Page images
[ocr errors]


an old Spanish Don, who hitherto bad looked their tapering feet dizzily flitting above a tesseas if labouring under the combined effect of lated floor of pearl and ivory slabs--" blue-pills and blue-devils. Many were arrived “Apropos of ivory slabs," broke in my buon at that blessed state of self-felicitation when the camarado, who had been watching like a hawk great vacuum of the head would be inflated for an opportunity of strangling a subject which with the glorifying gas which ariseth from he foresaw would die hard : "shall we not the fumes of wine. In fine, it appeared that a game of dominoes for the ball-tickets while Monsieur Goutfin had fitted through the you finish your story p" assembly-rooms like a scavenger, appointed to Every café on the continent is supplied with sweep away the shades of sadness.

dominoes, so that the game was soon started. The quart d'heure de Rabelais was arrived. The Count lost, as he deserved to do; for his All this time our asthmatic but long-winded mind, like that of a dying gladiator, was far voyageur had not for a moment flagged in his away, immersed in other scenes. His friend narrations, to the immeasurable amusement of was almost almost equally heedless, being now his nearest neighbour, a hard-headed German, intent upon the music. who, as he now sat, gorged no less with his “How beautiful is that strain !" muttered he, Saxon repast than with the discursive intelli- a sort of inquiring enthusiasm overspreading gence which he drank in from the lips of Par. the blankness of his face. “Lindpaintner, is it tout, reminded me of the "fat, foolish scullion" not?” in Tristram Shandy. Evidently he had not “Certainly: glorious !" quoth the Count, who read Munchausen ; else it is difficult to conceivedetested all music except his own voice, and why his eyes should thus protrude until they who found difficulty in making himself audible. threatened to drop out of their sphere into his “Ludwig, tell them not to play so loud," gaping mouth, which remained so invitingly he continued to the music-inan, who was passing ajar while a tall bell-glass of Bohemian stood round with his plate, into which it is usual to unemptied before him. A pale youth, whose throw a few kreutzers for the dinner-melody. flowing skeins of black silken hair and Salvator Mon Dieu !” exclaimeri the bottle-holder, hat announced his profession, even if the never- whose services, since the conclusion of dinner, abdicated portfolio at his side were not a suffi. might be esteemed supererogatory. “ Mon cient consession of the artist, leaned over for a Dieu! I have a wife soinewhere about : posi. single moment unperceived, and dashed off a tively I must go and see whether she has dined.crayon-sketch of the arch-glution, which he And I,” said the Count, “am engagé for a now held up to public gaze.

promenade with Mrs. Fledgefemme. Au revoir, A suppressed tittering, soon ripening into a at ten o'clock, and the ball." gale of laughter, ensued; in which all joined, with the exception of the caricatured individual, who stared at the sketch without a sign of recognition, and of the Count, who was at this “Ah, voici mon drôle !” Jaughed Ernest, as moment drawing the long-bow in a wolf-hunt we stepped into the grand promenade. on the Pyrenees-his mind being in a state of He motioned toward a long, sinewy figure, tension not readily to be relaxed by any ordinary attired in an emerald-coloured coat and maroon incident of human life.

pantaloons-a combination which, highly illu“Who goes to the bal paré?" asked Ernest, mined as it was by the rays of the declining as the Erlaught romancer paused to take breath. sun, bore no slight resemblance to a tall green

“I have little taste for balls,” responded the Asemanshausen bottle, half full of its ruby Count, speaking for the company; they are liquid. A heavy gold rope, swung across his despairingly monotonous, unless indeed masque- stomach, and belayed in the recess of a siderade-balls, which are still "something new pocket, at once begrimed and embellished the under the sun.” I once enjoyed these things, purity of a prolonged white waistcoat. His but, hélas ! tout cela est passé. Monotony is glistening, jetty hair was twisted into careless the recompense I have received from too much tendrils, which danced around the expansive experience."

projection of a most relentless shirt-collar, like “Il faut vivre,” chirped the bottle-holder, waves dashing about the flying-jib of a yacht. who at length had pushed his plate aside in The face thus garnished was one of those order to devote bimself the more exclusively to which show up” handsome by fits and starts, a freshly-opened bottle.”

