to my mind than I was impressed with the conviction that you were to revisit this mundane sphere, and that I was the chosen instrument to enkindle the vital spark. No time was lost in obeying this mysterious impulse. The grave was opened, the battery was applied secundem artem—and the result is the restoration to society of our beloved Mrs. Sykes.' In proportion to her horror at the idea, that she must have rested from her labors but for my skill, was her gratitude for this timely rescue. She fell on my neck and clung like one demented, till a gathering frown on the face of my spouse warned me of the necessity of repelling her embraces. Mrs. Sykes was now desirous of returning immediately home, to restore as it were to life her bereaved consort, who was no doubt mourning at his desolation, and refusing to be comforted. But here I felt it my duty to interpose. 'My dear Mrs. Sykes,' said I, 'your return at this moment would overwhelm him. The sudden change from the lowest depths of woe to a state of ecstacy, would consign him to the tenement you have just quitted. No! this extraordinary Providence must be gradually unfolded.' She yielded at last to my sage[112] councils and consented to wait till the violence of his grief had somewhat abated, and his mind had become sufficiently tranquil to hear that tale which I was cautiously to relate. On the following day however, her anxiety to return had risen to a high pitch, and truly by evening it was beyond my control. She was firm in the belief that I could make the disclosure without essential injury to the Deacon; 'besides,' as she remarked, 'there was no knowing how much waste there had been in the kitchen.' It was settled at last that I should immediately walk over to the Deacon's, and by a judicious train of reflection, for which I was admirably fitted, prepare the way for this joyous meeting. When I arrived at the house of mourning, though perhaps the last person in the world entitled to the name of evesdropper, yet as my eye was somewhat askance as I passed the window, I observed a spectacle that for a time arrested my footsteps. There sat the Deacon, recounting probably the virtues of the deceased partner, and there, not far apart, sat the widow Dobble sympathizing in his sorrows. It struck me that Deacon Sykes was not ungrateful for her consolatory efforts; for he took her hand with a gentle pressure and held it to his bosom. Perhaps it was the unusual mode of dress now exhibited by the widow Dobble, that led him to this act; for she was decked out in Mrs. Sykes's best frilled cap, and such is the waywardness of fancy, he might for the moment have imagined that his help-mate was beside him. Be that as it may, while I was thus complacently regarding this interchange of friendly feelings, the cry of 'you vile hussy' suddenly rang in my very ear, and the next instant, the door having been burst open, who should stand before[113] the astonished couple but the veritable Mrs. Sykes. The Deacon leaped as if touched in the pericardium, and essayed to gain the door; but in his transit his knees denied their office, and he sank gibbering as his hand was upon the latch. As to the terrified widow Dobble, I might say with Virgilius, steteruntque comae, her combs stood up; for the frilled cap was displaced with no little violence, and with an agonizing shriek she fell, apparently in articulo mortis, on the body of the Deacon. What a lamentable scene! and all in consequence of the rashness and imprudence of Mrs. Sykes. No sooner had I left my own domicil than Mrs. Sykes, regardless of my admonitions, resolved on following my steps, and was actually peeping over my shoulder at the moment the Deacon's hand came in contact with the widow Dobble's. It was truly fortunate for all concerned that a distinguished member of the faculty was near at this dreadful crisis. In ordinary hands nothing could have prevented a quietus. Their spirits were taking wing, and it was only by extraordinary skill that I effected what lawyer Snoodles said was a complete 'stoppage in transitu.' I regret to state that this was my last visit to Deacon Sykes's. Unmindful of my services in resuscitating Mrs. Sykes, he remarked that my neglect to prepare him for the exceeding joy that was in store, had so far shattered his nervous system that his usefulness was over; and in fine, had built up between us a wall of separation not to be broken down. I always opined, however, and of this opinion was Mrs. Tonic, that the Deacon's coldness arose in part from an incipient warmth for Mrs. Dobble, which was thus checked in its first stages. It was even hinted that on her departure, which took[114] place immediately, he manifested less of resignation than at the burial of Mrs. Sykes. The coldness of the widow Dobble towards me, certainly unmerited, was also no less apparent, till I brought about what I had much at heart, viz: a match between her and Major Popkin. He was a discreet, forehanded man, a Representative to our General Court, and kept the Variety Store in that part of our town that was named in honor of him, 'Popkins's Corner.'[3]



By James Furbish.

Give me ripe fruit with the green—
Fresh leaves mingling with the sear;
As in tropic climes are seen
Blending through the deathless year.

I am alarmed at the changes which are taking place in society. While many are lauding the spirit of the age and holding up to my gaze the picture of forth-coming improvements—opening broad and charming vistas into the almost present future of mental and moral perfection, I cannot help casting a lingering look upon the past. Time was when old age and infancy, manhood and youth, walked the path of life together; when the strength of young limbs aided the feebleness of the old, and the joyousness of youth enlivened the gravity of age. But the son has now left the father to totter on alone, and the daughter has outstripped the mother in the race. Beauty and strength have separated from decrepitude and weakness. The vine has uncoiled from its natural support, and the ivy has ceased to entwine the oak.

There is an increasing disposition on the part of the young and the old to classify their pleasures according to their age. Those pastimes which used to be enjoyed by both together, are now separated. This is an evil of too serious a character to pass unfelt, unlamented or unrebuked. It is easy to refer back to days when parents were more happy with their children, and children more honorable and useful to parents[116] than at present. It is not long since the old and the young were to be seen together in the blithesome dance and the merry play. And why this change? Why do we find that, within a few years, the old have abandoned amusements to the young? Is it that they think their children can profit more by their amusements than if they were present? If this be the impression it is to be regretted. No course could they possibly adopt so injurious to the character of their children. For youth need the direction and the advice of age, and age requires the exhilaration and cheerfulness of youth. How many lonely evenings would be enlivened—how many dark visions of the future would be dissipated, and how many hours of gloom and despondency would be put to flight, if fathers would keep pace with their sons, and mothers with their daughters, in the innocent pleasures of life. Here, as it appears to me, is the grand secret of happiness for the young and the old. For the old, who are too apt to dwell on the glories of the past and to see nothing that is lovely in the present; and for the young, who throw too strong and gaudy a light upon the present and the future. Nature did not so intend it. So long as there is life, she intended we should innocently enjoy it. And the barrier which has, by some unaccountable mishap, been thrown between the young and the old is, therefore, greatly to be lamented. But how shall it be removed? How shall we get back again to the good old times of the merry husking, the joyous dance, the happy commingling in the same company, of the priest and his deacon, the father and his child, the husband and his wife?

It would not be difficult to trace directly to the discontinuance[117] of the practice of joining with the young in their amusements, the great increase of youthful dissipation of every description. By being removed from the advice, restraint and example of the old and experienced, they have, by degrees, fallen into usages which were almost unknown in years gone by. When accompanied by parents, the hours of pleasure were seasonable. Daughters were under the inspection of mothers, and sons were guided by the wisdom of fathers. Homes were happier, the community more virtuous, and the world at large a gainer by such judicious customs. We now hear the complaint that sons have gone astray, that daughters have behaved indiscreetly, and that families have been disgraced. But can there be a doubt, if the practice were general of accompanying our children in those pastimes in which they ought to be reasonably indulged, that many of these evils would be prevented? Here then must begin the reform. Complain not that your son is out late, if you might have been with him to bring him to your fire-side at a seasonable hour. Complain not that your daughter has formed an unsuitable or untimely connexion, if a mother's care might have avoided the evil. Youth will go astray without the protection of age. And it is a crying sin that these old-fashioned moral restraints have been removed. What, I ask, can be your object in thus leaving your children to their own direction? Do they love you the better for it? Are their manners more agreeable—their conduct more respectful while at home? Is not rather the reverse of this the case? Do they not give you more trouble at home? Are they not every day incurring new and useless expenses in consequence of allowing them to legislate and plan[118] for themselves? Rashness is the characteristic of youth. But allowing them to be capable of governing themselves, you are a great loser by drawing this strong division line between their pleasures and your own. Your own years are less in number and in happiness. Your children are dead to you, though alive to themselves. Your sympathies are not linked with theirs step by step in life; and thus, although surrounded by children, you go childless, unhappy and gloomy to the grave. Reform then, I say, reform at once. Annihilate this classification of junior and senior pleasures. Join with your children in the dance, the song and the play. Enjoy with them every harmless pleasure and sport of life. Encompass yourself as often as possible with the gay faces of the young. Teach them by example, to be happy like rational beings, and to enjoy life without abusing it. Let the ripe fruit be seen with the green—the blossom with the bud—the green with the fading leaf and the vine with its natural support:

Show the ripe fruit with the green—
Fresh leaves twining with the sear;
As in tropic climes are seen
Harmonizing through the year.



By P. H. Greenleaf.

"The melancholy days are come—the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear;
Heap'd in the hollows of the grove, the summer leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying wind, and to the rabbit's tread:
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow, thro' all the gloomy day."

Stern and forbidding as are the general features of our northern climate—cold and chilling as the gay Southron may deem, even the very air we breathe,—we have still some characteristics of climate peculiar to ourselves, and none the less pleasing to us from this fact. Our hearts must indeed be as hard and as cold as the very granite of our craggy shores, did they not glow with delight in the possession of that, (be it what it may) which is peculiar to and markedly characteristic of our native home. And of all these peculiarities not one is so delightful—not one finds us so rich in New England feeling, as that beautiful season called the Indian Summer. It occurs in October, and is characterized by a soft, hazy atmosphere—by those quiet, and balmy days, which seem so like the last whisperings of a Spring morning. The appearance of the landscape is like any thing, but the fresh and lively scenery of Spring; and yet the delicious softness of the atmosphere is so like it, that it brings back fresh to the mind all the beautiful associations connected with a vernal day. Our forests too, at this season are, for a brief space, clothed in the most gorgeous and magnificent array; their brilliant and changing hues, and[120] the magnificence of their whole appearance, almost give their rich and mellow tint to the atmosphere itself; and render this period unrivalled in beauty, and unequalled in the more equable climes of our western neighbors. The calm sobriety of the scenery—the splendid variety of the forest coloring, from deep scarlet to russet gray, and the quiet and dreamy expression of the autumnal atmosphere make a deeper impression on the mind than all the verdant promises of spring, or the luxuriant possession of summer. The aspen birch in its pallid white—the walnut in its deep yellow—the brilliant maple in its scarlet drapery—and the magical colors of the whole vegetable world, from the aster by the brook to the vine on the trellis, combine to render the autumnal scenery of New-England the most splendid and magnificent in the world.

But we cannot forget, if we would, that this beautiful magnificence of the forests is but the livery of death; and the changing hues of the leaves, beautiful though they are, still are but indications of the sure, but gradual progress of decay.

'Lightly falls the foot of death
Whene'er he treads on flowers:'

and though he has breathed beauty on the clustered trees of the forest—it is to them the breath of the Sirocco.

We have in the wasting consumption a parallel to this splendid decay of the leaves and flowers of Summer. Day by day we see its victim with the seal of death upon him—failing and decaying in strength—increasing in beauty. While the brilliant and intellectual glances of the eye speak, in language too plain for the[121] sceptic's denial, the immortality of the soul. The changing and brilliant hues of the forest trees give to us the most lively type of the frailty of beauty and the brevity of human existence, while their death and burial during the winter and their resurrection in the springtime, are almost an assured pledge of our own immortality and resurrection to an eternity.

Truly 'the melancholy days are come'—Death annually lifts up his solemn hymn, and the rustling of the dying leaves and the certainty of their speedy death afford to us all 'eloquent teachings.' The gay and exhilarating spring has long since passed away—the genial and joyous warmth of summer is no more; and the grateful abundance and varied scenes of Autumn are about yielding to the inclemency of hoary winter. The gay variety of nature has at length departed—the countless throng of the gaudy flowerets of summer are all returned to their native dust—the light of the sun himself is often veiled; and the bright livery of earth is hidden from our sight by the gray mantle of the iron-bound surface, or the unbroken whiteness of a snowy covering. Reading thus the language of decay written by the finger of God upon all the works of nature—reminded too of the rapid flight of time by the ceaseless revolution of seasons, we naturally turn our thoughts from the contemplation of external objects to that of the soul, and of unseen worlds. The appearances of other seasons lead our thoughts to the world we inhabit, and by the variety of objects presented to our view rather confine them to sensible things, and matters immediately connected with them. But the buried flowers and the eddying leaves of this season teach us nobler lessons; and the mind expands, while it loses[122] itself in the infinity of being; and the gloom of the natural world shows us the splendors of other worlds, and other states of being;

'As darkness shows us worlds of light
We never saw by day.'

They tell us, that in the magnificent system of the government of God there exists no evil; and the mighty resurrections annually accomplished in the multitude of by gone years assure us, that the gloom of the night is but the prelude to the brightness of the day—that the funeral pall of autumnal and wintry days is the harbinger of a glorious, joyous and life-giving spring; and to that man the gates of the dark valley of the shadow of death are designed as the crystal portals of an eternity of bliss.

'Of the innumerable eyes, that open upon nature, none but those of man, see its author and its end.' This solemn privilege is the birth-right of the beings of immortality—of those, who perish not in time, but were formed, in some greater hour, to be companions in eternity. The mighty Being, who watches the revolutions of the material world, opens in this manner to our eyes the laws of his government; and tells us, that it is not the momentary state, but the final issue, which is to disclose its eternal design. Indeed the whole volume of nature is a natural revelation to man, often overlooked—often misused—seldom understood—but plain and solemn in its language, and full of the wisdom, justice and mercy of its author.

While, then, all inferior nature shrinks instinctively from the winds of Autumn and the storms of winter, to the high intellect of man they teach ennobling lessons. To him the inclemency of winter is no less eloquent[123] than the abundance of Autumn, or the joyous promise of Spring. He knows, that the fair and beautiful of nature now buried in an icy covering, have still a principle of life within them; and that the gay tendrils of the vine and the blushing buds of the rose will soon be put forth in the breath of summer. The stiffened earth, he knows, will soon send forth her children in renewed beauty, and he believes, that he himself, leaving the chrysalis form of earthly clay will wing his flight in the regions of eternity.


By Charles P. Ilsley.

"And they that took the disease died suddenly; and immediately their bodies became covered with spots; and they were hurried away to the grave without delay: And the men who bore the corpse, as they went their way, cried with a loud voice, "Room for the dead!" and whosoever heard the cry, fled from the sound thereof with great fear and trembling."

"Room for the dead!"—a cry went forth—
"A grave—a grave prepare!"
The solemn words rose fearfully
Up through the stilly air:
"Room for the dead!"—and a corse was borne
And laid within the pit;
But a mother's voice was sadly heard—
And a breaking heart was in each word—
"Oh, bury him not yet!"
The mother knelt beside the grave,
And prayed to see her son;
'Twas death to stop—but by her prayers
The wretched boon was won,[124]
And they raised the coffin from the pit,
And then afar they fled—
For the once fair face was spotted now—
But the mother pressed her dead child's brow,
And in a faint voice said—
"Nor plague nor spots shall hinder me
From kissing thee, lost one!
For what, alas! is life or death
Since thou art gone, my son!"
And she bent and kissed the livid brow,
While tearless was her eye;
Then her voice rang wildly in the air—
"Widow and childless!—God, is there
Aught left me but—to die!"
The words were said, and there uprose
A low and stifled moan—
Then all was still—The spirit of
That stricken one had flown!

They widened the pit, and side by side
Mother and son were laid;
No mourning train to the grave went forth,
Nor prayer was said as they heaped the earth
Above the plague-struck dead!



By Charles P. Ilsley.

Oh, this is not my home—
I miss the glorious sea,
Its white and sparkling foam,
And lofty melody.
All things seem strange to me—
I miss the rocky shore,
Where broke so sullenly
The waves with deaf'ning roar:
The sands that shone like gold
Beneath the blazing sun,
O'er which the waters roll'd,
Soft chanting as they run:
And oh, the glorious sight!
Ships moving to and fro,
Like birds upon their flight,
So silently they go!
I climb the mountain's height,
And sadly gaze around,
No waters meet my sight,
I hear no rushing sound.
Oh, would I were at home,
Beside the glorious sea,
To bathe within its foam
And list its melody!



By Joseph Ingraham.

In one of the loveliest villages of old Virginia there lived, in the year 175– and odd, an old man, whose daughter was declared, by universal consent, to be the loveliest maiden in all the country round. The veteran, in his youth, had been athletic and muscular above all his fellows; and his breast, where he always wore them, could show the adornment of three medals, received for his victories in gymnastic feats when a young man. His daughter was now eighteen, and had been sought in marriage by many suitors. One brought wealth—another, a fine person—another, industry—another, military talents—another this, and another that. But they were all refused by the old man, who became at last a by-word for his obstinacy among the young men of the village and neighborhood. At length, the nineteenth birthday of Annette, his charming daughter, who was as amiable and modest as she was beautiful, arrived. The morning of that day, her father invited all the youth of the country to a hay-making frolic. Seventeen handsome and industrious young men assembled. They came not only to make hay, but also to make love to the fair Annette. In three hours they had filled the father's barns with the newly dried grass, and their own hearts with love. Annette, by her father's command, had brought them malt liquor of her own brewing, which she presented to each enamored swain with her own fair hands.[127]

"Now my boys," said the old keeper of the jewel they all coveted, as leaning on their pitch-forks they assembled around his door in the cool of the evening—"Now my lads, you have nearly all of you made proposals for my Annette. Now you see, I don't care any thing about money nor talents, book larning nor soldier larning—I can do as well by my gal as any man in the county. But I want her to marry a man of my own grit. Now, you know, or ought to know, when I was a youngster, I could beat any thing in all Virginny in the way o' leaping. I got my old woman by beating the smartest man on the Eastern Shore, and I have took the oath and sworn it, that no man shall marry my daughter without jumping for it. You understand me boys. There's the green, and here's Annette," he added, taking his daughter, who stood timidly behind him, by the hand, "Now the one that jumps the furthest on a 'dead level,' shall marry Annette this very night."

This unique address was received by the young men with applause. And many a youth as he bounded gaily forward to the arena of trial, cast a glance of anticipated victory back upon the lovely object of village chivalry. The maidens left their looms and quilting frames, the children their noisy sports, the slaves their labors, and the old men their arm-chairs and long pipes, to witness and triumph in the success of the victor. All prophesied and many wished that it would be young Carroll. He was the handsomest and best-humored youth in the county, and all knew that a strong and mutual attachment existed between him and the fair Annette. Carroll had won the reputation of being the "best leaper," and in a country where[128] such athletic achievements were the sine qua non of a man's cleverness, this was no ordinary honor. In a contest like the present, he had therefore every advantage over his fellow athletæ.

The arena allotted for this hymeneal contest, was a level space in front of the village-inn, and near the centre of a grass-plat, reserved in the midst of the village denominated "the green." The verdure was quite worn off at this place by previous exercises of a similar kind, and a hard surface of sand more befittingly for the purpose to which it was to be used, supplied its place.

The father of the lovely, blushing, and withal happy prize, (for she well knew who would win,) with three other patriarchal villagers were the judges appointed to decide upon the claims of the several competitors. The last time Carroll tried his skill in this exercise, he "cleared"—to use the leaper's phraseology—twenty-one feet and one inch.

The signal was given, and by lot the young men stepped into the arena.

"Edward Grayson, seventeen feet," cried one of the judges. The youth had done his utmost. He was a pale, intellectual student. But what had intellect to do in such an arena? Without looking at the maiden he slowly left the ground.

"Dick Boulden, nineteen feet." Dick with a laugh turned away, and replaced his coat.

"Harry Preston, nineteen feet and three inches." "Well done Harry Preston," shouted the spectators, "you have tried hard for the acres and homestead."

Harry also laughed and swore he only "jumped for the fun of the thing." Harry was a rattle-brained fellow,[129] but never thought of matrimony. He loved to walk and talk, and laugh and romp with Annette, but sober marriage never came into his head. He only jumped "for the fun of the thing." He would not have said so, if sure of winning.

"Charley Simms, fifteen feet and a half." "Hurrah for Charley! Charley'll win!" cried the crowd good-humoredly. Charley Simms was the cleverest fellow in the world. His mother had advised him to stay at home, and told him if he ever won a wife, she would fall in love with his good temper, rather than his legs. Charley however made the trial of the latter's capabilities and lost. Many refused to enter the lists altogether. Others made the trial, and only one of the leapers had yet cleared twenty feet.

"Now," cried the villagers, "let's see Henry Carroll. He ought to beat this," and every one appeared, as they called to mind the mutual love of the last competitor and the sweet Annette, as if they heartily wished his success.

Henry stepped to his post with a firm tread. His eye glanced with confidence around upon the villagers and rested, before he bounded forward, upon the face of Annette, as if to catch therefrom that spirit and assurance which the occasion called for. Returning the encouraging glance with which she met his own, with a proud smile upon his lip, he bounded forward.

"Twenty-one feet and a half!" shouted the multitude, repeating the announcement of one of the judges, "twenty-one feet and a half. Harry Carroll forever. Annette and Harry." Hands, caps, and kerchiefs waved over the heads of the spectators, and the eyes of the delighted Annette sparkled with joy.[130]

When Harry Carroll moved to his station to strive for the prize, a tall, gentlemanly young man in a military undress frock-coat, who had rode up to the inn, dismounted and joined the spectators, unperceived, while the contest was going on, stepped suddenly forward, and with a "knowing eye," measured deliberately the space accomplished by the last leaper. He was a stranger in the village. His handsome face and easy address attracted the eyes of the village maidens, and his manly and sinewy frame, in which symmetry and strength were happily united, called forth the admiration of the young men.

"Mayhap, sir stranger, you think you can beat that," said one of the by-standers, remarking the manner in which the eye of the stranger scanned the area. "If you can leap beyond Harry Carroll, you'll beat the best man in the colonies." The truth of this observation was assented to by a general murmur.

"Is it for mere amusement you are pursuing this pastime?" inquired the youthful stranger, "or is there a prize for the winner?"

"Annette, the loveliest and wealthiest of our village-maidens, is to be the reward of the victor," cried one of the judges.

"Are the lists open to all?"

"All, young sir!" replied the father of Annette, with interest,—his youthful ardour rising as he surveyed the proportions of the straight-limbed young stranger. "She is the bride of him who out-leaps Henry Carroll. If you will try, you are free to do so. But let me tell you, Harry Carroll has no rival in Virginny. Here is my daughter, sir, look at her and make your trial."[131]

The young officer glanced upon the trembling maiden about to be offered on the altar of her father's unconquerable monomania, with an admiring eye. The poor girl looked at Harry, who stood near with a troubled brow and angry eye, and then cast upon the new competitor an imploring glance.

Placing his coat in the hands of one of the judges, he drew a sash he wore beneath it tighter around his waist, and taking the appointed stand, made, apparently without effort, the bound that was to decide the happiness or misery of Henry and Annette.

"Twenty two feet one inch!" shouted the judge. The announcement was repeated with surprise by the spectators, who crowded around the victor, filling the air with congratulations, not unmingled, however, with loud murmurs from those who were more nearly interested in the happiness of the lovers.

The old man approached, and grasping his hand exultingly, called him his son, and said he felt prouder of him than if he were a prince. Physical activity and strength were the old leaper's true patents of nobility.

Resuming his coat, the victor sought with his eye the fair prize he had, although nameless and unknown, so fairly won. She leaned upon her father's arm, pale and distressed.

Her lover stood aloof, gloomy and mortified, admiring the superiority of the stranger in an exercise in which he prided himself as unrivalled, while he hated him for his success.

"Annette, my pretty prize," said the victor, taking her passive hand—"I have won you fairly." Annette's cheek became paler than marble; she trembled like[132] an aspen-leaf, and clung closer to her father, while her drooping eye sought the form of her lover. His brow grew dark at the stranger's language.

"I have won you, my pretty flower, to make you a bride!—tremble not so violently—I mean not for myself, however proud I might be," he added with gallantry, "to wear so fair a gem next my heart. Perhaps," and he cast his eyes around inquiringly, while the current of life leaped joyfully to her brow, and a murmur of surprise run through the crowd—"perhaps there is some favored youth among the competitors, who has a higher claim to this jewel. Young Sir," he continued, turning to the surprised Henry, "methinks you were victor in the lists before me,—I strove not for the maiden, though one could not well strive for a fairer—but from love for the manly sport in which I saw you engaged. You are the victor, and as such, with the permission of this worthy assembly, receive from my hands the prize you have so well and honorably won."

The youth sprung forward and grasped his hand with gratitude; and the next moment, Annette was weeping from pure joy upon his shoulders. The welkin rung with the acclamations of the delighted villagers, and amid the temporary excitement produced by this act, the stranger withdrew from the crowd, mounted his horse, and spurred at a brisk trot through the village.

That night, Henry and Annette were married, and the health of the mysterious and noble-hearted stranger, was drunk in over-flowing bumpers of rustic beverage.

In process of time, there were born unto the married pair, sons and daughters, and Harry Carroll had[133] become Colonel Henry Carroll, of the Revolutionary army.

One evening, having just returned home after a hard campaign, he was sitting with his family on the gallery of his handsome country-house, when an advance courier rode up and announced the approach of General Washington and suite, informing him that he should crave his hospitality for the night. The necessary directions were given in reference to the household preparations, and Col. Carroll, ordering his horse, rode forward to meet and escort to his house the distinguished guest, whom he had never yet seen, although serving in the same widely-extended army.

That evening at the table, Annette, now become the dignified, matronly and still handsome Mrs. Carroll, could not keep her eyes from the face of her illustrious visitor. Every moment or two she would steal a glance at his commanding features, and half-doubtingly, half-assumedly, shake her head and look again and again, to be still more puzzled. Her absence of mind and embarrassment at length became evident to her husband who, inquired affectionately if she were ill?

"I suspect, Colonel," said the General, who had been some time, with a quiet, meaning smile, observing the lady's curious and puzzled survey of his features—"that Mrs. Carroll thinks she recognizes in me an old acquaintance." And he smiled with a mysterious air, as he gazed upon both alternately.

The Colonel stared, and a faint memory of the past seemed to be revived, as he gazed, while the lady rose impulsively from her chair, and bending eagerly forward over the tea-urn, with clasped hands and an eye[134] of intense, eager inquiry, fixed full upon him, stood for a moment with her lips parted as if she would speak.

"Pardon me, my dear madam—pardon me, Colonel, I must put an end to this scene. I have become, by dint of camp-fare and hard usage, too unwieldy to leap again twenty-two feet one inch, even for so fair a bride as one I wot of."

The recognition, with the surprise, delight and happiness that followed, are left to the imagination of the reader.

General Washington was indeed the handsome young "leaper," whose mysterious appearance and disappearance in the native village of the lovers, is still traditionary, and whose claim to a substantial body of bona fide flesh and blood, was stoutly contested by the village story-tellers, until the happy denouement which took place at the hospitable mansion of Col. Carroll.


By George W. Light.

We only find out what we have a sincere desire to know. All men have in themselves nearly the same fund of primitive ideas; they have especially the same moral fund; the difference which there is in men, comes from the fact, that some improve this fund, while others neglect it.


