Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

gaming house on the preceding night, because in the character of a matrimonial connexion), he understood that he had given me a solemn “it was extremely pleasant to have a cheerful promise that he would never again touch a card. person in the house now and then, who could He appointed me to accompany him yesterday revive our spirits when we were dull; Harry evening to the house where he had met my Lloyd was a year younger than Katherine ; he misguided nephew. I found him at the card- was the sixth son of a younger brother ; he had table the loser of a considerable sum. I insisted no independent property; she should consider it on his accompanying me home, and so little quite insulting to Katherine if she were to put penitence did I see in his manner, and so little her on her guard against falling in love with was his mother inclined to second my authority, him.” by reproving him for his want of honour and The Colonel was silenced, and “the prettiest honesty in breaking a solemn promise, that I Kate in Christendom” was allowed to pursue believe all parties felt that it would be better, her flirtation without molestation or hindrance at least for the present, to separate, and I trust from any one. Beautiful dresses were provided that my sister's hurried and anxious state of for Dora and Katherine as bridesmaids; but mind will be her excuse for having omitted to alas ! only one was worn on the occasion. When write to Mrs. Musgrave a note of farewell.” my wedding-day arrived, Dora pleaded a violent

My mother was completely silenced by this head-ache, and remained at home. I rather communication ; she could no longer say that think she did not like the idea of giving any the Colonel was aspersing his nephew : losing sanction to a ceremony which was to constitute a considerable sum at a Cheltenham gaming- me the lady of a mansion which she had so house was very different to losing a sovereign fondly hoped would be her own to rule over. or two at loo or vingt-un among friends, and Katherine was in high beauty, and everybody she knew Mrs. Ibbotson well enough to feel said that so lovely a bridesmaid would be cerassured that she would not have left her brother's tain very soon to be a bride. Everybody for house had not her departure been absolutely once happened to be right in their prediction, necessary. Dora's ill humour derived a per- for I and my husband had not concluded our ceptible increase from the events of the morn- honeymoon tour, when we were hurried to Loning, and Harry Lloyd loudly lamented the in- don by an agitated note from my mother. fatuation of his friend, a lamentation which I Katherine had eloped to Scotland with Harry am convinced came sincerely from his heart, Lloyd! We found her painfully mortified and as he had an unfeigned horror of cards, since, irritated by Katherine's folly and imprudence : he said, they “spoiled all amusement, dis- my father, too, was sadly disconcerted; his figured the looks, and were very bad for the landed property, he said, had depreciated in temper.”

value of late years, and the interest of the funds Harry Lloyd remained at Cheltenham, not had been lowered : he could allow Katherine withstanding the sudden exit of his friend; but very little: he did not know how the young he alleged that he did so "to scatter a few bits people were to live. Fortunately Colonel of pasteboard" (by which figure of speech i Thornton was able to come to his assistance ; should inform my readers he meant that he had he had the patronage of a situation of moderate some farewell morning visits to pay), but in emolument at Calcutta, which he had promised reality he prolonged his stay till the very day of to a young man of whom he entertained a high our departure for London, when, by a remark, opinion; this young man, on his round of fareable coincidence, he found out that he had well visits among his friends, had been so fortujust then important business to transact there. nate as to win the heart of an heiress; she was Colonel Thornton took up his residence very two-and-twenty, and had no near relations to near us, and I began to pay busy visits to consult; she therefore availed herself of her inmilliners, dressmakers, and jewellers. I did dependence; their marriage had just taken not look so pretty in my purchases as I should place, and the bridegroom had written by that have done twenty years ago, but I am sure that morning's post to Colonel Thornton, thankfully under no circumstances could I have felt happier. resigning all claim to the situation which he had