according to the sentiment of the moment, “Vous avez raison, mon ami. Let me see

which wrought its corresponding expression. then; the last ball at which I can retain con- But at this moment, as he half reclined against sciousnes of having sincerely enjoyed myselí, the balustrade, there was in his features a took place in North India. Ab! non cuivis certain admixture of bonhomie and insolence; contigit adire Corinthum,” continued be, with a there was the roving glance, the wild eye and complacent grunt. The scene even now floats steady mouth, and the form of steel-lath, which, before me. I am extended upon a rug of golden under an unmitigated new hat tossed to the fabric; inhaling gently from a hookah the fumes back of his head, revealed, despite a slight of tobacco impregnated with otto of roses. coating of Parisianization, the living presence of Ab! le bon vieux temps! The choicest dancing- a Mississippi Nimrod. Can the leopard change girls of the East are performing before me; I his spots ? With all his bar-room abandon


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Themselves to thy authority,
And in the present busied ever
With unregarding hand dost sever
The links that hold the distances
Of space and time, bidding to cease
From dreams of far-off happiness !
Ah, yes, I trust that thou art fair,
A pilgrim from celestial air,
With power endowed to make a dream
Divine; on all the things that seem
Distortion, thou must quell, and all
Into harmonious order call.
Then touch these eyes, these mists remove,
That make them blind to sights of love ;
Pour in thy light, all phantasies annul,
Till that appear which is most beautiful.

upon him, engrossed from time to time in the practice which so deeply offended the philosopher of Geneva, and which embroiled bim with his friend Grimm; he was “making his nails," said Rousseau, "with an instrument made expressly for that purpose.”

Europeans seize upon the character of the Yankee, and comprehend it, probably, with as little difficulty as the characters of their own provinciale; but it is the Kentuckian, the Mississippian, and all the others of that ilk, who compose the grand mystery of Americanism, who remain the great misunderstandables in their eyes. How the deuce men can come six feet high, and up to everything, from halfcivilized lands like theirs to handsome, wonder. ful, and refined lands such as these--all the while practising the nil admirari with unblush. ing ease and confidence--this is a speculation of arousing interest in our eyes. And yet the inexplicable transatlantics somehow contrive to elbow their way through custom-house and city, ruin and restaurant, with a sagacity which gradually wrings out an acknowledgment that the new-comers are too clever to be absolutely Vandal, although they do mark their track through ancient empires with barbaric gold, and rudeness, and innovation.

To these same new-comers, indeed, the antiquities alone of Europe are the grand novelties ; while the novelties of Europe, on the other hand, are fast becoming their antiquities. Blessed reader, oracular as this sentence may appear, forget it not, but ponder thereon.


"Oh, ye beloved-come home: the hour

Of many a greeting tone
The time of hearth-light and of song

Returns—and ye are gone."— Mrs. HEMANS.


Say, my friend, because no zephyr

Stirs the foliage overhead, And the lake is dark and silent,

Deem ye that the land is dead ? There is life beyond the vision,

Depths that move within the deep, Lethe's self rolls gently onward

All of slumber is not sleep. Must ye wait till faith, uncertain,

Gathers hope and strength from sight, Till ye see Aurora's fingers

Grasping at the pall of night ?
Lol she comes, the pure, the golden,

Monnting on the sombre hill,
And behold the waters waver,

Which before thee seemed so still ! Come, sweet Content, and give me eyes To see the wealth that round me lies; Oh, work a wonder, show in me How pleasant is reality! That happy realm, where thou art queen, Thy countenance I have not seen, But oft 'tis whispered in my earFull oft by selfishness and fearThat fabled is thy beauty, thou Art all too mean that men should bow

Come home! come home! The lamps are lit,

And from the hearth the ruddy blaze Sends forth a welcome glow to thee

A beacon through the misty haze, And far along the crowded street

Looking forth with eager eye
To catch the shadow of thy form,

Are babe and I.
Come home! come home! 'Tis silent all,

And round us creeps a dreamy spell,
Half sad, half tender, as we wait,

With hearts that love thee well;
And looking on thy vacant chair,

And meeting not thy smiling face,
We feel there's something wanting there

To give it grace.
Come home! come home! We wait for thee

The shadows moving on the wall Seem but to dance with half their glee,

Until we hear thy footsteps fall ;
And there is wanting round our home

A genial love-a warmth, a life,
That come not till thy presence comes--

To cheer thy wife.
Come home! come home! The shadows fall

In lengthened bars along the pane;
And we go out with yearning hearts

To look for thee and wait again ; One quick throb of delight—but ah!

