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That the truths arrived at by the unaccredited | their professed errand in far countries. The coldest short road of “magnetism” had better be stripped scholar in art will better remember a living face of of their technical phraseology, and set down as the a new cast of expression, met in the gallery of Flo. gradual discoveries of science and experience, is a rence, than the best work of Michael Angelo, policy upon which acts many a sagacious believer whose genius he has crossed an ocean to study; in " clairvoyance." Doubtless, too, there is, here and a fair shoulder crowded against the musical and there, a wise man, who is glad enough to pierce, pilgrim, in the Capella Sistiera, will be taken surer with the eyes of an incredible agent, the secrets into his soul's inner memory than the best outdoing about him, and let the world give him credit, by of “the sky-lark taken up into heaven,” by the whatever name they please, for the superior know- ravishing reach of the Miserere. Is it not true? ledge of which he silently takes advantage. I should There can hardly be now, I think, a style of febe behind the time, if I had not sounded to the ut- male beauty of which I have not appreciated the most of my ability and opportunity the depth of this meaning and comparative enchantment, nor a denew medium. I have tried it on grave things and gree of that sometimes more effective thing than trifles. If the unveiling which I am about to record beauty itself—its expression breathing through fea. were of more use to myself than to others, perhaps tures otherwise unlovely—that I have not apI should adopt the policy of which I have just proached near enough to weigh and store truthfully spoken, and give the result, simply as my own in remembrance. The taste forever refines in the shrewd lesson learned in reading the female heart study of woman. We return to what, with immaBut the truths I unfold will instruct the few who ture eye, we at first rejected; we intensify, imneed and can appreciate them, while the whole measurably, our worship of the few who wear on subject is not of general importance enough to bring their foreheads the star of supreme loveliness, condown cavilers upon the credibility of their source. sessed pure and perfect by all beholders alike; we I thus get rid of a very detestable though sometimes detect it under surfaces which become transparent necessary evil, ("qui nescit dissimulare nescit only with tenderness or enthusiasm ; we separate vivere," says the Latin sage,) that of shining by any the work of Nature's material chisel from the relight that is not absolutely my own.
sistless and warm expansion of the soul swelling I am a very plain man in my personal appear- its proportions to fill out the shape it is to tenant ance—so plain that a common observer, if informed hereafter. Led by the purest study of true beauty, that there was a woman who had a fancy for my the eager mind passes on from the shrine where it peculiar type, would wonder that I was not thank- lingered to the next of whose greater brightness it fully put to rest for life as a seeker after love-a becomes aware; and this is the secret of one kind second miracle of the kind being a very slender of "inconstancy in love,” which should be named probability. It is not in beauty that the taste for apart from the variableness of those seekers of beauty alone resides, however. In early youth my novelty, who, from unconscious self-contempt, soul, like the mirror of Cydippe, retained, with value nothing they have had the power to win. enamored fidelity, the image of female loveliness An unsuspected student of beauty, I passed years copied in the clear truth of its appreciation, and the of loiterings in the living galleries of Europe and passion for it had become, insensibly, the thirst of Asia, and, like self-punishing misers in all kinds of my life, before I thought of it as more than an in- amassings, stored up boundlessly more than, with toxicating study. To be loved-myself beloved the best trained senses, I could have found the life by a creature made in one of the diviner moulds of 10 enjoy. Of course I had a first advantage, of danwoman, was, however, a dream that shaped itself gerous facility, in my unhappy plainness of person into waking distinctness at last, and from that hour —the alarm-guard that surrounds every beautiful I took up the clogging weight of personal disadvan- woman in every country of the world—letting sleep tages, to which I had hitherto unconsciously been at my approach the cautionary reserve which prechained, and bore it heavily in the race which the sents bayonet so promptly to the good-looking. well-favored ran as eagerly as I.