No argument ought to be required at the present day, to prove that all men, however their capacities may differ in kind or degree, possess the natural ability to make considerable progress in some useful study. The principles of our government proceed upon this ground, and place every man under strong moral obligation to[135] make the most of himself, that he may be able to bear the responsibility that rests upon him. The protestant principle, that all men have the right to judge for themselves in matters relating to religion, is founded on the same basis. Even the principles of trade—which every body is supposed to be able to know—call for the exercise of no small amount of intellect, to understand and apply them to their full extent. The intimate connection between the arts and sciences proves conclusively, that those who are engaged in the one, ought to be acquainted with the other. We are aware of the common belief, that the study of the sciences is not necessary with the mass of the community who are engaged in the various active pursuits. But this narrow view is fast going out of date. The progress of steam, if nothing else, will ere long convince the most incredulous, by its abridgment of human labor, that the great body of mankind were intended for something besides mere machines. The sciences of law and medicine are no more closely connected with the practice of the lawyer and physician, than mechanical and agricultural science with the business of the mechanic and farmer. The same may be said of other sciences, as, for instance, of Political Economy, in its application to mercantile affairs. In accordance with the spirit of these views, opportunities for instruction are provided, and means of self-education are multiplied, to an unparalleled degree.

Notwithstanding, however, the general admission of the truth under consideration, not a few persons who think the improvement of their minds a matter of little importance, undertake to excuse themselves, by modestly confessing that they have no natural taste for[136] study—that they cannot study. But it is difficult to understand how they can be so blinded to the resources they have within them, under the light which this day of civilization is pouring upon them. Where do they suppose themselves to be? Are they in some dark domain, shut out from all the soul-stirring influences of a boundless universe, dragging out an existence as hopeless as it is degraded?—or do they dwell in the midst of a glorious creation, with no understanding to unravel its divine mysteries, and no heart to be moved by the eloquence of its inspiration? One of these things must be true, if we may reason from their own language. If they do possess the high faculties of the soul, and can do nothing for their cultivation, it cannot be that they have their dwelling-place upon a world belonging to the magnificent empire of God. There can be no sun blazing down upon them, flooding the earth with his glory, and giving fresh life and beauty to every living thing. The evening can reveal to them no myriads of stars, burning with holy lustre beyond the clouds of heaven. They can see no mountains towering to the skies; no green valleys, spangled with the flowers of the earth, smiling around them. They can hear no anthem sounding from the depths of the ocean. They can see no lightnings flashing in the broad expanse,—nor hear the artillery of heaven thundering over the firmament, as if it would shake the very pillars of the universe. If they could see and hear this, with minds awake to the most noble objects of contemplation, and hearts susceptible of the loftiest impulses, they would inquire about the earth they tread upon, the beautiful things scattered in such profusion around them, and the sun and the ever-burning stars[137] above them. And they would not stop here. They would search into the mysteries of their own nature. They would look into the wonders of that upper life, where the sun of an eternal kingdom burns in its lofty arches, where the rivers of life flow from the everlasting mountains, and where the pure spirits of the earth shall shine like the stars forever.

But, however paradoxical it may seem, these men do dwell in the grand universe of God—and they do possess inexhaustible minds: and they have been compelled to quench the brightest flames and to prevent the swelling of the purest fountains of their existence, in order to descend to the condition of which they complain. The Creator doomed them to no such degradation. The truth is, they know nothing of themselves. They do not understand their relations to the creation that surrounds them. They do not comprehend the great purpose to which all their labors should tend. They waste those hours which might be devoted to the elevation of their being, in practices that render them insensible to the glories of the universe in which they dwell, and to the sublime destiny for which they were created. They deny themselves to be the workmanship of God.



By Henry W. Longfellow.

The sultry heat of summer always brings with it, to the idler and the man of leisure, a longing for the leafy shade and the green luxuriance of the country. It is pleasant to interchange the din of the city, the movement of the crowd, and the gossip of society, with the silence of the hamlet, the quiet seclusion of the grove, and the gossip of a woodland brook.

It was a feeling of this kind that prompted me, during my residence in the north of France, to pass one of the summer months at Auteuil—the pleasantest of the many little villages that lie in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis. It is situated on the outskirts of the Bois de Boulogne—a wood of some extent, in whose green alleys the dusty cit enjoys the luxury of an evening drive, and gentlemen meet in the morning to give each other satisfaction in the usual way. A cross-road, skirted with green hedge-rows, and over-shadowed by tall poplars, leads you from the noisy highway of St. Cloud and Versailles to the still retirement of this suburban hamlet. On either side the eye discovers old chateaux amid the trees, and green parks, whose pleasant shades recall a thousand images of La Fontaine, Racine, and Moliere; and on an eminence, overlooking the windings of the Seine, and giving a beautiful though distant view of the domes and gardens of Paris, rises the village of Passy, long the residence of our countrymen Franklin and Count Rumford.[139]

I took up my abode at a Maison de Sante; not that I was a valetudinarian,—but because I there found some one to whom I could whisper, "How sweet is solitude!" Behind the house was a garden filled with fruit-trees of various kinds, and adorned with gravel-walks and green arbours, furnished with tables and rustic seats, for the repose of the invalid and the sleep of the indolent. Here the inmates of the rural hospital met on common ground, to breathe the invigorating air of morning, and while away the lazy noon or vacant evening with tales of the sick chamber.

The establishment was kept by Dr. Dent-de-lion, a dried up little fellow, with red hair, a sandy complexion, and the physiognomy and gestures of a monkey. His character corresponded to his outward lineaments; for he had all a monkey's busy and curious impertinence. Nevertheless, such as he was, the village Æsculapius strutted forth the little great man of Auteuil. The peasants looked up to him as to an oracle,—he contrived to be at the head of every thing, and laid claim to the credit of all public improvements in the village: in fine, he was a great man on a small scale.

It was within the dingy walls of this little potentate's imperial palace that I chose my country residence. I had a chamber in the second story, with a solitary window, which looked upon the street, and gave me a peep into a neighbor's garden. This I esteemed a great privilege; for, as a stranger, I desired to see all that was passing out of doors; and the sight of green trees, though growing on another man's ground, is always a blessing. Within doors—had I been disposed to quarrel with my household gods—I might have taken some objection to my neighborhood; for, on one side of me[140] was a consumptive patient, whose graveyard cough drove me from my chamber by day; and on the other, an English colonel, whose incoherent ravings, in the delirium of a high and obstinate fever, often broke my slumbers by night: but I found ample amends for these inconveniences in the society of those who were so little indisposed as hardly to know what ailed them, and those who, in health themselves, had accompanied a friend or relative to the shades of the country in pursuit of it. To these I am indebted for much courtesy; and particularly to one who, if these pages should ever meet her eye, will not, I hope, be unwilling to accept this slight memorial of a former friendship.

It was, however, to the Bois de Boulogne that I looked for my principal recreation. There I took my solitary walk, morning and evening; or, mounted on a little mouse-colored donkey, paced demurely along the woodland pathway. I had a favorite seat beneath the shadow of a venerable oak, one of the few hoary patriarchs of the wood which had survived the bivouacs of the allied armies. It stood upon the brink of a little glassy pool, whose tranquil bosom was the image of a quiet and secluded life, and stretched its parental arms over a rustic bench, that had been constructed beneath it for the accommodation of the foot-traveller, or, perchance, some idle dreamer like myself. It seemed to look round with a lordly air upon its old hereditary domain, whose stillness was no longer broken by the tap of the martial drum, nor the discordant clang of arms; and, as the breeze whispered among its branches, it seemed to be holding friendly colloquies with a few of its venerable contemporaries, who stooped from the opposite bank of the pool, nodding gravely now and[141] then, and ogling themselves with a sigh in the mirror below.

In this quiet haunt of rural repose I used to sit at noon, hear the birds sing, and "possess myself in much quietness." Just at my feet lay the little silver pool, with the sky and the woods painted in its mimic vault, and occasionally the image of a bird, or the soft watery outline of a cloud, floating silently through its sunny hollows. The water-lily spread its broad green leaves on the surface, and rocked to sleep a little world of insect life in its golden cradle. Sometimes a wandering leaf came floating and wavering downward, and settled on the water; then a vagabond insect would break the smooth surface into a thousand ripples, or a green-coated frog slide from the bank, and plump! dive headlong to the bottom.

I entered, too, with some enthusiasm, into all the rural sports and merrimakes of the village. The holy-days were so many little eras of mirth and good feeling; for the French have that happy and sunshine temperament—that merry-go-mad character—which makes all their social meetings scenes of enjoyment and hilarity. I made it a point never to miss any of the Fetes Champetres, or rural dances, at the wood of Boulogne; though I confess it sometimes gave me a momentary uneasiness to see my rustic throne beneath the oak usurped by a noisy group of girls, the silence and decorum of my imaginary realm broken by music and laughter, and, in a word, my whole kingdom turned topsyturvy, with romping, fiddling, and dancing. But I am naturally, and from principle, too, a lover of all those innocent amusements which cheer the laborers' toil, and, as it were, put their shoulders to the wheel of[142] life, and help the poor man along with his load of cares. Hence I saw with no small delight the rustic swain astride the wooden horse of the carrousal, and the village maiden whirling round and round in its dizzy car; or took my stand on a rising ground that overlooked the dance, an idle spectator in a busy throng. It was just where the village touched the outward border of the wood. There a little area had been levelled beneath the trees, surrounded by a painted rail, with a row of benches inside. The music was placed in a slight balcony, built around the trunk of a large tree in the centre, and the lamps, hanging from the branches above, gave a gay, fantastic, and fairy look to the scene. How often in such moments did I recall the lines of Goldsmith, describing those "kinder skies," beneath which "France displays her bright domain," and feel how true and masterly the sketch,—

Alike all ages; dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
And the gay grandsire, skilled in gestic lore,
Has frisked beneath the burden of threescore.

I was one morning called to my window by the sound of rustic music. I looked out, and beheld a procession of villagers advancing along the road, attired in gay dresses, and marching merrily on in the direction of the church. I soon perceived that it was a marriage festival. The procession was led by a long orangoutang of a man, in a straw hat and white dimity bob-coat, playing on an asthmatic clarionet, from which he contrived to blow unearthly sounds, ever and anon squeaking off at right angles from his tune, and winding up with a grand flourish on the guttural notes.[143] Behind him, led by his little boy, came the blind fiddler, his honest features glowing with all the hilarity of a rustic bridal, and, as he stumbled along, sawing away upon his fiddle till he made all crack again. Then came the happy bridegroom, dressed in his Sunday suit of blue, with a large nosegay in his button-hole, and close beside him his blushing bride, with downcast eyes, clad in a white robe and slippers, and wearing a wreath of white roses in her hair. The friends and relatives brought up the procession; and a troop of village urchins came shouting along in the rear, scrambling among themselves for the largess of sous and sugar-plums that now and then issued in large handfuls from the pockets of a lean man in black, who seemed to officiate as master of ceremonies on the occasion. I gazed on the procession till it was out of sight; and when the last wheeze of the clarionet died upon my ear, I could not help thinking how happy were they who were thus to dwell together in the peaceful bosom of their native village, far from the gilded misery and the pestilential vices of the town.

On the evening of the same day, I was sitting by the window, enjoying the freshness of the air and the beauty and stillness of the hour, when I heard the distant and solemn hymn of the Catholic burial-service, at first so faint and indistinct that it seemed an illusion. It rose mournfully on the hush of evening—died gradually away—then ceased. Then it rose again, nearer and more distinct, and soon after a funeral procession appeared, and passed directly beneath my window. It was led by a priest, bearing the banner of the church, and followed by two boys, holding long flambeaux in their hands. Next came a double file of priests in[144] white surplices, with a missal in one hand and a lighted wax taper in the other, chanting the funeral dirge at intervals,—now pausing, and then again taking up the mournful burden of their lamentation, accompanied by others, who played upon a rude kind of horn, with a dismal and wailing sound. Then followed various symbols of the church, and the bier borne on the shoulders of four men. The coffin was covered with a black velvet pall, and a chaplet of white flowers lay upon it, indicating that the deceased was unmarried. A few of the villagers came behind, clad in mourning robes, and bearing lighted tapers. The procession passed slowly along the same street that in the morning had been thronged by the gay bridal company. A melancholy train of thought forced itself home upon my mind. The joys and sorrows of this world are so strikingly mingled! Our mirth and grief are brought so mournfully in contact! We laugh while others weep, and others rejoice when we are sad! The light heart and the heavy walk side by side, and go about together! Beneath the same roof are spread the wedding feast and the funeral pall! The bridal song mingles with the burial hymn! One goes to the marriage bed, another to the grave; and all is mutable, uncertain, and transitory.



By Prentiss Mellen.

The close of the year, whose last knell has just been heard, amid the chills and gloom of winter, when all around reminds us of our departed friends and the loss we have sustained, is peculiarly adapted to arouse us from our inattention to the lapse of time, and impress on our hearts the solemn truth that life itself is but a vapor. Many, it is true, when they look into the grave of the year, may experience a rush of bitter feeling, as they fondly recollect how many cherished hopes they have been called upon to bury in the tomb, during the lapse of the year: how many friends have proved false or ungrateful—how many of their suns have gone down in the gloom of solitude, or amidst scenes of sickness and poverty, or of sighing and sorrow. All this is true, and such ever has been and ever will be the complexion of human life. But though thousands are thus educated in a school where such is the salutary discipline, yet millions have been spending the year in peace and joy—in health and abundance. Their journey has been gladdened with sunshine, and their course has been through fields of beauty and beside "the still waters of comfort." It is useful—it is a species of gratitude thus to look back and trace the course we have been pursuing. If it has been delightful or smooth and peaceful, our hearts should melt in tenderness while we look to the fountain of all our blessings. If our course has been wearisome through fields of sterili[146]ty, or melancholy and companionless, we should remember that Wisdom and Goodness preside over our destinies, whether we are breasting the storm, or calmly beholding the rainbow of promise. The year that has bidden us adieu, was pleasant in its course, and its decline gradual and beautiful. An unusual degree of softness distinguished its autumn, resembling the last years of the life of man, when the agitation of the passions has in a great measure subsided; when his feelings have become tranquilized, and all around him peaceful and serene, if he has been careful to regulate his conduct, on life's journey, by the principles of justice and the commands of duty—if in his social intercourse his passions have been preserved in due subjection to the gentle influences of a benevolent heart, displaying itself in acts of mercy like the good Samaritan.

"Sure the last end
Of the good man is peace. How calm his exit!
Night dews fall not more gently on the ground
Nor weary, worn-out winds expire so soft."

The new year to which we have just been introduced is, in one sense, a perfect stranger, though we have long been intimate with the family to which it belongs, and of course have some general acquaintance with certain features of its character, leading us to anticipate its promises and its failure to perform them in many instances,—its smiles and its tears—its flatteries and its frowns—its gaieties and hopes—its gradual decline—decay and dissolution:—but we have abundant reason too for indulging the belief that we may enjoy thousands of blessings, if we are disposed to cherish proper feelings—to be kind and courteous and obliging,[147] and ever on our guard to avoid unnecessarily wounding the feelings of others; ever ready to acknowledge the favors we receive, and render a suitable return. How easily all this may be done! How often is it grossly neglected! He who consults his own ease and comfort cannot in any manner attain the desired result so readily and certainly, as by habitually consulting the ease and comfort of others, with whom he is in the habit of associating: and this is true politeness also. A man who is dissatisfied with himself and those around him, and laboring under the darkening influence of disturbed or morose feelings "may travel from Dan to Beersheba and say it is all barren;"—to him it will appear so; and the effect would be the same if his journey lay amidst the most delightful scenes of rural beauty. The seasons of the year all give their annual lessons for instruction: It is our wisdom to regard them carefully. Spring summons us all to cheerful activity, with assurances that our labor will not be in vain. Summer performs what Spring had promised, and shews us the advantage of listening to early instruction and wisely improving it. Ten thousand songsters are filling the branches with their animating strains of music and gratitude, and teaching us to enjoy, as they do, the countless blessings and bounties of nature; their music is never failing—nor do we see it ending in discords. Let us all, as we journey onward together through the year, learn to tune our hearts as they do their voices, and pass the fleeting period in harmony, and in that cheerfulness which the excellent Addison has honored with the name of a continual expression of gratitude to Heaven. In Germany the study and practice of music are general among the people. Besides[148] other advantages resulting from making music a part of common education, it is not romantic or utopian to observe that it teaches how easily music—pure and surpassing music—may be made on the same instrument, which under an ignorant or purposed touch will send forth discords in prodigious varieties. He who has become acquainted with the instrument, though not a master of it, well knows how to avoid those combinations of sound which are painful to the ear, and often tend to disturb feelings and passions. What tones are sweeter than those produced by the gentle breeze of heaven in passing over the strings of the Æolian Harp? The reason is, those strings are so attuned as that their vibrations will not respond except in notes of harmony: but only disorder the strings, by increasing the tension of some and decreasing that of others, and the sweetest zephyr will produce nothing but the vilest discords, resembling angry passions. Let us then, in our journey through the year on which we have entered, acquire as much as possible a knowledge of the science and the art of social and domestic moral music. Let us learn to measure our time with care, to cultivate our voices, that they may lose all harshness: let each attend to his own part, and strive to excel in that. Let us consider our feelings, passions and dispositions, as the strings of the Harp; and the ordinary events of life as the breezes which give vibration to the strings: if these strings—our feelings, passions and dispositions—are in proper tune—under due regulation, and preserving a just relation, each to all the others, we have then all the elements of moral music, domestic and social, and in a few weeks, by due regard to all the principles and arrangement above mentioned,[149] we shall soon be good scholars, giving and receiving all that pleasure which harmony can afford; and as the sober autumn advances, our tastes for this kind of music will be more and more ripened towards perfection; and when the cold decemberly evenings shall arrive, we can listen to the angry music of the elements abroad, full of discordant strains, sweeping by our peaceful homes, while within them all may be the music of the heart, in its gentlest movements.

It is a melancholy truth that we ourselves manufacture seven eighths of what we are disposed to term our misfortunes in this world. Want of precaution mars our arrangements: want of prudence exposes us to dangers which we might easily have avoided—want of patience often hurries us into difficulties, and disqualifies us to bear them with calmness or decency. Indulgence in follies and fashions often plants the seeds of wasting disease. Intemperance in our passions always is followed by unwelcome sensations, and sometimes with a sense of shame. Stimulants are succeeded by debility, and when they are used to excess, we know and daily witness the dreadful results—if death is not one of them—either the death of the offender, or of some other destroyed by his hand in the tempest of infuriated passions—we are too often compelled to mourn over the desolation they occasion—presenting in one view,

"Hate—grief—despair—the family of pain."




By Grenville Mellen.

It was still noon—and Sabbath. The pale air
Hung over the great city like a shroud—
And echo answer'd to a footstep there,
Where late went up the thunder of a crowd!
I wander'd like a pilgrim round the piles
That Ruin heap'd about the wildering way—
And as I pass'd, I saw the withering smiles
That did on faces of dull gazers play,
As they stood round the ashes of that grave
Of all that yesterday rose there, so broad and brave!
I mus'd as I went thro' the shadowy path
Of broken, blacken'd walls, and pillars high,
Which had surviv'd that visiting of wrath,
And now lean'd dim against the lurid sky—
I heard the rude laugh break from ruder hearts,
Those ruffian exclamations of lost souls,
At which a better spirit wakes and starts—
The revelry of demons o'er their bowls—
Until I felt how faint rebuke may fall
Over a people, tho' it come in sword and pall!
There was no lesson in that mighty pyre—
Or, if it rose, it faded with the flame;
And crime, relentless, from that smouldering fire
Would lift, at night, its stealthy arm the same
On the lone wanderer, as, amid the crowd,
It glided oft before, to filch its gold,
When the great voice of rivalry was loud,[151]
And onward the deep tide of commerce roll'd!
I thought how idle was the darkest ban,
Fate, in her fiercest eloquence, can pour on man!
I thought how quick the seal of nothingness
Is set on man's best glory—and how deep!
How soon the Greatest grovels with the Less,
And they who shouted bravest, bow to weep!
How quick the veriest triumph of our years,
Fulfill'd by a dim life of toil and pain,
Is chang'd to one sad festival of tears—
When Time is but a storm—and visions wane!
How quick Destruction can make classical
The crowded, golden ground, where her fell footsteps fall!
The ground that yesterday was consecrate
To the wild spirit-power of Gold and Gain—
Where riches, like some thing of worship sate,
And Worth of Wealth ask'd precedence in vain!
Where the hard hand was busy with the dust
With which it soon must mingle—though it gleam
Often with jewels—splendid, but accurst,
That make the trappings of this Life's poor dream!
And where, too, Bounty, like a fountain, sprung,
In streams, though not unfelt, in shadow, and unsung!
Alas! that pillar'd pile! how, as I gaz'd
Upon the blacken'd shafts, did I recall
The sculptur'd marble there, whose brow was rais'd
So like a god's, within that shadowy hall!
Immortal Hamilton!—though crumbled deep
In the red chaos of that billowy night,
It needs no chisel's memory to keep
Thy spirit's nobler outline vast and bright!
No Time—no element can mar the fame,
Gather'd, like fadeless sunlight, round thy spotless name!



By Wm. L. McClintock.

After my sleighride, last winter, and the slippery trick I was served by Patty Bean, nobody would suspect me of hankering after the women again in a hurry. To hear me curse and swear and rail out against the whole feminine gender, you would have taken it for granted that I should never so much as look at one again, to all eternity—O, but I was wicked. "Darn and blast their eyes"—says I.—"Blame their skins—torment their hearts and darn them to darnation." Finally I took an oath and swore that if I ever meddled or had any dealings with them again (in the sparking line I mean) I wish I might be hung and choked.

But swearing off from women, and then going into a meeting house chock full of gals, all shining and glistening in their Sunday clothes and clean faces, is like swearing off from liquor and going into a grog shop. It's all smoke.

I held out and kept firm to my oath for three whole Sundays. Forenoons, a'ternoons and intermissions complete. On the fourth, there were strong symptoms of a change of weather. A chap, about my size was seen on the way to the meeting house, with a new patent hat on; his head hung by the ears upon a shirt collar; his cravat had a pudding in it and branched out in front, into a double bow knot. He carried a straight back and a stiff neck, as a man ought to, when[153] he has his best clothes on; and every time he spit, he sprung his body forward, like a jack-knife, in order to shoot clear of the ruffles.

Squire Jones' pew is next but two to mine; and when I stand up to prayers and take my coat tail under my arm, and turn my back to the minister, I naturally look right straight at Sally Jones. Now Sally has got a face not to be grinned at, in a fog. Indeed, as regards beauty, some folks think she can pull an even yoke with Patty Bean. For my part, I think there is not much boot between them. Any how, they are so nigh matched that they have hated and despised each other, like rank poison, ever since they were school-girls.

Squire Jones had got his evening fire on, and set himself down to reading the great bible, when he heard a rap at his door. "Walk in.—Well, John, how der do? Git out, Pompey."—"Pretty well, I thank ye, Squire, and how do you do?"—"Why, so as to be crawling—ye ugly beast, will ye hold yer yop—haul up a chair and set down, John."

"How do you do, Mrs. Jones?" "O, middlin', how's yer marm? Don't forget the mat, there, Mr. Beedle." This put me in mind that I had been off soundings several times, in the long muddy lane; and my boots were in a sweet pickle.

It was now old Captain Jones' turn, the grandfather. Being roused from a doze, by the bustle and racket, he opened both his eyes, at first with wonder and astonishment. At last he began to halloo so loud that you might hear him a mile; for he takes it for granted that every body is just exactly as deaf as he is.

"Who is it? I say, who in the world is it?" Mrs.[154] Jones going close to his ear, screamed out, "it's Johnny Beedle."—"Ho—Johnny Beedle. I remember, he was one summer at the siege of Boston."—"No, no, father, bless your heart, that was his grandfather, that's been dead and gone this twenty year."—"Ho,—But where does he come from?"—"Daown taown."—"Ho.—And what does he follow for a livin'?"—And he did not stop asking questions, after this sort, till all the particulars of the Beedle family were published and proclaimed in Mrs. Jones' last screech. He then sunk back into his doze again.

The dog stretched himself before one andiron; the cat squat down before the other. Silence came on by degrees, like a calm snow storm, till nothing was heard but a cricket under the hearth, keeping tune with a sappy yellow birch forestick. Sally sat up prim, as if she were pinned to the chair-back; her hands crossed genteelly upon her lap, and her eyes looking straight into the fire. Mammy Jones tried to straighten herself too, and laid her hands across in her lap. But they would not lay still. It was full twenty-four hours since they had done any work, and they were out of all patience with keeping Sunday.—Do what she would to keep them quiet, they would bounce up, now and then, and go through the motions, in spite of the fourth commandment. For my part I sat looking very much like a fool. The more I tried to say something the more my tongue stuck fast. I put my right leg over the left and said "hem." Then I changed, and put the left leg over the right. It was no use; the silence kept coming on thicker and thicker. The drops of sweat began to crawl all over me. I got my eye upon my hat, hanging on a peg, on the road to the door;[155] and then I eyed the door. At this moment, the old Captain, all at once sung out "Johnny Beedle!" It sounded like a clap of thunder, and I started right up an eend.

"Johnny Beedle, you'll never handle sich a drumstick as your father did, if yer live to the age of Methusaler. He would toss up his drumstick, and while it was whirlin' in the air, take off a gill er rum, and then ketch it as it come down, without losin' a stroke in the tune. What d'ye think of that, ha? But scull your chair round, close along side er me, so yer can hear.—Now, what have you come a'ter?"—"I—a'ter? O, jest takin' a walk. Pleasant walkin' I guess. I mean jest to see how ye all do." "Ho.—That's another lie. You've come a courtin', Johnny Beedle; you're a'ter our Sal. Say now, d'ye want to marry, or only to court?"

This is what I call a choker. Poor Sally made but one jump and landed in the middle of the kitchen; and then she skulked in the dark corner, till the old man, after laughing himself into a whooping cough, was put to bed.

Then came apples and cider; and, the ice being broke, plenty chat with mammy Jones about the minister and the 'sarmon.' I agreed with her to a nicety, upon all the points of doctrine; but I had forgot the text and all the heads of the discourse, but six. Then she teazed and tormented me to tell who I accounted the best singer in the gallery, that day. But, mum—there was no getting that out of me. "Praise to the face is often disgrace" says I, throwing a sly squint at Sally.

At last, Mrs. Jones lighted t'other candle; and after charging Sally to look well to the fire, she led the way[156] to bed, and the Squire gathered up his shoes and stockings and followed.

Sally and I were left sitting a good yard apart, honest measure. For fear of getting tongue-tied again, I set right in, with a steady stream of talk. I told her all the particulars about the weather that was past, and also made some pretty cute guesses at what it was like to be in future. At first, I gave a hitch up with my chair at every full stop. Then growing saucy, I repeated it at every comma, and semicolon; and at last, it was hitch, hitch, hitch, and I planted myself fast by the side of her.

"I swow, Sally, you looked so plaguy handsome to day, that I wanted to eat you up."—"Pshaw, get along you," says she. My hand had crept along, somehow, upon its fingers, and begun to scrape acquaintance with hers. She sent it home again, with a desperate jerk. "Try it agin"—no better luck. "Why, Miss Jones you're gettin' upstropulous, a little old madish, I guess." "Hands off is fair play, Mr. Beedle."

It is a good sign to find a girl sulkey. I knew where the shoe pinched. It was that are Patty Bean business. So I went to work to persuade her that I had never had any notion after Patty, and to prove it I fell to running her down at a great rate. Sally could not help chiming in with me, and I rather guess Miss Patty suffered a few. I, now, not only got hold of her hand without opposition, but managed to slip an arm round her waist. But there was no satisfying me; so I must go to poking out my lips after a buss. I guess I rued it. She fetched me a slap in the face that made me see stars, and my ears rung like a brass kettle for a quarter of an hour. I was forced to laugh at the joke, tho' out of the wrong side of my mouth, which[157] gave my face something the look of a gridiron. The battle now began in the regular way. "Ah, Sally, give me a kiss, and ha' done with it, now."—"I won't, so there, nor tech to."—"I'll take it, whether or no."—"Do it, if you dare."—And at it we went, rough and tumble. An odd destruction of starch now commenced. The bow of my cravat was squat up in half a shake. At the next bout, smash went shirt collar, and, at the same time, some of the head fastenings gave way, and down came Sally's hair in a flood, like a mill dam broke loose,—carrying away half a dozen combs. One dig of Sally's elbow, and my blooming ruffles wilted down to a dish-cloth. But she had no time to boast. Soon her neck tackling began to shiver. It parted at the throat, and, whorah, came a whole school of blue and white beads, scampering and running races every which way, about the floor.