That foot-step passes quickly by, To cheer some others waiting, too,

Like babe and I. Come home! come home! The gloom of night

Is settling where the fading dawn Folds up her purple flags of light,

While we are waiting still and lone, And feel that there is something yet

We lack to give our home its life, Which comes pot till thy presence comes,

To bless thy babe and wife,


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]


« Take that home with you, dear,” said way would only make things worse. Ob, dear Mrs. Lewis, her manner balf smiling, balf I'm getting out of all heart !" serious.

• What then, Carry p" “ Take what home, Carry?". And Mr. Mrs. Lewis almost started at the sound of Lewis turned towards his wife, curiously. her husband's voice, breaking, unexpectedly,

Now, Mrs. Lewis bad spoken from the mo. upon her ear, in a softened tone. ment's impulse, and already partly regretted “ What then?" be repeated, turning towards her remark.

her, and looking down into her shyly upturned “Take what home?" repeated her husband. face. “I don't understand you."

“It would send warmth and radiance through “That smiling face you turned upon Mr. the whole house," said Mrs. Lewis, ber tones Edwards, when you answered his question just all a-tremble with feeling. now."

“ You think so ?” Mr. Lewis slightly averted his head, and “I know so! Only try it, dear, for this one walked on in silence. They had called in at | evening." the shop of Mr. Edwards to purchase a few “It isn't so easy a thing to put on a smiling articles, and were now on their way home. face, Carry, when thought is oppressed with There was no smile on the face of Mr. Lewis now, but a very grave expression instead-grave “It didn't seem to require much effort just almost to sternness. The words of his wife now," said Mrs. Lewis, glancing up at her husbad taken him altogether by surprise; and, band with something of archness in her look. though spoken lightly, had jarred upon his Again a sbadow dropped down upon the face ears.

of Mr. Lewis, which was again partly turned The truth was, Mr. Lewis, like a great many away; and again they walked on in silence. other men who have their own business cares “He is 80 sensitive!” Mrs. Lewis said to and troubles, was in the habit of bringing home herself, the shadow on her busband's face a sober, and, too often, a clouded face. It was darkening over her own. “I have to be as in vain that his wife and children looked into careful of my words as if talking to a spoiled that face for sunshine, or listened to his words child." for tones of cheerfulness.

No, it did not require much effort on the “Take that home with you, dear.” Mrs. part of Mr. Lewis to smile, as he passed a few Lewis was already repenting this suggestion, words, lightly, with Mr. Edwards. The remark made on the moment's impulse. Her husband of bis wife had not really displeased him; it was sensitive to a fault. He could not bear had only set bim thinking. After remaining even an implied censure from his wife. And gravely silent, because he was undergoing å so she had learned to be very guarded in this brief self-examination, Mr. Lewis saidparticular,

“You thought the smile given to Mr. Ed. "Take that home with you, dear! Ah me! wards came easily enough?” I wish the words had not been said. There “It did not seem to require an effort,” rewill be darker clouds now, and gracious knows, plied Mrs. Lewis. they were dark enough before ! Why can't Mr. “No, not much effect was required,” said Lewis leave his cares and business behind him, Mr. Lewis. His tones were slightly depressed. and let us see the old pleasant smiling face “But this must be taken into the account; my again. I thought this morning that he had mind was in a certain state of excitement, or forgotten how to smile; but I see that he can activity, that repressed sober feelings, and made smile, if he tries. Ah! Why don't he try at smiling an easy thing. So we smile and are home?"

gay in company, at cost of little effort, because So Mrs. Lewis talked to herself, as she moved all are smiling and gay, and we feel the common along by the side of her busband, who had not sphere of excitement. How different it often spoken a word since her reply to bis query, is when we are alone, I need not say. You, .“ Take what home?" Street after street Carry, are guilty of the sober face at home as crossed, and still there was silence between well as your busband.” Mr. Lewis spoke with them.

a tender reproof in his voice. “Of course," said Mrs. Lewis, speaking in “But the sober face is caught from yours her own thoughts. “Of course he is offended. oftener than you imagine, my husband," reHe won't bear a word from me. I might have plied Mrs. Lewis. known, beforehand, that talking out in this "Are you certain of that, Carry ?"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


