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No. 5. Women of Damascus.—On the Parting of Friends. 163
WOMEN OF DAMASCUS.
A late traveller says—On my way down to the town, I met a group of women enveloped in white cotton veils; they were attended by a black slave, clothed in scarlet, and holding a white wand in his hand. He was an eunuch, charged with the custody of his master's harem, and he was then conducting the fair creatures away from the confined and healed atmosphere of the city to breathe the pure air and pluck the fruit of; his master's garden on the banks of Barrada. The women seemed young and finely formed; they were dressed in richly figured voluminous trowsers, which were partially visible. 1 caught also a glimpse of the faces of two of them, pale, but remarkably fair, and their jet black eyes had that irresistible expression imparted to them which the inside of the eyelid tinged with kohile universally gives to a deep black eye. The slave passed with his women between me and the wall, in a haughty and commanding manner, striking his slipper with his white stick, and regarding me with an air of haughty defiance, and a look of haughty contempt. I passed on, pitying his condition. Many of the women here, I have observed, when they are away from the town, take no great pains to conceal their faces, but let the face veil hang negligently and gracefully down on one side ofI the head, and on the shoulders, which is no doubt done for the purpose of enabling them to inhale the odor of the orange blossoms, and of the jasmins in the gardens. 1 have at different times observed a great many very beautiful faces, more particularly in the burying grounds on Fridays, where the women to indulge their grief, and dwell on the
of departed friends. Just before 1 arrived at the gate Keisan, I t with a Syrian damsel whom I had often encountered in my rambles about the environs of Damascus, accompanied by an old woman. Being a handsome, dark-eyed girl, and of a frolicksome disposition, she was one of those who always dispensed with the veil, when she could do so without suffering in the
food opinion of her observant countrywomen, ventured to walk for a considerable distance with her toward the city, and as she was a Christian woman, my presence was submitted to on her part without fear of the dangerous consequences to her character, which would have been entertained by a genuine Moslem lady. The red slipper on her foot distinguished her from the disciples of Mahomet, but in all other respects she was clothed in the attractive costume of eastern females, little of which can, however, be seen out loors; for the richly figured voluminous iwsers, the shintee, sal'tah, the far'roo, and
the dee'yeh are all enveloped in a loose walking dress. Some of the women, however, when away from the town, display a considerable [quantity of those graceful under garments, and among them this Syrian damsel had often before been remarked by me for the grace and beauty of her costume, the embroidered kerchief around her waist, and the short, richly-worked vest, which leaves the bosom perfectly uncovered, except by a thin gauze shirt. I made my servant, who had for a long time been a resident of Damascus, come and join our party, in order that we might present a less conspicuous appearance, and we all proceeded, laughing in a most un-oriental manner, down to the banks of the river. What a contrast does the stillness, silence, and repose, hanging about an Eastern city, present to the noise, bustle, and uneasy excitement of the towns in the western world! Here we are no longer disturbed by the din of carriage wheels, and the clanging of the iron shod hoof over the stony pavement; the long string of dromedaries, and the moving cavalcades, pass with noiseless tread over the sandy, dusty roads. The bright dazzling sun—the calm atmosphere—the motionless trees, and the slow, stately march of the Orientals, as they pass lonely and silently onward,—all impress the mind with the idea of quiet and repose, which is here greatly heightened by the constant murmuring sound of the different rivulets watering the gardens.
Written for the Ladies' Garland. ON THE PARTING OF FRIENDS.
BY MRS. M. L- OARDINER.
To part, and feel that we again
On earth our friends once more shall meet, Robs the torn breast of half its pain,
And makes e'en farewell anguish sweet.
It is forever—and the heart
Of life, tbrever must depart,
No wish or power can them replace A phantom, which, if we pursue.
