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inquiries touching the health of his neighbor and family, the scientific remarks about“ dry moons" and " observation fridays,”-“the squire's wedding" and the sermon he preached“ twenty years ago before the general assembly." He too should I like to see ;-once his favorite, perhaps he may exert a friendly influence in behalf of his former auditor, should there be necessity. But unless Mary prove more forgetful than I can readily surmise, we shall need but one service at his hands. Forget me, eh! no, no-she must have seen Frank Inglesby in many and popular periodicals—trifles truly, but not altogether despised by women. Perhaps some of my stanzas harc melted from her own cherry lips ;-oh delightful ! delightful! Moreover, the ladies have either flattered consumately or a certain gent is not entirely unprepossessing. Well,—I'll make no inquiries, I'll starve my curiosity for awhile, to feast it bye and bye with a sudden and extatic encounter."
Filled with such contemplations, I returned to my lodgings, resolving as the day was already near its close to commence treaties that evening, and after discussing a hasty supper, wherein the regular boarders were not a little astonished at the stranger's absent demeanor, and certain incoherent replies to interrogatory assiduities of our hostess, I retired to my chamber, to make preparations commensurate with the importance of the enterprise ; believing with Hastings in the play, “that the first blow was half the battle."
It will amaze her simplicity, thought I, when she beholds the wild school boy transformed into the dignified and showy gentleman. However, prudence is essential to success : the beau should rather insinuate himself into the feelings, than dazzle the eyes; and excel the splendor of attire, by the elegancies of intelligence. His toilet completed, with the satisfactory assurance of a broken looking glass, that he was neither a dandy, nor a clown, with youth and an easy carriage in his favor (for then, he knew neither gray hairs nor rheumatism) imagine Frank Inglesby sallying forth in all that presumption of conquest inseparable from sanguine temperaments.
The obsequious landlord met me at the threshold, bowed me out of the premises, wished me a pleasant ramble, and dividing an ominous glance be. tween my thin morocco pumps and the long dew sprinkled grass, cautioned me for my “sole's sake to keep the narrow path”—a meager pun, which having laughed at ten years previously, methought should have been justly barred by the “statute of limitations."
Twilight threw a mellow obscurity over the silent landscape-the queen of early evening, twinkled through the purple mist, like the eye of a mischievous beauty,—the cricket awoke his shrill chirp, and many little birds in the ponderous old elms above me, seemed twittering themselves to rest. Near by a flock of swallows were taking their final circuit around the chim. ney top, an army of geese were filing away to their nightly quarters—while a number of cows just loosed from milking, gleaned along the fences, or reclined upon the sward. Occasionally a yoke of well worn oxen went sober. ly homeward with their creaking cart, where sat perched the weary
husband. man and his trusty dog.
With all my intense anxiety to press once more the hand of Mary Heartly, my progress was at every step arrested by mementoes of past happiness. There was the mart, where erst I involved my credit to the ruinous amount of two dollars thirty seven and a half cents; there the village school house, which is the pride of aristocracy, we, of Virgil
, stormed one evening and over.
threw the benches; and this is the green where, assembled to battle the Towners, we escaped a drubbing by superior agility. All, all, was familiar, even to a flock of sheep with painted noses.
I had now attained the upper portion of the village and, within a few paces, the ancient mansion of Squire Heartly. Pausing to assume my wonted equanimity, for my heart beat audibly, and my hand was tremulous with anticipated delight,—I leaned above the white pickets that surrounded Mary's neat flower garden, while a flood of sweetest recollections poured along my swelling bosom, like waves rolling in the gold and azure of a summer's morning.
Hastily turning from the parterre I almost rushed to the dwelling. Habited as customary in sultry weather, in an odd looking student's gown and puffing deliberately at his pipe, the Squire sat on the stoop bench, just opposite his worthy friend the clergyman, who was similarly comforted and occupied. Pliant as ever to my touch the wicket flew wide open, offering me plainly as gate could a hearty welcome, while the proprietor came forward to meet the stranger. Few words sufficed for recognition, and the old gentlemen shook me warmly, aye affectionately, by the hand; but the Parson laid down his censer, and grasped me earnestly with both !
