Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ravings of his disturbed imagination, and shuddered Nor is this all. to think of what horrors—but for a providential Old Mr. Blake had learned how the land lay from coincidence-he might have added to the history of Mrs. Clifford, and he resolved to make the young human wo.

people reparation. He owed it to them in all con. At length Mr. Franklin was allowed to take a science. They were married in about six weeks; drive. It is scarcely necessary to say that he called and when the ceremony was over, a parcel was on the ladjes. Mrs. Clifford, previously apprized of brought in, directed To Mrs. Franklin, with the his intended visit, at the sound of the bell, acci-compliments of Messrs. Blake, Blanchard 4 Co.," dentally remembered that she had left her scissors which, on being opened, was found to contain a up stairs. So Franklin found Caroline alone. superb Cashmere shawl-thirty yards of the £12

“You are very, very pale,” cried the greatly lace, and a neat mahogany box, with a coronet of agitated girl, her eyes filling with good, honest diamonds for the young criminal. tears, as she gave him her hand.

We wont go into the history of the ladies' objecHe raised it to his lips.

tions to accepting these costly testimonials. Mr. “I beg your pardon, Miss Clifford.''

Blake pleaded almost as eloquently as Franklin had But, like Beatrice, she seemed to hold it there done, till at last Franklin “put his foot down,” as again with a fervor which even the modest Franklin I recommend all young husbands to do on such occacould not wholly misunderstand.

sions, and showed Mr. Blake who was master. “I owe you more than my life,” cried Caroline, Nor was this all either. with such a look as she had never bestowed upon A number of years afterward, when Mr. and Mrs. him before.

Franklin had returned to New York, and while the “And yet,” cried Franklin,"you fraudulently with fond wife and happy mother was one day prohold from me the only payment in your power.” foundly engaged in arranging a highly ornamented

"Nonsense—what payment, cried she, blushing and curious little cap, her husband entered with a deeply.

letler, and read as follows: "Your dear self!" answered Franklin, in a To Mrs. CAROLINE FRANKLIN. timid voice.

London, Feb. 10, 184– “Then you must collect your debt, as other hard- MADAM, - It has become my duty to inform you, hearted creditors do--by force."

that, by the will of the late Mr. Blake, of the firm of “In that case,” rejoined Franklin, with a boldness Blake, Blanchard & Co., you have become entitled which astonished himself, "an execution must issue, to his blessing, and a legacy of £2500 sterling, which, and proceedings commence directly.

upon proving your identity, you can either draw Mrs. Clifford, having found her scissors, just then for on me, at thirty days, or have remitted in any entered the room, but not before the ardent lawyer other way you desire. had performed the threatened duty-not quite so I bave the honor to be, madam, very respectfully, harrowing a one as that attempted by Mr. Jennings, your obedient servant, though it led to the same result, viz., she was ob

John LOCKLEY, viously transported, and, as it turned out--for life.

Solicitor, No. – Russel Square.

A FUNERAL THOUGHT.

BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.

When the pale Genius, to whose hollow tramp

Echo the started chambers of the soul, Waves his inverted torch o'er that wan camp

Where the archangel's marshaling trumpets roll, I would not meet him in the chamber diin,

Hushed, and o’erburthened with a nameless fear, When the breath flutters, and the senses swim,

And the dread hour is near!

To the pure keeping of the stainless air

Would I resign my feeble, failing breath,
And with the rapture of an answered prayer

Welcome the kiss of Death!

Though Love's dear arms might clasp me fondly then,

As if to keep the Summoner at bay,
And woman's wo ånd the calm grief of men

Hallow at last the still, unbreathing clay-
These are Earth's felters, and the soul would shrink,

Thus bound, from Darkness and the dread Unknown,
Stretching its arms from Death's eternal brink,

Which it must dare alone!