Still onward flies and leaves no trace. To part! to part! and know no more
The voice we lov'd, so soft and clear, Like winds from Araby's mild shore,
Shall fall upon the list'ning ear; To feel no time can ever bring
The cherish'd one to us again. Lashes the soul with scorpion sting,
And chills the blood in every vein;
More rapid in its winding way,
Or on the wildering senses play.
None can conceive, but those who taste The anguish of that parting knell—
Which speaks this world a barren waste; Speaks every joy like bubbles blown,
Scatter'd upon the desert air;
And leaves the mind to wild despair.
Written for the Ladies' Garland.
OR, THE BROKEN-HEARTED.
Why comes he not? 'tis now
The hour to lovers sweet,
Falls struggling at my feet.
The sultriness of day,
Then, why is he away?
Moorish Ladt/'t Song'
"He will not come to-night," said Louisa Glyndon, as she looked out of the window, striving to catch a glimpse of him to whom her young heart with all its confiding tenderness was devoted. "It is now past his hour—what can keep him?" As she asked herself this startling question, she recollected the ambiguous manner in which his promise to meet her that evening was given; his look, which expressed no joy or gladness— and his early departure to meet a few of his convivial friends. How unlike the Charles Stanton of old!
Still there she sat, watching every person as they passed, fondly imagining in each one she could discover Cliarles. Therain poured down in torrents; the streets were deserted, every living thing had disappeared from their now silent walks;—still there sat that fond and devoted girl, happy in the expectation of meeting him, who, perhaps was now revelling with a few of his boon companions in the halls of luxury and dissipation, forgetting her whose fond heart was tortured with the effects of his broken promise.
Louisa remained up long after the family had retired, and stirred not until the timepiece warned her that the midnight hour had passed: she then retired, lonely and sorrowful to her chamber, there to weep, and pray, and hope in secret . Dreary and wretched to her were the long hours that intervened between her time of retiring and day-break. She called to mind every little event that had transpired long back. She thought of Stanton's vows of eternal constancy—of the marriage promise which had been given, and the period appointed for their marriage to take place; then the disordered and perplexed manner in which he stated his inability to act in conformity with his promise. But she had his sacred word—his solemn asseveration—that he would love none other; and she could not believe him faithless. No! Charles Stanton had pledged his word, and Louisa Glyndon would trust in that pledge; and she arose next morning comforted under the consoling influence of her night's thoughts.
"She still believed him faithful,
A long and dreary week, which to her appeared a year, ensued, before Stanton visited
the house again; and O! how changed. No longer a glad smile lit up his countenance on beholding her; his manner was cold and even repulsive. No more did his fine voice, mingling with hers in sweet strains of music, attract the attention of the passer by. His visits became less and less frequent, until at length they totally ceased.
She now felt the bitterness of disappointed love. How often had she congratulated herself on retaining the affections of Charles; and to be thus cast off, was doubly severe. No longer did her fairy-like step and lifegiving smile enliven her now desolate home; gradually she was wasting away; her fair cheeks had lost their rotundity, and her eyes looked sunken and hollow. She loved in the soft still evening, when all nature was hushed, and the laborer retired to his lowly cot, to wander forth and seat herself on the grassy mound, endeared to her by the recollection of the happy hours that had been passed there by herself and Charles. There shs would sit and mourn over her blighted hopes, until warned by the chilly dews of night to return. Of him who had caused this ruin she heard nothing, except that he had long since left his native town to wander forth among the busy haunts of men.
Her friends viewed with uneasiness her rapidly declining health ; and as her mother's relatives resided in England, they determined to send her there to try the effect of change of scene. The excitement of the voyage, and an ocean life, exercised a salutary influence on her declining constitution.
She arrived safely at her place of destination, and was received with marked kindness by her English relatives. On viewing the place which was to be her home while she remained in England, how was her gentle heart delighted on finding it so much like the one she had left. The winding stream, on whose banks Charles and her had so often wandered together, she fancied was-there; and a seat, placed at the foot of a large old oak, she compared with the knoll of her own and Charles' making; and when seated there her mind was soothed by the quietness and harmony with which she was surrounded.