Even with my worship avowed, and the manifestaI am not to recount, here, the varied experiencestion of grateful regard which a woman of fine of my search, the world over, after beauty and its quality always returns for elevated and unexacting smile. It is a search on which all travelers are admiration I was still left with such privilege of more than half bent, let them name as they please l access as is granted to the family-gossip, or to an
innocuous uncle, and it is of such a passion, rashly | of the Italian autumn. My bappiness would not nurtured under this protection of an improbability, have been arranged after the manner of this world's that I propose to tell the inner story.
happiness, if I had been the only addition to their
party up the mountain. They had received with PART II.
open arms, a few days before leaving Lucca, a
young man from the neighborhood of their own I was at the Baths of Lucca during a season made home, and who, I saw with half a glance, was the gay by the presence of a large proportion of the very Eidolon and type of what Mr. Wangrave agreeable and accessible court of Tuscany. The would desire as a fitting match for his daughter. material for my untiring study was in abundance, From the allusions to him that had preceded his yet it was all of the worldly character which the coming, I had learned that he was the heir to a attractions of the place would naturally draw to brilliant fortune, and was coming to his old friends gether, and my homage had but a choice between to be congratulated on his appointment to a capdifferences of display, in the one pursuit of admira- taincy in the Queen's Guards-as pretty a case of tion. In my walks through the romantic mountain- an “irresistible” as could well have been compaths of the neighborhood, and along the banks of pounded for expectation. And when he came-the the deep-down river that threads the ravine above absolute model of a youth of noble beauty-all frankthe village, I had often met, meantime, a lady ac- ness, good manners, joyousness, and confidence, I companied by a well-bred and scholar-like looking summoned courage to look alternately at Stephania man; and though she invariably dropped her veil and him, and the hope, the daring hope that I had at my approach, her admirable movement, as she never yet named to myself, but which was already walked, or stooped to pick a flower, betrayed that master of my heart, and its every pulse and capaconscious possession of beauty and habitual con- bility, dropped prostrate and lifeless in my bosom. fidence in her own grace and elegance, which as- If he did but offer her the life-minute of love, of sured me of attractions worth taking trouble to which I would give her, it seemed to me, for the know. By one of those " unavoidable accidents" same price, an eternity of countless existenceswhich any respectable guardian angel will con- if he should but give her a careless word, where I trive, to oblige one, I was a visiter to the gentle could wring a passionate utterance out of the aching man and lady-father and daughter-soon after my blood of my very heart-she must needs be his. curiosity bad framed the desire; and in her I found She would be a star else that would resign an orbit a marvel of beauty, from which I looked in vain in the fair sky, to illumine a dim cave; a flower for my usual escape-that of placing the ladder of that would rather bloom on a bleak noor, than in the my heart against a loftier and fairer.
garden of a king-for, with such crushing comMr. Wangrave was one of those English gentle- parisons, did I irresistibly see myself as I rememmen who would not exchange the name of an bered my own shape and features, and my far ancient and immemorially wealthy family for any humbler fortunes tban his, standing in her presence title that their country could give them, and he used beside him. this shield of modest honor simply to protect himself Oh! how every thing contributed to enhance the in the enjoyment of habits, freed, as far as refine. beauty of that young man. How the mellow and ment and culture could do it, from the burthens and harmonizing tenderness of the light of the Italian intrusions of life above and below him. He was sky gave sentiment to his oval cheek, depth to his ceaselessly educating himself-like a man whose gray-blue eye, meaning to their overfolding and whole life was only too brief an apprenticeship to thick-fringed lashes. Whatever he said with his a higher existence-and, with an invalid but intel- finely-cut lips, was looked into twenty times its lectual and lovely wife, and a daughter who seemed meaning by the beauty of their motion in that languid unconscious that she could love, and who kept gay atmosphere-an atmosphere that seemed only pace with her youthful-hearted father in his lighter breathed for his embellishment and Stephania's. branches of knowledge, his family sufficed to itself, Every posture he took seemed a happy and rare acand had determined so to continue while abroad. cident, which a painter should have been there to The society of no Continental watering-place has a see. The sunsets, the moonlight, the chance backvery good name, and they were there for climate ground and fore-ground, of vines and rocks-every and seclusion. With two ladies, who seemed to thing seemed in