The soul, which wrestled with that doom of pain,

Prometheus-like, its lingering portion here,
Would there forget the vulture and the chain,

And leap to freedom from its mountain-bier !
All that it ever knew, of noble thought,

Would guide it upward to the glorious track,
Nor the keen pangs by parting anguish wrought,

Turn its bright glances back !
Then to the elements my frame would turn;

No worms should riot on my coffined clay,
But the cold limbs, from that sepulchral urn,

In the slow storms of ages waste away!
Loud winds, and thunder's diapason high,

Should be my requiem through the coming time,
And the white summit, fading in the sky,

My monument sublime !

But in the awful silence of the sky,

Upon some mountain summit, never trod Through the bright ether would I clinb, to die

Afar from mortals, and alone with God!

[ocr errors][merged small]

BY WM. GILMORE SIMMS, AUTHOR OF "THE YEMASSE,” “RICHARD HURDIS," ETC.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

GREAT trees that o'er us growGreen leaves that gather round them—the fresh hues,

That tell of fruit, and blossoms yet to blow,
Opening fond bosoms to the embracing dews ;

These, now so bright,
That deck the slopes about thy childhood's home,

And seem, in long duration, to thy sight,
As they had promise of perpetual bloom;

So linked with all
The first dear throbs of feeling in thy heart,

When, at the dawn of summer and of fall,
Thou weptst the leaf that must so soon depart!

What had all these,
Of frail, deciduous nature, to persuade,

Howe'er their sweets might charm, and beauty please,
The memories that their own could never aid ?

They kept no tale-
No solemn history of the fruitful hour;

The lover's promise, the beloved one's wail-
To wake the dead leaf in each lonely bower!

The autumn breath
O'erthrew each frail memorial of their past;

And every token was resigned to death,
In the first summons of the northern blast.

Of all the past,
That precious history of thy love and youth,

When not a cloud thy happy dawn o'ercast,
When all thou felt'st was joy, thou saw'st was truth

These have no speech
For idiot seasons that still come and go-

To whom the heart no offices can teach,
Vainer than breezes that al midnight blow!

And yet there seem Memorials still in nature, which are taught,

Unless all pleasant fancies be a dream, To bring our sweetest histories back to thought.

A famous tree Was this, three hundred years ago, when stood

The hunter-chief below it, bold and free, Proud in his painted pomp and deeds of blood.

[blocks in formation]

Some elder-born,
A sire of wood and vale, guardian and king

Of separate races, unsubdued, unshorn,
Whose memories grasp the lives of every meaner thing!

With great white beard
Far streaming with a prophet-like display,

Such as when Moses on the Mount appeared,
And prostrate tribes looked down, or looked away!

With outstretched arms,
Paternal, as if blessing-with a grace,

Such as, in strength and greatness, ever charms, As wooing the subdued one to embrace !

Thus still it stood,
While the broad forests, 'neath the pioneer,

Perished-proud relic of the ancient wood-
Men loved the record-tree, and bade them spare !

And still at noon,
Repairing to its shadow, they explore

Its chronicles, still musing o'er th' unknown,
And telling well-known histories, told of yore!

We shall leave ours,
Dear heart! and when our sleep beneath its boughs

Shall suffer spring to spread o'er us her flowers,
Eyes that vow love like ours shall trace our vows.

THE RAINBOW..

BY MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.

MOUNTAIN! that first received the foot of man-
Giving him shelter, when the shoreless flood
Went surging by, that whelmed a buried world-
I see thee in thy lonely grandeur rise-
I see the white-haired Patriarch, as he knelt
Beside his earthen altar, 'mid his sons,
While beat in praise the only pulse of life
Upon this buried planet.-

O'er the gorged
And furrowed soil, swept forth a numerous train,
Horned, or cloven-footed, fierce, or tame,
While, mixed with song,

the sound of countless wings, His rescued prisoners, fanned the ambient air.

His treaty with the remnant of the clay
That shrank before him, to remotest time
Stamp wisdom on the souls that turn to thee.