“Very certain. You make the sunlight and his head smoothing back the dark hair, just the shadow of your home. Smile upon us; showing a little frost from his broad manly give us cheerful words; enter into our feelings temples. and interests, and there will be no brighter A pleasant group was this for the eyes of home in all the land. A shadow on your coun. Mrs. Lewis as she came forth from her tenance is a veil for my heart; and the same chamber to the sitting-room, where she had is true as respects our children. Our pulses gone to lay off her bonnet and shawl and strike too nearly in union not to be disturbed change her dress. Well did her busband under. when yours has lost its even beat."

stand the meaning look she gave him, and Again Mr. Lewis walked on in silence, his warmly did her heart respond to the smile he face partly averted; and again his wife began threw back upon her. to fear that she had spoken too freely. But “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold he soon dispelled this iinpression, for he said — | in pictures of 'silver,” said Mr, Lewis, speaking

“I am glad, Carry, that you have spoken to her as she came in. thus plainly. I only wish that you had done “What do you mean by that?" asked Mary, so before. I see how it is. My smiles have looking curiously into her father's face. been for the outside world - the world that “Mother understands," replied Mr. Levis, neither loved nor regarded me-and my clouded smiling tenderly upon his wife. brow for the dear ones at home, for whom “Something pleasant must have happened," thought and care are ever-living activities.”

said Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were now at their own “Something pleasant ? Why do you say door, where they paused a moment, and then that?” asked Mr. Lewis. went in. Instantly, on passing his threshold, “ You and mother look so happy," replied Mr. Lewis felt the pressure upon him of his the child. usual state. The hue of his feelings began to "And we have cause to be happy," answered change. The cheerful, interested exterior put the father, as he drew his arm tightly around on for those he met in business intercourse, her, “in haviig three such good children." began rapidly to change, and a sober hue to Mary laid her cheek to his, and whispered : succeed. Like most business men, his desire “ If you are smiling and happy, dear iather, for profitable results was even far in advance home will be like heaven.” of the slow evolutions of trade; and his daily Mr. Lewis kissed her, but did not reply. history was a history of disappointments, in He felt a rebuke in her words. But the rebuke some measure dependent upon his restless did not throw a chill over his feelings, it only anticipations. He was not as willing to work gave a new strength to his purposes. and to wait as he should be; and, like many “Don't distribute all your smiles. Keep a of his class, neglected the pearls that lay here few of the warmest and brightest for home,” and there along his life-paths, because they said Mrs. Lewis, as she parted with ber huswere inferior in value to those he hoped to find band on the next morning. He kissed her, just a little way in advance. The consequence but did not promise. The smiles were kept, was that, when the day's business excitement however, and evening saw them, though not was over, his mind fell into a brooding state, for the outside world. Other and many and lingered over its disappointments, or looked evenings saw the same cheerful smiles and forward with failing hope in the future--for the same happy home. And was not Mr. Lewis hope, in many things, had been long deferred. a better and happier man? Of course he was. And so he rarely bad smiles for his home. And so would all men be if they would take

Take that home with you, dear,” whispered home with them the smiling aspect they so often Mrs. Lewis, as they moved along the passage, exhibit as they meet their in business and before they had joined the family. She intercourse, or exchange words in passing had an instinctive consciousness that her hus. compliments. Take your smiles and cheerful band was in danger of relapsing into his usual words home with you, husbands, fathers, and state.

brothers. Your hearths are cold and dark The warning was just in time.

without them. " Thank you for the words ! said he. “I will not forget them.”

And he did not; but at once rallied himself, and to the glad surprise of Jenny, Will, and

GREEK EMBLEMS.—The Greeks had a peculiar Mary, met them with a new face, covered with fatherly smiles and with pleasant questions, in emblem of female duties which they frequently put pleasant tones, of their day's employments. upon the sculptures of their tombs, consisting of an The feelings of children move in quick transi- owl, a muzzle, and a pair of reins, reminding the caretions. They had not expected a greeting like less and the idle that the chief excellences to which a this, but the response was

instant. Little Jenny good woman could aspire were emulation of the ol climbed into her father's arms.

Will came and

in watchfulness, the guarding of the month lest an. stood by his chair, answering in lively tones his questions, while Mary, older

by a few years becoming things should be uttered, and the ruling of than the rest, leaned against her father's a family with the same desterity as was shown by the shoulder, and laid her white hand softly upon ! charioteer in the public games,



(By Author of "Watching and Waiting.")