conspiracy to heighten his effeci, occupy the places and estimation of friends, (but who and make of him a faultless picture of a lover. were probably the paid nurse and companion to the · Every thing," did I say? Yes, even my selfinvalid,) and a kind-hearted old secretary 10 Mr. for my uncomely face and form were such a foil to Wangrave, whose duties consisted in being as his beauty as a skillful artist would have introduced happy as he could possibly be, their circle was to heighten it when all other art was exha usted, large enough, and it contained elements enough and every one saw it except Stephania; and little except only, porhaps, the réveille that was wanting they knew how, with perceptions far quicker than for the apparently slumbering heart of Stephania, theirs, I felt their recognition of this, in the degree
A month after my first call upon the Wangraves, of softer kindness in which they unconsciously spoke I joined them on their journey to Vallambrosa, where 10 me. They pitied me, and without recognizing thoy proposed to take refuge from the sultry coming their own thought--for it was a striking instance of the difference in the gifts of nature-one man looking , holy mountain, Mr. Wangrave and his secretary, and scarce possible to love, and beside him, another, Palgray and I, fed at the table with the aristocratic of the same age, to whose mere first-seen beauty, monks—(for they are the aristocrats of European without a word from his lips, any heart would seem noliness, these monks of Vallambrosa.) It was some. unnatural not to leap in passionate surrender. what a relief to me, to be separated with my rival
We were the best of sudden friends, Palgray and from the party in the feminine refectory, even for I. He, like the rest, walked only the outer vesti- the short space of a meal-time; for the all-day sufbule of the sympathies, viewlessly deepening and fering of presence with an unconscious trampler on extending, hour by hour, in that frank and joyous my heart-strings, and in circumstances where all the circle. The interlinkings of soul, which need no triumphs were his own, were more than my intanlanguage, and which go on, whether we will or no, gible hold upon hope could well enable me to bear. while we talk with friends, are so strangely un- I was happiest, therefore, when I was out of the thought of by the careless and happy. He saw in presence of her to be near whom was all for which me no counter-worker to his influence. I was to my life was worth having; and when we sat down him but a well-bred and extremely plain man, who at the long and bare table, with the thoughtful and tranquilly submitted to forego all the first prizes ashen-cowled company, sad as I was, it was an of lite, content if I could contribute to society in opiate sadness-a suspension from self-mastery, its unexcited voids, and receive in return only under torture which others took to be pleasure. the freedom of its outer intercourse, and its friendly The temperature of the mountain-air was just such esteem. But, oh! it was not in the same world that as to invite us to never enter doors except to eat he and I knew Stephania. He approached her from and sleep; and breakfasting at convent-hours, we the world in whose most valued excellences, beauty passed the long day in rambling up the ravines and and wealth, he was pre-eminently gifted—I, from the through the sombre forests, drawing, botanizing, and viewless world, in which I had at least more skill conversing in group around some spot of exquisite and knowledge. In the month that I had known natural beauty; and all of the party, myself excepted, her before he came, I had sedulously addressed supposing it to be the un-dissenting, common desire myself to a character within her, of which Palgray to contrive opportunity for the love-making of Pal. had not even a conjecture; and there was but one gray and Stephania. And, bitter though it was, in danger of his encroachment on the ground I had each particular instance, to accept a hint from one gained-her imagination might supply in him the and another, and stroll off, leaving the confessed nobler temple of soul-worship, which was still un- lovers alone by some musical water-fall, or in the built, and which would never be builded except by secluded and twilight dimness of some curve in an pangs such as he was little likely to feel in the un- overhanging ravine-places where only to breathe deepening channel of happiness. He did not notice is to love-I still felt an instinctive prompting to that I never spoke to her in the same key of voice rather anticipate than wait for these reminders, she to which the conversation of others was attuned. alone knowing what it cost me to be without her in He saw not that, while she turned to him with a that delicious wilderness; and Palgray, as well as I smile as a preparation to listen, she heard my voice could judge, having a mind out of harmony with as if her attention had been arrested by distant both the wilderness and her. music-with no change in her features except a look He loved her-loved her as well as most women more earnest. She would have called him to look need to be, or know that they can be loved. But he with her at a glowing sunset, or to point out a new was too happy, too prosperous, too universally be. comer in the road from the village; but if the moon loved, to love well. He was a man, with all his had gone suddenly into a cloud and saddened the beauty, more likely to be fascinating to his own sex face of the landscape, or if the wind had sounded than to hers, for the women who love best, do not love mournfully through the trees, as she looked out upon in the character they live in; and his out-of-doors heart, the night, she would have spoken of that first to me. whose joyfulness was so contagious, and whose bold