By the Hokey; if Sally Jones is'nt real grit, there's no snakes. She fought fair, however, I must own, and neither tried to bite nor scratch; and when she could fight no longer, for want of breath, she yielded handsomely. Her arms fell down by her sides, her head back over her chair, her eyes closed and there lay her little plump mouth, all in the air. Lord! did ye ever see a hawk pounce upon a young robin? Or a bumblebee upon a clover-top?—I say nothing.

Consarn it, how a buss will crack, of a still frosty night. Mrs. Jones was about half way between asleep and awake. "There goes my yeast bottle," says she to herself—"burst into twenty hundred pieces, and my bread is all dough agin."

The upshot of the matter is, I fell in love with Sally Jones, head over ears. Every Sunday night, rain or[158] shine, finds me rapping at 'Squire Jones' door, and twenty times have I been within a hair's breadth of popping the question. But now I have made a final resolve; and if I live till next Sunday night, and I don't get choked in the trial, Sally Jones will hear thunder.


By Frederick Mellen.

The midnight chime had tolled from Marco's towers;
O'er Adria's wave the trembling echo swept;
The gondolieri paused upon their oars,
Mutt'ring their prayers as through the still night crept.
Far on the wave the knell of time sped on,
Till the sound died upon its tranquil breast;
The sea-boy startled as the peal rolled on;
Gazed at his star, and turned himself to rest.
The throbbing heart, that late had said farewell,
Still lingering on the wave that bore it home,
At that bright hour sigh'd o'er the dying swell,
And thought on years of absence yet to come.
'T was moonlight on Venetia's sea,
And every fragrant bower and tree
Smiled in the golden light;
The thousand eyes that clustered there
Ne'er in their life looked half so fair
As on that happy night.
A thousand sparkling lights were set
On every dome and minaret;
While through the marble halls,
The gush of cooling fountains came,
And crystal lamps sent far their flame
Upon the high-arched walls.[159]
But sweeter far on Adria's sea,
The gondolier's wild minstrelsy
In accents low began;
While sounding harp and martial zel
Their music joined, until the swell
Seemed heaven's broad arch to span.
Then faintly ceasing—one by one,
That plaintive voice sung on alone
Its wild, heart-soothing lay;
And then again that moonlight band
Started, as if by magic wand,
In one bold burst away.
The joyous laugh came on the breeze,
And, 'mid the bright o'erhanging trees,
The mazy dance went round;
And as in joyous ring they flew,
The smiling nymphs the wild flowers threw
That clustered on the ground.
Soft as a summer evening's sigh,
From each o'erhanging balcony
Low fervent whisperings fell;
And many a heart upon that night
On fancy's pinion sped its flight,
Where holier beings dwell.
Each lovely form the eye might see,
The dark-browed maid of Italy
With love's own sparkling eyes;
The fairy Swiss—all, all that night,
Smiled in the moonbeam's silvery light,
Fair as their native skies.
The moon went down, and o'er that glowing sea,
With darkness, Silence spread abroad her wing,
Nor dash of oars, nor harp's wild minstrelsy
Came o'er the waters in that mighty ring.
All nature slept—and, save the far-off moan
Of ocean surges, Silence reigned alone.



By I. McLellan, Jr.

The clear sun of a fine September day, was glittering on roof and steeple, and the cheerful breeze of early autumn breathing its harp-like melody over woods and waters. A vast multitude stood around me, attentively watching the expanding folds of my balloon, as it swayed to and fro in the unsteady air. As I prepared to take my place in its car, I noticed an involuntary shudder run through the assemblage, and anxious glances pass from face to face. At length, the process of inflation was completed, the music sounded, the gun was discharged, the ropes were loosened, and the beautiful machine arose in the air, amid the resounding cheers of thousands. As it ascended, I cast a hasty look on the sea of upturned heads, and thought I read one general expression of anxiety, in the faces of the multitudinous throng, and my heart warmed with the consciousness, that many kind wishes and secret hopes were wafted with me on my heavenward flight. But very soon, mine eye ceased to distinguish features and forms, and the collected throng became blended in one confused mass, and the green common itself had dwindled into a mere garden-plat, and the magnificent old Elm in its centre to a stunted bush, waving on the hill-side.

Upward, upward! my flying car mounted and mounted, into the yet untraversed highways of the air, swifter than pinion-borne bird, or canvas-borne vessel, yet[161] all without sound of revolving wheel, or clatter of thundering hoof or straining of bellying sail, or rustle of flapping wing. I felt that I was indeed alone, in the upper wastes of the liquid element, a solitary voyager of the sky, careering onward like the spectral "Ship of the Sea," with no murmur of bubbling billow under the prow, and no gush of whirling ripple beneath the keel. But how can my pen describe the sublimity of the scene above, below and around! At one moment, my car would plunge into silvery seas of vapor and rolling billows of mist, through which the dim-seen sun did but feebly glimmer, like the struggling flame of the torch cast in the dungeon's gloom. But soon that shadowy veil dissolved away, and again I would emerge into the blaze of the golden sun, and the effulgence of the blue heavens. How then did I covet the painter's art, to be able to imprint on the eternal canvas, those gorgeous clouds piled up around me, like hills and mountains, from whose sides hoary cataracts seemed to be falling, and foamy streams leaping into the vallies, that rested in lovely repose at their base. Never did the dull world below present on its diversified bosom, such grand or such enchanting objects, as those beautiful and evanescent creatures of the air, shining and shifting in the levelled sunbeams around. At times, my whole horizon would be bounded by those mountainous regions of cloud-land, cliff lifting over cliff, pinnacle above pinnacle, Alps above Alps. On their sides and tops, the reflected light painted all the hues of the rainbow, in commingled azure and crimson, purple and gold. In those stupendous masses of vapor, mine eye, with little aid of fancy, could trace out resemblances of wild and desolate forests, of sombre[162] fir and yew, the lordly oak and the melancholy pine, whispering in the breeze. Anon, a green, happy valley, would smile out from some hollow of the hills, and the white church-spire would peep from the embosoming grove, and the rustic parsonage, the rural farm-house, and the village-inn, with its swinging sign, and the chestnut waiving its twinkling foliage at the door would appear. Anon, the shifting vapor would assume the shape of an old baronial fortress, green with the mosses of centuries, and overspread with the flexile creeper, the gadding vine, and the glossy ivy, and wearing many a dull-weather stain, imprinted by wintry gale and autumnal rain. On its grey towers would seem to float the broad standard, around which the knights and vassals had mustered so often, when the armies thundered beneath the leagured walls, or its brave folds were displayed in distant lands, on the tented fields of war.

Onward, onward! I looked forth, and saw that I was again wafted along the lower currents of air, and could easily distinguish the sights and sounds of earth. I passed over green pastures, where the brindled cattle and snowy sheep were feeding, and, under a spreading oak, that towered aloft like a verdant hill, reclined a young girl, watching her father's flocks, attended by a pet lamb, cropping the fair flowers at her feet. As I gazed, I thought of "the fair Una with her milk-white lamb," and of all the happiness of the shepherd's life, who, sitting upon the grassy hill-side beneath the sacred locust, and piping entrancing melodies in praise of his love, on the mellow oaten reed, is all unmindful of the cankering care and the poisonous hatred, that embitter human life. Great was the surprise that agitated[163] that lonesome spot, as mine air-borne pageant fluttered over it, with its silken fold and colored streamer. The cattle cast upward their wondering eyes, and galloped away to the forests, and I could long hear the tinkling bell on the horn of the bull and heifer, sounding in the inner sanctuary of the wood, where, on a twisted root or a moss-covered stone, by the brink of the gushing brook, reclined that grey-beard recluse, Solitude, and his nun-like sister, Silence, revolving their lonely meditations.

Onward, still onward! Beneath me I beheld a solemn spot, where the linden, the ash, the sycamore, the cypress, the cedar, the beech, the church-yard yew and hemlock, were clustered together in one mournful company. I knew by the stone altars, by the sculptured urn, the graceful obelisk, the foam-white pyramid, the funereal cenotaph, the marble mausoleum, which glimmered amid the groves and bowers, that I looked upon a sanctuary, consecrated by the living to the repose of the dead. A sweet sabbath-like calm seemed to hover about the place, and even the very birds that were flitting from branch to branch, and the breeze that was sighing its hollow dirge along the wood-tops, appeared to know that the spot was holy. As I looked, I beheld a slow procession winding along this highway of the departed, and bearing a new tenant to the narrow house. Some sweet infant, perhaps, was there cut down in the dewy bloom of its innocence,—some beautiful bud of beauty severed from its stem, and torn away from its blossoming mates, in the garden of youth,—or, haply, some silver-haired sire, gathered like the shock of corn, fully ripe, into the vast granary of death.[164]

As I passed from this interesting spot, I was attracted by a merry train of riders, whose loud and cheerful voices resounded along the road, seeming to mock the sacred silence of the place I had so lately left. As the gay array of youth and beauty dashed away from my sight, with foamy bridle and gory spur, I could not but be reminded of the close juxta-position on earth, of joy and sorrow, life and death.

Onward, onward! over winding streams, that glittered like twisting serpents on the green surface of the earth, over the broad bay, that rested in smooth and glassy repose in the arms of the far-extending shore, and over the dashing billows of the ocean, my route continued. Birds of the briny sea, whose strong wings had borne them safely and surely from the frosty atmosphere that sparkles around the pole, or the ice-cold waters of some far-away lagoon, now darted around me with discordant cry and affrighted pinion. In those hovering flocks I discerned the duck, the goose, the coot, the loon, the curlew, the green-winged teal, the dusky duck, the sooty tern, the yellow-winged gadwale, the golden eye, and the gaudy mallard, proudly vain of that lovely plumage, whose intense hues rival the glory of the breaking dawn, the autumnal sunset, or the intermingled dyes which tinge the stripes of the showery bow. On an iron-bound promontory, whose jutting crags waved an eternal strife with the rolling billows, I saw the thick-scattered cottages of wealth and taste, seeming no bigger than the nest, which the tropical bird constructs in the sands of the desert, while around, on the tumbling expanse of waters, were glancing a thousand receding and approaching sails, bearing the riches of the orient or the occident, from shore to shore.[165]

Downward, downward! A thrill of horror shot through my veins, as I felt that the rough ocean breeze had shivered my silken vessel to shreds and tatters, and that I was falling with the speed of lightning, through the hollow abyss of the air, into the sea. The jaws of the fretting ocean, gnashing their white teeth in anger, seemed to gape open to devour me, and the black rocks uplifted their jagged spears, to impale my devoted body! But my time had not yet come. A gentle tap on the shoulder aroused me from the profound reverie in which I had been plunged, and I was very glad to recognize, in the visitor who had broken the spell, my good friend Durant, who called to invite me to attend his grand ascension, the following day.




By Grenville Mellen.

Again—the voice of God!
How breaks it round!
O'er consecrated sod,
With locks unbound,
Grief in her marble brow appears
And bows amid her veil—in tears!
That mandate from on high—
The clarion call,
That rung through earth and sky
His rayless fall,
In accents, "thou shalt die," again
Proclaims man's dream of years—how vain!
We veil not in its grave
Ambition's brow—
It is not o'er the brave
We gather now!
But one who reach'd man's loftier fate.
Good without fault—and nobly great.
A sceptre was his own,
Drawn from the sky—
He fill'd a holier throne
Than royalty:
He sat with deathless Justice crown'd,
While Truth, like sunlight, flash'd around!
His life to all the earth
Proud record bore,
Man yet might spring to birth,
With angel power![167]
His death, that as the "grass," to-day
Robes him in glory—and decay!
Oh! well, with spirit bow'd,
Above his bier
May a broad empire crowd,
With prayer and tear!
—His be its requiem—deep and far—
A nation's heart his sepulchre!



By I. McLellan, Jr.

I am the mountain boy!
Forth o'er an hundred halls I gaze.
Here morn his earliest light displays,
Here linger his declining rays,—
I am the mountain boy!
Here is the mountain-source,
Of the cold water-course—
And at sultry noon I dip,
In its wave my glowing lip.
I am the mountain boy!
When the awful lightnings glare,
Flashes on the midnight air,
On the rocking cliff I kneel,
Answering back each thunder-peal.
I am the mountain boy!
When the quickly-pealing bell,
Calls to arms in every dell,
In the mustered ranks I stand,
Swinging wide my mountain-brand
And sing my mountain-song!



By John Neal.

'Who views with equal eye as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall?
Atoms and systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world?'

A great multitude were gathered together: on the right a huge fortress thundering to the sky—on the left a scaffold—a white fog—the open sea—and a mighty ship tumbling to the swell. The flat roofs and gorgeous balconies were covered with scarlet cloth, and thronged with women of all ages—their lips writhing and their eyes flashing. Underneath were a mute soldiery, with banners that moved not, and spears that glimmered not—a vast, rich and motionless pageant. Not a leaf stirred—not a finger was lifted—all eyes were fixed upon something afar off. The Grave alone had a voice, and the footstep of approaching Death grew audible, with the everlasting beat of the Ocean. The stagnant atmosphere burned with a lustreless, unchangeable and smouldering warmth. As the impatient and sluggish breathing of the Destroyer drew near, with a sound as of Earthquake and Pestilence laboring afar off, there appeared upon the outermost verge of the scaffold, near the fortress, a man of a simple and majestic presence, wearing no symbol of power, no badge of authority, before whom the multitude gave way with headlong precipitation, as though but to touch the hem of his garment were death itself, or something yet worse than death.[169]

After communicating with those about him in a low whisper, too low to be understood by others almost within his reach, one of the soldiers lifted a spear, at the point of which fluttered a blood-red banner, tufted and fringed with snow-white feathers, and pointed in silence toward a large opening, which appeared to command a view of the whole interior. The stranger drew near, and grasping one of the bars with a powerful hand, lifted himself up, and after looking awhile, turned away with a sick impatient shudder, and wiped his eyes; and then lifting himself up again, he made a signal to somebody within, and straightway a large tent-like awning was quietly withdrawn, so as to reveal the interior of a court-yard, with cells opening into it—in the nearest of which sat a princely-looking middle-aged man, half-buried and apparently half asleep or lost in thought, in a large, heavy, old-fashioned chair, with a curiously carved table before him, on which there lay, side by side with writing materials, a lamp and a letter evidently unfinished, two or three illuminated manuscripts, a dagger and a map; a massive goblet richly chased, the rough gold tinged and sweltering with the hot blood of the southern grape, a variety of strange mathematical instruments—a copy of Zoroaster—and a Hebrew Bible, with clasps of the costliest workmanship, and a cover of black velvet frosted with seed pearls—a crushed and trampled coronet—and a lighted pipe, ornamented with precious stones, the shaft a twisted serpent and the bowl a burning carbuncle—a live coal—from the core of which, as out of the midst of a perpetual, unextinguishable fire, issued a delicate perfume, filling the whole neighborhood, as with the smoke of a censer; and leaving the eye to[170] make out—by little and little—through the fragrant vapor, first a pair of embroidered Persian slippers, then a magnificent robe, flowered all over as with the sunshine of the sea, and weltering in the changeable light of the open window, then a prodigious quantity of lustrous black hair flowing down over the shoulders, from underneath a crimson velvet cap with a diamond buckle and clasp, and a tassel of spun gold, strung with sapphire, ruby, amethyst and pearl—and a pomp of black feathers overshadowing an ample forehead of surpassing power, and eyes of untroubled splendor; and then, after a long while, a heap of black shadow lying coiled up underneath the table, from the midst of which an occasional flash, as of a serpent's tongue, or an angry sparkle—as of a serpent's eye, would appear—and at last the whole proportions of a superb-looking personage, who had been trying, hour after hour, with a compressed lip and a thoughtful determined eye—to snap what appeared to be a handful of seed pearl, one by one, through the grated window before him, without touching the bars—hour after hour—and always in vain! The passage way was too narrow—the bars too near together.

Behold! murmured he at last, while the shadow of another—and yet another stranger, shot along the lighted floor, as he stole about the room a-tiptoe, and gathering up the pearls, if pearls they were, that lay in heaps underneath the window, and flinging aside the magnificent robe he wore, prepared himself anew and with more determination than ever, for the work he had evidently set his heart upon, if not his life, by measuring the elevation with a steadier eye, and poising every pearl with a more delicate touch, before he projected it toward the window. Behold! how the Ancient of Days delighteth in counteracting the purposes of Man?[171]

The other started back and threw up his arms with a look of horror and amazement, and all who were about him began whispering together and shaking their heads.

At this moment the slow jarring vibration of a great bell was heard from the topmost tower—the cannon of the fortress thundered forth, and were answered, peal after peal, from the lighted mountains—a volume of white smoke rolled heavily toward the earth and covered the people—the sea-fog trembled—parted—and slowly drifted away in patches and fragments, through which the blue sky appeared, and the hot sunshine flashed with an arrowy brightness, while the mighty ship swung round with her broadside to the shore, and lighted matches were seen moving about hither and thither, like wandering meteors, through the damp hazy atmosphere; and instantly there went up a slow half-smothered wail from the multitude, with a weight and volume like the unutterable and growing earnestness of the Great Deep, when it begins to heave with a pre-appointed and irresistible change; and all eyes were upturned, and all arms outstretched with a troubled expression toward the stranger, who walked forward a few steps to the verge of the scaffold—and looking about him, on every side, called out with a loud voice,—Of such are the Gods of the Unconverted! and of such their followers!

The answering roar of the multitude reached the prisoner, who lifting his head and listening for a moment with a placid smile, asked what more they would have?—and whether they were not yet satisfied?—and then straightway began balancing another of the glittering seeds and eyeing the window[172]

Most pitiable! cried the other, covering his face with his hands, moving afar off, and appearing to be entirely overcome by what he saw.

And why pitiable, I pray thee! shouted the former, with a voice like a trumpet, lifting his calm forehead to the sky and gathering his magnificent robe about him as he spoke.

Art thou of a truth Adonijah the Jew—the unconverted Jew?

Of a truth am I—the unconverted, the unconvertable Jew; and thou! art thou not he that was my brother according to the flesh—even Zorobabel, the converted Jew and the preacher of a new faith?

Yea; of a new faith to such as thou; but a faith older than the Hebrew prophets to them that believe, Adonijah.

But why pitiable I pray thee?

How are the mighty fallen! For three whole months have I journied afoot and alone, by night and by day, through the deep of the wilderness, and along by the sea-shore—afoot and alone, my brother!—after hearing of thy great overthrow—the wreck of thy vast possessions about me whithersoever I went—thy magnificent household scattered, thy princes banished from their high places, and wandering over all the earth and hiding themselves in the holes of the rocks—with no city of refuge in their path—even thy youngest and fairest a bondwoman, toiling for that which sustaineth not; and thy own fast-approaching death, a theme with every people and kindred and tongue—and not a theme of sorrow! And all this, O my brother and my prince! only that I might be near thee in thy unutterable bereavement and humiliation, only that I might look upon[173] thee once more alive, and see thee unchangeable as ever, though stripped of power and trampled under the hoofs of the multitude—only that I might reason with thee, face to face, before a great people, who, after watching and worshipping thee for many years, have come up together as with one heart, to see thee—thee! their idol and their benefactor—perish upon a scaffold, as only the fool or the scoffer perisheth!—to cry out upon thee as the unconquerable Jew, that having once abjured the faith of his fathers and gone back to it anew, cannot be reached but by the law, nor purified but with fire!

Say on.

Alas, my brother! Alas that it should fall upon me to afflict thy proud spirit with reproaches at a time like this! But there is no other hope. Awake, therefore! awake! and gird up thy loins like a man. I will demand of thee, saith the Lord of Hosts, and thou shalt answer me, even as my servant Job answered me of yore. Awake, therefore, and stand up, that I may reason with thee for the last time touching the faith of our mighty fathers, the consolations of philosophy, and the splendor and power of earthly Wisdom—of Death and Judgment—while thou art on thy way to the grave in the fulness of thy strength and majesty; and not with the clangor of trumpets, the neigh of steeds, the flow of drapery, and the uproar of battle!—No!—not as the High Priest, or the champion of a lofty and venerable faith, standing up like a pillar of fire in a cloudy sky, and pointing to Jerusalem as to the great gathering place of buried nations, about to reappear, with all eyes fixed upon thee and all hearts heaving with exultation! To thy grave, my brother! and not as a martyr! but[174] as a wretch abandoned of all the earth—a twofold apostate!—a rebel and a traitor! Hark! hearest thou not a faint stirring afar off, along the shore of that multitude—a living wilderness of threatening eyes and parched lips—and ah! another moan from that huge, heavy, disheartening bell, which never stops till the sacrifice of a fiery death is over, and the object of its boding prophecy gone to the world of spirits.

But the prisoner heeded not his adjuration—he never lifted his eyes, and the same quiet smile rested forever upon his countenance; and he still gathered up the pearls and continued aiming them at the window.

Awake, Adonijah! awake, I say! Thy pearls are counted to thee. Thy pulses are about to stand still forever—thy proud heart to stop forever! A moment, and the headsman will be here—already do I see him afar off, stealing with a noiseless movement along the skirts of the affrighted people, like smouldering fire through the blackness of a thunder-cloud. Awake, thou man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, awake that I may pray with thee!

With me!

Yea, my brother—even with thee.

And wherefore shouldst thou pray with me? and wherefore should I pray?

Wherefore! Have I not heard thee, purified by that old peculiar faith, charge even thy Creator, the Ancient of Days, the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, Jehovah! with diverting thy pearls from their appointed path!

True, and therefore why should I pray? Of what avail these prayers with the unchangeable God? Can aught that we do, or fail to do, disturb the everlasting tranquillity of our Creator—change his purpose—or[175] in any way move to pleasure or displeasure the Lord God of Heaven and Earth? With him before whom all things are alike, with whom there is neither great nor small—what he hath determined to do, that will he not do? whether we importune him or not with prayer? Go to, my poor brother! go to! will not the Judge of all the Earth do right? and if he will not—how are we to help ourselves?

Unhappy man! Though he were unchangeable; and though supplications were of no avail, why should the children of men, the creatures of his bounty withhold their thanksgiving?

That would I never withhold, for that I could offer up any where—at all times and under all circumstances, without dishonoring him, our Creator and our Father, or his image, and without contradicting our ancient faith. But why wrestle in prayer with him, for that which, if it be proper for us, we shall be sure to have, as we have the dew and the sunshine, the seed-time and the harvest.—The very hairs of our head, are they not numbered? Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God!

Yea my brother! But what saith the same scripture? Ye are of more value than many sparrows.

True—true—I had forgotten a part of my lesson.

Believest thou, O my brother, canst thou believe then, that in His eyes, all the cherubim and seraphim are equal and alike? that He is, of a truth, no respecter of persons among the Hierarchy of heaven?

But wherefore pray to Him that knoweth all our wants, before they are uttered or felt? to Him that feedeth the young raven—laying his hand reverentially[176] upon the Great Book before him, and lifting his forehead to the sky, as if he could see through it.

Wherefore? Because we have been urged to pray—entreated to pray—commanded to pray. Because every thing desirable hath been promised to prayer.

Not in the Hebrew scriptures, however it may be with the Greek. To thanksgiving and submission, there may be vouchsafed a continual to favor; but to importunity, as urged upon you in your scripture, my poor brother, nothing.

Lo! the headsman touches the foot of the scaffold! Wilt thou not pray with me, oh Adonijah! my brother and my prince!

No! my brother that was—no! The Lion of Judah hath not yet learned to lick the uplifted hand of mortal man. Get thee behind me Zorobabel, my brother! Go thy way, and leave me to my trust in the God of our fathers. Why should I pray with thee—with thee! an apostate from the sepulchre of kings and prophets—I that never have prayed but with the princes, and the Judges and the High-Priest of our people? Get thee gone, my brother! It is not for such as I to tempt the Lord of Hosts, or to persuade the Ancient of Days. Do not thou tempt me.

Stay, brother—stay! Did not Jacob wrestle in prayer with the angel of the Lord, all the night long?

With the angel of the Lord?—yea—But never with the Lord himself, as thou wouldst have me. And saying this, he gathered up his robe and shook it, and turned away from his brother sorrowing.

Man! thou art beside thyself—much learning hath made thee mad—cried his brother, reaching forth his arms to Adonijah. The whole Hebrew scriptures are[177] against thee—what are they all but a Book of prayer and supplication? Prophets and Bards and Kings and Judges, yea, even the High Priesthood, are against thee! Why shouldst thou pray, thou unconquerable Hebrew?—why!—that thy proud heart may be made human—that thy understanding may be enlightened—that thou mayst be made to know and believe that there is another and a better Scripture. Pray to thy Father, which is in Heaven, as thou wouldst that thy children should pray to thee, even for that which thou hast already determined to grant them—oh, pray to Him! that He may see the disposition of thy heart, as thou wouldst see theirs. What though thou art mindful of their wants, and well acquainted with their hearts and purposes, and always ready to gratify them, is it not a condition with thee—even with thee, Adonijah, that they should acknowledge their dependence upon thee, and their utter helplessness of themselves? And why should it not be so with our Heavenly Father? with Him whose angels are about thee and above thee, a perpetual atmosphere of warmth and light. Ha! the multitude are breaking up!—they are coming this way! I hear the tramp of horsemen—a moment more and we are apart forever. A flash!—The Philistines are upon thee, O my brother!

That brother looked up and smiled.

Wilt thou not pray with me?

No—once for all—no! Never with a converted Jew—never with a christian!—never with thee, thou but half a christian!

Farewell then!—farewell forever.

Another flash! attended with a loud burst of thunder among the hills.[178]

Nay, let us part in peace, my brother, although I cannot pray with thee, I can for thee! The God of our Fathers! of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, have thee in his holy keeping!

The stranger threw up his arms in a transport of joy. The unconverted, the unconvertable Jew had prayed for him with the temper of a christian; and straightway he fell upon his knees and called upon the God of the Hebrews, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to spare the Jew and change his heart.

The huge gate swung open. The drawbridge fell—a fierce angry light broke forth suddenly from underneath the scaffold—a black banner floated all at once from the battlements over the passage-way—a troop of horsemen, with flashing spears and iron helmets, wheeled slowly into the court-yard, and drew up in dead silence along the outer barrier. The headsman appeared. A signal was made from a far window, and lo! the coronet and the robe, with all the glittering insignia of departed power and extinguished glory, were torn away, and trampled under foot by the hoofs of the multitude. A white smoke rolled forth from below, and when it cleared away, the Jew appeared standing bareheaded between two gigantic mutes, one of whom bore a naked cimetar, while the other stood watching his countenance. It continued unaltered—unalterable—nor would he vouchsafe the slightest token of submission or terror, though the flames roared, and the white smoke rolled thitherward like the white sea-fog before a coming storm; but haughtily, steadfastly, and with a majestic mildness which awed the very soldiery more than all the pomp they were accustomed to, he pointed to the multitude, lowering about him with a[179] tempestuous blackness—to the pyre with its covering of blood-red cloth dripping with recent moisture—to the flames roaring far below among the dry faggots, and signified a wish to proceed.

Once more shouted a voice from the barrier—My brother! oh my brother! wilt thou not be prevailed upon, if not for thine own sake, for the sake of thy beloved wife and thy youngest born—about to perish with thee—even with thee, my brother, in their marvellous beauty and most abundant strength.