Unswerving teacher, who four thousand years
Hast ne'er withheld thy lesson, but unfurled
As shower and sunbeam bade, thy glorious scroll,-
Oît, 'mid the summer's day, I musing sit
At my lone casement, to be taught of thee.

Born of the tear-drop and the smile, methinks,
Thou hast affinity with man, for such
His elements, and pilgrimage below.
Our span of strength and beauty fades like thine,
Yet stays its fabric on eternal truth
And boundless mercy.

The wild floods may come-
The everlasting fountains burst their bounds
The exploring dove without a leaf return-
Yea, the fires glow that melt the solid rock,
And earth be wrecked: What then ?-be still, my soul,
Enter thine Ark--God's promise cannot fail-
For surely as yon rainbow tints the cloud,
His truth, thine Ararat, will shelter thee.

The sun drew near his setting, clothed in gold,
But on the Patriarch, ere from

prayer

he

rose, A darkly-cinctured cloud chill tears had wept, And rain-drops lay upon his silver hairs.

Then burst an arch of wondrous radiance forth, Spanning the vaulted skies. Its mystic scroll Proclaimed the amnesty that pitying Heaven Granted to earth, all desolate and yoid.

Oh signet-ring, with which the Almighty sealed

SPIRIT-YEARNINGS FOR LOVE.

BY MRS. H. MARION WARD.

art;

LOVE me, darling, love

me,
for

my wild and wayward heart, | But if-oh, God! it cannot be—but is thou shouldst grow Like Noah's dove in search of rest, will hover where thou cold

And weary of my jealous love, or think it over-boldWill linger round thee, like a spell, till by thy hand caressed,

Or if, perchance, some fairer form should charm thy truant

eye, It folds its weary, care-worn wings, to nestle on thy breast.

Thou'll find me woman-proud and calm, so leave meLove me, darling, love me! When my soul was sick with let me die. strife,

I'd not reclaim a wavering heart whose pulse has once Thy soothing words have been the sun that warmed it into grown cold, life;

To write my name in princely halls, with diamonds and gold. Thy breath called forth the passion-flowers, that slumbered

So love me, only love me, for I have no world but thee, neath the ice

And darksome clouds are in my sky—'t is woman's destiny ; Of self-distrust, and now their balm makes earth a Paradise.

But let them frowl-I heed them not--no fear can they Love me, darling, love me! Let thy dreams be all of me! impart, Let waking thoughts be round my path, as mine will cling If thou art near, with smiles to bend hope's rainbow round to thee!

my heart.

3

THE RIVAL SISTERS.

AN ENGLISH TRAGEDY OF REAL LIFE.

BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF "THE ROMAN TRAITOR,” “MARMADUKE WYVIL," ETC.

It has been gravely stated by an Italian writer of , atrocity a something of perverted honor, or extravacelebrity, that " the very atrocity of the crimes which gant affection, or at least of not ignoble passion-is are therein committed, proves that in Italy the growth the well-known Beauchamp tragedy of Kentucky, a of man is stronger and more vigorous, and nearer to tale of sin and horror which has afforded a theme to the perfect standard of manhood, than in any other the pens of several distinguished writers, and the country.”

details of which are as well known on the spot at A strange paradox, truly, but not an uningenious present, as if years had not elapsed since its occur-at least for a native of that “purple land, where rence. And this, too, in a country prone above all law secures not life," who would work out of the others, from the migratory habits of its population, to very reproach, an argument of honor to his country. cast aside all tradition, and to lose within a very few If it be true, however, that proneness to the com- years the memory of the greatest and most illustrious mission of unwonted and atrocious crime is to be events upon the very stage of their occurrence. held a token of extraordinary vigor-vigor of nerve, It is not, therefore, wonderful that in England, of temperament, of passion, of physical development where the immobility of the population, the reve-in a race of men, then surely must the Anglo- rence for antiquity, and the great prevalence of oral Norman breed, under all circumstances of time, place, tradition, induced probably at first by the want of and climate, be singularly destitute of all these letters, cause the memory of even past trifles to dwell qualities-nay, singularly frail, effeminate, and in- for ages in the breasts of the simple and moral people, complete.