Colonel Thornton considered that his ap- so kindly promised to him. This situation the proaching connexion with our family gave him Colonel now resolved to bestow on Harry Lloyd, the privilege of observing to my mother, that he of whose temper and principles, notwithstandthought Harry Lloyd and Katherine were ing his inveterate boyishness, he judged very faallowed to be more in the society of each other vourably, and he immediately made known his than was quite consistent with prudence; his intention to my parents. My mother seemed advice met with just such a reception as advice disposed to consider such a plan very inferior is generally fated to encounter: my mother to the qualifications of the beautiful Katherine ; was “quite surprised that any body could think but my father warmly thanked Colonel Thornthat Katherine could waste a thought upon ton for his kindness, and protested that it had Harry Lloyd; he was a very entertaining young removed a weight of anxiety from his mind. man; they had had a good deal of trouble in The young couple certainly gained a more fathe family lately" (this was a peculiarly courteous vourable reception at home than they would inuendo, inasmuch as the only trouble to otherwise have done, from the circumstance that which the family had been subjected was the a provision was made for them, and they resubstitution of Colonel Thornton for his nephew ceived the intelligence of it with much satisfaction. Harry Lloyd declared that there was, and never had my sisters more thoroughly es. nothing he had always wished for so much as tablished their claim to fashion than they did on going to India, and that he thought Calcutta the present occasion. Harry Lloyd passed his twenty times preferable to any other settlement; hand once or twice over his eyes, and comand Katherine had read and heard too much of plained that the easterly winds made them feel eastern splendour to feel the least repugnance very weak; but Dora and Katherine completely at repairing to the land of elephants, palanquins, realized Moore's beautiful description of the shawls, and ottar of roses. My mother soon re- cheek unprofaned by a tear;" their exit was in conciled herself to the necessity of parting with character with their early days; they satisfacKatherine. Although very proud of her torily proved that they had '" no affections.” beauty and vivacity, she was not in reality her My father bore their loss much better than I favourite daughter, the soft winning manners of had expected : I had quite returned to my old Dora, her deference to her mother's opinion on post of consequence in his estimation; he passed every occasion, and the devoted affection which a great deal of time with me; and although I she professed for her, had raised her to the was not so young, pretty, and amusing as in throne of unlimited dominion without the sha- my former days of favouritism, I had the porrdow of a rival, and she fully persuaded herself erful adjuncts of my husband's preserves of that one day or other Dora would shine forth pheasants and partridges, stud of fine horses, the bride of some enamoured earl, or love and cellars of Burgundy and Champagne. stricken marquis. Imagine, then, the horror, I draw a veil over my poor mother's deep and the consternation of my poor mother, when heart-rending grief, for the loss of her beloved Dora calmly and courteously, but with an air Dora. I endeavoured to show her every attenof fixed determination, announced that Kathe- tion, but she received my advances with cool, rine had solicited her to accompany her to ness : she evidently associated me in her mind India, and that she had accepted her invitation. with the departure of Dora, imagining that

, if I My mother wept, implored, and finally forbade had not intervened, James Ibbotson would have her departure. Dora gently remarked that she become her husband, and the declared heir of was above the age of discretion, and therefore his uncle ; nor could even the accounts of his an independent agent--that she had always con- noted gambling and profligacy, which reached sidered that the climate and customs of India her ears from many qu

ers, cause her to rewould be peculiarly suitable to her tastes and cant her wish that he had been her son-in-law; feelings, and that she should there meet with a he was driven to desperation by losing Dora

, suitable establishment.

she said : poor young man, she did not wonder Here Katherine interposed, and somewhat at it; he was more to be pitied than condemned. flippantly remarked, that mamma certainly was A year after my marriage I received the bless. not calculated to be an eligible chaperon; that ing of a son, and as he is strong and healthy, and if she had any skill in maneuvring to get offers seems likely to thrive, my husband's nephew for her daughters, she had exhausted it all in has a very faint hope of the inheritance. I unAlthea's girlish days, and that Dora was quite derstand that Mrs. Ibbotson speaks with great right to go where her style of beauty would be acrimony to her confidential friends on my inso very taking, that she might rely on having a excusable conduct in thus robbing her poor boy splendid match at her command the morning of his lawful property; but as she has addressed after her first ball in Calcutta. My mother, to me a flowery letter of congratulation, written however, was not to be repulsed; by turns she on exquisitely ornamented paper, I have antried entreaties and reproaches, but she might swered it in a similar strain, and we are exceedas well have addressed them to the marble Venus ingly friendly sisters-in-law in the eyes of the on her chimneypiece.