Away!—and let me die in peace!

Another step thou unconquerable man! But another step—thou apostate Jew!—and thou art in the world of spirits! Wilt thou not say? canst thou not, with lowliness and fervor, Our Father which art in Heaven! thy will and not mine be done!

Yea, brother—if that will comfort thee in thy desolation. Yea! Yea! with all the hoarded and concentrated fervor of a long life accustomed to no other language, even while I took upon me the outer garb of a christian—Yea!—and saying this, he fell upon his knees, and cried out with a loud voice, while a triumphant brightness overspread his uplifted countenance with a visible exaltation, Our Father and our Judge! I do not pray to thee as the God of the christians did, that this cup may be spared to me; for I have put my whole hope and trust in thee, and am satisfied with whatsoever I may receive at thy hands! But I would bless thee, I would praise thee, I would magnify thy great name, oh God of my Fathers, for all that I have enjoyed or suffered, for all that I have had or wanted in this life; yea, for all the afflictions and sorrows and terrors that have beset my path, and that of my beloved[180] wife and my dear children—children of the tribe of Judah and of the house of Jacob!—Yea, for the overthrow of all my proud hopes and prouder wishes, when I forsook thee and almost abjured the faith of my Fathers for dominion sake. Forgive my apostate brother, I beseech thee, O Lord! as thou hast forgiven me: and bless the heritage of thy people, and encourage them as the followers of the new faith are encouraged by their Jesus of Nazareth, to forgive their enemies, even though their enemies take the shape of a beloved friend or brother—to betray them—giving up their birth-right, like Esau for a mess of pottage.

A great commotion appeared on the house-tops, extending itself slowly far and wide.

Nevertheless, continued the Jew—nevertheless! oh Father and Judge, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! thy will and not mine be done!

The multitude began to surge this way and that, with exceeding violence. A cry of indignation arose from every side. A tumult followed—a general rush—the house-tops were suddenly deserted—the sea shore—and some began shouting, Away with him! away with him! and others, Let the blaspheming Jew perish without hope! and others, Crucify him! crucify him!

But in the midst of the uproar, one clear solitary cry was heard afar off, repeating a prayer to the God of the Hebrews—another cloud of white smoke rolled over the battlements—the flames appeared half way up the sky—a trumpet sounded underneath the very scaffold—the ancient war-cry of the Jews, To your tents, O Israel! rung far and wide along the outer barrier—up sprang a multitude of small white banners, like affrighted birds, from the midst of the people—and the[181] next moment, before they had recovered from their unspeakable consternation, the heavy horsemen charged upon them in a body, the great ship swung round with all her voices thundering together, and swept their pathway as with a whirlwind of fire, while they hurried hither and thither, crying To arms! to arms! The Jews! the Jews! and pointing toward the bridge, only to find the bridge itself destroyed and the opposite shore in possession of that other converted Jew—the stranger!—all in glittering steel arrayed, and carrying a banner on which the Lion of Judah was ramping in a field of carnage!

And when the Jew Adonijah, now more a Jew than ever, and more fully satisfied than ever, with the sublime, and awful, and unchangeable faith of his old Hebrew Fathers, came fully to himself, and the tumult was all over, he found three out of his four children of the house of Jacob, standing near him in their robes of state—another, and a stranger, harnessed for the war, his black eyes yet gleaming with the half-extinguished fire of battle, standing at the door of the chamber.

And why wouldst thou not pray for us, father? said one of the two that were standing by the bed-side.

Because ye were sick unto death; and I held it sinful to ask for that which had been refused to King David himself—I, that had forsaken the Lord God of my fathers—How could I hope that he would not forsake me!

But the christian prayed for us, Father, and the prayers of the christian were heard![182]

With what face could they, being christians, pray for the children of men that put their Savior to death? How could they, being christians, forget their scripture, which saith—suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven!

And as he spoke, the great doors were thrown open, and the armed man flung down his helmet, and walked forward with a solemn and haughty step leading a beautiful woman captive, and a young child.

A shriek!—a tumult!—and straightway all were kneeling together! And not one of that family of Jacob—that remnant of the tribe of Judah—not one was missing. They were determined to live and die in their old august unchangeable faith, even as all their progenitors had lived and died—enduring all things—suffering all things—trials and sorrows and temptations—age after age—and never betraying their faith, never!

But the unconquerable Jew acknowledged to himself, and to his brother, even there, as they fell upon his neck and wept, the possibility of prayer being heard, the possibility that the unchangeable God might be reached by supplication—and the possibility that even a philosopher and a Jew might be mistaken.




By John Neal.

Men of the North! look up!
There's a tumult in your sky;
A troubled glory surging out;
Great shadows hurrying by:
Your strength—Where is it now?
Your quivers—Are they spent?
Your arrows in the rust of death,
Your fathers' bows unbent?
Men of the North! Awake!
Ye're called to from the Deep;
Trumpets in every breeze—
Yet there ye lie asleep:
A stir in every tree;
A shout from every wave;
A challenging on every side;
A moan from every grave:
A battle in the sky;
Ships thundering through the air—
Jehovah on the march—
Men of the North, to prayer!
Now, now—in all your strength;
There's that before your way,
Above, about you, and below,
Like armies in array:[184]
Lift up your eyes, and see
The changes overhead;
Now hold your breath! and hear
The mustering of the dead.
See how the midnight air
With bright commotion burns,
Thronging with giant shape,
Banner and spear by turns—
The sea-fog driving in,
Solemnly and swift;
The Moon afraid—stars dropping out—
The very skies adrift:
The Everlasting God:
Our Father—Lord of Love—
With cherubim and seraphim
All gathering above—
Their stormy plumage lighted up
As forth to war they go;
The shadow of the Universe,
Upon our haughty foe!



By James F. Otis.

And while I was musing, the fire burned.—Holy Writ.

Music is the wondrous breathing of God's spirit in our souls. As we view the "floor of heaven, thickly inlaid with patines of pure gold," we feel that

There's not the smallest orb which we behold,
But, in its motion, like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young eyed cherubim.

We feel it in the constitution of the air, which causes vibration—in the formation of man, possessed of the wonderful faculties enabling him to sing, to distinguish musical sounds, and to feel within his whole frame the effects of music. Man, indeed, is himself a wonderful musical instrument, made by the hand of God. He hears all nature hymning adoration and praises to its Maker—he feels the constant vibration of universal harmony around him—he is conscious that the emotions of gratitude he feels toward the Creator should be expressed, and that in the highest strains which the human mind can conceive, and the human voice can reach. Thus he calls in to his aid all those auxiliaries which nature and art afford, to supply him with associations tending to elevate the standard of his grateful expressions. Music is a sacred, a religious, a holy thing. Applied to common purposes, it is pleasing and[186] worthy of cultivation—but still it has a higher character when used for its original and more worthy purpose. The effect it produces in the former instance is to raise our mirth:—when used in its higher character, its effect is to produce rapture. It soothes when thus employed, as of old it did when David banished the evil spirit from the soul of Saul by the vibrations of his sweet-toned harp; it improves—as all good influences and pure associations ever must, when permitted their due action upon the mind; and it elevates the spirit toward the eternal source whence all its harmony flows. As it peals upon the ear, and sinks inly upon the heart of him whose mind is bent upon the thoughts of holy things—upon his creation, his present blessings and future hopes, he seems to hear

That undisturbed song of pure content,
Aye sung around the sapphire-colored throne,
To him that sits thereon—
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud, uplifted angel trumpets blow;
And the cherubic hosts, in thousand choirs,
Touch their celestial harps of golden wires.


Handel, with all his comparative simplicity, is my favorite. I cannot but look up to him with astonishment and veneration; his "Messiah," I behold as the purest specimen of sublimity ever displayed in the arts: and I can conceive of nothing in poetry with any pretension to be considered its parallel, but the "Paradise Lost" of Milton. The "Hallelujah Chorus" may be esteemed the loftiest work of the imagination. The[187] leading conception is entirely inimitable. The full chorus of other masters is often bold and elevated; but it is only Handel who has the sublime of devotion. Haydn is triumphant and inspiring; but the effect of his chorus is only that of martial music. In listening to Haydn, you seem to hear the shouts of conquerors, proudly entering a vanquished city: in listening to Handel, the shouts seem to break from the clouds; from the triumphant host admitted to the presence of God; and the object of praise gives a character of holiness and purity to the harmony. With Haydn, we exult, we reason not why. With Handel, we can never for a moment forget that we are praising God. The rapid movements and quick transitions of Haydn draw the fullest admiration to the orchestra, and the subject is forgotten. The lighter passages in Handel are only the varied note of praise, expanding only in proportion to the inspiration which the object kindles. In one word,—every thing in Haydn is seen to be accomplished; and every delineation, if I may thus employ the word, is felt to be a resemblance. But in Handel, let what will be described or exhibited,—a battle,—a victory,—the trembling of the earth,—the tottering of a wall,—the moan of sympathy,—the insults and crucifixion of a Savior,—the awful stillness of death,—or, on the other hand, the triumph of the resurrection,—the birth of the Prince of Peace,—or hosannas to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords,—every thing seems to be done at the command of God himself.

But I conceive it is not difficult to reconcile an admiration of both these great masters, in as much as their music presents such a variety only as every art[188] admits. Claude Loraine was no rival of Raphael—yet we stand with one before a landscape, and with the other at the foot of the cross, with like, if not equal astonishment and admiration. The recitatives of Haydn are, with scarcely a single exception, less bold, but better finished,—less abrupt, and better calculated for the scope of the voice, than those of Handel; and are supported by a harmony more graceful, though not more striking and natural. Haydn, at all times, threw the fascination of melody over his richest modulations, and the whole effect of his harmony resulted from conspiring airs, each of which was melodious by itself. While, on the other hand, the separate parts in Handel were like single pillars from a temple, or single stones from a pyramid. If, in Handel, appear the beauty of consistency,—in Haydn we admire the consistency of beauty. If Handel's choruses and harmony might be compared, both in their formation and beauty, to mountains of ice, illuminated by the sun,—Haydn's harmony would seem to resemble the most splendid crystalizations—under the same illumination, in which one form of beauty has gradually encircled another, until the shape and beauty of the minutest part has become imparted to the larger proportions, and more commanding figure of the whole mass. It is impossible indeed, to find any thing in music,—placing his choruses out of view,—which can rival the sublime recitative of Handel,—"For behold darkness shall cover the earth,—but the Lord shall arise!"—Yet the opening of Haydn's "Creation," may deserve to be ranked second only to this, and as surpassing every other attempt of its author, in sublimity, and deep, solemn grandeur. The fall of[189] the angels, in the first part of the same noble oratorio, is a wonderful effort, and presents the most remarkable instance in all Haydn's compositions, of the characteristic excellence which has just been ascribed to him, namely, his uniform regard to his melody, even where he designed to produce the boldest effect in his harmony. It is the most graphic musical description ever attempted; and it must have been produced in one of those moments of lofty enthusiasm in which a conception of surpassing grandeur flashes upon the mind, is grasped and embodied in an instant, and a man pauses in exultation and astonishment at what he has himself accomplished. This passage, however,—if it had no other excellence,—could never be forgotten, as it gives the most striking effect to the inimitable contrast which succeeds,—where the first impression of the beauty of the world at the moment of the creation is described with such tenderness and grace, that the most vulgar minds, as well as those whose taste has been in some degree refined, have felt every note, as it came from the forms of living things, exulting in their existence—or as if the author had borrowed the lyre of the morning stars, that sang the glories of the "new created world."—The celebrated chorus, "The Heavens are telling the glory of God," is unquestionably the boldest conception of Haydn. Its harmony has the most astonishing richness and variety, and the leading air is almost unexceptionably beautiful. Yet it may be called a chorus in theory only; for it requires the fullest choir of the finest voices and most refined tastes,—and no community of any country can furnish a hundred and fifty singers, capable of performing it, even with a tolerable degree of spirit, judgment[190] and correctness. By this remark I mean merely, that the original conception of the author, and that with which every one who feels its true beauty and force is filled, upon studying, or hearing it,—can never be fully realized and carried out, and filled up, by the finest combination of human powers.

There have not been wanting writers upon the beautiful in music, who have denounced what they are pleased to call attempts at picturesque, in the "Creation" of Haydn. Their arguments proceed upon the trifling nature of the results produced by imitations, as unworthy the dignity of an art so refined. The feelings awakened by the gradual developement of the work of creation in this immortal work are certainly far superior in their nature to those imputed by such writers to the admirers of what they call depictive music;—and I cannot believe that these objectors can have listened to the oratorio they criticise, either with the physical or rational ear. Had they, we should have heard nothing like an imputation of an unsuccessful imitation of trifling originals. They would have seen no other use of the musical picturesque than perfectly consists with true descriptiveness of the subject celebrated. The Creation is a grand panorama; its object was to impress the hearer with the realities it commemorates. Its author was engaged two whole years upon it, and gave as a reason for his absorption in the task, that he meant it to last a great while. He has composed a work which addresses itself to the mind in such a manner, as to call up to the eye the landscape, as well as to the ear the sounds, and to the conception the animation and motion of the scenes described. Surely a beautiful thought, a fine description, an impassioned[191] sentiment, impressed upon the mind and memory by a strong association with almost all the senses at once, are more likely to become inseparably entwined among the very fibres of the heart, than a cold, abstract description of the same subject, without the intervention of such associations. I should pity the man who could utter such a criticism, while listening to the performance, or even reading the score of this most splendid oratorio. From the commencement,—conveying the idea of primeval chaos,—through the gradual gathering of the earth and sea, and the things which each contains, into their several places,—the budding and blooming of the thousand flowers,—the cooing of the tender doves,—the trampling of the heavy beasts,—the flowing of the gentle rills,—the rolling of the mountain waves,—the bursting of light at the Creator's word,—angels praising God,—the noble work of man's creation,—the achievement of the whole,—up to the last grand and glorious chorus,—all is sublimity—all is divine! and the whole soul of the auditor is wrapt in sacred awe, as he follows the beneficent hand of his Maker in its wonderful work, and is lost in rapture and adoration, amid the blaze of glory by which he finds himself surrounded at the close.


There are those who institute a comparison between music and poetry, and much to the prejudice of the former. They argue that the intellect has nothing to do with music, and that it is ridiculous and absurd in[192] those who speak no Italian, to pretend to derive any satisfaction from listening, for two hours, to music in a language they cannot understand—affecting, at the same time, to comprehend the sense to be conveyed, by the sounds they drink in with such assumed rapture. I conceive this to be far from just reasoning. Doubtless there is a great deal of affectation in the fashionable world upon the subject of music in general, and of the opera in particular; but we have no right to judge our neighbor's taste by our own—perhaps, after all, it may turn out that our own is defective or false. I am inclined to argue that the intellect has as much to do with music as with poetry.

In judging of pieces adapted to music, we should be lenient on the subject of the thoughts, if the design and story have variety enough to afford a basis for a corresponding variety of musical ideas. The most common expression of any passion may be tolerated, when the music, not the poetry, is to form the embellishment. Who cares for the story—the plot—in listening to the Italian opera? Nay, more—are not the finest and most beautiful pieces of that class of music, vulgar and weak as poetical compositions? Is not the musical composer the genius of the piece? While the poet utters some such trash as 'I shall support myself by feasting on your beautiful eyes,' the composer so varies the expression of his music, that, in truth, the thought becomes refined, just as it would if the poet had undertaken to present it in a variety of views. To say, therefore, that the repetitions in music are nonsense, is just to profess a deplorable ignorance of the science. The words convey a sentiment which the musician undertakes to increase—to soften—to embellish, through[193] a series of fine ideas, of which those who have neither musical taste nor ear have not the least conception.

Nor should it be supposed that, in the opera—in the fine pieces of Metastasio, for instance—the poetry is disgraced by being but the handmaid of music, and that the former is therefore reduced unduly in the scale of comparative merit. This is not the case with him who is an equal admirer of the two arts. Such as these will admit that it is but in a very small degree that music is designed to please a sense. They will insist that its design is to excite emotions that poetry, to the same extent, cannot awaken. What speech in the whole Iliad rouses more exulting courage than the 'Marsellois Hymn?' The music of 'Pleyel's German Hymn' not only of itself produces an effect to awaken a feeling of grief, but no words that I have ever read are capable of producing that feeling in an equal degree. Take for example, the lamentation of David for the loss of Absalom—and if that passage, and others like it, are enough to melt or break the heart, there is a kind of music, of which 'Pleyel's Hymn' is an example, that will affect it more deeply yet.

Words, considered as auxiliary to music, merely show the subject on which the emotion rests, but have nothing to do with the emotion itself; that is produced by music alone—and long before any words are known to an air, the emotion will have been produced. We shall have imagined the subject—and when we come to know the words, we shall discover one of three things: first, that the subject is what we imagined—secondly, that it is something analogous to our perception—or, thirdly, if neither of the two former, that the words and air are ill-adapted to each other. Indeed,[194] what do we mean by saying, 'these words are adapted to the air,' if the air have no character of its own? And what is its character but its peculiar power of awakening certain emotions? Admitting that it is better that fine poetry and fine harmony should be united, when possible—and that this union, of course, produces additional delight to a refined mind,—it still seems to me very absurd to condemn the pieces which are constructed upon ideas conveyed in poetry of an inferior class, merely because such is the character of the poetry. Music is the governor of the heart, and all she asks of Poetry is a subject,—and then, delightful magician! it is her province to call up, by her sweet spell, the corresponding emotions!


By Edward Payson.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

It is a well known fact that the appearance of objects, and the ideas which we form of them, are very much affected by the situation in which they are placed with respect to us, and by the light in which they are seen. Objects seen at a distance, for example, appear much smaller than they really are. The same object, viewed through different mediums, will often exhibit very different appearances. A lighted candle, or a star, appears bright during the absence of the sun; but when that luminary returns, their brightness is eclipsed.[195] Since the appearance of objects, and the ideas which we form of them, are thus affected by extraneous circumstances, it follows, that no two persons will form precisely the same ideas of any object, unless they view it in the same light, or are placed with respect to it in the same situation.

These remarks have a direct and important bearing upon our subject. No person can read the scriptures candidly and attentively, without perceiving that God and men differ, very widely, in the opinion which they entertain respecting almost every object. And in nothing do they differ more widely, than in the estimate they form of man's moral character, and of the malignity and desert of sin. Nothing can be more evident than the fact, that, in the sight of God, our sins are incomparably more numerous, aggravated and criminal, than they appear to us. He regards us as deserving of an endless punishment, while we scarcely perceive that we deserve any punishment at all. Now whence arises this difference? The remarks which have just been made will inform us. God and men view objects through a very different medium, and are placed, with respect to them, in a very different situation. God is present with every object; he views it as near and therefore sees its real magnitude. But many objects, especially those of a religious nature, are seen by us at a distance, and, of course, appear to us smaller than they really are. God sees every object in a perfectly clear light; but we see most objects dimly and indistinctly. In fine, God sees all objects just as they are; but we see them through a deceitful medium, which ignorance, prejudice and self-love place between them and us.[196]

The Psalmist, addressing God, says, thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance, that is, our iniquities or open transgressions, and our secret sins, the sins of our hearts, are placed, as it were, full before God's face, immediately under his eye; and he sees them in the pure, clear, all-disclosing light of his own holiness and glory. Now if we would see our sins as they appear to him, that is, as they really are; if we would see their number, blackness and criminality, and the malignity and desert of every sin, we must place ourselves, as nearly as is possible, in his situation, and look at sin, as it were, through his eyes. We must place ourselves and our sins in the centre of that circle, which is irradiated by the light of his countenance; where all his infinite perfections are clearly displayed, where his awful majesty is seen, where his concentrated glories blaze, and burn, and dazzle, with insufferable brightness; and in order to this, we must, in thought, leave our dark and sinful world, where God is unseen and almost forgotten, and where, consequently, the evil of sinning against him cannot be fully perceived—and mount up to heaven, the peculiar habitation of his holiness and glory.

Let us, then, attempt this adventurous flight. Let us follow the path by which our blessed Savior ascended to heaven, and soar upward to the great capital of the universe; to the palace and the throne of its greater King. As we rise, the earth fades away from our view; now we leave worlds, and suns, and systems behind us. Now we reach the utmost limits of creation; now the last star disappears, and no ray of created light is seen. But a new light begins to dawn and[197] brighten upon us. It is the light of heaven, which pours a flood of glory from its wide-open gates, spreading continual, meridian day, far and wide through the regions of ethereal space. Passing swiftly onward through this flood of day, the songs of heaven begin to burst upon your ears, and voices of celestial sweetness, yet loud as the sound of many waters and of mighty thunderings, are heard exclaiming, Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Blessing, and glory, and honor, and power, be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever. A moment more, and you have passed the gates—you are in the midst of the city—you are before the eternal throne—you are in the immediate presence of God, and all his glories are blazing around you like a consuming fire. Flesh and blood cannot support it; your bodies dissolve into their original dust; but your immortal souls remain, and stand naked spirits before the great Father of spirits. Nor, in losing their tenements of clay, have they lost their powers of perception. No; they are now all eye, all ear; nor can you close the eyelids of the soul, to shut out, for a moment, the dazzling, overpowering splendors which surround you, and which appear like light condensed; like glory which may be felt. You see indeed no form or shape; and yet your whole souls perceive with intuitive clearness and certainty, the immediate, awe-inspiring presence of Jehovah. You see no countenance; and yet you feel as if a countenance of awful majesty, in which all the perfections of divinity are shown forth, were beaming upon you wherever you turn. You see no eye; and yet a piercing, heart-searching eye, an eye of omniscient purity, every glance of which goes through your souls like a flash of[198] lightning, seems to look upon you from every point of surrounding space. You feel as if enveloped in an atmosphere, or plunged in an ocean of existence, intelligence, perfection and glory; an ocean of which your laboring minds can take in only a drop; an ocean, the depth of which you cannot fathom, and the breadth of which you can never fully explore. But while you feel utterly unable to comprehend this infinite Being, your views of him, so far as they extend, are perfectly clear and distinct. You have the most vivid perceptions, the most deeply graven impressions, of an infinite, eternal, spotless mind; in which the image of all things, past, present and to come, are most harmoniously seen, arranged in the most perfect order, and defined with the nicest accuracy; of a mind, which wills with infinite ease, but whose volitions are attended by a power omnipotent and irresistible, and which sows worlds, suns and systems through the fields of space with far more facility, than the husbandman scatters his seed upon the earth; of a mind, whence have flowed all the streams, which ever watered any part of the universe with life, intelligence, holiness, or happiness, and which is still fully overflowing and inexhaustible. You perceive also, with equal clearness and certainty, that this infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, all-wise, all-creating mind is perfectly and essentially holy, a pure flame of holiness; and that, as such, he regards sin with unutterable, irreconcilable detestation and abhorrence. With a voice, which reverberates through the wide expanse of his dominions, you hear him saying, as the Sovereign and Legislator of the universe, Be ye holy; for I, the Lord your God, am holy. And you see his throne surrounded, you see[199] heaven filled by those only, who perfectly obey this command. You see thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels and archangels, pure, exalted, glorious intelligences, who reflect his perfect image, burn like flames of fire with zeal for his glory, and seem to be so many concentrations of wisdom, knowledge, holiness and love; a fit retinue for the thrice holy Lord of hosts, whose holiness and all-filling glory they unceasingly proclaim.

And now, if you are willing to see your sins in their true colors; if you would rightly estimate their number, magnitude and criminality, bring them into this hallowed place, where nothing is seen but the whiteness of unsullied purity, and the splendors of uncreated glory; where the sun itself would appear a dark spot, and there, in the midst of this circle of seraphic intelligences, with the infinite God pouring all the light of his countenance around you, review your lives, contemplate your offences, and see how they appear.



By L. S. P.

There is a homely proverb which tells us that "the longest way round is the shortest way home." Whether the mathematical demonstration of so paradoxical an assertion would be easy or difficult I shall not undertake to decide. My concern is with its application to the spiritual; and with such a reference, are there not many in these hurrying days who would be benefited by a serious attention to it?

Do you doubt its truth? Reflect, and you will be convinced. Have you never groped darkly after a principle, of which you had some dim revelation, and which you strove with mightiest working to make your own? Still as you seemed about to seize it, it eluded your grasp; you were sure that it was there; but to lay hold of it was beyond your strength. You gave up the effort, turned your thoughts to a new channel, and busied yourself with other investigations—when lo! a revelation; and the truth you sought, burst upon you as a ray from the eternal splendor.

Or, perchance, you have been all the day perplexed and wearied with doubts, relating, it may be, to some point of practical moment to you, and seeming to demand a solution, which yet you are unable to give. You would fain come to an end, but you cannot even see an opening; only here and there an uncertain glimmer, which vanishes when you approach it more nearly. Your soul is faint and harassed; you go forth[201] at sunset to commune with nature, and in her communion to forget your perplexities. You gaze on the calm glories of the departing sun, and the calm enters into your soul; the cooling breath of heaven comes to you, and you listen to the many voices, "the melodies of woods and winds and waters," that go up in one harmony to heaven. You behold, and listen, and love;—and with love comes light. Yes, a light, so pure, so soft, so mild, that it seems not of earth rests upon your soul, and your darkness, and doubts, and perplexity are gone.

Oh, never let it be forgotten that the road to truth is a winding road; it lies through the heart as well as through the intellect; for, says the wise man, "Into a malicious soul, wisdom shall not enter." Thou must learn to love, before thou canst learn to know; and never shalt thou behold the serene and beautiful countenance of Truth, until thy aim be honest, and thy soul in harmony with nature.

And are not Nature's paths circuitous? It is man who has constructed the broad high road, and made for himself a straight way through forests and streams, levelling the mountains, and filling up the valleys—but it is not thus in nature. Her paths are wild, and devious, and rambling; following "the river's course, the valley's playful windings," and ever and anon turning aside to some sunny nook, or steep ravine. The rain which falls upon the earth travels not by a plain high road to the springs and fountains whither it is bound; but gently, slowly wins its way, drop by drop, till a little stream is formed, and the stream winds its noiseless and hidden track to the fountain.

In her processes too, Nature is patient and long-waiting.[202] She doth not say to the seed just planted in the earth, spring up and bear fruit forthwith, or you shall be cast out, but she waiteth for the unfolding of the tender germ, and the striking of the new-shooting roots; and hath long patience, and with slowliest care, and a mother's enduring love, she bringeth forth to light the first green leaf. Then she calleth for the sun to shine, and the dews to descend upon the young plant, and many days doth she wait for the ripe fruit.

But man, impatient man would be wise in a day. He waits not for the holy and mysterious processes of nature, he leaves not the wonderful powers within him to unfold in silence and secrecy, but must ever disturb them with his foolish meddling and impertinent haste, like some silly child, who digs up the seed he has planted an hour ago, to see if it have yet sprouted. And are there not some who deal in like fashion with other minds than their own? Educators let them not be called, for never do they bring out what is within. The young mind is not to them a germ to be unfolded, an infant to be nursed into manhood, but rather a receptacle to be filled, and stuffed, and crammed as expeditiously as possible; and this, thanks to the numerous machines lately invented for the purpose, is very quick indeed.

There have been times when you seemed to make no progress in your favorite pursuit. You struggled without advancing as we sometimes do in dreams, or though you stepped up and down, it was as in a treadmill. So it seemed to you. But was it so? Nay, the process was going on within, though its visible manifestations may have ceased. If no addition was made to the superstructure, yet the foundations were[203] deepening and widening; if the branches and leaves did not grow, yet the root strengthened itself in the earth.

