صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

but not perhaps aware, that revolting from a union with Miss Vavasour, I have resolved on taking orders, and accepting a living from a friend. If, foregoing more brilliant prospects, you would condescend to share my retirement

-” His manner, the moments, the lovely scene which surrounded us, all combined against me; and Heaven knows wbat answer I might have been hurried into, had I not got out, with a gaiety foreign to my heart, “ I can say nothing to you, till you have, in person, explained your sentiments to Miss Vavasour.–See her at once." “ But why ?” he exclaimed, “ could seeing her again and again ever reconcile me to her manners, habits, and sentiments ? or any sum of money, however large, induce me to place at the head of my table a humpbacked bas-blue, in green spectacles ?Humpbacked ?” “ Yes, from her cradle. But you colour. Do you know her ?", Intimately. She's my most particular friend!” " I sincerely beg your pardon. What an unlucky dog I am. I hope you are not offended ?" Offended? Oh no--not offended. Humpbacked, good Heavens!—not the least offended. Humpbacked, of all things in the world :" and I involuntarily gave a glance towards the glass. “I had no conception,” he resumed, as soon as he could collect himself, “ that there was any acquaintance.” “ The most intimate possible,” I returned ; “ and I can assure you that you have been represented to her as the most dissolute, passionate, awkward, ill disposed young man breathing.” 66 The devil!” 5 Don't swear, but hear me. See your cousin. You will find your. self mistaken. Further, at present, this deponent

of age.

saith not;" and, with a face ludicrously distorted with an attempt to smile, when I was monstrously inclined to cry, I escaped to my own room.

We did not meet again; for the next morning, in no very enviable frame of mind, I returned home. Not many weeks afterwards Sir Edgar came

The bells were ringing blithely in the breeze--the tenants were carousing on the lawn —when he drove up to the door. My cue was taken. With a large pair of green spectacles on my nose, in a darkened room, near a table covered with ponderous volumes, I prepared for this tremendous interview. After hems and habs innumerable, and with confusion the most distressing to himself, and the most amusing to me, he gave me to understand he could not fulfil the engagement made for him, and regretted it had ever been contemplated. “ No, no,” said I, in a voice that made him start, and drawing up the blinds, No, no, it is preposterous to suppose Sir Edgar Vavasour would ever connect himself with an ill bred, awkward, humpbacked girl.” Exclamations and explanations, laughter and raillery-intermixed with more serious feelings -followed; but the result of it all was—thatthat-that-we are married. ANONYMOUS.

THE FALLS OF OHIOPYLE. On the west of the Alleghany mountains rise the branches of the Youghiogeny river. The surrounding country is fertile and woody, and presents strong attractions for the sportsmen, as does also the river, which abounds in fish. These were the principal considerations which induced me, in the autumn of the year 1812, to ramble forth with my dog, amid uninhabited solitudes almost unknown to human footsteps, and where nothing is heard but the rush of winds and the roar of waters. On the second day after my departure from home, pursuing my amusement on the banks of the river, I chanced to behold a small boat, fastened by a rope of twisted grass to the bank of the stream. I examined it, and finding it in good condition, I determined to embrace the opportunity that presented itself of extending my sport, and my fishing tackle was put in requisition. I entered the diminutive vessel, notwithstanding the remonstrances of my fourfooted companion, who, by his barking, whining, and delay in coming on board, seemed to entertain manifold objections to the conveyance by water,--a circumstance which somewhat surprised me. At last, however, his scruples being overcome, he entered into the boat, and we rowed off.

My success fully equalled my expectations, and evening overtook me before I thought of desisting from my employment. But there were attractions to a lover of nature which forbade me leaving the element on which I was gliding along. I have mentioned that it was autumn; immense masses of trees, whose fading leaves hung trembling from the branches, ready to be borne away with the next gust, spread their dark brown boundary on every side. To me this time of the year is indescribably beautiful. I love to dwell upon those sad and melancholy associations that

VOL. IV.

T

suggest themselves to the mind, when nature in her garb of decay presents herself to the eye; it reminds us, that human pride, and human happi. ness, like the perishing things around us, are hastening rapidly on to their decline ; that the spring of life flies; that the summer of manhood passeth away, and that the autumn of our existence lingers but a moment for the winter of death, which shall close it for ever. The light winds that blew over the waters curled its surface in waves that, breaking as they fell, dashed their sparkling foam in showers around. The sun was sinking behind the mountains in the west, and shone from amidst the surrounding clouds. His last rays glittered on the waters, and tinged with a mellow sombré lustre the umbered foliage of the trees. The whole scene spoke of peace and tranquillity; and I envy not the bosom of that man who could gaze upon it with one unholy thought, or let one evil feeling obtrude upon his meditation. As I proceeded, the beauty of the surrounding objects increased. Immense oaks twisted about their gigantic branches covered with moss ; lofty evergreens expanded their dark and gloomy tops, and smaller trees, and thick shrubs, filled up the spaces between the larger trunks, so as to form an almost impervious mass of wood and foliage. As the evening advanced, imagination took a wider range, and added to the natural embellishments. The obscure outline of the surrounding forests assumed grotesque forms, and fancy was busy in inventing improbabilities, and clothing each ill defined object in her own fairy guises. The blasted and leafless trunk of a lightning-scathed pine would assume the form of some hundred headed giant about to hurl destruction on the weaker fashionings of nature. As the motion of the boat varied the point of view, the objects would change their figure, which again, from the same cause, would give way to another, and another, and another, in all the endless variety of lights and distances. Distant castles, chivalric knights, captive damsels, and attendants, dwarfs and squires, with their concomitant monsters, griffins, dragons, and all the creations of romance, were conjured up by the fairy wand of phantasy. On a sudden, the moon burst forth in all her silvery lustre, and the sight of the reality effectually banished all less substantial visions. Thin transparent clouds, so light and fragile that they seemed scarce to afford a resting-place for the moonbeams that trembled on them, glided along the sky; the denser masses that skirted the horizon were fringed with the same radiance; while rising above them, the evening star twinkled with its solitary rays. I could not be said to feel pleasure; it was rapture that throbbed in my heart at the view: my cares, my plans, my very existence, were forgotten in the flood of intense emotions that overwhelmed me at thus beholding in their pride of loveliness the works of the creating Spirit.

In the meantime the boat sailed rapidly onwards, with a velocity so much increased that it awakened my attention. This, however, I attributed to a rather strong breeze that had sprung up. My dog, who had since his entrance into

« السابقةمتابعة »