impulses were so manly and open, contented itself
with gay homage, and left unplummeted the sweetest PART III
as well as deepest wells of the thoughtful tenderness I am flying over the track, of what was to me a of woman. torrent-outlining its course by alighting upon, here To most observers, Stephania Wangrave would and there, a point where it turned or lingered. have seemed only born to be gay-the mere habit of
The reader has been to Vallambrosa--if not once being happy having made its life-long imprint upon as a pilgrim, at least often with writers of travels in her expression of countenance, and all of her nature, Italy. The usages of the convent are familiar to that would be legible to a superficial reader, being all memories--their lodging of the gentlemen of a brought out by the warm translucence of her smiles. party in cells of their own monastic privilege, and But while I had seen this, in the first hour of my giving to the ladies less sacred hospitalities, in a study of her, I was too advanced in my knowledge secular building of meaner and unconsecrated archi- (of such works of nature as encroach on the models lecture. (So, oh, mortifying brotherhood, you shut of Heaven) not to know this to be a light veil over oti your only chance of entertaining angels unaware!) a picture of melancholy meaning. Sadness was the Not permitted to eat with the ladies while on the tone of her mind's inner coloring. Tears were the
subterranean river upon which her soul's bark floated in too dazzling a gayety of his own to see-a balo with the most loved freight of her thought's accumu- of a mind more beautiful than the body which shut lation--the sunny waters of joy, where alone she it in; and in this intellectual orbit of guidance 10 was thought to voyage, being the tide on which interchange of mind, with manifold deeper and higher her heart embarked no venture, and which seemed reach than Palgray's, upon whatever topic chanced to her triflingly garish and even profaning to the to occur, revolved I, around her who was the lovehallowed delicacy of the inner nature.
liest and most gifted of all the human beings I had It was so strange to me that Palgray did not see been privileged to meet. this through every lineament of her marvelous beauty. There was a glow under her skin, but no
PART IV. color-an effect of paleness—fair as the lotus-leaf, but warmer and brighter, and which came through The month was expiring at Vallambrosa, but I had the alabaster fineness of the grain, like something not mingled, for that length of time, with a fraternity the eye cannot define, but which we know by some of thoughtful men, without recognition of some of spirit-perception to be the efluence of purer exist that working of spontaneous and elective magnetism ence, the breathing through, as it were, of the lumi- to which I have alluded in a previous part of this nous tenanting of an angel. To this glowing pale- story. Opposite me, at the table of the convent reness, with golden hair, I never had seen united any fectory, had sat a taciturn monk, whose influence ! but a disposition of predominant melancholy; and it felt from the first day—a stronger consciousness of seemed to me dull indeed otherwise to read it. his presence, that is 10 say, than of any one of the But there were other betrayals of the same inner other monks—though he did not seem particularly nature of Stephania. Her lips, cut with the fine to observe me, and till recently had scarce spoken tracery of the penciling upon a tulip-cup, were of a to me at all. He was a man of perhaps fifty years slender and delicate fullness, expressive of a mind of age, with the countenance of one who had sufwhich took-of the senses)—only so much life as fered and gained a victory of contemplation-a look would hold down the spirit during its probation, and as if no suffering could be new to him, and before when this spiritual mouth was at rest, no painter whom no riddle of human vicissitudes could stay has ever drawn lips on which lay more of the un- / unread; but over all this penetration and saracity utterable pensiveness of beauty which we dream to was diffused a cast of genial philanthropy and goodhave been Mary's, in the childhood of Jesus. A fellowship which told of his forgiveness of the world tear in the heart was the instinctive answer to for what he had suffered in it. With a curiosity Stephania's every look when she did not smile; and more at leisure, I should have sought him out, and her large, soft, slowly-liting eyes, were to any joined him in his walks to know more of him; but elevated perception, it seemed to me, most eloquent spiritually acquainted though I felt we had become, of tenderness as tearful as it was unfathomable and I was far too busy with head and heart for any interangelic.