But not only so—you seemed to be going backward. Even the ground slipped from under your feet, and where you had heretofore a firm standing-place, you found but a swamp. And have you never considered that Nature too sometimes works backwards? See that withered leaf which flutters in the breeze, maintaining yet an uncertain hold upon the branch which nurtured its younger growth. A fresh gust of wind loosens its hold, and it is blown in circling eddies to the earth. There it rests till the elements of decay in its bosom have finished their work, and it mixes with the dust. "What is this? Can a mother forget her child? Does Nature destroy her own productions?" Ah, look again. In that fresh-blooming flower, dyed with tints of infinite softness, behold the withered leaf. Nature was as really working to the production of that flower when she decomposed the elements of the leaf, as when she unfolded the germ, and elaborated the juices, and blended the tints of the flower itself. It was but a glorified resurrection. And your spiritual growth is going on as truly and steadily, if not as visibly and delightfully, when you cast aside the slough of some old prejudice, or painfully tear yourself from a cherished delusion as when the dawning of a new truth flashes light and joy upon your soul.

For what Coleridge has said of nations, is equally true of individuals. "The progress of the species neither is nor can be, like that of a Roman road, in a right line. It may be more justly compared to that of a river, which, both in its smaller reaches and larger[204] turnings, is frequently forced back towards its fountains, by objects which cannot otherwise be eluded or overcome; yet with an accompanying impulse that will ensure its advancement hereafter, it is either gaining strength every hour or conquering in secret some difficulty, by a labor that contributes as effectually to further its course, as when it moves forward in an uninterrupted line."

I might go on to illustrate the application of this truth to self-knowledge, but it is one easily made, by each for himself. Its bearing upon our moral growth must not be so lightly passed over.

You have learned that you have a spirit which may be, must be trained for immortality and heaven. You have found too that there are difficulties in the way of this training. There is a constant under-current of selfishness ready to insinuate itself into all you do; there is contempt for your inferiors in birth or cultivation, ever offering to start up, and there is a spirit of resentment against those who have injured you ready to take fire on the least provocation. What is to be done with these? You do not forget that to Him, whose "still, small voice" can speak with authority to the spirits He has made, must be your first appeal; but neither do you forget that his help is vouchsafed to those only who help themselves. And how will you help yourself? Will you in the plenitude of your might, and the resoluteness of kindled energy, will the extinction of those unruly passions? Try it; exert the volition; will to stop the flowing tide of revenge in your breast, and to cause love and forgiveness to spring up in its place. Well, have you done it? But what means that glowing cheek—that flashing eye—that compressed brow? Is[205] such the expression of love? Nay brother, you have mistaken the way. Not the straight path of direct volition will ever lead you to your object.

But come forth with me into the field. Here are "sweet, strange flowers," to glad thy heart with their innocent beauty, and delight thee with their fragrance; here is the broad and blessed "sky bending over" thee, and the quiet lake at thy feet.

"The air is spread with beauty; and the sky
Is musical with sounds that rise and die,
Till scarce the ear can catch them; then they swell,
Then send from far a low, sweet, sad farewell."

And who art thou that bringest discord and rough, angry passions into a scene like this? Ah, thou bringest not discord, it has stolen from thy heart; thou art at peace. For it is not a poetic fiction when we are told that a wayward spirit, is subdued by nature's loveliness and lovingness.

"Till he can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing,
Amidst this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonized,
By the benignant touch of love and beauty."

We asked, perchance, that our hearts might be lifted above the earth, and taught to repose with a surer love, and a more child-like trustfulness on the Father of Spirits. And did we know that our prayer was answered when the light of our eyes was torn from us; when our souls were rent with bitter agony, and lay crushed and bowed beneath the stroke of His hand? Yes, it was answered; we know it now, though we knew it not then. The weary bird never reposes so sweetly in its nest, as when it hath been battered by[206] the tempest and chased by the vulture; never doth the little child rest so lovingly and rejoicingly on its mother's breast, as when it hath there found a shelter from the injuries and taunts of its rude play-fellows; and the christian never knows the full sweetness of the words, "My Father in Heaven," till he can also add, "there is none that I desire beside Thee."


By Edward Payson.

Without resorting to the hyperbolical expressions of poetry, or to the dreams and fables of pagan mythology, to the wonders said to be performed by the lyre of Amphion and the harp of Orpheus,—I might place before you the prophet of Jehovah, composing his ruffled spirits by the soothing influence of music, that he might be suitably prepared to receive a message from the Lord of Hosts. I might present to your view the evil spirit, by which jealous and melancholy Saul was afflicted, flying, baffled and defeated, from the animating and harmonious tones of David's harp. I might show you the same David, the defender and avenger of his flock, the champion and bulwark of his country, the conqueror of Goliah, the greatest warrior and monarch[207] of his age, laying down the sword and the sceptre to take up his harp, and exchanging the titles of victor and king for the more honorable title of the sweet Psalmist of Israel.—But I appear not before you as her advocate; for in that character my exertions would be superfluous. She is present to speak for herself, and assert her own claims to our notice and approbation. You have heard her voice in the performances of this evening; and those of you, whom the God of nature has favored with a capacity of feeling and understanding her eloquent language, will, I trust, acknowledge that she has pleaded her own cause with triumphant success; has given sensible demonstration, that she can speak, not only to the ear, but to the heart; and that she possesses irresistible power to soothe, delight, and fascinate the soul. Nor was it to the senses alone that she spake; but while, in harmonious sounds, she maintained her claims, and asserted her powers; in a still and small but convincing voice, she addressed herself directly to reason and conscience, proclaiming the most solemn and important truths; truths which perhaps some of you did not hear or regard, but which deserve and demand our most serious attention.—With the same irresistible evidence as if an angel had spoken from heaven, she said, There is a God—and that God is good and benevolent. For, my friends, who but God could have tuned the human voice, and given harmony to sounds? Who, but a good and benevolent God, would have given us senses capable of perceiving and enjoying this harmony? Who, but such a being, would have opened a way through the ear, for its passage to the soul? Could blind chance have produced these wonders of wisdom? or a malignant[208] being these miracles of goodness? Could they have caused this admirable fitness between harmony of sounds, and the organs of sense by which it is perceived? No. They would have either given us no senses, or left them imperfect, or rendered every sound discordant and harsh. With the utmost propriety, therefore may Jehovah ask, Who hath made man's mouth, and planted the ear? Have not I, the Lord? With the utmost justice, also, may he demand of us, that all our musical powers and faculties should be consecrated to his service, and employed in celebrating his praises. To urge you diligently and cheerfully to perform this pleasing, reasonable, and indispensable duty, is the principal object of the speaker. Not, then, as the advocate of music, but as the ambassador of that God, whose being and benevolence, music proclaims, do I now address this assembly, entreating every individual, without delay, to adopt and practise the resolution of the royal Psalmist—I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psa. civ. 33.

In your imagination go back to the origin of the world, when, every thing was very good, and all creation harmonized together. All its parts, animate and inanimate, like the voices and instruments of a well regulated concert, helped to compose a perfect and beautiful whole; and so exquisite was the harmony thus produced, that in the whole compass of creation, not one jarring or discordant note was heard, even by the perfect ear of God himself.—The blessed angels of light began the universal chorus, "when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."


Of this universal concert, man was appointed the terrestrial leader, and was furnished with natural and moral powers, admirably fitted for this blessed and glorious employment. His body, exempt from dissolution, disease, and decay, was like a perfect and well-strung instrument, which never gave forth a false or uncertain sound, but always answered, with exact precision, the wishes of his nobler part, the soul. His heart did not then belie his tongue, when he sung the praises of his Creator; but all the emotions felt by the one were expressed by the other, from the high notes of ecstatic admiration, thankfulness, and joy, down to the deep tones of the most profound veneration and humility. In a word, his heart was the throne of celestial love and harmony, and his tongue at once the organ of their will, and the sceptre of their power.

We are told, in ancient story, of a statue, formed with such wonderful art, that, whenever it was visited by the rays of the rising sun, it gave forth, in honor of that luminary, the most melodious and ravishing sounds. In like manner, man was originally so constituted, by skill divine, that, whenever he contemplated the rays of wisdom, power, and goodness, emanating from the great Sun of the moral system, the ardent emotions of his soul spontaneously burst forth in the most pure and exalted strains of adoration and praise. Such was the world, such was man, at the creation. Even in the eye of the Creator, all was good; for, wherever he turned, he saw only his own image, and heard nothing but his own praises. Love beamed from every countenance; harmony reigned in every breast, and flowed mellifluous from every tongue; and the grand chorus of praise, begun by raptured seraphs round the throne,[210] and heard from heaven to earth, was reechoed back from earth to heaven; and this blissful sound, loud as the archangel's trump, and sweet as the melody of his golden harp, rapidly spread, and was received from world to world, and floated, in gently-undulating waves, even to the farthest bounds of creation.

To this primeval harmony, a lamentable contrast followed, when sin untuned the tongues of angels, and changed their blissful songs of praise into the groans of wretchedness, the execrations of malignity, the blasphemies of impiety, and the ravings of despair. Storms and tempests, earthquakes and convulsions, fire from above, and deluges from beneath, which destroyed the order of the natural world, proved that its baleful influence had reached our earth, and afforded a faint emblem of the jars and disorders which sin had introduced into the moral system. Man's corporeal part, that lyre of a thousand strings, tuned by the finger of God himself, destined to last as long as the soul, and to be her instrument in offering up eternal praise, was, at one blow, shattered, unstrung, and almost irreparably ruined. His soul, all whose powers and faculties, like the chords of an Æolian harp, once harmoniously vibrated to every breath of the divine Spirit, and ever returned a sympathizing sound to the tones of kindness and love from a fellow-being, now became silent, and insensible to melody, or produced only the jarring and discordant notes of envy, malice, hatred, and revenge. The mouth, filled with cursing and bitterness, was set against the heavens; the tongue was inflamed with the fire of hell. Every voice, instead of uniting in the song of "Glory to God in the highest," was now at variance with the voices around it, and, in barbarous[211] and dissonant strains, sung praise to itself, or was employed in muttering sullen murmurs against the Most High—in venting slanders against fellow-creatures—in celebrating and deifying some worthless idol, or in singing the triumphs of intemperance, dissipation, and excess. The noise of violence and cruelty was heard mingled with the boasting of the oppressor, and the cry of the oppressed, and the complaints of the wretched; while the shouts of embattled hosts, the crash of arms, the brazen clangor of trumpets, the shrieks of the wounded, the groans of the dying, and all the horrid din of war, together with the wailings of those whom it had rendered widows and orphans, overwhelmed and drowned every sound of benevolence, praise and love. Such is the jargon which sin has introduced—such the discord which, from every quarter of our globe, has long ascended up into the ears of the Lord of hosts.



By Mrs. Elizabeth Smith.

The soft warm air scarcely stirred the leaves of the vine, that clustered about the bower of Eve, as she lay with pale cheek and languid limbs, her first born daughter resting upon her breast. Adam had led his sons to the field, that their sports might not disturb the repose of our first mother, and the low murmur of the tiny cascade, the monotonous hum of insects, and happy twitter of unfledged birds, all wooed her to slumber; yet she slept not. She looked with a mother's deep unutterable love upon the face of her babe, yet tears were in her eye, and anxiety upon her brow. Herself the last, the perfection of the Creator's workmanship, she still marvelled at the surprising beauty of her daughter. She looked into its dark liquid eye, and drank deep from the fountain of maternal love. She pressed its small foot and hand to her lips, hugged it to her full heart, and felt again the bitterness of transgression. She thought of Paradise, whence she had expelled her children. She thought of generations to come, who might curse her for their misery. She thought of the sweet beauty of her child on whom she had entailed sorrow, suffering and temptation. She felt it murmuring at the fountain of life while it stretched its little hand to her lips. She turned aside the thick leaves of the grape vine, and looked out upon the still blue sky, over which, scarcely moved the white thin clouds. "My daughter," she faintly articulated,[213] "thou knowest not the evil I have done thee. Let these bitter tears attest my penitence. Let me teach thee so to live, that thou mayst hereafter obtain in another world the Paradise thou hast lost in this—lost by thy mother's guilt. O, my daughter, would that I alone might suffer, that the whole wrath of my offended Creator might fall on my head and thou, and such as thou, might escape." The tears, the penitence of Eve prevailed; a Heavenly messenger was despatched to console her, to lift her thoughts to better hopes and less gloomy anticipations.—Since the sin of our first parents, and their banishment from Paradise, these angel visits had been "few and far between," and our first mother hailed his approach with awe and pleasure. "Eve," kindly spake the divine visitant, "thy sorrow and thy penitence are all known to thy Creator, and though thy fault was great, he yet careth for thee. I am sent to comfort thee. As thou didst disobey the commands of God, death has been brought, indeed, upon thy posterity, but thy children may not curse thee. Thy daughters shall imitate thy penitence, and so secure the favor of Heaven. To each one shall be given a spirit, capable of resisting temptation, and assimilating to that holiness from which thou hast departed. Though sin and death have entered the world by thy means, thy children will still have only their own sins to answer for, and may not justly reproach thee for their errors." "True, Lord," responded Eve, "but the altered sky, the hard earth that scarcely yields its treasures to the labor of Adam, and the changed natures of the animals that once meekly and kindly sported together, all tell of my disobedience, and my daughter will turn her eyes upon me when suffering[214] and trial come, and that look will reproach me as the cause. I am told that our children shall equal in number the leaves of the green wood, and the earth shall hereafter be peopled with beings like ourselves. I shrink to think on the mass of sorrow I have brought upon my daughters."

She looked fondly on her babe, and timidly raised it towards the beneficent being who paused at her bower. "When men shall become numerous, and there shall be many beings like these, fair and frail, may not their beauty—" She paused and looked anxiously up. "Speak, Eve," said the messenger, "thy request shall be granted. I am sent to bestow upon thee whatever thou shalt ask, for this thy first born daughter." "I scarcely know," resumed Eve, thus encouraged, "but I would ask for this first daughter of an erring mother, something, to warn her of even the approach of sin, something, that will whisper caution, and speak of innocence and purity. Something, Lord, that will remind us of Paradise." "Hast thou not all that, Eve, in the voice within, the voice of conscience?" Eve dropped her head upon her bosom. "But that monitor may be disregarded, my daughters may, like their unhappy parent, stifle its voice and heedlessly neglect its warnings. I would have something, that when flattery would mislead, beauty bewilder, or passion lead astray, would outwardly as it were bid them take heed, warn them to shrink from the very trail of the serpent whose insidious poison may corrupt and destroy. Hast thou nothing that will be to the innocent, the virtuous, like a second conscience, to cause them to shrink even from the appearance of evil?" The angel smiled, and answered our mother with kindness,[215] and a look of heavenly satisfaction. "Most wisely hast thou petitioned, O Eve. Thou hast asked blessings for thy posterity, not for thyself. Thy daughters shall bless thee for the gift thy prayer has obtained." The spirit departed. The gift he bestowed may be seen on the face of the maiden when she shrinks from the too admiring gaze, when her ear is listening to the tale of love, or flattery, when in the solitude of her own thoughts she starts at her own imaginings, when she shrinks even from her own reflected loveliness in the secrecy of home; or abroad, trembles at the intrusive touch, or familiar language, of him who should be her guide, her protector from evil. That gift was the blush.



By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens.

The Morn awoke in Hindostan,
And blushing, left the couch of Night,
While soon her rosy smiles began,
To flood the dewy earth with light.
While yet the sultry day was young,
Came forth a happy bridal band,
With sunny smiles and English tongue,
Which spoke them of a distant land;
They gathered round an altar-stone,
Erected to the one Most High,
Standing in solitude alone,
Mid signs of dark idolatry.
Then two came slowly from the crowd;
He with a bearing bold and proud,
A haughty smile and flashing eye,
Darkling with love's intensity;
While she, the high-born English bride,
Drew closer to that one dear side;
Her eyelids drooped, her cheek grew pale
As snow, beneath the bridal veil,
As if the weight of her own bliss
Were all too much of happiness,
To thrill her heart and light her eye
Beneath another's scrutiny.
On crimson cushions dropped with gold
The youthful pair together bow;
Before that priest in surplice-fold
They clasp their trembling fingers now;
A prayer is heard—the oath is said—
That gentle creature lifts her head—
A voice has thrilled into her heart,
Like music breathed to it apart,—
To lie there an abiding spell,[217]
To haunt forever memory's cell—
To mingle with her latest breath
And light the very wing of death.
Her vow was uttered timidly—
With half a murmur, half a sigh;
Yet the low faltering sound confessed
The love that brooded in her breast.
The golden ring is on her hand—
She is pronounced a wedded bride;
Oh say, why does she lingering stand
So long that altar-stone beside?
And whence the misty tears that dim
The sunny azure of her eye?
Why leans her slender form on him?
Why does she sob so bitterly?
Well may she weep, that fair young bride;
For up the Ganges' golden tide,
Mid jungles deep, where beasts of prey
With pestilence hold deadly sway,
Where the wild waters fiercest sweep,
And serpents in their venom sleep,
Beneath each dewy leaf and flower,
That gentle bride must build her bower.
In the cool shadow of the shore,
With snowy streamers floating wide,
To the light dipping of the oar,
The budgerow swept o'er the tide;
The soft breeze ling'ring at her prow,
Where many a garland graceful hung,
In hues of purple, gold and snow,
And on the rippling waters flung
An odor sweet and delicate,
As that which all imprisoned lies,
Unknown to man as his own fate,
Within the flowers of Paradise.
Beneath an awning's silken shade,
Where the light breeze its music made,[218]
With woven fringe and silken cord,
Sat the young bride with her brave lord.
Her hand in his was ling'ring still,
And every throb of his full heart
Met her young pulses with a thrill,
And sent the blood up with a start,
To that round cheek but late so pale
And blanched beneath the bridal veil.
A tear still trembled in her eye,
Like dews that in the violet lie;
But breaking through its lovely sheen,
The brightness of her soul was seen,
Like light within the amethyst,
Which told how truly she was blest;
Though as she met his ardent gaze,
Like the veined petal of a flower
Her eyelids drooped, as from the blaze
Of some loved, high, but dreaded power.
As bound by some subduing spell,
In beauty at his side she bowed.
The bridal robe around her fell,
Like fragments of a summer cloud;
The loosened veil had backward swept,
And deeply in her glossy hair,
Like light, the orange blossoms slept,
As if they sought new beauty there;
And pearls lay softly on her neck,
Like hailstones melting over snow,
Save when the blood, that dyed her cheek.
Diffused abroad its rosy glow,
And playing on her bosom-swell,
With every heart-pulse rose or fell.
Up went the sun; his burning rays
Broke o'er the stream like sparkling fire,
Till the broad Ganges seemed a-blaze,
With gorgeous light, save where the spire
Of some lone slender minaret,
Threw its clear shadow on the stream,
Or grove-like banian firmly set,
Broke with its boughs the fiery gleam;[219]
Or where a white pagoda shone
Like snow-drift through the shadowy trees;
Or ancient mosque stood out alone,
Where the wild creeper sought the breeze;
Or where some dark and gloomy rock
Shot o'er the deep its ragged cliffs,
Inhabited by many a flock
Of vultures, and its yawning rifts
Alive with lizards, glowing, bright,
As if a prism's changing light
Within the gloomy depths were flung,
Where like rich jewels newly strung,
The sleeping serpent stretched its length,
And nursed its venom into strength.
Where the broad stream in shadow lay,
The bridal barque kept on her way,
While every breeze that swept them o'er,
Brought loads of incense from the shore;
Where each luxuriant jungle lay
A wilderness of tangled flowers,
And budding vines in wanton play
Fell from the trees in leafy showers,
Flinging their graceful garlands o'er
The rippling stream and reedy shore;
The lily bared its snowy breast,
Swayed its full anthers like a crest,
And softly from its pearly swell,
A shower of golden powder fell
Among the humbler flowers that lay
And blushed their fragrant lives away;
There oleanders lightly wreathed
Their blossoms in a coronal,
And the rich baubool softly breathed
A perfume from its golden bell;
There flower and shrub and spicy tree
Seemed struggling for sweet mastery;
And many a bird with gorgeous plume,
Fluttered along the flowery gloom,[220]
Or on the spicy branches lay,
Uttering a sleepy roundelay;
While insects rushing out like gems,
Or showery sparks at random flung,
Through ripening fruit and slender stems
There to the breathing blossoms clung,
Studded the glowing boughs and threw
O'er the broad bank a brilliant hue.
On—on they went; a fanning breeze
Came sighing through the balmy trees,
And undulating o'er the stream
Rose tiny wavelets, like the gleam
Of molten gold, and crested all
With a bright trembling coronal,
Like that which Brahmins in their dream
Lavish upon the sacred stream.
Then all grew still. The sultry air
Lay stagnant in the jungles there—
The sun poured down his fervent heat;
The river lay a burnished sheet;
The floweret closed its withered bell;
From the parched leaf the insect fell;
The panting birds all tuneless clung
To the still boughs, where late they sung;
The dying blossoms felt the calm,
And the still air was thick with balm.
All things grew faint in that hot noon,
As Nature's self lay in a swoon.
And she, that gentle, loving fair,
How brooks her form the sultry air?
Most patiently—but see her now!
What fear convulses her pale brow?
And why that half-averted eye,
Watching his look so anxiously?
The scarlet burning in his cheek—
Those lips all parched and motionless?
Oh! do they fell disease bespeak?
Or only simple weariness?[221]
One look! the dreadful certainty
Wrings from her heart a stifled cry;
And now half phrensied with despair,
She rends the blossoms from her hair,
And leaping to the vessel's side
She drenched them in the sluggish tide;
Then to the cushions where he lay,
Senseless and fevered with disease,
Panting his very life away,
She rushed, and sinking to her knees,
Raised softly up his throbbing head,
And pillowed it upon her breast—
Then on his burning forehead laid
The dripping flowers, and wildly pressed
Her pallid mouth upon his brow,
And drew him closer to her heart,
As if she thought each trembling throe
Could unto his, new life impart.
Wildly to his she laid her cheek,
And backward threw her loosened hair,
That not a glossy curl might break
From off his face the sluggish air.
The noon swept by, and there was she
Counting his pulses as they rose,
Striving with broken melody
To hush him to a short repose,
Bathing his brow and twining still
Her fingers in his burning hand,
Her heart's blood stopping with a chill
Whene'er he could not understand,
Nor answer to her gentle clasp;
But dashed that little hand away,
Or crushed it with delirious grasp,
Entreating tenderly her stay.
Father of heaven! and must he die?
She breathed in her heart's agony,
As up with every painful breath,
Came to his lips the foam of death,
And o'er his swollen forehead played,
Like serpents by the sun betrayed,[222]
The corded veins whose purple swell,
With his hot pulses rose and fell.
Those drops upon his temple there,
The rolling eye, the gloomy hair,
The livid lip, the drooping chin,
And the death-rattle deep within,
That speechless one, so late thy pride—
There lies thy answer, widowed bride!
Half conscious of her misery,
Like something chiselled o'er a grave,
She placed her small hand anxiously
Upon the lifeless heart, and gave
One cry—but one—of such despair,
The jackall startled from his lair,
And answered back that fearful knell,
With a long, sharp and hungry yell.
A slow and solemn hour swept by,
And there, all still and motionless,
With rigid limb and stony eye,
The widow knelt in her distress.
With pitying looks the swarthy crew
Around the tearless mourner drew,
And trembling strove to force away
From her chill arms the senseless clay.
Slowly she raised her awful head;
A slight convulsion stirr'd her face;
Close to her heart she snatched the dead,
And held him in a strong embrace;
Then drawing o'er his brow her veil,
She turned her face as strangely wild,
As if a fiend had mocked her wail,
Parted her marble lips and smiled.
Twice she essayed to speak, and then
Her face drooped o'er the corpse again,
While forth from the disshevelled hair
A husky whisper stirred the air.
'Nay, bury him not here,' it said,
'I would have prayers above my dead;'
Then, one by one, the timid crew,[223]
From the infected barge withdrew:
Helmsmen and servants, all were gone;
The wife was with her dead alone.
With no propelling arm to guide,
The barque turned slowly with the tide,
And on the heavy current swept
Its slow, funereal pathway back,
Where the expiring sunbeams slept,
Like gold along its morning track.
The day threw out its dying gleam,
Imbuing with its tints the stream,
As if the mighty river rolled
O'er beds of ruby—sands of gold.
As if some seraph just had hung
In the blue west his coronet,
The timid moon came out and flung
Her pearly smiles about—then set,
As if she feared the stars would dim
The silvery brightness of her rim;
Then in the blue and deepening skies
The stars sprang out, like glowing eyes,
And on the stream reflected lay,
Like ingots down the watery way;
And softly streamed the starry light
Down to the wet and gloomy trees,
Where fiery flies were flashing bright,
Afloat upon the evening breeze,
Or like some fairy, tiny lamp,
Glow'd out among the stirring leaves,
And down among the rushes damp,
Where Pestilence her vapor weaves,
Till shrub and reed, and slender stems,
Seemed drooping with a shower of gems.
The Widow raised her head once more,
Turned her still look upon the sky,
The lighted stream and broken shore;
Oh, God! it was a mockery,
—The bridegroom—Death—upon her breast
For aye possessing and possessed![224]
With the deep calmness of despair,
The mourner raised his marble head,
And on the silken cushions there,
With icy hands, composed the dead;
Then tore her veil off for a shroud,
And in her voiceless mourning bowed.
That holy sorrow might have awed
The very wind—but mockingly
It flung his matted hair abroad,
As trifling with her agony,
And with a low and moaning wail
Bore on its wings the bridal veil;
Then came a cold and starry ray,
And on his marble forehead lay.
Father of heaven! she could not brook
That floating hair, that rigid look.
With one quick gasp she forward sprung,
And to the helm in frenzy clung,
Until the barque shot on its way
Where a dense shadow darkest lay;
And there, as shrouded with a pall,
The barge swept to the very shore;
The fell hyena's fiendish call
Rang wildly to her ear once more,
And from the deep dark solitude
She saw the hungry jackall creep,
And whimper for his nightly food,
Where many a monster lay asleep
Just in the margin of the flood,
As resting from a feast of blood.
Around the corpse the widow flung
Her snowy arms, and madly clung
To that cold bosom, whence a chill
Shot through her heart, and frantic still
Her eyes in horror turned to seek
That prowling beast, whose hungry jaws
Worked fiercely and began to reek
With eager foam, as with his paws
He tore the turf impatiently,
And howling snuffed the passing clay.[225]
It was not that she feared to die;
In the deep stillness of her heart,
Her spirit prayed most fervently
There with the dead to hold its part.
The only boon she cared to crave,
Was for them both a christian grave;
But oh! the agonizing thought!
That in her madness she had brought
That loved and lost one, for a feast,
To vulture and to prowling beast,
Where all things fierce and wild had come
To howl a horrid requiem.
But soon a stronger current bore
The freight of death from off the shore;
Again the trembling starlight broke
Above the still and changing clay,
And with its pearly kisses woke
The widow from her trance, who lay
Convulsed and shivering with dread,
Her white arms clinging to the dead;
For yet the stilly night wind bore
The wild beasts' disappointed roar.
Within the far o'erhanging wood,
A bulbul listening to her heart,
Poured forth upon the air a flood
Of gushing love;—with lips apart
The widow clasped her trembling hands,
And bent her ear to catch the strain,
As if a seraph's low commands
Were breathed into her soul;—again,
That heavenly sound came gushing out,
Like waters in their leaping shout;
Over her heart's deep frozen spring
The gentle strain went lingering,
And touched each icy tear that slept
With sudden life, until she wept.