Here she might have remained in quiet, had she not accidentally, one morning on picking up the paper, been attracted by a paragraph, which on reading called up old recollections; it read thus—
"Married, yesterday morning, in Saint George's Church, Hanover Square, Charles Stanton, Esq., of , to Miss Clara Cecelia Conroy, daughter of the Hon. John Conroy, of London."
The paper dropped from her hand; and on a servant entering the room about two hours! after, he found her lying senseless on the floor: assistance was immediately procured, and our suffering heroine conveyed to her chamber. Her aunt, to whom had been given an account of her sickness, saw at a glance the injurious effects likely to result from this breaking in upon the repose of the mind of her niece.
Long, very long, was it before she had recovered sufficiently to travel. She was conveyed from watering place to watering place, in the flattering hope that she would thereby be benefitted; but all was of no avail; the fatal stroke was given—that which she more than dreaded had taken place, her peace of mind was destroyed forever.
She left the shores of England for her own beloved country, and arrived in her native town, the wreck of what she once was. None could recognise in that tall, pale, and attenuated girl, the once healthful and blooming Louisa Glyndon. Her parents received their child with sorrow, for they plainly perceived that the angel of death would soon deprive tbem of their loved one, and that her gentle spirit was about to be wafted to other realms, there to join, as is fondly hoped, inthecheerful song of those who had preceded her, and who were now pouring forth their praises at their Maker's throne.
She visited once more the scenes of her love. O! how fondly she lingered on that grassy mound, praying for forgiveness for him who had thus destroyed her youthful life.
She died; and a plain marble slab raised on one side of the mound records the place of her interment.
We shall now see whether Charles Stanton lived a happy life with his
"And pray, Mr. Stanton, what are your reasons for wishing me to decline attending the ball at the Marchioness of D 's tomorrow evening?" asked Mrs. Clara Cecelia Stanton of her husband.
"You know them, Clara, as well as myself," replied he; "Henry is very sickly and requires all a mother's love and care."
"It is no such thing, sir! Henry has nurses to attend him, and wants nothing. Your aim is only to keep me at home while you are attending your clubs; and as I see no reasonable motive for staying from the Marchioness's to-morrow, I am determined to go." So saying she left the room. O! how bitterly did Stanton feel the misery entailed upon him by a fashionable English bride.
The above was only one of the many contentions that took place between Mr. and Mrs. Stanton, when she found such pleasure
in attending parties and balls to which she was invited, when he judged she ought to be at home attending their child. What comfort could he expect from her, the heiress of a title, whose only aim was to shine in the wealthy and dissipated circle in which she moved, and who married him but to escape parental control?
In the evening the carriage of her sister, the Countess of Norlington, rolled to the door; and Mrs. Stanton, dressed in her velvets and satins of the latest fashion, left her husband and sick child, to while away the night in the pleasures of the ball room.
Sometime after his wile had departed, Mr. Stanton was moving toward the chamber which contained his son, when his steps were arrested by the conversation of the attendants within.
"For my part, I does not envy the children of the rich! Mrs. Martin; there is Mrs. Stanton, who ought to be here by the side of her son, dancing away in a ball room."
"Jist as I say, Mrs. Lynes; if the children of the poor, are poor, they have a mother's love and care." Further conversation was now ended by the noise of the sick child, who began to toss and moan, on his downy bed with its velvet curtains.
"Can it be possible! and has it come to this, that they who reap the fruits of Clara's dissipation, should declaim against it," murmured Stanton; "if he has not a mother's, he shall have a father's love."
"Hush, hush, Mrs. Martin, he is not awake," said Mrs. Lynes, "stir not, or you will certainly wake him."
"Not awake! I guess he is then," replied Mrs. Martin, not perceiving her master as he opened the door. Opening the curtains she looked into the bed, but started back as if bitten by a poisonous reptile.
