Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ed it within too strong a line of circumvallation. After a three month's siege, it was impregnable. So Henry, who really loved his cousin next to his king and country, thinking it folly to endanger his peace and waste his time any longer, called for his horse one morning, shook Emily warmly by the hand, then mounted, " and rode away."

Autumn came; the leaves grew red, brown, yellow, and purple; then dropped from the high branches, and lay rustling in heaps upon the path below. The last roses withered. The last lingering wain conveyed from the fields their golden treasure. The days were bright, clear, calm, and chill; the nights were full of stars and dew, and the dew, ere morning, was changed into silver hoar-frost. The robin hopped across the garden walks; and candles were set upon the table before the tea-urn. But the stranger came not. Darker days and longer nights succeeded. Winter burst upon the earth. Storms went careering through the firmament; the forests were stripped of their foliage, and the fields had lost their verdure. But still the stranger came not. Then the lustre of Emily's eye grew dim; but yet she smiled, and looked as if she would have made herself believe that there was hope.

And so there was; for the mail once more stopped at the Blue Boar; a gentleman wrapped in a travelling cloak once more came out of it; and Mr Gilbert Cherryripe once more poked the fire for him in his best parlour. Burleigh did come back.

I shall not describe their meeting, nor inquire whether Emily's eye was long without its lustre. But there was still another trial to be made. Wouia sfle marry him ?" My family," said he is respectable, and as it is not wealth we seek, I have an independence, at least equal I should hope to our wishes; but any thing else which you may think mysterious about me, I cannot unravel until you are indissolubly mine." It was a point of no slight difficulty; Emily intrusted its decision entirely to her mother. Her mother saw that the stranger was inflexible in his purpose, and she saw also that her child's happiness was inextricably linked with him. What could she do? It had been better perhaps they had never known him; but knowing him, and thinking of him as they did, there was but one alternative,—the risk must be run.

It was run. They were married in Hodnet and immediately after the ceremony they stepped into a carriage, and drove away, nobody knew whither. We must not infringe upon the sacred happiness of such a ride, upon such an occasion, by allowing our profane thoughts to dwell upon it. It is enough for us to mention, that towards twilight they came in sight of a magnificent Gothic mansion, situated in the midst of extensive and noble parks. Emily expressed her admiration of its appearance; and her i oun(" husband, gazing an her with impassioned delight, exclaimed,—"Emily, it is thine \ My mind was imbued with erroneous impressions of women; I had been courted and deceived by them. I believed that their affections were to be won only by flattering their vanity, or dazzling their ambition. I was resolved, that unless I were loved for myself, I should never be loved at all. I travelled through the country incognito; I came to Hodnet, and saw you. I have tried you in every way, and found you true. It was I, and not my fortune, that you married; but both are thine. We are now stopping at Burleigh House; your husband is Frederick Augustus Burleigh, Earl of Exeter, and you, my Emily, are his Countess!"

11 was a moment of ecstasy; for the securing of which it was worth while creating the world, and all its other inhabitants.

Henrv G. Bell.

NORA'S VOW.
Hear what Highland Nora said:
"The Earlie's son I will not wed,
Should all the race of Nature die,
And none be left but he and I.
For all the gold, for all the gear,
And all the lands both far and near,
That ever valour lost or won,
I would not wed the Earlie's son."
"A maiden's vows, (old Callum spoke,)
Are lightly made and lightly broke:
The heather on the mountain's height
Begins to bloom in purple light;
The frost-wind soon shall sweep away
That lustre deep from glen and brae;
Yet Nora, ere its bloom be gone,
May blithely wed the Earlie's son."
"The swan," she said, '' the lake's clear breast
May barter for the eagle's nest;
The Awe's fierce stream may backward turn,
Ben-Cruachan fall, and crush Kilchurn.
Our kilted clans, when blood is high,
Before their foes may turn and fly;
But I, were all these marvels done,
Would never wed the Earlie's son."
Still in the water-lily's shade
Her wonted nest the wild swan made,
Ben-Cruachan stands as fast as ever,
Still downward foams the Awe's fierce river,
To shun the clash of foeman's steel,
No Highland brogue has turn'd the heel:
But Norn's heart is lost and won,
—She's wedded In the Earlie's son!

Sir Walter Scott.

TWO PAPERS FROM THE PRIVATE MEMORANDA OF
ARTHUR GARROWAY, ESQ.

LOVE AT THE LATTICE.

The University of Edinburgh received me within its walls, as a student of Moral Philosophy, on my eighteenth birth-day. It was a remarkable era in my existence,—for my parents, who had hitherto regularly accompanied me to town at the beginning of winter, chose on this occasion to remain in the country. How pleasant it was to have a lodging of my own—to be undisputed master of chairs, table, carpet, chimney-corner, and bell-rope—to be deferentially addressed on the subject of breakfast, dinner, and supper,—those will best conceive who have been in like circumstances.—I felt a strong tendency to trifle away the time—but the meanness, not to mention the unprofitableness, of doing this when such comfort had been laid to my hand for a very different purpose, struck me so forcibly, that I applied myself in real earnest to my studies. No one heard lecture with more steady attention, and few, I believe, read or wrote or reflected more in private than 1 did. I went over the whole of Locke's Treatise on the Human Understanding without objecting to any of its doctrines—a coincidence of opinion, which set me somewhat higher in my own esteem. Then I set myself to the perusal of Hume's Essays, wherein I was informed that the treatise aforesaid, was really a lock on the understanding, and proceeded throughout upon erroneous principles. This was a severe blow to me. I had been following a blind guide, and saw myself illustrating an old proverb. After Hume, came Beattie, &c.—These I glanced at slightly, and found that each contradicted the other. Perhaps I was right at first. Be this as it may, I one morning, in a rage, locked the whole fraternity of contradictions in my book-case, determined to be humbugged no longer,—and sat down at the window with "Fielding's Amelia" in my hand. "Here," said I to myself, " shall I behold human nature represented as she really exists, and acts, and not as she is distorted by the sceptics and dogmatists 1" Chapter after chapter glided past, and I was swayed alternately by the humour and pathos of the incomparable writer. My revenge was complete. I slapped the book down upon the vis-a-vis chair, and laughed at Philosophy.