Again the lovely morn awoke
Upon that temple still and lone;
Its rosy bloom in gladness broke,
And to the holy altar-stone
Came down subduedly and dim,
Through painted glass, o'er sculptured limb:
Outstretched within that gorgeous gloom,
Shaded by pall and sable plume,
As chisseled from the very stone,
The Bridegroom lay. A broken moan
Rose up from where the Widow bowed,
Her forehead buried in the pall,
Her fingers grasping still the shroud,
And every limb betraying all
The agony that wrung her heart.
It was a sad and fearful sight,
That lifted head, those lips apart,
When through the dim and purplish light
Those who obeyed the bridal call
Now gathered for the funeral;
A soft and solemn strain awoke
The silence of that lofty dome,
And through the fretted arches broke
The music surging to its home;
Then with a firm and heavy tread
The bearers slowly raised the dead;
She followed close, her trembling hand
Still clenched upon the gloomy pall,
In snowy robes and pearly band,
As at her wedding festival;
And in her bright disshevelled hair
A broken orange-blossom lay,
Withered and all entangled there;
Fit relic of her bridal day;
Thus onward to the tomb she passed,
Her white robe swaying to the blast,
And mingling at each stirring breath
There with the drapery of death.



By Seba Smith.

In the fall of the year 1829 I took it into my head I'd go to Portland. I had heard a good deal about Portland, what a fine place it was, and how the folks got rich there proper fast; and that fall there was a couple of new papers come up to Downingville from there, called the Portland Courier and Family Reader; and they told a good many queer kind of things about Portland and one thing another; and all at once it popped into my head, and I up and told father, and says I, I'm going to Portland whether or no; and I'll see what this world is made of yet. Father stared a little at first, and said he was afraid I should get lost; but when he see I was bent upon it, he give it up; and he stepped to his chist and opened the till, and took out a dollar and gave to me, and says he, Jack, this is all I can do for you; but go, and lead an honest life, and I believe I shall hear good of you yet. He turned and walked across the room, but I could see the tears start into his eyes, and mother sot down and had a hearty crying spell. This made me feel rather bad for a minute or two, and I almost had a mind to give it up; and then again father's dream came into my mind, and I mustered up courage, and declared I'd go. So I tackled up the old horse and packed in a load of ax handles and a few notions, and mother fried me some dough-nuts and put 'em into a box along with some cheese and sassages, and ropped me up another shirt, for I told her I did n't[228] know how long I should be gone; and after I got all rigged out, I went round and bid all the neighbors good bye, and jumped in and drove off for Portland.

Ant Sally had been married two or three years before and moved to Portland, and I inquired round till I found out where she lived, and went there and put the old horse up and eat some supper and went to bed. And the next morning I got up and straightened right off to see the Editor of the Portland Courier, for I knew by what I had seen in his paper that he was just the man to tell me which way to steer. And when I come to see him I knew I was right; for soon as I told him my name and what I wanted, he took me by the hand as kind as if he had been a brother; and says he, Mr. Downing, I'll do any thing I can to assist you. You have come to a good town; Portland is a healthy thriving place, and any man with a proper degree of enterprise may do well here. But says he, Mr. Downing, and he looked mighty kind of knowing, says he, if you want to make out to your mind, you must do as the steamboats do. Well, says I, how do they do? for I did n't know what a steam boat was, any more than the man in the moon. Why, says he, they go ahead. And you must drive about among the folks here jest as though you were at home on the farm among the cattle. Dont be afraid of any of 'em, but figure away, and I dare say you will get into good business in a very little while. But, says he, there's one thing you must be careful of, and that is not to get into the hands of them are folks that trades up round Huckler's Row: for there's some sharpers up there, if they get hold of you, would twist your eye teeth out in five minutes. Well after he had gin me all the good advice he could[229] I went back to Ant Sally's again and got some breakfast, and then I walked all over the town to see what chance I could find to sell my ax handles and things, and to get into business.

After I had walked about three or four hours I come along towards the upper end of the town where I found there were stores and shops of all sorts and sizes. And I met a feller, and says I, what place is this? Why this says he, is Huckler's Row. What, says I, are these the stores where the traders in Huckler's Row keep? And says he, yes. Well then, thinks I to myself, I have a pesky good mind to go in and have a try with one of these chaps, and see if they can twist my eye teeth out. If they can get the best end of a bargain out of me, they can do what there aint a man in Downingville can do, and I should jest like to know what sort of stuff these ere Portland chaps are made of. So in I goes into the best looking store among 'em. And I see some biscuit lying on the shelf, and says I, Mister, how much do you ax apiece for them are biscuit? A cent apiece, says he. Well, says I, I shant give you that, but if you 've a mind to, I'll give you two cents for three of 'em, for I begin to feel a little as though I should like to take a bite. Well, says he, I would n't sell 'em to any body else so, but seeing it 's you I dont care if you take 'em. I knew he lied, for he never see me before in his life. Well he handed down the biscuits and I took 'em, and walked round the store awhile to see what else he had to sell. At last, says I, Mister, have you got any good new cider? Says he, yes, as good as ever you see. Well, says I, what do you ax a glass for it? Two cents, says he. Well, says I, seems to me I feel more dry than I do[230] hungry now. Aint you a mind to take these ere biscuit again and give me a glass of cider? And says he, I dont care if I do; so he took and laid 'em on the shelf again, and poured out a glass of cider. I took the cider and drinkt it down, and to tell the truth it was capital good cider. Then, says I, I guess it 's time for me to be a going, and I stept along towards the door. But, says he, stop Mister. I believe you have 'nt paid me for the cider. Not paid you for the cider, says I, what do you mean by that? Did n't the biscuit that I give you jest come to the cider? Oh, ah, right, says he. So I started to go again; and says he, but stop, Mister, you did n't pay me for the biscuit. What, says I, do you mean to impose upon me? do you think I am going to pay you for the biscuit and let you keep 'em tu? Aint they there now on your shelf, what more do you want? I guess sir, you dont whittle me in that way. So I turned about and marched off, and left the feller staring and thinking and scratching his head, as though he was struck with a dunderment. Howsomever, I did n't want to cheat him, only jest to show 'em it want so easy a matter to pull my eye teeth out, so I called in next day and paid him his two cents. Well I staid at Ant Sally's a week or two, and I went about town every day to see what chance I could find to trade off my ax handles, or hire out, or find some way or other to begin to seek my fortune.

And I must confess the editor of the Courier was about right in calling Portland a pretty good thriving sort of a place; every body seemed to be as busy as so many bees; and the masts of the vessels stuck up round the wharves as thick as pine trees in uncle Joshua's pasture; and the stores and the shops were so[231] thick, it seemed as if there was no end to 'em. In short, although I have been round the world considerable, from that time to this, all the way from Madawaska to Washington, I 've never seen any place yet that I think has any business to grin at Portland.


By William Willis.

The advantages which in early days our new country held out for employment, encouraged immigration, and the population was almost wholly made up by accessions from the more thickly peopled parts of Massachusetts. To the county of Essex particularly, in the early as well as more recent period of our history, the town is indebted for large portions of its population. Middlesex, Suffolk and the Old Colony, were not without their contributions. But the people did not come from such widely different sources as to produce any difficulty of amalgamation, or any striking diversity of manners. They formed one people and brought with them the steady habits and good principles of those from whom they had separated. There were some accessions before the revolution made to our population from the other side of the Atlantic; the emigrants readily incorporated themselves with our people and form a substantial part of the population. Within twenty years, the numbers by immigration have increased more rapidly, especially from Ireland, but not[232] sufficiently to destroy the uniformity which characterises our population, nor to disturb the harmony of our community.

It cannot have escaped observation that one of the principal sources of our wealth has been the lumber trade. We have seen on the revival of the town in the early part of the last century, how intimately the progress of the town was connected with operations in timber. Before the revolution our commerce was sustained almost wholly by the large ships from England which loaded here with masts, spars, and boards for the mother country, and by ship building. The West India business was then comparatively small, employing but few vessels of inferior size. After the revolution our trade had to form new channels, and the employment of our own navigation was to give new activity to all the springs of industry and wealth. We find therefore that the enterprise of the people arose to the emergency, and in a few years our ships were floating on every ocean, becoming the carriers of southern as well as northern produce, and bringing back the money and commodities of other countries. The trade to the West Indies, supported by our lumber, increased vastly, and direct voyages were made in larger vessels than had before been employed, which received in exchange for the growth of our forests and our seas, sugar, molasses and rum, the triple products of the cane. This trade has contributed mainly to the advancement and prosperity of the town, has nourished a hardy race of seamen, and formed a people among the most active and enterprising of any in the United States.

The great changes which have taken place in the[233] customs and manners of society since the revolution, must deeply impress the mind of a reflecting observer. These have extended not only to the outward forms of things, but to the habits of thought and to the very principles of character. The moral revolution has been as signal and striking as the political one; it upturned the old land marks of antiquated and hereditary customs and the obedience to mere authority, and established in their stead a more simple and just rule of action; it set up reason and common sense, and a true equality in the place of a factitious and conventional state of society which unrelentingly required a submission to its stern dictates; which made an unnatural distinction in moral power, and elevated the rich knave or fool to the station that humble and despised merit would have better graced.

These peculiarities have been destroyed by the silent and gradual operation of public opinion; the spirit which arose in the new world is spreading with the same effect over the old. Freedom of opinion is asserting a just sway, and it is only now to be feared that the principle will be carried too far, that authority will lose all its influence and that reason and a just estimate of human rights will not be sufficient restraints upon the passions of men. The experiment is going on, and unless education, an early and sound moral education go on with it, which will enlighten and strengthen the public mind, it will fail of success. The feelings and passions must be placed under the charge of moral principle, or we may expect an age of licentiousness to succeed one of authority and rigid discipline. We may be said now to be in the transition state of society.

Distinctions of rank among different classes of the[234] community, a part of the old system, prevailed very much before the revolution and were preserved in the dress as well as in the forms of society. But the deference attached to robes of office and the formality of official station have all fled before the genius of our republican institutions; we look now upon the man and not upon his garments nor upon the post to which chance may have elevated him. In the circle of our little town, the lines were drawn with much strictness. The higher classes were called the quality, and were composed of persons not engaged in mechanic employments. We now occasionally find some old persons whose memory recurs with longing delight to the days in which these formal distinctions held uncontrolled sway.

The fashionable color of clothes among this class was drab; the coats were made with large cuffs reaching to the elbows, and low collars. All classes wore breeches which had not the advantage of being kept up as in modern times by suspenders; the dandies of that day wore embroidered silk vests with long pocket flaps and ruffles over their hands. Most of those above mentioned were engaged in trade, and the means of none were sufficiently ample to enable them to live without engaging in some employment. Still the pride of their cast was maintained, and although the cloak and perhaps the wig may have been laid aside in the dust and hurry of business, they were scrupulously retained when abroad.

There were many other expensive customs in that day to which the spirit of the age required implicit obedience; these demanded costly presents to be made and large expenses to be incurred at the three most important events in the history of man, his birth, marriage[235] and death. In the latter it became particularly onerous and extended the influence of its example to the poorest classes of people, who in their show of grief, imitated, though at an immeasurable distance, the customs of the rich.

The leaders of the people in the early part of the revolution, with a view to check importations from Britain, aimed a blow at these expensive customs, from which they never recovered. The example commenced in the highest places, of an entire abandonment of all the outward trappings of grief which had been wont to be displayed, and of all luxury in dress, which extended over the whole community. In the later stages of the revolution however, an extravagant and luxurious style of living and dress was revived, encouraged by the large amount both of specie and paper money in circulation, and the great quantity of foreign articles of luxury brought into the country by numerous captures.

The evils here noticed did not exist in this part of the country in any considerable degree, especially after the revolution; the people were too poor to indulge in an expensive style of living. They were literally a working people, property had not descended upon them from a rich ancestry, but whatever they had accumulated had been the result of their own industry and economy. Our ladies too at that period had not forgotten the use of the distaff, and occasionally employed that antiquated instrument of domestic labor for the benefit of others as well as of themselves. The following notice of a spinning bee at Mrs. Deane's on the first of May 1788, is a flattering memorial of the industry and skill of the females of our town at that period.[236]

"On the first instant, assembled at the house of the Rev. Samuel Deane of this town, more than one hundred of the fair sex, married and single ladies, most of whom were skilled in the important art of spinning. An emulous industry was never more apparent than in this beautiful assembly. The majority of fair hands gave motion to not less than sixty wheels. Many were occupied in preparing the materials, besides those who attended to the entertainment of the rest, provision for which was mostly presented by the guests themselves, or sent in by other generous promoters of the exhibition, as were also the materials for the work. Near the close of the day, Mrs. Deane was presented by the company with two hundred and thirty-six seven knotted skeins of excellent cotton and linen yarn, the work of the day, excepting about a dozen skeins which some of the company brought in ready spun. Some had spun six, and many not less than five skeins apiece. To conclude and crown the day, a numerous band of the best singers attended in the evening, and performed an agreeable variety of excellent pieces in psalmody."

Some of the ante-revolutionary customs "more honored in the breach than in the observance"—have been continued quite to our day, although not precisely in the same manner, nor in equal degree. One was the practise of helping forward every undertaking by a deluge of ardent spirit in some of its multifarious mistifications. Nothing could be done from the burial of a friend or the quiet sessions of a town committee; to the raising of the frame of a barn or a meeting-house, but the men must be goaded on by the stimulus of rum. Flip and punch were then the indispensable accompaniments of every social meeting and of every enterprise.[237]

It is not a great while since similar customs have extensively prevailed not perhaps in precisely the instances or degree above mentioned, but in junkettings, and other meetings which have substituted whiskey punch, toddy, &c. for the soothing but pernicious compounds of our fathers. Thanks however to the genius of temperance, a redeeming spirit is abroad, which it is hoped will save the country from the destruction that seemed to threaten it from this source.

The amusements of our people in early days had nothing particular to distinguish them. The winter was generally a merry season, and the snow was always improved for sleighing parties out of town. In summer the badness of the roads prevented all riding for pleasure; in that season the inhabitants indulged themselves in water parties, fishing and visiting the islands, a recreation that has lost none of its relish at this day.

Dancing does not seem to have met with much favor, for we find upon record in 1766, that Theophilus Bradbury and wife, Nathaniel Deering and wife, John Waite and wife, and several other of the most respectable people in town were indicted for dancing at Joshua Freeman's tavern in December 1765. Mr. Bradbury brought himself and friends off by pleading that the room in which the dance took place, having been hired by private individuals for the season, was no longer to be considered as a public place of resort, but a private apartment, and that the persons there assembled had a right to meet in their own room and to dance there. The court sustained the plea. David Wyer was king's attorney at this time.

It was common for clubs and social parties to meet[238] at the tavern in those days, and Mrs. Greele's in Backstreet was a place of most fashionable resort both for old and young wags, before as well as after the revolution. It was the Eastcheap of Portland, and was as famous for baked beans as the "Boar's head" was for sack, although we would by no means compare honest Dame Greele, with the more celebrated, though less deserving hostess of Falstaff and Poins. Many persons are now living on whose heads the frosts of age have extinguished the fires of youth, who love to recur to the amusing scenes and incidents associated with that house.

When we look back a space of just two hundred years and compare our present situation, surrounded by all the beauty of civilization and intelligence, with the cheerless prospect which awaited the European settler, whose voice first startled the stillness of the forest; or if we look back but one hundred years to the humble beginnings of the second race of settlers, who undertook the task of reviving the waste places of this wilderness, and suffered all the privations and hardships which the pioneers in the march of civilization are called upon to endure; or if we take a nearer point for comparison, and view the blackened ruin of our village at the close of the revolutionary war, and estimate the proud pre-eminence over all those periods which we now enjoy, in our civil relations and in the means of social happiness, our hearts should swell with gratitude to the Author of all good that these high privileges are granted to us; and we should resolve that we will individually and as a community sustain the purity and moral tone of our institutions, and leave them unimpaired to posterity.



By N. P. Willis.

At the extremity of a green lane in the outer skirt of the fashionable suburb of New-Haven, stood a rambling old Dutch house, built, probably, when the cattle of Mynheer grazed over the present site of the town. It was a wilderness of irregular rooms, of no describable shape in its exterior, and from its southern balcony, to use an expressive gallicism, gave upon the bay. Long Island Sound, the great highway from the northern Atlantic to New York, weltered in alternate lead and silver (oftener like the brighter metal, for the climate is divine) between the curving lip of the bay, and the interminable and sandy shore of the island some six leagues distant, the procession of ships and steamers stole past with an imperceptible progress, the ceaseless bells of the college chapel came deadened through the trees from behind, and (the day being one of golden Autumn, and myself and St. John waiting while black Agatha answered the door-bell) the sun-steeped precipice of East Rock with its tiara of blood-red maples flushing like a Turk's banner in the light, drew from us both a truant wish for a ramble and a holiday.

In a few minutes from this time were assembled in Mrs. Ilfrington's drawing-room the six or seven young ladies of my more particular acquaintance among her pupils—of whom one was a new-comer, and the object of my mingled curiosity and admiration. It was the[240] one day of the week when morning visiters were admitted, and I was there in compliance with an unexpected request from my friend, to present him to the agreeable circle of Mrs. Ilfrington. As an habitue in her family, this excellent lady had taken occasion to introduce to me a week or two before, the new-comer of whom I have spoken above—a departure from the ordinary rule of the establishment, which I felt to be a compliment, and which gave me, I presumed, a tacit claim to mix myself up in that young lady's destiny as deeply as I should find agreeable. The new-comer was the daughter of an Indian chief, and her name was Nunu.

The transmission of the daughter of a Cherokee chief to New-Haven, to be educated at the expense of the government, and of several young men of the same high birth to different colleges, will be recorded among the evidences in history that we did not plough the bones of their fathers into our fields without some feelings of compunction. Nunu had come to the seaboard under the charge of a female missionary, whose pupil she had been in one of the native schools of the west, and was destined, though a chief's daughter, to return as a teacher to her tribe, when she should have mastered some of the higher accomplishments of her sex. She was an apt scholar, but her settled melancholy when away from her books, had determined Mrs. Ilfrington to try the effect of a little society upon her, and hence my privilege to ask for her appearance in the drawing-room.

As we strolled down in the alternate shade and sunshine of the road, I had been a little piqued at the want of interest and the manner of course with which[241] St. John had received my animated descriptions of the personal beauty of the Cherokee.

"I have hunted with the tribe," was his only answer, "and know their features."

"But she is not like them," I replied with a tone of some impatience; "she is the beau-ideal of a red skin, but it is with the softened features of an Arab or an Egyptian. She is more willowy than erect, and has no higher cheek-bones than the plaster Venus in your chambers. If it were not for the lambent fire in her eye, you might take her in the sculptured grace of her attitudes, for an immortal bronze of Cleopatra. I tell you she is divine!"

St. John called to his dog and we turned along the green bank above the beach, with Mrs. Ilfrington's house in view, and so opens a new chapter of my story.

I have seen in many years wandering over the world, lived to gaze upon, and live to remember and adore—a constellation, I almost believe, that has absorbed all the intensest light of the beauty of a hemisphere—yet with your pictures coloured to life in my memory, and the pride of rank and state thrown over them like an elevating charm—I go back to the school of Mrs. Ilfrington, and (smile if you will!) they were as lovely and stately, and as worthy of the worship of the world.

I introduced St. John to the young ladies as they came in. Having never seen him except in the presence of men, I was a little curious to know whether his singular aplomb would serve him as well with the other sex, of which I was aware he had had a very slender experience. My attention was distracted at the moment of mentioning his name to a lovely little[242] Georgian, (with eyes full of the liquid sunshine of the south,) by a sudden bark of joy from the dog who had been left in the hall; and as the door opened, and the slight and graceful Indian girl entered the room, the usually unsocial animal sprung bounding in, lavishing caresses on her, and seemingly wild with the delight of recognition.

In the confusion of taking the dog from the room, I had again lost the moment of remarking St. John's manner, and on the entrance of Mrs. Ilfrington, Nunu was sitting calmly by the piano, and my friend was talking in a quiet undertone with the passionate Georgian.

"I must apologise for my dog," said St. John, bowing gracefully to the mistress of the house; "he was bred by Indians, and the sight of a Cherokee reminded him of happier days—as it did his master."

Nunu turned her eyes quickly upon him, but immediately resumed her apparently deep study of the abstruse figures in the Kidderminster carpet.

"You are well arrived, young gentlemen," said Mrs. Ilfrington; "we press you into our service for a botanical ramble, Mr. Slingsby is at leisure, and will be delighted I am sure. Shall I say as much for you, Mr. St. John?" St. John bowed, and the ladies left the room for their bonnets, Mrs. Ilfrington last.

The door was scarcely closed when Nunu re-appeared, and checking herself with a sudden feeling at the first step over the threshold, stood gazing at St. John, evidently under very powerful emotion.

"Nunu!" he said, smiling slowly and unwillingly, and holding out his hands with the air of one who forgives an offence.

She sprang upon his bosom with the bound of a leveret,[243] and, between her fast kisses broke the endearing epithets of her native tongue—in words that I only understood by their passionate and thrilling accent. The language of the heart is universal.

The fair scholars came in one after another, and we were soon on our way through the green fields to the flowery mountain side of East Rock, Mrs. Ilfrington's arm and conversation having fallen to my share, and St. John rambling at large with the rest of the party, but more particularly beset by Miss Temple, whose Christian name was Isabella, and whose Christian charity had no bowels for broken hearts.

The most sociable individuals of the party for a while were Nunu and Last, the dog's recollections of the past seeming, like those of wiser animals, more agreeable than the present. The Cherokee astonished Mrs. Ilfrington by an abandonment of joy and frolic which she had never displayed before, sometimes fairly outrunning the dog at full speed, and sometimes sitting down breathless upon a green bank, while the rude creature overpowered her with his caresses. The scene gave rise to a grave discussion between that well-instructed lady and myself upon the singular force of childish association—the extraordinary intimacy between the Indian and the trapper's dog being explained satisfactorily, to her at least, on that attractive principle. Had she but seen Nunu spring into the bosom of my friend half an hour before, she might have added a material corollary to her proposition. If the dog and the chief's daughter were not old friends, the chief's daughter and St. John certainly were!

As well as I could judge by the motions of two people walking before me, St. John was advancing fast[244] in the favor and acquaintance of the graceful Georgian. Her southern indolence was probably an apology in Mrs. Ilfrington's eyes for leaning heavily on her companion's arm, but, in a momentary halt, the capricious beauty disembarrassed herself of the light scarf that had floated over her shoulders, and bound it playfully around his waist. This was rather strange on a first acquaintance, and Mrs. Ilfrington was of that opinion.

"Miss Temple!" said she, advancing to whisper a reproof in the beauty's ear.

Before she had taken a second step, Nunu bounded over the low hedge, followed by the dog with whom she had been chasing a butterfly, and springing upon St. John, with eyes that flashed fire, she tore the scarf into shreds, and stood trembling and pale, with her feet on the silken fragments.

"Madam!" said St. John, advancing to Mrs. Ilfrington, after casting on the Cherokee a look of surprise and displeasure, "I should have told you before, that your pupil and myself are not new acquaintances. Her father is my friend. I have hunted with the tribe, and have hitherto looked upon Nunu as a child. You will believe me, I trust, when I say, her conduct surprises me, and I beg to assure you, that any influence I may have over her, will be in accordance with your own wishes exclusively."

His tone was cold, and Nunu listened with fixed lips and frowning eyes.

"Have you seen her before since her arrival?" asked Mrs. Ilfrington.

"My dog brought me yesterday the first intelligence that she was here. He returned from his morning ramble with a string of wampum about his neck, which[245] had the mark of the tribe. He was her gift," he added, patting the head of the dog and looking with a softened expression at Nunu, who drooped her head upon her bosom and walked on in tears.

The chain of the Green Mountains, after a gallop of some five hundred miles from Canada to Connecticut, suddenly pulls up on the shore of Long Island Sound, and stands rearing with a bristling mane of pine-trees, three hundred feet in air, as if checked in midcareer by the sea. Standing on the brink of this bold precipice, you have the bald face of the rock in a sheer perpendicular below you; and, spreading away from the broken masses at its foot, lies an emerald meadow inlaid with a crystal and rambling river, across which, at a distance of a mile or two, rise the spires of the university from what else were a thick serried wilderness of elms. Back from the edge of the precipice extends a wild forest of hemlock and fir, ploughed on its northern side by a mountain torrent, whose bed of marl, dry and overhung with trees in the summer, serves as a path and guide from the plain to the summit. It were a toilsome ascent but for that smooth and hard pavement, and the impervious and green thatch of pine-tassels overhung.

The kind mistress ascended with the assistance of my arm, and St. John drew stoutly between Miss Temple and a fat young lady with an incipient asthma. Nunu had not been seen since the first cluster of hanging flowers had hidden her from our sight as she bounded upward.

The hour or two of slanting sunshine, poured in upon the summit of the precipice from the west, had been sufficient to induce a fine and silken moss to show its[246] fibres and small blossoms above the carpet of pine-tassels, and, emerging from the brown shadow of the wood, you stood on a verdant platform, the foliage of sighing trees overhead, a fairies' velvet beneath you, and a view below, that you may as well (if you would not die in your ignorance) make a voyage to see.

We found Nunu lying thoughtfully near the brink of the precipice and gazing off over the waters of the sound, as if she watched the coming or going of a friend under the white sails that glanced upon its bosom. We recovered our breath in silence, I alone perhaps of that considerable company gazing with admiration at the lithe and unconscious figure of grace lying in the attitude of the Grecian hermaphrodite on the brow of the rock before us. Her eyes were moist, and motionless with abstraction, her lips just perceptibly curved in an expression of mingled pride and sorrow, her small hand buried and clenched in the moss, and her left foot and ankle, models of spirited symmetry, escaped carelessly from her dress, the high instep strained back, as if recovering from a leap with the tense control of emotion.

The game of the coquettish Georgian was well played. With a true woman's pique, she had redoubled her attentions to my friend from the moment that she found it gave pain to another of her sex; and St. John, like most men, seemed not unwilling to see a new altar kindled to his vanity, though a heart he had already won, was stifling with the incense. Miss Temple was very lovely: her skin of that teint of opaque and patrician white, which is found oftenest in Asian latitudes, was just perceptibly warmed toward the centre of the cheek with a glow like sunshine through the thick white[247] petal of a magnolia: her eyes were hazel with those inky lashes which enhance the expression a thousand fold either of passion, or melancholy; her teeth were like strips from the lily's heart; and she was clever, captivating, graceful, and a thorough coquette. St. John was mysterious, romantic-looking, superior, and just now the only victim in the way. He admired, as all men do, those qualities, which to her own sex, rendered the fair Isabella unamiable, and yielded himself, as all men will, a satisfied prey to enchantments of which he knew the springs were the pique and vanity of the enchantress. How singular it is that the highest and best qualities of the female heart are those with which men are the least captivated!

A rib of the mountain formed a natural seat a little back from the pitch of the precipice, and here sat Miss Temple, triumphant in drawing all eyes upon herself and her tamed lion, her lap full of flowers which he had found time to gather on the way, and her fair hands employed in arranging a bouquet, of which the destiny was yet a secret. Next to their own loves, ladies like nothing on earth like mending or marring the loves of others; and, while the violets and already drooping wild flowers were coquettishly chosen or rejected by those slender fingers, the sun might have swung back to the east like a pendulum, and those seven-and-twenty misses would have watched their lovely schoolfellow the same. Nunu turned her head slowly around at last, and silently looked on. St. John lay at the feet of the Georgian, glancing from the flowers to her face, and from her face to the flowers, with an admiration not at all equivocal. Mrs. Ilfrington sat apart, absorbed in finishing a sketch of New-Haven;[248] and I, interested painfully in watching the emotions of the Cherokee, sat with my back to the trunk of a hemlock, the only spectator who comprehended the whole extent of the drama.