world. It is remarkable, that twenty years ago my My sisters have not found the delights mother was actively employed in using the same they expected in India: Katherine had the idea solicitations to a favourite daughter to forbear very prevalent among weak people, that every: from doing the same thing; but I, although my body must be rich in the east, and that exquisite heart's best affections were bound up in my shawls and splendid jewels were the natural projected departure, relinquished it at the call of commodities of the country. Her husband's filial duty; while Dora, although she was merely income, however, was a very moderate one, and actuated by indefinite visions of splendour and he verified Colonel Thornton's favourable opiconquest in her wish to visit the east, was im- nion of him, by becoming a prudent, steady moveable in her resolution, and indeed seemed man, devoting himself to the duties of his office, not in the least disconcerted by the opposition and resolving to live within his means. Dora she met with, feeling convinced, she said, that beheld her sister's disappointment with perfect when this momentary excitement was over, the sang froid ; she felt conscious that she need not excellent sense of her dear mother would enable apprehend a similar fate, and that her eye's her to see all the advantages of the plan in blue languish and her golden hair” would be a question, and to confess that a separation, al- certain passport to wealth and power. Accordthough certainly painful to contemplate, would ingly she had, as she expected, a brilliant list of be best for all parties. The day of parting ar- offers from which to choose : she chose the rived; calmness and indifference are generally richest man among them: she was warned that considered to be evidences of supreme bon ton, he had a very bad temper ; but her natural still

BY J. J. REYNOLDS.

ness and apathy supplied the place of amiability somer as a happy matron than I did as a disor philosophy. She said, with apparent justice, pirited spinster; sometimes I am almost inclined that she thought she could live with any tem- to fancy that when I first received Thornton's per; and the marriage took place. Dora had proposal, I must, like “Victorine,” have deterattendants, shawls, jewels, and gold and silver mined to "sleep upon it," and have dreamed muslins even beyond her expectations; but, through a life of trial to awake and find that my alas ! Dora was deprived of the favourite recrea- misfortunes had but endured for a single night; tion of her life ; she had always, in a cautious a glance at my mirror, however, quickly undeand demure way, been a determined and syste- ceives me; but I care not for the tale it tells: my matic flirt, and a sudden and unexpected check husband beholds me with unabated admiration, was put on her proceedings. Her husband was my beloved child affords to me a source of the a widower ; his former wife had been a distin- purest present enjoyment and the brightest guished beauty, and some years previous to her future expectation; and when I compare my death, he had been compelled to divorce her in lot with that of the once triumphant Dora and consequence of her misconduct. He deter- Katherine, I forgive them freely for all the demined, like the king in the French fairy-tale, gradations they once inflicted on me, and feel that he would never marry again till he met not only resigned but thankful to have been with a second wife who should surpass the first able to chronicle, from personal experience, the in beauty; and he resolved to ensure her pro- troubles of an "elder sister.” priety of conduct by the strictest and most scrutinizing vigilance. Accordingly Dora's words were weighed, and her looks were watched with jealous suspicion : not only was

HEARTS. she prohibited from her usual soft winning coquettries, but even a moderate degree of civility or sociality to any one who was not older Hearts should be like the oak, and uglier than her amiable husband was weighed

In the broad forest reigning ; in the uncharitable scale of distrust, and pro

Sound and hale unto the core,

Till vitality is waning ; nounced to display great levity of mind and

Strong each in itself alone, impropriety of manner; the very attendants who

Never to be overthrown, administered to her pomps and vanities were

Save by death's stroke. bribed to be spies upon her, and she passed her days in repining, indolent dulness, which must Hearts should be like the reed have been heightened by the reflection (if she

Gentle waters are laving, ever reflected at all) that the beauty which she To each boisterous blast prized so highly was in reality the cause of Its form pliantly waving : depriving her of all those comforts of social life Though of construction frail, and pleasures of mutual trust which are par

Ill fortune's roughest gale taken by those ladies who pass quietly through

Never to heed. the world,

unsought by the sculptor, unadmired Hearts should be like the sun by the artist, and unpraised by the poet.

