صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

however, likewise destitute, as I thought, of inhabitants; and I was about to retire, when the barking of a dog arrested my attention, and turning round, I heheld with no small satisfaction my old fellow-traveller Carlo. Shall I attempt to describe our meeting? It was the language of the heart, inexpressible in words, that spoke in the sparkling eyes and joyous gambols of my dog, and I was busily engaged in patting and caressing him; when, turning round, I perceived that our privacy had been intruded on. The beautiful creature on whom my wandering fancy had dwelt stood looking at us, supporting with one arm the old man, her father, while, on the other, hung a basket of flowers. I stood gazing at them, without speaking. I know not what magic made me dumb, but not a word escaped my lips. She was the first to speak, and expressed her joy at seeing me able to depart from my couch; chiding me at the same time for so doing without leave. She smiling said, “I am, at present, your physician, and I assure you I shall exercise the power which I have over you, as such, in as rigorous a manner as possible.” " But,” added the father, we should not thus salute a guest by threatening him with subjection; he is our guest, and not our captive.” By this time I had recovered the use of my tongue, and began to express my gratitude for this kindness, and my sorrow at the trouble which I was conscious I must have occasioned to them. But my politeness was cut short by the frank assurances of my host, reiterated more gently, but not less warmly, by his lovely daughter. Carlo

[ocr errors]


and I were now separated, much against the wishes of both, but my fair physician was inexorable, and I was compelled to turn in again, in seaman's phrase, till the morrow, and to suspend for the same time my curiosity.

The next day at length came, and I requested my entertainers to favour me with answers to the questions which I should propose to them. They smiled at my eagerness, and promised to satisfy my curiosity. It was easily done. The old man had a son, who, passing by the falls of Ohiopyle some nights before, in the evening, was attracted by the moanings and lamentations of a dog, and descending to the bottom of the fall, perceived me at the river side, where I had been entangled among some weeds and straggling roots of trees. From this situation he had-great difficulty, first, in securing me, and, having succeeded in that point, in carrying me to his father's dwelling, where I had lain several days, till by his daughter's unremitting attention (the old man bimself being unable materially to assist me, and the son compelled to depart from home on urgent business), I had been restored, if not to health, to a state of comparative strength. Such were the facts which I contrived to gather from the discourse of my host and his daughter, notwithstanding their softening down, or slightly passing over every thing, the relation of which might seem to claim my gratitude, or tend to their own praises. As to themselves, my host was a Pennsylvanian farmer, who, under pressure of misfortune, had retired to this spot, where the exertions of the son sufficed for the support of the whole family, and the

daughter attended to the household duties, and to the comfort of the father.

When the old man and his daughter had answered my queries, I renewed my thanks, which were, however, cut short. If they had been of service to a fellow-creature, it was in itself sufficient reward, even if they had suffered any inconvenience from assisting me, which they assured me was not the case. Many other good things were said at the time, which I forget; for, shall I confess it? the idea that all that had been done for me was the effect of mere general philanthropy displeased me. When I looked at the lovely woman who had nursed me with sisterlike affection, I could not bear to reflect that any other placed in a similar situation might have been benefited by the same care, and have been watched over with equal attention, and greeted with the same good-natured smile; that I was cared for no more than another, and valued merely as a being of the same species with themselves, to whom, equally with any other their sense of duty taught them to do good.

In a day or two my health was so much improved, that I was permitted to walk out in the small garden which surrounded the cottage. Great was my pleasure in looking at this humble dwelling ; its thatched roof, with patches of dark green moss and beautiful verdure; its white walls, and chimney with the wreaths of smoke curling about it; the neat glazed windows; the porch, and its stone seat at the door ; the clean pavement of white pebbles before it; the green grass-plat edged with shells, and stones, and dowers, and gemmed with “wee modest” daisies, and the moss-rose tree in the middle, were to me objects on which my imagination could revel for ever; and I sighed to think that I must shortly part from them. It remained for me in some manner to show my gratitude before I parted from my benevolent host; but I was long before I could settle the thing to my mind. I felt unhappy, too, at the thought of leaving the old man, and his beautiful and good daughter; " and yet it cannot be helped," I repeated again and again. " How happy I should be," I thought, “ in this lovely spot; and perhaps, the daughter”-dare a man at first acknowledge even to himself that he is in love? " And why should I not be happy ?”

I am now married, need I say to whom? And the whitewashed cottage, with its mossy thatch, has the same attractions for me ; nay, more, for it is endeared by the ties of love, of kindred, and of happiness. I have lived in it nine years; my children flock around me; my wife loves me; and her father is happy in seeing her happy. Her brother is flourishing in his business, and none in our family are dissatisfied, or in want. Often do I thank God for my blessings, and look back with pleasure to the day when I passed the Falls of Ohiopyle.



A FRAGMENT. The sullen tolling of the curfew was heard over the heath, and not a beam of light issued from the dreary villages, the murmuring cotter had extinguished his enlivening embers, and had shrunk in gloomy sadness to repose, when Henry de Montmorency and his two attendants rushed from the castle of A—y.

The night was wild and stormy, and the wind howled in a fearful manner. The moon flashed, as the clouds passed from before her, on the silver armour of Montmorency, whose large and sable plume of feathers streamed threatening in the blast. They hurried rapidly on, and, arriving at the edge of a declivity, descended into a deep glen, the dreadful and savage appearance of wbich was sufficient to strike terror into the stoutest heart. It was narrow, and the rocks on each side, rising to a prodigious beight, hung bellying over their heads; furiously along the bottom of the valley, turbulent and dashing against huge fragments of the rock, ran a dark and swoln torrent, and farther up the glen, down a precipice of near ninety feet, and roaring with tremendous strength, fell, at a single stroke, an awful and immense cascade. From the clefts and chasms of the crag, abrupt and stern the venerable oak threw his broad breadth of shade, and bending his gigantic arms athwart the stream, shed, driven by the wind, a multitude of leaves, while from the summits of the rocks was heard

« السابقةمتابعة »