A wild rose was set in the heart of the bouquet at last, a spear of riband-grass added to give it grace and point, and nothing was wanting but a string.

Reticules were searched, pockets turned inside out, and never a bit of riband to be found. The beauty was in despair.

"Stay!" said St. John, springing to his feet. "Last! Last!"

The dog came coursing in from the wood, and crouched to his master's hand.

"Will a string of wampum do?" he asked, feeling under the long hair on the dog's neck, and untying a fine and variegated thread of many-colored beads, worked exquisitely.

The dog growled, and Nunu sprang into the middle of the circle with the fling of an adder, and seizing the wampum as he handed it to her rival, called the dog and fastened it once more around his neck.

The ladies rose in alarm; the belle turned pale and clung to St. John's arm; the dog, with his hair bristling on his back, stood close to her feet in an attitude of defiance, and the superb Indian, the peculiar genius of her beauty developed by her indignation, her nostrils expanded and her eyes almost showering fire in their flashes, stood before them, like a young Pythoness, ready to strike them dead with a regard.

St. John recovered from his astonishment after a moment, and leaving the arm of Miss Temple, advanced a step and called to his dog.[249]

The Cherokee patted the animal on the back, and spoke to him in her own language; and, as St. John still advanced, Nunu drew herself to her fullest height, placed herself before the dog, who slunk growling from his master, and said to him as she folded her arms, "the wampum is mine!"

St. John colored to the temples with shame.

"Last!" he cried, stamping with his foot, and endeavoring to frighten him from his shelter.

The dog howled and crept away, half crouching with fear toward the precipice; and St. John shooting suddenly past Nunu, seized him on the brink, and held him down by the throat.

The next instant a scream of horror from Mrs. Ilfrington, followed by a terrific echo from every female present, started the rude Kentuckian to his feet.

Clear over the abyss, hanging with one hand by an aspen sapling, the point of her tiny foot just poising on a projecting ledge of rock, swung the desperate Cherokee, sustaining herself with perfect ease, but with all the determination of her iron race collected in calm concentration on her lips.

"Restore the wampum to his neck!" she cried, with a voice that thrilled the very marrow with its subdued fierceness, "or my blood rest on your soul!"

St. John flung it toward the dog, and clasped his hands in silent horror.

The Cherokee bore down the sapling till its slender stem cracked with the tension, and rising lightly with the rebound, alit like a feather upon the rock. The subdued Kentuckian sprang to her side; but, with scorn on her lip and the flush of exertion already vanished[250] from her cheek, she called to the dog, and with rapid strides took her way alone down the mountain.

Five years had elapsed. I had put to sea from the sheltered river of boyhood; had encountered the storms of a first entrance into life; had trimmed my boat, shortened sail, and with a sharp eye to windward, was laying fairly on my course. Among others from whom I had parted company, was Paul St. John, who had shaken hands with me at the university-gate, leaving me, after four years' intimacy, as much in doubt as to his real character and history as the first day we met. I had never heard him speak of either father or mother; nor had he, to my knowledge, received a letter from the day of his matriculation. He passed his vacation at the university. He had studied well, yet refused one of the highest college-honors offered him with his degree. He had shown many good qualities, yet some unaccountable faults; and, all in all, was an enigma to myself and the class. I knew him clever, accomplished, and conscious of superiority, and my knowledge went no farther.

It was five years from this time, I say, and in the bitter struggles of first manhood, I had almost forgotten there was such a being in the world. Late in the month of October, in 1829, I was on my way westward, giving myself a vacation from the law. I embarked on a clear and delicious day in the small steamer which plies up and down the Cayuga Lake, looking forward to a calm feast of scenery, and caring little who were to be my fellow passengers. As we got out of the little harbor of Cayuga, I walked astern for the first time,[251] and saw the not very unusual sight of a group of Indians standing motionless by the wheel. They were chiefs returning from a diplomatic visit to Washington.

I sat down by the companion-ladder, and opened soul and eye to the glorious scenery we were gliding through. The first severe frost had come, and the miraculous change had passed upon the leaves, which is known only in America. The blood-red sugar-maple, with a leaf brighter and more delicate than a Circassian's lip, stood here and there in the forest like the sultan's standard in a host, the solitary and far-seen aristocrat of the wilderness; the birch, with its spirit-like and amber leaves, ghosts of the departed summer, turned out along the edges of the woods like a lining of the palest gold; the broad sycamore and the fan-like catalpa, flaunted their saffron foliage in the sun, spotted with gold like the wings of a lady-bird; the kingly oak, with its summit shaken bare, still hid its majestic trunk in a drapery of sumptuous dies like a stricken monarch, gathering his robes of state about him to die royally in his purple; the tall poplar, with its minaret of silver leaves, stood blanched like a coward in the dying forest, burdening every breeze with its complainings; the hickory, paled through its enduring green; the bright berries of the mountain-ash flushed with a sanguine glory in the unobstructed sun; the gaudy tulip-tree, the sybarite of vegetation, stripped of its golden cups, still drank the intoxicating light of noonday in leaves than which the lip of Indian shell was never more delicately teinted; the still deeper-died vines of the lavish wilderness, perishing with the nobler things whose summer they had shared, outshone them in their decline, as woman in her death is heavenlier[252] than the being on whom in life she leaned; and alone and unsympathizing in this universal decay, outlaws from nature, stood the fir and the hemlock, their frowning and sombre heads, darker and less lovely than ever in contrast with the death-struck glory of their companions.

The dull colors of English autumnal foliage, give you no conception of this marvellous phenomenon. The change here, too, is gradual. In America it is the work of a night—of a single frost! Ah, to have seen the sun set on hills, bright in the still green and lingering summer, and to wake in the morning to a spectacle like this! It is as if a myriad of rainbows were laced through the tree-tops—as if the sunsets of a summer—gold, purple and crimson—had been fused in the alembic of the west, and poured back in a new deluge of light and color over the wilderness. It is as if every leaf in those countless trees had been painted to outflush the tulip—as if, by some electric miracle, the dies of the earth's heart had struck upward, and her crystals and ore, her sapphires, hyacinths and rubies, had let forth their imprisoned dies to mount through the roots of the forest, and like the angels that in olden time entered the bodies of the dying, reanimate the perishing leaves, and revel an hour in their bravery.

I was sitting by the companion-ladder, thinking to what on earth these masses of foliage could be resembled, when a dog sprang upon my knees, and, the moment after, a hand was laid on my shoulder.

"St. John? Impossible!"

"Bodily!" answered my quondam classmate.

I looked at him with astonishment. The soigne man of fashion I had once known, was enveloped in a kind[253] of hunter's frock, loose and large, and girded to his waist by a belt; his hat was exchanged for a cap of rich otter-skin; his pantaloons spread with a slovenly carelessness over his feet, and altogether there was that in his air which told me at a glance that he had renounced the world. Last had recovered his leanness, and after wagging out his joy, he couched between my feet, and lay looking into my face as if he was brooding over the more idle days in which we had been acquainted.

"And where are you bound?" I asked, having answered the same question for myself.

"Westward with the chiefs!"

"For how long?"

"The remainder of my life."

I could not forbear an exclamation of surprise.

"You would wonder less," said he, with an impatient gesture, "if you knew more of me. And by the way," he added, with a smile, "I think I never told you the first half of the story—my life up to the time I met you."

"It was not for the want of a catechist," I answered, setting myself in an attitude of attention.

"No! and I was often tempted to gratify your curiosity; but from the little intercourse I had with the world I had adopted some precocious principles, and one was, that a man's influence over others was vulgarism, and diminished by a knowledge of his history."

I smiled, and as the boat sped on her way over the calm waters of the Cayuga, St. John went on leisurely with a story which is scarce remarkable enough to merit a repetition. He believed himself the natural son of a western hunter, but only knew that he had[254] passed his early youth on the borders of civilization, between whites and Indians, and that he had been more particularly indebted for protection to the father of Nunu. Mingled ambition and curiosity had led him eastward while still a lad, and a year or two of the most vagabond life in the different cities, had taught him the caution and bitterness for which he was so remarkable. A fortunate experiment in lotteries supplied him with the means of education, and with singular application in a youth of such wandering habits, he had applied himself to study under a private master, fitted himself for the university in half the usual time, and cultivated in addition the literary taste which I have remarked upon.

"This," he said, smiling at my look of astonishment, "brings me up to the time when we met. I came to college at the age of eighteen, with a few hundred dollars in my pocket, some pregnant experience of the rough side of the world, great confidence in myself and distrust of others, and, I believe, a kind of instinct of good manners, which made me ambitious of shining in society. You were a witness of my debut. Miss Temple was the first highly educated woman I had ever known, and you saw the effect on me!"

"And since we parted?"

"Oh, since we parted, my life has been vulgar enough. I have ransacked civilized life to the bottom, and found it a heap of unredeemed falsehoods. I do not say it from common disappointment, for I may say I succeeded in every thing I undertook."

"Except Miss Temple," I said, interrupting, at the hazard of wounding him.[255]

"No. She was a coquette, and I pursued her till I had my turn. You see me in my new character now. But a month ago, I was the Apollo of Saratoga, playing my own game with Miss Temple. I left her for a woman worth ten thousand of her—but here she is."

As Nunu came up the companionway from the cabin, I thought I had never seen a breathing creature so exquisitely lovely. With the exception of a pair of brilliant moccasins on her feet, she was dressed in the usual manner, but with the most absolute simplicity. She had changed in those five years from the child to the woman, and, with a round and well-developed figure, additional height, and manners at once gracious and dignified, she walked and looked the chieftan's daughter. St. John took her hand, and gazed on her with moisture in his eyes.

"That I could ever put a creature like this," he said, "into comparison with the dolls of civilization!"

We parted at Buffalo—St. John with his wife and the chiefs to pursue their way westward by Lake Erie, and I to go moralizing on my way to Niagara.



By Ashur Ware.

In the flourishing periods of the Grecian and Roman commonwealths, the forms of their governments, the state of society, and the passions and manners of the times, were more favorable to the developement of great talents, than have existed in any other age, or among any other people. In Athens and Rome, every citizen was a public man. The great powers of government were exercised by the people themselves in their primary assemblies. The practice of delegating the higher attributes of sovereignty to a small number of persons periodically elected is one of the greatest improvements, which the lights of modern experience have introduced into the constitutions of free governments. The advantages which are gained by this system in favor of internal tranquillity, the steadiness and permanency of political institutions and the security of private rights, can scarcely be estimated too highly, or purchased at too great a price. But nearly in the same proportion as this improvement contributes to the general tranquillity and the personal security of the citizen, does it narrow the field for the operation of great talents. The individual power of each man is hardly felt in the harmonious working of the great machine of government, and its character soon comes to depend much more on the system than on the genius of those by whom it is conducted. Precedents, fixed opinions, long established policy and constitutional[257] maxims, throw an invisible net work over those, who are at the head of affairs, which a giant's strength cannot break through. An ordinary share of talent, enlightened by experience, is found to be about as useful in the regular movement of the system, as the highest gifts of genius.

But it was otherwise in the republics of Athens and Rome. There the power of the system was nothing, and the genius of the individual every thing. In the agitations of these popular commonwealths, the great actors on the stage were driven to a life of unremitted exertion. The revolutions of popular favor were sudden and appalling, and always liable to be carried to great extremes. A decisive moment lost might be fatal to the hopes of a whole life. Their powers were, therefore, constantly wound up to the utmost intensity of action. Second rate men, who are abundantly able to go through with the regular and quiet routine of official duty in our modern bureaus, would be quickly blown down by the storms which shook the tribunes of those turbulent democracies. The very imperfections in their political systems contributed to develope the genius of their statesmen, and necessarily called into action every faculty of the mind.

In all free and popular governments, eloquence is one of the principal instruments of power, and the fairest field is presented for its operations where the general powers of government are put in motion by the immediate agency of the mass of the people. In all the nations of modern Europe, where the semblance of deliberative assemblies is preserved, these are composed of a small and select number of persons; and in these small bodies, when a reasonable space is allowed[258] for the coercive power of party training, for the operation of the subtle and diffusive poison of executive influence, and in some cases, for the gross and palpable application of direct corruption, the province of eloquence will be found to be greatly narrowed. Her most persuasive accents fall on ears that are spellbound by a mightier power, and on the most important questions, the votes are often counted, before deliberation commences. But this complicated machinery cannot be brought to bear with the same effect on the whole body of the citizens. If their movements are more irregular, and liable to greater excesses, they have their origin in the purer and more noble impulses of the heart. The natural love of equity, the instinctive principles of disinterestedness and generosity, originally implanted in the heart of man by the author of our being, cannot easily be extinguished in a whole people. After the tools of faction, and the minions of power, have exhausted the arts of corruption, these holier elements of our nature will kindle into spontaneous enthusiasm, when lofty and generous sentiments are brought home to the bosom in the accents of a manly and pathetic eloquence. The great and unsophisticated springs of human action are always touched with most effect in large assemblies. In these the prevailing tone of feeling, when highly exalted, spreads through the whole by a secret sympathy, with the rapidity of the electric fluid.

It was before such an audience that eloquence uttered her voice in ancient times. The orators of Greece and Rome brought their genius to bear directly on the popular mind. The public assemblies which were then held were for actual deliberation. It was[259] not a mockery of consultation on matters upon which all opinions were definitely made up. They came together to be instructed, and were open to the seductive arts of their orators even to a fault. The objects of deliberation also were of the greatest moment, the fortunes of a province or a kingdom, the safety of the republic, the honor, or perhaps the life of the orator himself or his nearest friends. Every motive which hope or fear or pride or party could suggest, to animate the passions, was brought to act on the speaker's mind, and all depended on a doubtful decision, which was to be made on the spot, and before the separation of the assembly. These contests were not of rare occurrence. They were coming up continually. They were upon the most magnificent theatre in the world, and before judges who united a most refined and discriminating taste with an extraordinary degree of susceptibility to all the charms of a passionate and harmonious eloquence. The orators, therefore, were kept in constant training. Their faculties had no time to cool.

They had no intervals for luxurious repose. The dignities to which they had risen were watched by powerful and jealous rivals, always ready to wrest from them their honors, and they could be retained only by the same efforts by which they were won.

In these ancient republics eloquence was substantial and effective power and led to the highest dignities, which the most aspiring genius could hope to attain. It was cultivated with an assiduity bearing a just proportion to the honors with which it was crowned. The education of the orator commenced in his cradle, and did not terminate until he had reached the full maturity of manhood; or, to speak more correctly, it comprised[260] the whole business of his life. All his studies were made subservient to the art of speaking, and the course of instruction descended into the most minute details which could improve him in his action or elocution. It was this entire devotion to a favorite and honored art, which raised it to a height of perfection, which it has never since been able to reach, and which produced those prodigies in the oratorical art, which have been the admiration and the despair of succeeding ages.

In the most brilliant period of antiquity there were two styles of eloquence cultivated by the different orators. One, calm, subtle and elegant, addressed almost exclusively to the understanding. In the time of Cicero this was called the Attic style, and those who belonged to this school assumed no little credit on the supposed purity of their Attic taste. The other affected a style of greater warmth and brilliancy, and intermingled with the scrupulous dialectics of the former, frequent appeals to the passions, and adorned their discourses with all the beauties which could captivate the imagination. What was then denominated the Attic style, forms the prevailing characteristic of modern oratory. It is cool and didactic. It relies almost wholly on the powers of a cultivated logic and seldom attempts to reach the understanding through the medium of the heart. It requires little reflection to determine which of these styles would bear away the palm before a popular audience. The former leaves one half the faculties of the hearer dormant, while the latter addresses itself to all the powers of man, the moral as well as the intellectual, instructs the reason while it agitates the passions, and gives at the same time one powerful and impetuous movement to the whole man.[261] But if any one doubts upon this matter let him go to the pages of Demosthenes and especially to that most perfect of all his orations, in which he was contending with his great rival for the glory of a whole life in the presence of all that was most illustrious in Greece,—his oration for the crown. He will find from the beginning to the end, a clear and exact logic. But it is logic raised into enthusiasm by the dignity and elevation of sentiment by which it is surrounded. He will not find a metaphor or an observation introduced merely for the purposes of ornament. It is a continued stream of clear, rapid and convincing argument. But it is argument enveloped in a torrent of earnestness and exaggeration, environed with a blaze of anger and disdain and passion—it is argument clothed in thunder, which could no more be listened to with a composed and tranquil mind than the flashes of lightning could be viewed with an unblinking eye. Strip Demosthenes of these accompaniments, of these accessories, if you please to call them so, and you will leave enough perhaps to satisfy our modern Attics, but this residue will be no more like the living Demosthenes who "fulmined over Greece," than the unformed block of marble is like the Belvidere Apollo, or a naked skeleton like a living man.

It is said that the state of manners in modern society would not bear those bold appeals to the passions which abound in the ancient orators. We are ingenious in taking to ourselves credit even for our inferiority, and it is contended that our understandings are more cultivated and our passions more under the dominion of reason. If there be any foundation for this opinion it must be received with many qualifications. It has become[262] a fashion of late to decry the manners and morals of the republics of antiquity. That their manners differed in many respects from the modes of fashion established in what is called good society in modern times is admitted, but it does not follow that the advantage is on our side. There is still less foundation for the opinion that in their intellectual powers the Greeks and Romans were less cultivated than the most polished nations of our times. There never existed a nation in which the intellectual education of the whole body of the people was carried to so high a pitch as in Athens. However extravagant the assertion may be thought, it is indisputably true that the "mob of Athens," as the people of that renowned commonwealth are affectedly called, were of a more refined, severe and critical taste in every thing that pertains to the beauties of eloquence than the members of the British House of Commons have been, at any period of its existence, from the first meeting of the Wittenagemote to the present day. They would allow, says Cicero, in their orators no violation of purity or elegance of language. Eorum religioni cum serviret orator, nullum verbum insolens, nullum odiosum ponere audebat. Many a speech has been cheered by the "hear hims" of the Treasury Bench in that house, which would have shocked the discriminating and critical ears, aures teretes ac religiosas, of that extraordinary people. The whole testimony of antiquity concurs in proving their extreme delicacy and fastidiousness in every thing which belongs to taste in letters and the arts.

There was another peculiarity in the circumstances of these ancient republics which favored the cultivation of eloquence. The press, that great engine by which[263] public opinion is moved in modern times, was then unknown. Addresses in the assemblies of the people were not only the ordinary but almost the sole mode by which public men could influence or enlighten public opinion. All political discussion assumed this form and these popular harangues composed a very large portion of the literature of the times. The language of oral communication naturally assumes a tone of greater vivacity and passion than that of the closet. The predominance of this species of composition must have had a powerful influence in forming the national taste and would naturally impart its prevailing tone to every other species. Such seems to have been the fact. The philosophers and historians caught something of the animated and rhetorical manner of their public speakers, and in that species of eloquence which is suited to the nature of their subjects, surpass the moderns nearly as much as their orators do. Plato stands as far above all rivals in this particular, as his countryman and disciple Demosthenes. The easy and graceful movement of his dialogue, the splendid amplification and harmonious numbers of his declamation and the warm and animated glow of moral enthusiasm, which he has thrown over his mystical speculations, render his works the most perfect specimen of philosophical eloquence ever yet produced. His example will also show what importance was attached to style alone by the teachers of ancient wisdom. The last labors of a long life, which had been devoted to the most sublime philosophy of the age, were employed in retouching and remodelling the inimitable graces of his rich and flowing periods; musæo contingens cuncta lepore.[264]

A superiority scarcely less imposing in this respect will be found in their historians. Their genius was also kindled by a coal from the altar of the orators. I am ready to acknowledge the great merit of the classic historians of modern times. I am not insensible to the calm and sustained dignity of Roberston, to the melody of his full and flowing style, though it sometimes fills the ear without filling the mind. He must be a much more morose critic who is not delighted with the simple and unaffected elegance of Hume, and with that admirable facility with which he intermingles the most profound reflections in a narration always easy, copious and graceful. Nor can the historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire be forgotten in an enumeration of those who have done honor to this branch of literature. After all that has been said and written against him, he has left a work which the world will not willingly suffer to die. The Randolphs and Taylors and Chelsums by whom he was assailed, have passed into an easy oblivion, but the great work of the historian will always find a place in every library and a reader in every well educated man. The pomp and stateliness of his style sometimes bordering on the turgid may provoke a sneer from those who look only to the surface, but he had a mind enriched by various and extensive learning, which he has exuberantly and tastefully displayed in every page of his work. It may also be admitted that in modern times history has in its general character received something more of a philosophical tone. But what it has gained on the side of philosophy it has more than lost on that of eloquence.

Compare the triumvirate of English historians in this respect with the inestimable remains of antiquity, and[265] there is a disparity as striking as it is difficult to be accounted for. In this, as in every other department of literature, the Romans were the imitators of the Greeks; but in history while they imitated they surpassed their masters. The two great historians of Rome stand above all that preceded as well as all that followed them. The history of the rise of the Roman republic, from a small band of outlaws to the uncontrolled mastery of the world, is the most extraordinary chapter in the history of the human race. The annals of mankind present nothing that resembles it. A splendid or an affecting story may be degraded or belittled by being told in an unworthy style. But the style of Livy never falls below the dignity of his subject. His eloquence is as magnificent as the fortunes of the eternal city. In splendor of language, in glowing and picturesque description, in warmth and brilliancy and boldness of coloring, and in the dignified and majestic movement of his whole narrative, there is nothing in the literature of any country which will bear a comparison with the Decads of Livy. He is always on the borders of oratory and poetry, without ever passing the soberness of history. Mille habet ornatus, mille decenter habet.

The golden age of letters in Rome was as short as it was brilliant. It scarcely surpassed in duration the ordinary term of human life. Commencing with Cicero, it closed with the generation who were his cotemporaries, the last who breathed the free air of the republic. But in the universal corruption of taste and morals that followed the extinction of liberty, there arose one man, Tacitus, whose genius belonged to a happier age. In his own, it has been remarked with[266] as much truth as beauty, he stands like a column in the midst of ruins. It has been said that the secret of his style belongs to the circumstances of his life, as well as to the peculiar temperament of the man. He wrote the history of his own times, and they presented but few bright spots on which the eye could repose with pleasure. But he paints the features of that dark and fearful peace, of that awful and portentous silence of despotism, convulsed as it was by internal dissensions and agitated by all the vices of a profligate populace and an abandoned nobility, in words of enchantment. While they seem to express every thing that is terrible in tragedy, they suggest to the imagination more than meets the ear. No man could have described those scenes as he has done but one who had seen and felt them. His vivid and graphic pictures speak at once to the eye, to the imagination, and to the heart; and without any of the parade or ostentation of eloquence, he impresses on the mind of the reader all the feelings which seem to prevail in his own.

The current of fashion has for some time been setting strongly against classical learning. In an age of so much intellectual activity as the present, all sorts of new opinions are received with favor. The most extravagant have their hour of triumph until they are chased from the stage by some new absurdity, or until the restless love of change is drawn off to some more startling paradox. This insatiable thirst for novelty is carried into literature as well as other things. But the principles of good taste are unchangeable. They have their foundations deeply laid in nature and truth, and the tide of time which sweeps into oblivion the sickly illusions of distempered imaginations, passes over these unhurt. The Bavii and Maevii of former ages, who[267] like those of later times enjoyed for their hour the sunshine of fashionable celebrity, have been long ago gathered to their long home, but the beauties of Homer and Virgil are as fresh now as they were at the beginning. Independent of the arguments commonly used in favor of classical learning, there are two considerations which recommend these studies to peculiar favor in this country. I advert to them the more willingly, because they have not been usually urged in proportion to their importance.

The first is addressed to our literary ambition. If there be any department of elegant literature in which we may hope to surpass our European ancestors and cotemporaries, it is in eloquence. It is the fairest and most hopeful field which now remains for literary distinction. In every other the moderns, if they have not equalled, are not far behind the ancients. Their poetry can scarcely claim an advantage over that of the moderns, except what it owes directly to the superiority of the ancient languages. But if we except some of the finest productions of the French pulpit in the reign of Louis XIV. there is nothing in modern literature which approaches the eloquence of antiquity. The most accomplished of our forensic and parliamentary speakers are at an immeasurable distance from the perfection of the ancient orators. If there be any modern nation, which may hope to emulate them with some prospect of success, it is our own. In our free institutions and in the free genius of our countrymen we have all that is necessary. The soil is prepared and we are already a nation of debaters. But if we would add to the faculty of fluent speaking the gifts of eloquence, these must be sought where the ancients found them, in a patient and persevering devotion to[268] the art. We must be made sensible both of its dignity and its difficulty, and nothing can so effectually give us this knowledge as a familiar acquaintance with the inimitable remains of the orators of Greece and Rome.

The second consideration is of a political character. The feudal governments of Europe may have an interest in discouraging a taste for these studies. The literature of antiquity, in its prevailing tone and character, is deeply impregnated with the free spirit of the age in which it was produced. Nothing can be more repugnant to that temper of patient servility which it is the policy of such governments to foster. Nothing can more powerfully invigorate those generous feelings which are inspired by the consciousness of freedom, than a familiarity with the historians and orators of Greece and Rome. There is an uncompromising spirit of liberty breathing its divine inspirations over every page, wholly irreconcilable with that courtly suppleness which is adapted to the genius of these governments. These proud republicans had no superstitious veneration for anointed heads. They were accustomed to behold suppliant royalty trembling in the antichambers of their Senate, or its haughty spirit still more humbled in swelling the triumphal pomp of their generals and consuls. These sights served to nourish a profound feeling of the dignity, which is attached to the person of a freeman, a feeling more deeply engraved on the spirit of antiquity than any other sentiment of the heart. It seems to have constituted the very soul of their genius, and it breathes its sacred fires through every ramification of their literature. So intimately was it incorporated with the very elements of their intellectual nature, that nothing could extinguish it short of those calamities which spread their deadly[269] mildews over the fires of genius itself. After the constitutional liberty of the country sunk under the weight of military despotism, its scattered flames still broke out at intervals in the few great men who arose to throw a gleam of brightness over the surrounding gloom. It shewed itself in the pathetic and affecting complaints of Tacitus, and burst forth in the bitter and indignant sarcasms of Juvenal. The venerable father of song declared in prophetic numbers that the first day of servitude robbed man of half his virtue, and Longinus, the last of the ancient race of great men, holds up the lights of fifteen centuries experience to verify the words of the poet. It is democracy, says he, that is the propitious nurse of great talents, and it is only in democracy that they flourish. Let the minions of legitimacy then extinguish if they can the emulation of ancient eloquence; it is their most dangerous enemy; but let us, who inherit the liberties of the ancient republics, cherish it with a sacred devotion. It is at once the child and the champion of freedom.


By Jason Whitman.

Religion, as introduced to us by our Saviour, attracts our attention and enlists our affections, not by any solemn pomp or formal parade, but by her beautiful and interesting simplicity, her real and intrinsic worth. Nor has she been introduced to us, merely that she[270] may dwell in our temples to be gazed at from a distance and occasionally adored. No. She has been introduced to us, that we might take her familiarly by the hand, conduct her into our houses and seat her by our firesides,—not as an occasional visitor there, but as an intimate friend—perfectly free and unreserved, ever ready to lend her aid in making home the abode of happiness, or to go forth with us and assist in elevating and purifying the pleasures and the intercourse of social life; ever ready to assist in the various labors of life—to guide and cheer the conversation—to bend over the bed of sickness, or to mingle her sympathies with those who are mourning. It is her office to elevate and improve mankind, not by looking down upon them from above, but by dwelling familiarly and habitually among them, restraining, by the respect which her presence inspires, every thing impure and unholy, until she has awakened aspirations after the pure, the holy, the spiritual, the infinite and eternal. Such was the Christian Religion as introduced to us by our Saviour. Would that she might ever remain such, an inmate of our houses, a member of our family circles, whose form and features are familiar to our children, and for whom their attachment grows with their growth and strengthens with their strength. But such have not, it would seem, been the feelings of mankind in regard to her. They, filled with admiration, perhaps, for her excellence, and fearing, lest she might be treated with rude familiarity, have thought to add to her dignity and to increase the respect entertained for her, by enveloping her in the folds of unintelligible mysteries, and by suffering her to be approached only in a formal manner, upon the set days when and the appointed places where[271] she holds her levees. The consequences of this have been such as might have been expected. While there are multitudes of admirers of Religion, as one of a higher order of beings altogether above and beyond themselves, there are few who make her the companion of their daily walk—few who take her to themselves and, in the firm conviction that they were made for each other, leave all things else, cleave unto and become one with her.