In the firmament glowing, Having thus dispatched my sisters, I must say O'er the wide world below a few words concerning myself

. I have described Cheerful daylight bestowing, my life, character, and feelings with great faith- Shedding sweet warmth around, fulness; but do not let readers

suppose
that

By no dark shadows bound

Till life is done.
I intend myself for a faultless heroine. No;
I was in youth too fond of the world's adulation;

Hearts should be like the tree and when it was taken from me, I felt the de

Of green ivy, that graces privation too keenly. I valued my youth and Some old abbey's grey wall, beauty far beyond their real worth; I mistrusted

With familar embraces, the gracious care of Providence, and chose to Clinging around a friend, imagine all my hopes blighted, and all my hap- Cherishing it unto the end piness destroyed, because I was out-bloomed

Right faithfully. and outshone by two showy superficial girls

Hearts should be like the stream who ought rather to have excited my pity than

From a woodland well flowing, my envy. I was brought to my senses not by

Upon whose verdant sides punishment, but by mercy. I am happy, far Lovely flow'rets are blowing ; happier than I should have been if I had never From weeds pernicious free, known trouble and mortification; my melan

Brilliant with purity, choly forebodings that I had outlived the power

Ever to beam. of enjoyment prove groundless, and my health

Ye who own such on earth, and spirits, of which I once thought so dole

And delight in the treasure, fully, are buoyant and unbroken. I have not

To your fostering care grown quite so plump as my old schoolfellow

Set no limit or measure ; Mrs. Holford, but I am sufficiently en bon point Guard them through peace and strife, to justify the observation which my friends And ere the close of life frequently make to me, that I look much hand

Ye'll know their worth,

my

[blocks in formation]

I turn'd away in doleful mood,

My useless search was o'er ;
Before a “ sombre cross” I stood

That cross thy name it bore.
It mark'd alone the hallow'd ground,

Sacred to mem'ry dear ;
Wild flowers, clust'ring, hid the mound-

“ Thy grave" I found was here !

“ Wilt thou not await the flowers,

From their fairy foldings springing ? Why in spring-time's budding hours

Ever thus thy wild way winging O'er the rugged cliffs of snow, Where no flower-buds ever grow?" The flowers may bloom and die for me ; Mother, mother, leave me free."

What need badst thou of marble stone ?

What need hadst thou of fame? Fit emblem is that cross alone,

Fit epitaph thy name ! Paris, 1841.

CLARA PAYNE.

THE WIDOWER'S DREAM.

They had decked her in beauty ; she stood by my

side, With the wreath on her brow, and I called her my

bride ; And kind friends were near her, that loved her in

youth, But she left them e'en now to confide in my truth : 'Twas not lightly I thought on the ties she must sever ; But I dreamt we were happy-were happy for ever. When a mother I saw her with eyes beaming bright, As she watched with her loved child my coming at

night; At the lone hearth of home, round the rude altar

there, We knelt side by side in the fervence of prayer. Oh! I dreamt that she blessed me once more in my

glee, With the same gentle voice that was music to me. Yes, I dreamt that I saw her in sickness and pain, With the cold-sweating cheek I would ne'er see again; She smiled on me then-the expression was wild, As she pressed to her bosom her fair infant child; And I wept as I gazed on the phantom of night, Till I dreamt that I saw her an angel of light.

GEORGE BAYLEY.

Forth flew the stripling to the chace
With furious speed, at headlong pace
Rush'd blindly on the rapid race,

And starts the wild gazelle !
She flies, as winged lightnings fleet,
And climbs, with swinging airy feet
Each mountain fastness' wild retreat.

For ah! she knows them well,
She breasts the crag, then dares the shock,
And leaps the chasm from rock to rock,

Her foe is close behind.
With ruthless eye, and steady aim,
He measures step for step the same;

She feels death's in the wind.
The fatal bow is in his hands,
Now, on the pinnacle she stands,

Hangs o'er the deep ravine,
Where path is none; the rocks descend
Sheer down an abyss without end ;

The foe is nearer seen.
Mute in her supplicating woe
She turns, and tears fast gushing flow.

Alas, in vain her tears.
The cruel hunter bends the bow,
And points the murderous shaft, when, lo!

From the cleft rock appears,
And steps, in power, and pride, and might,,
Full on that mortal hunter's sight,

The mountain spirit forth ;
And, shielding with his god-like arm
The hunted one from human harm,

Cries, “Dweller of the earth,
How darest thou bring death and woe
From their dull charnel-house below

Up even here-to me?
Hie to the plain, there's room and time
To work thy woe; these hills sublime
Are types, since fair creation's prime,

Of immortality.”
March 7, 1845.