course, except it bad a bearing on the struggle for I shall have failed, however, in portraying truly love that I was, to all appearance, so hopelessly the being of whom I am thus privileged to hold the making. likeness in my memory, if the reader fancies her to Preparations were beginning for departure, and have nurtured her pensive disposition at the expense with the morrow, or the day after, I was to take my of a just value for real life, or a full development way to Venice-my friends bound to Switzerland of womanly feelings. It was a peculiarity of her and England, and propriety not permitting me 10 beauty, to my eye, that, with all her earnest leaning seek another move in their company. The evening toward a thoughtful existence, there did not seem on which this was made clear to me, was one of to be one vein beneath her pearly skin, not one those continuations of day into night made by the wavy line in her faultless person, that did not lend brightness of a full Italian moon; and Palgray, its proportionate consciousness to her breathing sense whose face, troubled, for the first time, betrayed to of life. Her bust' was of the slightest fullness me that he was at a crisis of his fate with Stephania, which the sculptor would choose for the embodying evidently looked forward to this glowing night as of his ideal of the best blending of modesty with the favorable atmosphere in which he might urge his complete beauty; and her throat and arms--oh, with suit, with nature pleading in his behalf. The relucwhat an inexpressible pathos of loveliness, so to tance and evident irresolution of his daughter puzzled speak, was moulded, under an infantine dewiness of Mr. Wangrave-for he had no doubt that she loved surface, their delicate undulations. No one could Palgray, and his education of her head and heart be in her presence without acknowledging the per- gave him no clue to any principle of coquettishness, fection of ber forın as a woman, and rendering the or willingness to give pain, for the pleasure of an passionate yel subdued homage which the purest exercise of power. Her mother, and all the membeauty fulfills its human errand by inspiring; but, bers of the party, were aware of the mystery that while Palgray made the halo which surrounded her hung over the suit of the young guardsman, but they outward beauty the whole orbit of his appreciation, were all alike discreet, while distressed, and conand made of it, too, the measure of the circle of fined their interference to the removal of obstacles topics he chose to talk upon, there was still another in the way of the lovers being together, and the and far wider ring of light about her, which he lived ! avoidance of any topics gay enough to change the
key of her spirits from the natural softness of the My mind had strained to Stephania's presence with evening.