"She's well Sir, and will be obleeged to ye for the call,” responded the first to my inquiries concerning his daughter. "Aye," added his companion following us into the parlor—" and sorry that you did not come a trifle sooner.” The Parson was full of jokes, so I perceived nothing unpropitious in this re. mark; however, as I took my seat, while the Squire went in search of Mary, I was surprised at the alterations in the apartment. A set of new candlesticks and vases glittered on the mantle piece, suits of fashionable drapery concealed the narrow windows, a sofa usurped the place of a venerable escritoire, a fine carpet scattered its boquets at my feet, and marvellous to relate even the claw-footed chairs had vanished. The Squire thought I must have been lately married. But now the sound of approaching footsteps curtailed my ruminations, and one of the most exquisitely beautiful females that ever rewarded the assiduities of a lover, tripped smilingly forward in the person of Mary Heartly
Her figure was small and delicately moulded, but displayed to the utmost advantage, by a simple costume of white muslin. Portions of her brown hair were disposed in a wreath of ringlets, and the remainder in a twisted braid, that encircled her crown in a natural tiara, and was fastened with a gilded
From her belt ribbon, as though accidentally there disposed, looked up a half blown rose while its vermilion seemed reflected on her cheeks. A slight gauze 'kerchief settled negligently on a neck and shoulder of living alabaster, and her large dark eyes shone with intelligence and kindness.
“ Many thanks to Mr. Inglesby, for this evidence of regard for old friends : we feared that you had forgotten long since this nook in creation, with all its rustic inhabitants," said she, presenting a little hand that seemed to melt into mine like a snow flake.
" Never ! never! Miss Mary—indeed I feel”—“Miss Mary,"_interrupted she merrily, “ah! I shall allow you to Miss, me, no longer ! I hav'ot been called Miss Mary this fortnight. Why you look surprised ! Did'nt you know that your romping school mate was married ?"
"Mar-married" responded I, with a sort of hyena laugh, little less painful than a spasm,—"mar-married, Mary Heartly! ha, ha, ha, how you har-hoax
“Yes, to be sure, married ! and here comes somebody to support my declaration, in form and manner,—to wit, my husband, Mr. Attorney Lawton. My Dear,--Mr. Inglesby!"
“ Married ! husband !--my dear!!"-I swallowed enough chagrin in a single gulp to embitter the residue of existence. “I tied the knot myself," ejaculated Parson Parish— "neatest wedding save the Squire's I ever saw-and that, let's me see—is-about-twenty years ago ;—'twas just afore I went to Harford to pray with the general assembly."
Would you had remained there, thought I.
" Its strange you did'nt see it, in last week's newspaper, interjected the Squire." "Come sir, sit down,” said Lawton—"I cannot but feel deeply interested in an individual so often mentioned in this circle; and in taking Mr. Inglesby's hand imagine I have already a claim to his friendship, through his former intimacy with Mrs. Lawton. We should be gratified could you make it convenient to remain with us a few days. I've no doubt but that“ Madam" and yourself might refresh your memories with many youthful and agreeable reminiscences !"
Kind hearted fellow !—a couch of nettles had been transport in comparison. So declining his intended hospitality, graciously as possible, and opposing to Mary's reiteration of the same, the claims to her society and conversation of a dearer, and nearer, friend—I withdrew speedily as politeness permitted, confounded and provoked by this unexpected tissue of misfortunes.
My steed was again harnessed, and the morrow's sun beheld once more the denizen bachelor in his former quarters.
And now if readers demand the moral of my story, let this reward their patient perusal.
Absence is as unpropitious to love, as lack of bellows to a green-wood fire. The suitor at a lady's feet is full as certain of success as one a thousand miles removed, who relying upon the efficacy of early impressions, protracts courtship into unmeaning sentiment, and terrifies constancy or affection with the spectre of celibacy.
Gentlemen may urge where they please those manifestations of regard, to which decorum permits the ladies only a response. Hence opportunity comparatively insignificant to the first, is momentous to the other: nor should we murmur, when faith too sternly tested is sacrificed to certainty-or should our ladye love, like Mary Heartly, prefer actual bondage to the ennui of anticipation.
J. W. B. New Haven February, 1836.
« One of the most important female qualities is sweetness of temper. Heaven did not give to women insinuation and persuasion in order to be surly ; it did not make them weak in order to be imperious ; it did not give them a sweet voice, in order to be employed in scolding."
The Poetry of Mrs. Hemans.
For the Microcosm.
THE POETRY OF MRS. HEMANS.