"For mercy's sake, Mrs. Martin, what is the matter? what ails you?"
Mrs. Martin, who was standing at the bed side, said nothing, but pointed to the child.
"My child! my child!" exclaimed Stanton, rushing up to the bed; he stretched forth bis hands to clasp his boy, but a cold and lifeless form met his touch—his child was dead. * * * # #'
On Mrs. Stanton's returning home, she noticed not the sorrowful looks of her maid as she disrobed her. Happy thoughts flitted through her brain; she had been the belle of the ball room: she had been told so, and she was happy. The absence of her husband excited no suspicion, she thought he was taking one of his early morning rides. She soon fell to sleep, but uneasy visions attended her slumbers; at one time she saw her child dressed in pure white, with a sorrowful countenance, pointing sadly to his father, who was sitting1 in a chair weeping; then again she saw a funeral, but who was dead! She walked through a long hall to a room at its furthest extremity—she entered, but what a sight met her eye; there on a bier lay her child in the cold embrace of death!
She awoke with a shriek, and rang the bell with such violence, that the maid, followed by the whole household, rushed in.
"What is this?—Where is your master, Lucy ?—Why have you not been in bed? she asked, hurriedly, on seeing them all enter.
"O madam, my master is "and Lucy
could say no more, but burst into tears.
"Speak, speak, John, where is your master?"
A sudden thought struck her. "My child! my child!" she frantically exclaimed, as jumping up she rushed into the chamber in which he was wont to lay. What a sight met her eye! there, extended on a couch, was her son, pale and motionless.
She fell senseless at the foot of the bed, and was carried back to her chamber by the affrighted servants. Stanton, who was seated in the room when his wife entered—but whom she did not perceive—followed, and strove by various means to restore her again to consciousness. All his efforts proved unavailing; the family physician was called in, who pronounced that a disorder of the brain had taken place, caused by sudden fright; a long fit of illness followed.
It was at the close of a beautiful day in spring; the setting sun threw his cheering beams in an apartment furnished with all the magnificence wealth could bestow. On a downy couch, hung with rich velvet curtains, reclined a pale and thin, but still beautiful woman. Her age might be about thirty; and on that marble brow lingered the traces of intense suffering. The crimson curtains looped over the windows shed a delicate tint over her wan features. Catching a small golden tassel suspended near the bed, she gave it a gentle pull; immediately a servant entered on tip-toe, whom she desired in a low, faint voice, to call Mr. Stanton.
The man had not been gone long, ere Mr. Stanton, attired in deep black, opened the door and drew a chair near the bedside. Mrs. Stanton's manner was calm and collected, while the features of her husband betrayed extraordinary agitation.
"Listen to me, Charles—for by that name I must call you once more," said the wife in a faint, husky voice. "I am dying, and the grave will soon cover one whom you can never more love. O, Charles'. Charles! can you forgive me the misery and wretchedness
that I have caused you?" she would have said more, but further utterance was stopped. She looked wildly into his countenance. which was wrung with intense emotion.
"Cease, cease, Clara!" exclaimed he, "I do forgive you from the bottom of my heart."
A smile lit up her countenance, she raised her hands, and a convulsive throb and a murmured " Thank God," and all was over; and Stanton now looked upon the corpse of his wife. Hastily leaving the room, he gave a few orders to his attendants, and then withdrew into his own chamber.
The Countess of Sethingford—for Mrs. Stanton rose to the title in her sicknpss— was interred with all the magnificence due to her rank and station in life. A few days after her burial, Stanton started for the Continent; nothing was heard of him by his wife's relations, until about five months after his departure, when the Lady Norlington received a letter, sealed with black, in which it was stated, that he had met with his death by P. fall from his horse.
He died far from his native land, and filled a foreign grave. R. W. N.
Selected for the Ladies' Garland.