any deed of romantic character, any act of unusual For it is an undoubted fact, both of the past and atrocity, any crime prompted by unusual or extraorpresent history of that great and still increasing race, dinary motives, should become, as it were, part and whether limited to the narrow bounds of the Island parcel of the place wherein it was wrought; that the Realm which gave it being, or extended to the bound leaves of the trees should whisper it to the winds of less breadth of isles, and continents, and oceans, evening; that the echoes of the lonely hills should rewhich it has filled with its arms, its arts, its industry, peat it; that the waters should sigh a burthen to its its language-it is, I say, an undoubted fact, that those strain; and that the very night should assume a dreadful and sanguinary crimes, forming a class apart deeper shadow, a more horrid gloom, from the awe and distinct of themselves, engendered for the most of the unforgotten sin. part by morbid passions, love, lust, jealousy, and I knew a place in my boyhood, thus haunted by rerenge, which are of daily occurrence in the southern the memory of strange crime; and whether it was countries of Europe, Asia, and America, are almost merely the terrible romance of the story, or the wild unknown in those happier lands, where English laws and gloomy character of the scenery endowed with a prevail, with English liberty and language.

sort of natural fitness to be the theatre of terrible It is to this that must be ascribed the fact, that, in events, or yet again the union of the two, I know not ; the very few instances where crimes of this nature but it produced upon my mind a very powerful inhave occurred in England or America, the memory fluence, amounting to a species of fascination, which of them is preserved with singular pertinacity, the constantly attracted me to the spot, although when smallest details handed down from generation to there, the weight of the tradition, and the awe of the generation, and the very spots in which they have scene produced a sense of actual pain. occurred, howmuchsoever altered or improved in The place to which I allude was but a few miles the course of ages, haunted, as if by an actual pre- distant from the celebrated public school, at which I sence, by the horror and the scent of blood; while on passed the happiest days of a not uneventful life, and the other hand the fame of ordinary deeds of violence was within an easy walk of the college limits; so and rapine seems almost to be lost before the lives that when I had attained that favored eminence, of the perpetrators are run out.

known as the sixth form, which allows its happy ocOne, and almost, I believe, a singular instance of cupants to roam the country, free from the fear of this kind—for I would not dignify the brawls and masters, provided only they attend at appointed assassinations which have disgraced some of our hours, it was my frequent habit to stroll away from southern cities, the offspring of low principles and an the noisy playing-fields through the green hedgerow unregulated society, by comparing them to the class lanes, or to scull my wherry over the smooth surface of crimes in question, which imply even in their of the silver Thames, toward the scene of dark tra

dition; and there to lap myself in thick coming fancies, without any apparent cause, almost completely emhalf sad, half sweet, yet terrible withal, and in their bowered by the tall hawthorn hedges, and the yet very terror attractive, until the call of the home- taller oaks and ashes which grew along their lines, ward rooks, and the lengthened shadows of the tall making, when in full verdure, twilight of noon itself, trees on the greensward, would warn me that I too and commanding no view whatever of the country must hie me back with speed, or pay the penalty of through which it ran, except when a field-gate, or cartundue delay.

track opened into it, affording a glimpse of a lonely Now, as the story has in itself, apart from the ex- meadow, bounded, perhaps, by a deep wood-side. traneous interest with which a perfect acquaintance On either hand of this lane was a broad, deep ditch, with its localities may have invested it in my eyes, both of them quite unlike any other ditches I have a powerful and romantic character ; as its catastrophe ever seen. Their banks were irregular; and it would was no less striking than un-English; and as the pas- seem evident that they had not been dug for any pursions which gave rise to it were at once the strongest poses of fencing or enclosure; and I have sometimes and the most general--though rarely prevailing, at imagined, from their varying width and depth-for in least among us Anglo-Normans, to so fearful an places they were ten feet deep, and three times as extent-I am led to hope that others may find in it broad, and at others but a foot or two across, and something that may enchain their attention for a time, containing but a few inches of water—that their beds though it may not affect them as it has me with had been hollowed out to get marl or gravel for the an influence, unchanged by change of scene, un- convenience of the neighboring cultivators. altered by the lapse of time, which alters all things. Be this as it may, they were at all times brimful of

