Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

every thing inserted in its proper place, exactly according to the pattern. Mrs. Atmore's only regret was, that she had not sent for a tea-set also; not that she was in want of

one, but then it would be so much better to have a dinner-set and a tea-set precisely alike, and Marianne's beautiful wreath on all.

“Why, my dear,” said Mr. Atmore, “how often have I heard you say

that
you

would never have another teaset from Canton, because the Chinese persist in making the principal articles of such old fashioned, awkward shapes. For my part, I always disliked the tall coffee pots, with their strait spouts, looking like light-houses with bowsprits to them; and the short, clumsy tea-pots, with their twisted handles, and lids that always fall off.”

6 To be sure,” said Mrs. Atmore,“ I have been looking forward to the time when we can get a French teaset upon tolerable terms. But in the mean while I should be very glad to have cups and saucers with Marianne's beautiful wreath, and of course when we use them on the table we should always bring forward our silver pots.”'

Spring returned, and there was much watching of the vanes, and great joy when they pointed easterly, and the ship-news now became the most interesting column of the papers. A vessel that had sailed from New York for Canton on the same day the Voltaire departed from Philadelphia, had already got in; therefore the Voltaire might be hourly 'expected. At length she was reported below; and at this period the river Delaware suffered much, in comparison with the river Hudson, owing to the tediousness of its navigation from the capes to the city.

At last the Voltaire cast anchor at the foot of Market street, and our ladies could scarcely refrain from walking down to the wharf to see the ship that held the box that

held the china. But invitations were immediately sent out for a long projected dinner-party, which Mrs. Atmore had persuaded her husband to defer till they could exhibit the beautiful new porcelain.

The box was landed, and conveyed to the house. The whole family were present at the opening, which was performed in the dining room by Mr. Atmore himself -all the servants peeping in at the door. As soon as a part of the lid was split off, and a handful of straw removed, a pile of plates appeared, all separately wrapped in India paper. Each of the family snatched up a plate and hastly tore off the covering. There were the flowers glowing in beautiful colours, and the gold star and the gold A, admirably executed. But under the gold star, on every plate, dish, and tureen, were the words, « THIS IN THE MIDDLE!”—being the direction which the literal and exact Chinese had minutely copied from a crooked line that Mr. Atmore had hastily scrawled on the pattern with a very bad pen, and of course without the slightest fear of its being inserted verbatim beneath the central ornament.

Mr. Atmore laughed-Mrs. Atmore cried--the ser vants giggled aloud-and Marianne cried first, and laughed afterwards.

A MIDNIGHT MEDITATION.

BY JOHN D. GODMAN.

'Tis midnight's solemn hour! now wide unfurled
Darkness expands her mantle o'er the world :
The fire-fly's lamp has ceased its fitful gleam,
The cricket's chirp is hushed; the boding scream
Of the

gray

owl is stilled; the lofty trees
Scarce wave their summits to the failing breeze;
All nature is at rest, or seems to sleep;
"Tis thine alone, oh man! to watch and weep!
Thine 'tis to feel thy system's sad decay,
As flares the taper of thy life away,
Beneath the influence of fell disease :-
Thine 'tis to know the want of mental ease
Springing from memory of time misspent;
Of slighted blessings; deepest discontent,
And riotous rebellion 'gainst the laws
Of health, truth, heaven, to win the world's applause!

See where the waning moon
Slowly surmounts yon dark tree tops,
Her light increases steadily, and soon
The solemn night her stole of darkness drops:
Thus to my sinking soul in hours of gloom
The cheering beams of hope resplendent come,
Thus the thick clouds which sin and sorrow rear

Are changed to brightness, or swift disappear.
Hark! that shrill note proclaims approaching day;
The distant east is streaked with lines of gray;

Faint warblings from the neighbouring groves arise,
The tuneful tribes salute the brightening skies.
Peace breathes around; dim visions o'er me creep,
The weary night outwatched, thank God! I too may

sleep.

BENJAMIN WEST.

BY R. M. WALSH.

The details of the career of this remarkable man must be so familiar as to render it a work of supererogation to record them. His humble birth, in an obscure settlement, where civilisation had advanced scarcely farther than the threshold ; the singular precocity of his imitative talent; the irresistible strength of his vocation, which overcame every impediment, even the uncompromising spirit of sectarian prejudice; the kind friends whom he was so fortunate as to encounter, who fostered his genius and contributed the means of enabling him to cultivate it to the utmost in the richest school of art; the sensation which he excited in Italy, both by the anomaly at that period of a young American's repairing thither to acquire excellence with the pencil, and the merit of the works which he produced; his subsequent success in England, where he elevated himself to a friendly communion with royalty, and what was a far more honourable testimony to his character, was raised by his fellow-artists to the loftiest station amongst them, the Presidential chair of their Academy, and where he died, full of honours and of years—all this might almost be called one of our school-boy lessons, so proud do we naturally and properly feel that our Temple of Fame should so soon have had one of its most eminent niches filled in a department which, in the progress of other nations, has generally

« AnteriorContinuar »