ELIZA LESLIE, SONG.

BY MRS. F. B. SCOTT.

Dost thou wish to love again?

Say " Farewell," then let us part; Rudely canst thou break the chain

Which once bound us heart to heart; But the links, as Time doth roll, Heavily shall weigh thy soul ! Thou dost wish to love again

Let this love be buried low; What imports a woman's pain,

Read I on thy smiling brow; But ere long the hand of care Shall affix his signet there.

Creatures of circumstance-alas!
Let not our glance unheeding pass
O'er all alike, and deem that we
Are partners not with destiny ;
That other powers our deeds compel,
And leave us irresponsible !
Not ours to turn where'er we will,
Or bid Time's chariot-wheels be still,
And let us loiter ; 'tis not ours,
Where'er we plant, to gather flowers,
Or weigh results ; our deeds alone,
Our thoughts, our hopes, are all our own;
No fate one evil act impels,
In destiny no safety dwells ;
Ours is the guilt on earth below,
Ours the eternity of woe !

THE LAST LAY.

Love thou, then !--but in the night

Startling dreams will stir the tear, And thou'st wake in wild affright

Maddened by thy conscience' fear. If she love thee, say is she Fit to share thy destiny?

No! she'll weep thy love's decay

For one who watched with hope like mine : No! she'll spurn the heart away,

Faithless to so pure a shrine : In her scorn thou'lt feel the woe,

Which deserted mortals know. Cambridge.

CREATURES OF CIRCUMSTANCE.

BY GEORGINA C. MUNRO.

Creatures of circumstance, we stand-
As wends our fate-on many a strand :
Now turn we where the sunbeams glow
On some tall mountain's wreath of snow,
Now where they sleep on flowery isles,
Or gladden with their summer smiles
A limpid lake; now pause we where
A voice of thunder fills the air,
And waters, rushing in their might,
Leap headlong from a dizzy height;
Still roam we on, the hope, the aim
Of every heart, in truth, the same
To reach some light that gleams afar,
With gulphs between, some falling star
Which sinks to earth, and bows the trust
Of a proud spirit to the dust.

Kind pity moved the lady's breast

The tale of other days to hear;
And then her gentle eye confess'd

Its kindred sorrow in a tear.
The minstrel's head was hoar with age,

The minstrel's heart was sad with care, As memory dwelt o'er fortune's page,

And read what time had written there ; His fingers, trembling, touch'd the strings,

And woke a low and mournful strain, As one who lost in sorrow brings

The dream of sadness back again ; And faintly as the falling gale

His accents mingled with the tone, And told in faltering words the tale

Of hopes and joys for ever flown. Weep on, weep on ! I cannot chide

That gently falling tear,
For beauty ne'er to pity gave

An offering half so dear :
To win the guerdon of thy smile

The minstrel's pride should be,
Yet now thy tears can best reward

The song he sings to thee.
I've strung my harp in princely halls,

'Neath beauty's beaming glance, And bade its wayward numbers flow

To tales of wild romance ;
I've told the deeds of other times,

For love or glory done,
Or with some lay of joyous note

A meed of praise have won.
I've seen the proud eye glisten bright

At some remember'd name,
That won in battle's fearful front

The greatness of its fame;
Or swell with silent grief the while

The bard recounted o'er
The woes of her that sadly watch'd

For one that came no more.

Creatures of circumstance-in vain
We strive to break the viewless chain
Which binds us here, or drags us on
Year after year, till life be gone;
Cold, harsh, unyielding, mocking still
Our fondest hopes, our strongest will.
In vain the wish to brave that power
Whose spell is cast o'er every hour,
Which grasps us even at our birth,
Nor frees us till we leave the earth;
Bringing our wisest schemes to nought,
Bidding our lightest deed be fraught
With power to gild life's path for years,
Or steep its after-course in tears.
Bootless the strife! we bow at last,
And learn the future from the past.

But sadly now I touch the string,

And low its murmurs fall,
For cold has grown my proudest song

As voices in that hall.
Like dewdrops on the desert dark

Thy tears are now to me,
And I could cease this mournful strain
To weep along with thee.

D. J.

« AnteriorContinuar »