It is the prerogative of genius, to claim for itself a hearing, and often do we rise from the perusal of an author against whom we had entertained a prejudice, with a hightened idea of his talents and with thrilling hearts. We open a volume of Byron, and for the time we deem that nothing can equal the sublimity of his genius. We are borne along with his eagle spirit, where even the imagination has not dared to venture. We glance at the poetical works of Scott, and swift as thought, at the sound of the weird and eloquent voice of the bard of Scotland, the legions of chivalry are visible before us. We turn to Coleridge, and notwithstanding the mystical phi- , losophy, which he has chosen to interweave with much of his poetry, we feel that the fire of genius has indeed touched his lips, and that he is worthy to be ranked as a high priest of nature, to minister within the holy of holies in the temple of song. We turn to Wordsworth, and in many an unadorned fragment we read the secrets of our own hearts, and are made wiser if not better men. And monthly, weekly, daily do we meet with beautiful poetry, whose authors, although unknown to fame, are yet no strangers to the inspiration of those thoughts, which are of themselves a proof of our immortality.
With such and similar thoughts, do we peruse the works of the lady who ranks as the first female lyric writer of England; and with a feeling of wonder that so much that is truly beautiful should exist on pages which have been so much calumniated.
There is in poetry, as in life, a first love-deeper and purer than any which is to succeed it. In poetry as in life, too, the affections which are thus first consecrated with an overgushing tenderness, magnify the charms and palliate the defects of the object of their worship, until the heart owns to itself its idolatry. Through this cause we may perhaps speak more warmly of the poetry we are attempting to criticise than we ought.
Yet of this lady we cannot speak without gratitude, nor are we willing to withhold our humble praise. Her “Forest Sanctuary” was our first love. She introduced us into a new world—a region where, if much time may be spent unprofitably, we have also found much intellectual enjoyment; and we cannot regret that we have loved and listened to the bards of our own language, for it is one of the firmest articles of our creed, that the hour of true happiness is never wasted. Defective or erroneous must be that man's faith, who would proscribe (as many at the present day do) poetry and works of the imagination. The only cause of regret should be that so many of the talented productions of our literature are not sanctified and made meet for the service of God:—that so many who, like Mrs. Hemans, are greatly gifted, are not like her gifted from on high.
In speaking of her poetry, we are conscious that we are giving high praise where it has not been given by the public generally; yet, if it were necessary, we could support our opinion by the testimony of men, themselves holding no mean rank in the list of British poets. The truth is, that the poetry of Mrs. Hemans has not been read, and hence the unfavorable opinion which prevails. She has been judged, most unjustly, by the fragments
which have been published in magazines and newspapers, and respecting some of which, we are not disposed to quarrel with public opinion.
Although we are not writing an analysis of her productions, we will ven. ture to make a few remarks upon the more important works which she has published. She has written, we believe, but two tragedies, which of course are adapted to be read rather than to be acted. The first of these, the "Seige of Valencia," is a tragedy, the scene of which is laid during the attack of the Moors on Valencia. During the seige, two sons of the commanding officer were taken prisoners—and the surrender of the city was demanded as their ransom. This demand the officer is compelled by his sense of duty to decline. But the feelings of the mother are of a different character. She is possessed of a mother's idolatrous regard for her children, and disregards all other objects. The character of the mother is the principal one in the drama. Mrs. Hemans has painted in this play a modern Medea— differing however in the particular, that she prefers the welfare of her two sons even to her honor. With inimitable grace does her woman's soul beam forth, when in language most eloquent and true to nature, Elmina (the mother of the children who are to be sacrificed) paints to the father the natural distinction between a father's and a mother's love.
And the dirge-like anathema, which she pours forth upon her husband ere his final resolution is taken, when the patriot rises above the father and resolves upon the sacrifice of his children, is scarcely if at all inferior, to a similar passage in Euripides.
May you live
If at last you pine
and made your board
Your soul's deep thirst with fame! Both of these dramas are filled with many passages of much beautybut we pass them over, and her “League of the Alps,” to look at a poem, which in our eyes, is possessed of an interest attaching to few poems. It is “ The Forest Sanctuary.” This is intended to describe the mental conflicts as well as outward sufferings of a Spaniard—who flying from the religious persecution of his country, in the 16th century, takes refuge with his child in an American forest. By education the refugee
was a Catholic, but