I propose, therefore, to relate it, as I heard it first the clearest and most transparent water I ever refrom an old superannuated follower of the family, member to have seen--never turbid even after the which, owning other, though not fairer demesnes in heaviest rains; and though bordered by water-flags, some distant county, had never more used Ditton-in- and tapestried in many places by the broad, round the-Dale as their dwelling place, although well nigh leaves of the white and yellow water-lilies, never two centuries had elapsed since the transaction which corrupted by a particle of floating scum, or green had scared them away from their polluted house- duckweed. hold gods.

Whether they were fed by secret springs I know But first, I must describe briefly the characteristics not; or whether they communicated by sluices or of the scenery, without which a part of my tale side-drains with the neighboring Thames; I never would be hardly comprehensible, while the remark could discover any current or motion in their still, able effect produced by the coincidence, if I may so glassy waters, though I have wandered by their banks express myself, between the nature of the deed, and a hundred times, watching the red-finned roach and the nature of the place, would be lost entirely. silvery dace pursue each other among the shadowy

In the first place, then, I must premise that the name lily leaves, now startling a fat yellow frog from the of Ditton-in-the-Dale is in a great measure a misnomer, marge, and following him as he* dived through the as the house and estate which bear that name, are limpid blackness to the very bottom, now starting in situated on what a visiter would be at first inclined my own turn, as a big water-rat would swim from to call a dead level, but on what is in truth a small side to side, and vanish in some hole of the marly secondary undulation, or hollow, in the broad, flat bank, and now endeavoring to catch the great azurevalley through which the father of the English rivers, bodied, gauze-winged dragon-flies, as they shot to the royal-towered Thames, pursues, as Gray sang,

and fro on their poised wings, pursuing kites of the

insect race, some of the smaller ephemera.
The turf, the flowers, the shades among,
His silver-winding way.

It was those quiet, lucid waters, coupled with the

exceeding shadiness of the trees, and its very unusua But so destitute is all that country of any deep or well solitude-I have walked it, I suppose, from end to defined valleys, much less abrupt glens or gorges, end at least a hundred times, and I never remember ihat any hollow containing a tributary stream, which to have met so much even as a peasant returning invariably meanders in slow and sluggish reaches from his daily labor, or a country maiden tripping to through smooth, green meadow-land, is dignified with the neighboring town—that gave its character, and the name of dale, or valley. The country is, how will add, its charm to this half pastoral, half sylvai ever, so much intersected by winding lanes, bordered lane. For nearly three miles it ran in one direction with high straggling white-thorn hedges full of tall although, as I have said, with many devious turns timber trees, is subdivided into so many small fields, and seemingly unnecessary angles, and through tha all enclosed with similar fences, and is diversified length it did not pass within the sound of one farm with so many woods, and clumps of forest trees, that yard, or the sight of one cottage chimney. But t you lose sight of the monotony of its surface, in con- make up for this, of which it was, indeed, a conse sequence of the variety of its vegetation, and of the quence, the nightingales were so bold and familia limited space which the eye can comprehend, at any that they might be heard all day long filling the ai one time.

with their delicious melodies, not waiting, as in mor The lane by which I was wont to reach the demesne frequented spots, the approach of night, whose du of Ditton, partook in an eminent degree of this cha- ear to charm with amorous ravishment; nay, I hav racter, being very narrow, winding about continually seen them perched in full view on the branches

« ElőzőTovább »