Would that we might all embrace Christianity as she is in herself—as she was introduced to us by our Saviour, in all her simplicity—in all her purity—that we might make her the companion of our lives—the friend of our hearts. She is one, who will with readiness accompany us wherever we go—pointing out to us the way of our duty and the sources of our happiness. Are we children she will teach us the duties of children. Are we parents she will instruct us in our duties as parents. In prosperity she will increase our happiness—in adversity she will sweeten our cup—in sickness she will alleviate our pains, and, when called away by the stern summons of death, she will accompany us and introduce us into the society of heaven with which she is intimate—the society of our God—of Jesus our Saviour—and of the spirits of the just made perfect, concerning whom she has often conversed with us, making us acquainted with their principles, feelings and characters, and exerting within us a desire to be with them.



By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens.

'Like ivy, woman's love will cling
Too often round a worthless thing.'

Immediately after the horrid murder of young Darnley, Mary of Scotland removed from the scene of his death to Sterling, ostensibly on a visit to her infant son. Thither she was followed by all the gay members of her court, among whom were the Earl of Bothwell and Balfour, the suspected murderers. A short time previous to this journey Mary had received a letter from one of her subjects in the north, strenuously recommending a young and interesting female to her protection, who, as the letter stated, had especial reasons for sojourning awhile in the neighborhood of the court. Mary with her usual benevolence kindly received the lovely stranger, and was so won by her grace and melancholy beauty, that with the thoughtlessness of her impulsive character, she installed her in the royal household and admitted her to the closest intimacy of mistress and servant. Her affections daily increased for one of whom she knew nothing, except that she was reported to have sprung from a noble but impoverished family, and had been drawn to court by her interest in a dear relation, or perhaps lover. The queen did not trouble herself to inquire into particulars, at a time when her own affairs not only engrossed her thoughts, but the attention of all Europe. Certain it was, that whatever had drawn Ellen Craigh to the Scottish court, it was no desire to partake of its pleasures.[273] Though she occasionally mingled with the ladies of Mary's household, and even listened with silent interest to the scandal which recent events had given rise to, she sedulously secluded herself from the gallants of the court, and on no occasion had been known to leave the immediate apartment of the queen, except for a short space each day, when the relative who had drawn her from home might be supposed to occupy her attention.

On the day our story commences, Throgmorton, the English ambassador, had arrived at Sterling with despatches, which had been forwarded from London after the first news of young Darnley's death reached the court of St. James. Mary, eager to conciliate the imperious Elizabeth, had ordered an entertainment to be made in honor of her ambassador, and yielding to his first request, or rather demand for an audience, had been more than an hour closetted with him, in the little oratory which communicated alike with her audience-room and sleeping chamber.

The hour for robing had long passed, and Ellen Craigh was alone in the royal bed-chamber, waiting the appearance of her mistress. She might have been taken for a sorrowing angel, as she sat in the embrasure of a window, with the mellow-tinted light streaming through the stained glass over her tresses of waving gold, and flooding her small and exquisite figure with a brilliancy almost too gorgeous to harmonize with the delicate cheek and sorrowful blue eyes, which, at the moment, wore an expression of suffering which nothing on earth can represent, so patient and holy was it. She continued in one position, listlessly swaying the cord of twisted gold, which looped back the curtain falling in magnificent volumes over the upper part of[274] the window, or pulling the threads from a massive tassel and scattering them one by one at her feet, till the carpet around looked as if embroidered over and over with the glittering fragments. The indistinct voices which came from the oratory, where the queen and the ambassador were seated, fell unheeded upon her senses, till a tone was mingled with theirs which started her to sudden life. She leaped up with an energy that sent the mutilated tassel with a crash against the window, and flinging back the tapestry which concealed the door of the oratory, bent her eye to a crevice in the ill-fitted pannel. The beating of her heart was almost audible, and the thin slender hand which held back the tapestry quivered like a newly prisoned bird, as she gazed with intense eagerness into the apartment. The queen sat directly opposite the door. At her right hand was placed a dark handsome man, of about thirty, with a haughty and almost fierce array of countenance, dressed in a style of careless magnificence, which bespoke a love of display rather than true elegance in his choice of attire. A subdued smile lurked about his lips, and he seemed intently occupied in counting the links of a massive gold chain, which fell over his doublet of three-piled velvet, studded and gorgeously wrought with jewels and embroidery. Now and then he would drop his hand carelessly over the queen's chair-arm, and fix his black eyes with a bold and admiring gaze on her features, with a freedom which bespoke more of audacious love, than of respect for the royal beauty. She not only submitted to his free glance, but more than once returned it with one of those looks which had scattered sorrow through many a Scottish bosom.

Throgmorton sat little apart. He had been speaking[275] in a strain of calm expostulation; but marking the interchange of glances between the queen and her haughty favorite, he became indignant, and addressed Bothwell with a degree of cutting contempt, which turned the lurking smile on the nobleman's lip to a curl of bitter defiance. Heedless of the royal presence, he stood up, and rudely pushing the council-table from before him, half drew his sword, as if to punish the offender upon the spot. Throgmorton endured the blaze of his large fierce eyes with calm composure, and deliberately measuring his person from head to foot with a contemptuous glance, was about to resume his discourse; but the queen rose from her seat, and placing her white and jewelled hand persuasively on Bothwell's arm, she fixed her beautiful eyes full on his, and uttered a few low words of entreaty; then turning to the envoy, her exquisite face flushed with anger and her eyes flashing like diamonds, she exclaimed,

"Leave our presence, sir ambassador, and thank our moderation that thou art permitted to depart in safety, after this insult to our most trusty and faithful follower! Nay, my lord of Bothwell, put thy hand from that sword-hilt—this matter rests with us—doubt not, thy honor as well as that of thy mistress shall be duly righted."

The frowning nobleman pushed back his blade with a clang, and turned moodily away.

The queen looked on him gravely for a moment, and then turning to the Englishman proceeded with less of vehemence than had accompanied her last command.

"The message of our loving cousin has given us a surfeit of advice. To-morrow we will resume the subject," she said, forcing one of the resistless smiles,[276] which she could call up at will, to brighten her lips; and with a graceful wave of the hand, she motioned him to withdraw.

The envoy bowed low and left the room without further speech. But the door was scarcely closed, when, with sudden self-abandonment, the queen threw herself into her chair, and burst into a passion of tears. Bothwell, who was angrily pacing the room, approached, and sinking to one knee took her hand tenderly in his. She looked at him a moment through her tears, murmured a few broken words, and dropping her face to his shoulder, wept bitterly.

Poor Ellen Craigh witnessed the whole scene. She heard Bothwell's expressions of soothing endearment, and saw the beautiful head, with its garniture of brown tresses, fall with such helpless dependence on his shoulder. A moment, and the queen drew the snowy hand, sparkling with tears and jewels, from her eyes, and sat upright. With a choking sensation the poor girl gazed on that face, in its transcendent loveliness, till a mist gathered before her eyes, and the words of Bothwell came broken and confusedly to her ear. When they left the oratory a few moments after, her hand fell nerveless to her side, the tapestry swept over the door with a rustling sound, and staggering a few paces into the chamber, she fell her whole length upon the carpet, her golden hair sweeping back from her bloodless forehead, her pale lips trembling and her slight limbs as strengthless as an infant's. Thus she lay for a time, and then tears gushed profusely from her shut eyes. After which she arose to a sitting posture, with her feeble hands twisted the scattered ringlets round her head, and arose; but so pale, so[277] wo-begone, her very heart seemed crushed forever. Dragging herself to her favorite seat in the embrasure of a window, she leaned her temple against the stained glass, and murmured—

"Enough!—oh, enough!—I must go home now." But while the words of misery trembled on her lips, the door was flung open, and Mary Stewart entered the apartment. The room was misty with the purple glow of sunset, and the queen passed her shrinking attendant without observing her. Hastily advancing to a table, she took up a golden bird-call, and blew a peremptory summons; then throwing herself into a chair which stood opposite a small table, on which glittered the splendid paraphernalia of a French toilette, she waited the appearance of her attendants. Ellen Craigh made a strong effort and arose.

"Ha, art thou there, my mountain-daisy?" said the queen, looking kindly upon her,—"order lights, and send back the flock of tire-women my silly whistle has brought trooping hitherward—no hands but thine shall robe me to night."

Ellen obeyed, and after a few moments the light from two large candles of perfumed wax broke over the little mirror, with its framework of filigree silver, and flashed upon the golden essence-bottles and scattered jewels which covered the dressing-table. The poor waiting-maid drew back from the brilliant glare with the shudder of a sick heart. The queen looked on her earnestly for a moment, and then putting the golden locks back from her temple, as she would have caressed a child, she said—

"What!—cheeks like new-fallen snow!—lips trembling like the aspen!—and eye-lashes heavy with[278] tears!—how is this, child?—but we bethink us;—was it not some untoward affair of the heart which brought thee to our court? We have been too negligent;—tell us thy grief, and on the honor of a queen, if there be wrong we will have thee bravely righted—so speak freely."

"Oh, no, no!—not here!—never to you."

Here poor Ellen broke off and stood before the queen, her hands clasped, her lips trembling and her large supplicating eyes fixed imploringly on her face.

"Well, well," said the queen soothingly, "at some other time be it—but remember that in Mary Stewart her attendant may find a safe friend as well as an indulgent mistress," and shaking her magnificent tresses over her shoulders, the royal beauty composed herself for the operations of the toilette.

Ellen gathered up the glossy volumes of hair and commenced her task. Her limbs shook, a cold moisture crept over her forehead, and her quivering hands wandered with melancholy listlessness, through the mass of shining ringlets it was her duty to arrange. As she stooped forward in her task, one of her own fair curls fell down and mingled, like a flash of spun gold, with those of her mistress. As if there had been contagion in the touch, she flung it back with a smile of strange, cold bitterness, the first and last that ever wreathed her pure lips; for hers was a heart to suffer and endure, but never to hate; it might break, but no wrong could harden it.

While her toilette was in progress, Mary became nervous and restless, now pushing the velvet cushions from her feet, and then moving the lights about the dressing-table, as if dissatisfied with the arrangement of[279] every thing about her. At length she fell back in her chair, buried her face in her hands, and fairly burst into tears. Ellen grasped the back of her chair, and bending her pale face to the queen's ear, murmured—

"Tears are for the deserted—why does the queen weep?"

Mary was too deeply engrossed with her own feelings to mark the exact words, or the tremulous voice of her attendant. She threw the damp hair back from her face, and dashing the tears from her eyes exclaimed—

"No, no! it is nothing—proceed—there! let that ringlet fall thus upon the neck—now our robe, quickly—we shall be waited for at the banquet."

Ellen brought forth the usual mourning robe of black velvet, laden with bugles; but a flush of anger, or perhaps of shame, overspread the queen's face, and with an impatient gesture she exclaimed—

"Not that, girl—not that—I will mock my heart no longer!—away with it, and bring a more seemly garment!—the proud Englishman shall not scoff at our widow's weeds again."

Ellen obeyed, and the queen was soon robed as she had desired. Few objects could have been more beautiful than this dangerous woman, when she arose from her toilette—the perfect, yet almost voluptuous proportion of her form betrayed by the snowy robe, her tapering arms banded with jewels, and her superb waist bound with a string of immense pearls, clasped in front by a single diamond, and terminating where the broidery of her robe commenced, in tassels of threaded pearls. A tiara of small Scottish thistles, crowded amethysts and rough emeralds, burned with a purple light[280] among her curls, and the face beneath seemed scarcely human, so radiant was its expression, and so beautiful the perfect harmony of its features. Throwing a careless glance at the mirror—for Mary was too confident of her attraction to be fastidious—she took up her perfumed handkerchief and left the room.

Ellen Craigh gazed after her sovereign till the last graceful wave of her drapery disappeared; then drawing a deep breath, as if her heart had thrown off an oppression quite insupportable, she cast a glance almost of loathing around the sumptuous apartment, and entered the oratory. Dropping on her knees by the chair which Bothwell had occupied, she laid her cheek on the cushion and wept long and freely, as if the contact with something he had touched had a softening influence on her heart. As she arose, the gleam of a handkerchief lying on the floor attracted her attention. She snatched it up with a faint cry of joy, for on one corner she found embroidered an earl's coronet and the crest of Bothwell. Eagerly thrusting the prize into her bosom, she left the oratory and passed into the open street.

It was midnight when Mary Stewart returned to her chamber. The lights were burning dimly on the table, and an air of gloomy grandeur filled the apartment. The queen was evidently much distressed; a deep glow was burning on her cheek, and her usually smiling eyes were full of a strange excitement. She snatched up the little golden call as if to give a summons, and then flung it down again, exclaiming—

"No, no—I could not brook their searching eyes," and with a still more disturbed air she paced the chamber, now and then stopping to divest herself of the ornaments she had worn at the ambassador's festival.[281]

Perhaps for the first time in her life the agitated woman unrobed herself, and flinging back the crimson drapery which fell in heavy masses from the large square bedstead, threw herself upon the gorgeous counterpane and buried herself in the folds, as if they could shut out the evil thoughts that burned in her heart; but it was in vain that she strove for rest—that she gathered the rich drapery over her head and pressed her burning cheek to the pillow; her thoughts were all alive and astray.

It was a mournful sight—that beautiful and brilliant woman yielding herself to the thraldom of a wicked man, and rushing heedlessly to that which was to throw a stain upon her memory, enduring as history itself. Sin is hideous in every form—but when it darkens the bright and beautiful of earth, like a cloud over the sun, we reproach it for its own blackness, and doubly for the brightness it conceals.

As the misguided woman lay, with a hand pressed over her eyes, and one arm, but half divested of its jewels, flung out with a kind of desperate carelessness upon the counterpane, the murmur of an infant voice reached her from a neighboring apartment. She started up and tears gathered in her eyes.

"Woe is me!" she exclaimed, "this mad passion makes me forgetful alike of prayer and child."

Folding a dressing-gown about her, she entered the room whence the sound had come, and reappeared with an infant boy pressed to her bosom. After kissing him again and again with a sort of despairing fondness, she bore him to a recess where a small lamp of chased silver burned before a crucifix of the same metal, and an embroidered hassock was placed as if for[282] devotion. Had she been left alone in the holy stillness of the night, with her lovely babe upon her bosom, and the touching symbol of our Saviour's death before her, the evil influence which was hurrying her on to ruin might have been counterbalanced; but as she knelt with the smiling babe lying on the hassock, her eyes fixed on the crucifix, and the guilty glow ebbing from her cheeks, the door softly opened, and the Earl of Bothwell stole into the chamber. Mary sprang to her feet as if to reprove the insolent intruder, but a sense of modesty, which in all her follies seemed never to have left her, succeeded to her indignation, if indeed she felt any. She glanced at her dishabille with a painful flush, and hastily seating herself, drew her uncovered feet, which had been hastily thrust into a pair of furred slippers, under the folds of her dressing gown, and then requested him to withdraw, in a voice which betrayed as much of encouragement as of reproof.

Without even noticing her request, Bothwell lifted the boy from the hassock, and seating himself, addressed her in a low and gentle tone, which he knew well how to assume. The erring woman listened to the witchery of his voice, till the unnatural glow again died from her cheek, and she sat with her eyes fixed on his, as a beautiful bird yielding to the fascination of a serpent.

"But thy wife," she said in a low irresolute tone, when Bothwell pressed for a reply to what he had been urging, "much as Mary may love—much as she may sacrifice, she cannot thrust a young and loving woman from a heart she loves and puts her faith in."

"Young and loving!" repeated Bothwell, with a sneer curling his haughty lip, "young and loving!—truly[283] your grace must have been strangely misinformed;—she who styles herself Countess of Bothwell nearly doubles the age of her unfortunate husband; and as for love, if she knows any, it is for the broad acres which own him as their master."

A scarcely perceptible smile dimpled the queen's mouth, as she heard this account of her rival, but she made no reply, and Bothwell resumed his tone of earnest entreaty. As he proceeded, his voice and manner became more energetic.

"Say that you consent," he said, "say but a word, and the breath of evil shall never reach you;—say but your hand is mine as a token of assent, and Bothwell will worship you like a very slave."

The queen raised her hand, and though it trembled like an aspen, she placed it in his.

"It is thy queen who is the slave," she murmured in a broken voice, as Bothwell raised the beautiful hand to his lips, and covered it with rapturous kisses.

As he relinquished her hand, it came in contact with that of the child. As if an adder had stung her, she drew it back, and then with a sudden gush of feeling snatched the boy to her bosom and covered it with tears and kisses. Bothwell dreaded the influence of the pure maternal feeling thus expressed. Gently forcing the young prince from her embrace, he whispered—

"Trust him to me, dearest—trust him to one who would spill his heart's blood, rather than give pain to mother or child," and pressing her hand again to his lips, the arch-hypocrite left the room with the same cautious tread he had entered it with.

In a few moments after, he placed the young prince in charge with a creature in his confidence, saying—

"See to it, that none of the Darnley faction get possession[284] of the brat,—keep him safe, or strangle him at once."

On the next day the Earl of Bothwell left Sterling, and it was whispered that he had been banished from court through the influence of the English ambassador; but conjecture was lost in astonishment, and when, two days after, the court at Sterling was broken up, and the queen, while on her way to Edinburgh, was met by Bothwell, with a force of eight hundred men, and conveyed to Dunbar by seeming violence, men stood aghast at the news; but those who had marked their queen closely during the few preceding days, concurred in the belief that she privately sanctioned the disgraceful outrage.

It was a gloomy and ancient pile—that in which Bothwell had left his deserted wife. In one of its apartments, beside a huge fire-place, in which a few embers smouldered in a sea of ashes, sat an old and wrinkled woman, spreading her withered palms for warmth, and occasionally turning a wistful look to the narrow windows, against which the rain and sleet were beating with real violence. As she listened, the tramp of approaching horses was heard in the court below, and before she had time to reach the door, it was flung open, and the Countess of Bothwell, dripping with wet and tottering with fatigue, flung herself into the arms of her old nurse.

"Sorrow on me," exclaimed the good woman, striving to speak cheerful, "how the child clings to my neck!—look up, lady-bird, and do not sob so—I know but too well how thy journey has speeded—may the curses of an old woman rest——"[285]

"Oh, Mabel, Mabel, do not curse him—do not—we cannot love as we will," exclaimed the poor countess, clinging to the bosom of the old woman, as if to bribe her from finishing the anathema.

"Hush, darling, hush," replied old Mabel, pressing her withered lips fondly to the pure forehead of her foster-child—"he who could help loving thee——but hist, what is all this tramping in the court?—sit down, and I will soon learn."

The old woman divested the trembling young creature of her wet cloak and proceeded to the hall. After a few minutes absence she returned dreadfully agitated; her sunken eyes glowed like live coals, and her bony fingers were clenched together as a bird clutches her prey.

"My own darling," she said in a voice which she vainly strove to render steady, "I had thought not to have given his cruel message, but——"

"Speak on," said the poor young creature, raising her large eyes with the expression of a scared antelope, "I can bear any thing now."

But she broke off with a sudden and joyful cry, for the door had been cautiously opened, and her long absent husband stood before her. Forgetful of his estrangement—of his unkindness—of every thing but his early love—she sprang eagerly to his bosom and kissed him again and again, with the abandonment of a joyful child. It must have been a heart of stone which could have resisted such unbounded tenderness. For one moment, and but for one, she was pressed to her husband's heart, and then he put her coldly away.

"How is it that I find your lady here, after my express command to the contrary?" he said, sternly[286] addressing the old nurse, while he forced the clinging arms of the countess from his neck.

The poor young creature shrunk from his look, like a flower touched by a sudden frost. Mabel threw her arm around her, and forced her to confront her angry husband.

"Why is she here!" shouted the old woman fiercely, "why is she here, in her own home!—because I could not, would not kill her with her base lord's message!—What! break her heart, and then thrust her forth to die?—Villain!—double-dyed and cowardly villain!—may the curses of a——"

Before the old woman could finish her anathema, the enraged Earl had stricken her grey head to the floor. The frightened countess fell on her knees beside her; but, with a terrible imprecation, Bothwell commanded his attendants to bear his victim from the room, and sternly ordered his trembling wife to remain.

"As you are here," he said, "it is not essential that we meet again; your signature is necessary to this paper; please to affix it without useless delay."

The countess took the paper, which was a petition to the Commissariot-Court for a divorce from her husband. Before she had read the first line, every drop of blood ebbed from her face. She did not faint, but with a degree of energy foreign to her character, she grasped the paper in her hands, as if about to tear it. The Earl seized her wrist, and fiercely demanded her signature.

"Never—never!" exclaimed the poor wife, struggling in his grasp—"Oh, Bothwell, you cannot wish it—you that so loved me—you that promised to love me forever and ever—no, no! you do not mean it—you[287] cannot put your poor wife away thus!—I know that the little beauty you once prized is gone, but tears and sorrow have dimmed it;—bear with me but a little longer—say that you love me yet, and my bloom will come again;—look at me, Bothwell, husband, dear husband! and say that you did not mean it—that you gave me that horrid paper to frighten me—say but that, and your poor Ellen will worship you forever!"

This energetic appeal had its effect, even in the hard hearted Earl. He endured, and even partially returned the passionate caress with which she had accompanied her words; and when she fell back exhausted in his arms, he bore her to a seat and placed himself beside her.

"Ellen," he said, "I will deal candidly with you—I do love you, and have, even while in pursuit of another; but you have yet to learn that there is a stronger passion than love—ambition!"

"You do love me—bless you, bless you! Bothwell, for saying so much," she eagerly exclaimed, the affectionate young creature snatching his hand between both hers, and covering it with joyful kisses.

But her joy was of short duration. As the serpent uncoils its glittering folds, so did Bothwell lay bare the depravity and ambition of his heart. Artifice, persuasion and threats were used, and at length he prevailed. The petition for a divorce was signed; but the heart of the poor countess was broken by the effort.

It is almost useless to tell the reader, that the queen of Scots had consented to accompany Bothwell to his castle, but with the appearance of compulsion, on the night of his intrusion into her chamber. It was to prepare for the disgraceful visit, that he had sent orders for the expulsion of his unfortunate wife—orders which[288] old Mabel had never delivered; and now that he had gained his object, in obtaining her signature to the petition, he proceeded to give directions for the castle to be put in order, for the reception of the royal guest. These arrangements occupied him during most of the night. At length, weary with exertion, he fell asleep in his chair. It was morning when he awoke. The light came softly through a neighboring window, and there, at his feet, with her head resting on his knees, and her thin, pale face turned toward him, lay his wife, asleep. Rest had quieted his ambitious thoughts. He was alone, in the stillness of a new day, with the gentle victim of his aspiring passions lying at his feet, grieved and heart-broken, her eyelids heavy with weeping, and every limb betraying the sorrow which preyed upon her. For a moment his heart relented, and a hot tear fell among her golden curls. Gently, as a mother would remove a sleeping infant, he raised her head, laid it on the cushion of his chair, and left her to her loneliness.

On the next day the Countess of Bothwell left the castle with her nurse, and not three hours after, Mary Stewart entered it in company with its wicked lord.

On the fourth day of Mary's sojourn at Dunbar, she, with the ladies of her train, joined in a stag hunt, which the Earl had ordered for their entertainment. The excitement of the chase had drawn Bothwell, for a moment, from her bridal rein, when an old woman came from a neighboring hut, and in a few ungracious words, invited the queen to rest a while. Mary gracefully accepted the offered courtesy, and some of her attendants would have followed her to the hut; but the old woman motioned them back with a haughty wave of her hand, and conducted the queen alone. There[289] was no vestige of furniture in the room, except two small stools and a narrow bed, on which the outlines of a human form were visible. Grasping the queen's hand firmly in her own, the old woman drew her to the bed, and throwing back a sheet, pointed with her long fleshless finger to the form of a shrouded female.

"Look!" she sternly exclaimed, fixing her keen eyes on the face of the queen.

Mary looked with painful interest on the thin face, as white and cold as alabaster, with the golden hair parted from the pure forehead, and a holy quiet settled on every beautiful feature. White roses were scattered over the pillow, and the repose of the dead was heavenly. Mary bent over the corpse, and her tears fell fast and thick among the fresh flowers.

"Alas, my poor Ellen!" she said, turning to the woman, who stood like a statue pointing sternly to the body, "of what did she die?"

"Of a broken heart!" replied the nurse coldly, and with the same icy composure which had marked her conduct, she led her royal visitor to the door, without speaking another word.

Had she explained that Ellen Craigh and the Countess of Bothwell were the same person, regret for the evil she had wrought might have checked Mary in her career of folly. But the death of the deserted wife was kept a secret among the few faithful followers who had accompanied her in her wild expedition to Mary's court, and the nurse, on whose bosom she had yielded up her life. While the courts of Scotland were agitated with the divorce of Bothwell, the haughty man little knew that his gentle wife had ceased to feel his cruelty.


[1] Psalm lxxxvii, 2.

[2] Psalm lxxxvii, 7.

[3] From the papers of Dr. Tonic, recently brought to light.

Transcriber's Notes:

Unusual spellings retained, but obvious spelling and punctuation errors were fixed.

Contraction variants retained, notably in "Jack Downing's Visit to Portland," as features of narrator dialect.

In several stories, notably "Courtship" and "Descriptions of the Divine Being," the use of quotation marks was inconsistent, and has been standardized. This required the addition of quotation marks in several places. Where the non-use of quotation marks was consistent within a story, no changes were made.

Contents: Preface is on P. iii, not "7"(original); both "M--" in Contents and "M***" on poem heading retained; "Deserted Wife" P. 272 is correct--retained original placement above "Portland as it Was" in Contents (author name starts with "S").

P. 13, "sum of $1,363,589,69,--" Number appears incomplete, but is consistent with a separate publication of this article ["A Modest Estimate of Our Own Country," in "The Americans at home; or Byeways, backwoods, and prairies, ed. by the author of 'Sam Slick'," London: Hurse and Blackett Publishers, 1854] which reads (on P. 125) "sum of 1,363,589,69 dollars,--"

P. 34, "disapprobation run" changed to "disapprobation ran."

P. 41, "guana" retained. Less-used alternate spelling for "iguana."

P. 91, "Illiad" retained. Consistent with quote reference that follows.

P. 115, "fourth-coming" changed to "forth-coming."

P. 259, "full muturity" changed to "full maturity."

P. 282, "died her cheek" changed to "died from her cheek."

Hyphen variants retained when consistent within story. Otherwise corrected to majority use in story. Variants retained due to different stories or lack of majority in same story: birth-day and birthday, broad-side and broadside, companion-way and companionway, grave-yard and graveyard, juxta-position and juxtaposition, look-out and lookout, noon-day and noonday, over-flowing and overflowing, rain-bow and rainbow, re-appeared and reappeared, sky-sail and skysail, stair-way and stairway, steam-boats and steamboats, sun-light and sunlight.

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