Happening then to look into the street, I observed a very beautiful young lady at a window opposite, busily employed with her needle. Her complexion was delicate without sickliness, and her hair, mid-way between dark-brown and yellow, hung curling over a neck and shoulders of fairest symmetry. I was enraptured in a moment—transformed, as it were, into a new being. My position in life seemed changed. I wondered how it was possible I could have bestowed so much time on Metaphysical absurdities, while such a person as the one now before me was in the world, and could be loved. 1 considered education as in a great measure an invention to keep young people employed and unhappy, a more ingenious system of nursery delusion, suited to maturer ignorance. All this flashed upon me as I watched every motion of the fair sempstress—every rise and fall of her snowy fingers.—I verily believed I had discovered a great truth. The assent of cool reason is often a mechanical—almost unheeded process— but when the mind is in a state of excitement, its belief, no matter of what, has a vitality of conviction in it, which mere demonstration cannot produce.—I had retrieved my character to my own satisfaction as a philosopher, by an important discovery. Others might study, like fools; as for me, I was too wise to be taken in any longer.

At length my charmer lifted up her head, and looked diagonally along the street. Round and round came her face till our eyes met. Hers did not shrink away, nor express vacancy. No—there was that tender expression in them with which congenial though unknown beings respond good will to each other—but there was far more than this. There was the trembling glance, the timorous acknowledgment of love. She resumed her task. "That is plain enough," thought 1, "there's no mistaking the evidence of one's senses in such a case as this. Yet why should she be so forward in her advances? I never saw her before that I know of! 'Tis wonderful, 'tis passing wonderful! not so much so neither when one considers. She may often have seen me. Likes my appearance, that's clear, and may have noted my studious habits. Probably has made inquiry and ascertained my respectable status in the University. Mighty well for a beginning I I confess I always thought my exterior tolerable— but it must be a confounded deal more than that: itmustbe excellent, else such a judge as she could never have been so overcome." Having thus soliloquized, I took my hat, and rambled forth into the King's Park. The bounding joy of my heart required wide space to expand itself in. I was sure of having made a conquest, and it was luxury, alone and unseen, to let fancy roam over the consequences. Dinner had been ready an hour, ere I got back to my lodging. Never did I eat with better appetite. Mine was not the love which uncertainty and fears overshadow. It had the charm, without the alloy, of old romance. All night I dreamt about the beautiful unknown, and morning restored her to my waking view.

When my landlady had set the breakfast things upon the table—instead of withdrawing, and shutting the door behind her, as had been her wont, she went to the window, and remarked how very industrious the young lady opposite was. This from any other person would in no small degree have discomposed me—but I knew my landlady (she had been a servant of ours) to be a sincere and somewhat obtuse person, and my ear told me that both of her reigning qualities were exercising their usual functions on the present occasion. I knew also that she was fond of inoffensive gossiping, and merely wished to bring me in for a little of it. "What is her name?" I inquired.

"Miss Flora Stewart," she answered, "Her father died about twa years since. They have a big property somewhere in the west— but it seems her mother and her have come to try Auld Reekie for a winter. I wish she may be able to bear the change frae the fresh air of the country that she wasuset with, to this smoky hole."

A knock at the door put an end to farther discourse. My landlady retired, and I began breakfast, pleased with having heard so much, and not caring to hear more.

This day, Flora frequently looked from her window—but never, that I could perceive, at mine. I was not surprised, however. She had sufficiently signified her regard for me already, and perhaps felt somewhat ashamed, on reflection, of having done so. The conjectural part of my explanation grew into certainty, and my mind remained at ease, while my admiration was, if possible, increased. I fancied I could perceive that it was with difficulty she refrained from looking at me too. Her face seemed a perpetually changing hieroglyphic where I could read her love-thoughts of me thus:

"Oh, if he but knew, how deep, how sincere, how engrossing my attachment to him is, he could not have withdrawn himself as he did yesterday, just when I had ventured to look so at him! Stupid he cannot be—His appearance and his success as a student put this out of the question."

"I knowit all, myangel," I exclaimed aloud to myself, "yourdevotednessand your watchful anxiety! I am not stupid—my prizes testify that, as you say.—but I speak thus in vain—You do not, cannot hear me!"

I drew in the table, and composed the following verses—turning from time to time for inspiration to the fair subject of them—as a painter does when he paints a portrait.

TO FLORA.

Beloved Flora! wheresoe'er
Fate shall my wandering footsteps guide.

It matters not if far or near,
So thou art by my side.

« AnteriorContinuar »