the first footsteps that told me of their separation; and Vespers were over, and the sad-colored figures of it needed but a wave of his hand to unlink the spiritthe monks were gliding indolently here and there, wings from my weary frame. I was present with her. and Stephania, with Palgray beside her, stood a little I struggled for a moment, but in vain, to see her apart from the group at the door of the secular refec- face. Its expression was as visible as my hand in tory, looking off at the fading purple of the sunset. the sun, but no feature. The mind I had read was I could not join her without crossing rudely the close to me, in a presence of consciousness; and, in obvious wishes of every person present; yet for the points, here and there, brighter, bolder, and furtherlast two days, I had scarce found the opportunity to reaching than I had altogether believed. She was exchange a word with her, and my emotion now unutterably pure-a spirit without a spot-and I rewas scarce controllable. The happier lover beside mained near her with a feeling as it my forehead her, with his features heightened in expression (as I were pressed down to the palms of my hands, in thought they never could be) by his embarrassment homage mixed with sorrow, for I should have more in wooing, was evidently and irresistibly the object of recognized this in my waking study of her nature. her momentary admiration. He offered her his arm, A moment more-a trembling effort, as if to read and made a movement toward the path off into the what were written to record my companionship for forest. There was an imploring deference infinitely eternity-and a vague image of myself came out in becoming in his manner, and see it she must, with shadow-clearer now, and still clearer, enlarging 10 pride and pleasure. She hesitated-gave a look to to the fullness of her mind. She thought wholly and where I stood, which explajned 10 me better than a only of that image I then saw, yet with a faint world of language, that she had wished at least to coloring playing to and from it, as influences came speak to me on this last evening--and, before the in from the outer world. Her eyes were turned in dimness over my eyes had passed away, they upon it in lost contemplation. But suddenly a new were gone. Oh! pitying Ileaven! give me never thought broke upon me. I saw my image, but it again, while wrapt in mortal weakness, so harsh was not I, as I looked to myself. The type of my a pang to suffer.
countenance was there; but, oh, transformed to an
ideal, such as I now, for the first time, saw possible PART V.
-ennobled in every defective line--purified of its The convent-bell struck midnight, and there was taint from worldliness-inspired with high aspiraa foot-fall in the cloister I was startled by it out of tions--cleared of what it had become cankered with, an entire forgetfulness of all around me, for I was in its transmission through countless generations lying on my bed in the monastery cell, with my since first sent into the world, and restored to a likehands clasped over my eyes, as I had thrown myself ness of the angel of whose illuminated lineaments down on coming in; and, with a strange contrariety, it was first a copy. So thought Stephania of me. my mind, broken rudely from its hope, had flown Thus did she believe I truly was. Oh! blessed, and to my far away home, oblivious of the benumbed yet humiliating, trust of woman! Oh! comparison links that lay between. A knock at my door com
of true and ideal, at which spirits must look out of pleted the return to my despair, for with a look at heaven, and of which they must long, with aching the walls of my little chamber, in the bright beam pity, to make us thus rebukingly aware! of moonlight that streamed in at the narrow window, I was, by recognition, again at Vallambrosa, and I felt myself withdrawing from Stephania's preStephania, with an accepted lover's voice in her ear, sence. There were tears between us, which I could was again near me, her moistened eyes steeped not see. I strove to remain, but a stronger power with Palgray’s in the same beam of the all-visiting than my will was at work within me. I felt my and unbetraying moon.
heart swell with a gasp, as if death were bearing Father Ludovic entered. The gentle tone of his out of it the principle of life; and my head dropped benedicite, told me that he had come on an errand on the pillow of my bed. of sympathy. There was little need of preliminary “Good night, my son,” said the low voice of between two who read the inner countenance as Father Ludovic, “I have willed that you should rehabitually as did both of us; and as briefly as the member what you have seen. Be worthy of her knowledge and present feeling of each could be re- love, for there are few like her.” expressed in words, we confirmed the spirit-mingling He closed the door, and as the glide of his sandals that had brought him there, and were presently as died away in the echoing cloisters, I leaned forth to one. He had read truly the drama of love, enacting spread my expanding heart in the upward and boundin the party of visiters to his convent, but his judg- less light of the moon-for I seemed to wish never ment of the possible termination of it was different again to lose in the wasteful forgelfulness of sleep, from mine.
the consciousness that I was loved by Stephania.
Palgray's dormitory was at the extremity of the I was journeying the next day, alone, toward cloister, and we presently heard him pass.
Venice. I had left written adieux for the party at "She is alone, now,” said Father Ludovic, “I will Vallambrosa, pleading to my friends an unwillingsend you to her."
ness to bear the pain of a formal separation Betwixt