Flushed from exercise, and bearing with her the innocents and begged a part in their foolish the bloom and scent of the woods, Helena, sing games, I daresay new life would have been iniug gaily, broke in upon the Sabbath-eve still. fused into your meditations,” replied the girl, ness of the parsonage, and laughing at Aunt raising the sasb, and letting in a flood of ra. Sabrina's consternation as she threw over the diance from the low afternoon sun. See,” she dreamy lady's dainty lace cap a delicate wreath said, pacing up the broad path of light running of flowers, ran lightly up the stairs and tapped straight fro:n the tall window, “it is like walkat the rector's study-door.

ing the golden streets of the Celestial City.” “Is that profound theological paper quite com- * But the jasper walls, the gates of pearl, the pleted ?" she asked, standing upon the thresh- pure river clear as crystal, and the tree of life old with a hesitating air, and peering with with its twelve manner of fruits and leaves for strained eyes into the dim room beyond. the healing of nations-ah, where are they ?"

The rector, leaning wearily back in his com- murmured the rector, with that sort of desolate fortable chair, pointed to the MS., on the last feeling we have sometimes when the things we page of which the ink was not yet dry, and have most energetically preached for the comheaved a sigh of relief; whereupon the intruder, fort and strengthening of others, seem to ourwith a little nod of satisfaction, went forward selves, for the moment, so vague and uncertain, and deposited her basket of tender herbage on so dim and far away. the table.

“ Jasper walls, gates of pearl, crystal water, and "A mysterious awe oppresses me when I tree of life-why, they are here, if our eyes were enter here,” she said, glancing timidly around. pure enough to behold them,” cried the jublilant "I feel as if I had gained admittance to the la- traveller on the road of gold. “Did not the boratory of some miracle-working alchemist, a angel of God testify to John that they who do dark, secret chamber, filled with strange odours, his commandments may have right to the tree and furnished with singular apparatus, the use of life, and may enter in through the gates into of which is unknown to those not skilled in his the city ? Surely that is no vain promise, neitraft. I always find myself casting my eyes ther is the fulfilment afar off, for he says the

' furtively about, half in hope an. half in dread time is at hand,' and 'Behold I come quickly, of discovering the hidden machinery, by which and my reward is with me, to give every man you turn out those wonderful, learned, compli- according as his work shail be.' Therefore, I cated sentences on the mysteries of faith and reckon that they who do faithfully obey His of justification, and of the doctrines of bap- divine laws are already within the City walls, tism, and of laying on of hands, and of the re- that the fruit of the tree of life is theirs, that surrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment,' the Lord God giveth them ligbt,' and his name with which you weekly lull your hearers to for- even now is written on their foreheads.” getfulness of earthly things, and lift them to a “What warrant have you for such faith?" state of heavenly beatitude; for it were a bold “ The warrant of God's Word-no less, and mouth indeed that should declare the trances certainly more cannot be asked.” into which some of your people do fall in ser- “But God's Word may be wrongly intermon.time are not altogether holy and fraught preted.” with celestial good to their souls, for certain it " Aye, so I have learned. However, I supis that in those abnormal states they plot no pose no one need be troubled on that score who mischief and imbibe no false doctrines. Would in deed and thought obeys its manifest teachyour reverence permit me to let in a little na-ings; and I think, were we to question ono tural light on your gross darkness? A breath who, so far as he understands, fulfils the law of of pure air, a glimpse of the glorious, calm God, he would tell us that it is not necessary space above, a gleam of sunshine on the floor, that a man should die to enter the kingdorn of would be a revelation of God in this sepulchral heaven, that its ineffable joy, and light, and place."

peace wait on no other condition than obedience, Yes, Aing open the window, Helena” said which, if not possible in this life would never be the reetor, languidly, hearkening, as he always required of us. But I did not come here to did, with a kind of amused pity, to the free- talks theology with you. Judging from the spoken sentiments of his privileged niece. “I many sad-coloured volumes scattered hereclosed it merely because the boisterous merri- abouts you must be freshly-primed, and if you ment of the village children playing on the green should open your mouth, would overwhelm me disturbed my meditations."

with arguments which I could only answer "A thousand pities. If you had gone out to I foolish womanwise with hesitating 'yes,' or



« PreviousContinue »