There was a time when I could dwell
Enraptured in my native bowers— There was a time when I could tell
The glories of my halcyon hours: Their brightest dreams have passed away,
The beauties of those scenes have fled, And all I lov'd will soon decay—
E'en now they're number'd with the dead.
A year ago—and I have been
Far distant from my native strand,
That beautifies my native land.
That time their charms away would steal, For in my memory, they seemed
As bright as truth could e'er reveal.
A year ago they had not felt
The weight of time's corroding finger— A year ago—and I have knelt
Upon that spot—I then could linger 'Mid scenes like these, and not to me
Be known their future destiny. ******
These scenes I leave with deep regret,
Their memories linger round me yet—
J. S. C.
"There's danger in the mines, old man," I exclaimed to an aged miner, who, with his arms bent, leaned against the sides of the immense vault, absorbed in meditation; "it must be a frightful life."
The old man looked with a steadfast but somewhat vacant stare, and then in half broken sentences he muttered, " danger—where is there not—on the earth or beneath it—on the mountain or in the valley—on the ocean, or in the quiet of nature's most hidden spot —where hath not death left some token of his presence?"
"Truly," I replied; "but the vicissitudes of life are various; the sailor seeks his living on the waters, and he knows each moment that they may engulph him; the hunter seeks death in the wild woods, the soldier in the field of battle, and the miner knows not but thai the spot where he now stands, tomorrow my be his tomb."
"It is so, indeed," replied the old man; "we find death in the means we seek to perpetuate life; 'tis a strange riddle, who shall solve it?"
"Have you long followed this occupation V I asked, somewhat struck with the old man's manner.
"From a boy—I drew my first breath in the mines—I shall yield it up in their gloom."
"You have seen some of these vicissitudes," I said, "to which you just now alluded."
"Yes," he replied, with a faltering voice, "I have. There was a time when three small boys looked up to me, and called me father. They were sturdy striplings. Now it seems but yesterday, they stood before me in the pride of their strength, and I filled,. too, with a father's vanity! But the Lord chasteneth the proud heart. Where are they now? I saw the youngest—We was the dearest of the flock—his mother's spirit seemed to have settled on him—crushed at my feet, a bleeding mass; we were together—so near that his hot blood sprung up into my face. Molten lead had been less lasting than those fearful drops. One moment, and his light laugh was in my ears—the next, and the large mass came; there was no cry of terror, but transition to eternity was as the lightning's flash— and my poor boy lay crushed beneath the fearful load. It was an awful moment! but time, that changeth all things, brought relief, and I still had two sons. But my cup of affliction was not yet full. They, too, were taken from me. Side by side they died—not as their brother, but the fire-damp caught their breath, and left them scorched and lifeless. They brought them home to the old man; his jewels—than whom earth's richest treasures in
his sight had no price—and told him he was childless and alone. It is a strange decree that the old plant should thus survive the stripling things it shaded, and for whom it would have died a thousand times. It is surprising that I should wish to die here in the mines!"
"You have indeed," I replied, "drank of affliction; whence do you derive consolation?"
The old man looked up. "From Heaven; God gave and he taketh away—blessed be his name!"
I bowed my head to the miner's pious prayer, and the old man passed on.
TO HER HUSBAND IN ADVERSITY.
BY MRS. EDWARD TBOMA9.
When I, in bridal ecstacy
To thy warm heart was prest,
I nestled to thy breast,
With every thought intent
Still loving and content;
God had bestowed on me,
I trusted all to thee.
Thy sunny hour of pride,
To stem its 'whelming tide;
Though Death appears in view; I, in my turn, will show thee all
That woman's love can do! No fancied dangers now dismay,
No shapeless horrors scare;
Which flee before Despair.
To wither up thy charms,
Thou'rt dearer to these arms.
And courage seem to gain.
We knew not love before;
They teach us to adore!
My bosom inly bleeds,
Large drops mine own imbeads.
I breathe my lonely prayer.
Save, when thou can'st not share—