« السابقةمتابعة »
were not strictly his charge ; but he had assumed the care of their training at his own request. The boys, as yet, showed little interest in study, but May became a wonder even to her instructor. Her mother bad been an orphan of a proud old family, who had died away one by one, until she had scarcely a near relative left. Colonel Haywood's family were in a distant part of the State, people of precise and formal fashion in the circles of the city, which they rarely left except to go North for the summer, or, attended by a train of servants, to the up-country springs for a month or two. Colonel Haywood had offended them by marrying out of the family circle of connection, though, fortunately, nothing could be said against the birth of the lady. Her family was as ancient as their own, both tracing back to colonial governors, and beyond them into the partial obscurity of early English annals. There was a gray stone monument, in the magnolia walk, to this official ancestor, flanked on either side by a graceful cypress-tree. May, with a sad look of veneration, always declared that it spoiled her favorite flowerbed, and she wanted some popinack-trees exactly where the cypress grew. But the boys already regarded the political and social virtues of “Governor John Haywood," as set forth on this brown-stone tablet, as a part of their ancestral inheritance.
But it was for these reasons that May had known so little of feminine influence and example beyond Maumer Fanny's indulgent teachings. She could peither sew nor write a respectable hand. She had read or looked through half the books in her father's library, that contained any inklings of romance or legendary lore, and she could manage her pony with the graceful fearlessness of an Indian maiden, rather than the easy self-possession of an accomplished horsewoman. These were her only accomplishments; but she had health and vigor from this wild, lawless life, and an unpruned luxuriance of imagination and quick sensibility.
At first, she was disposed to rebel against anything like restraint; but Philip held the reins lightly, and she sometimes even did not recognize a guiding band. Now the thirst for knowledge opened a deep, unfathomed well within her heart, of sympathy for all that was noble and true in life, and a wild ambition that belonged to the slumbering elements of her character. They were much together; for John and Edward were disposed to consider him only as their tutor, to be respected and obeyed, but not taken into their boyish confidences. George and Hamilton were children merely. Even May felt that they were no longer her equals. In their morning lessons-for she no longer discarded the Latin her brothers industriously pursued, but listened eagerly to all that Philip said—in their long rambles by the silent shores of the broad river, or in the dim twilight of the thick woods, she was his constant, cheerful companion. He opened his very heart to his child friend, for he was still young,
and needed sympathy, and told her of his Northern home, and why he was obliged to abandon his profession because they were very poor, his mother and sisters, and he was working now for them, but still in the hope of some day completing his studies and taking a useful position. He described his mother
- for May asked a thousand questions — a pale, quiet woman, who had suffered much, and who loved him tenderly; and his sisters, Mary, but two years younger than himself, who wrote him such long and affectionate letters, and Annie, just May's own age, but far beyond her in all womanly ways.
“ Just show me how to hem; come, Lorry," May had said to her seamstress, the day after she found Annie Anson could make sheets, and even helped on her brother's clothes.
The girl did not like to be interrupted in her laborious occupation, sitting on the floor and stringing beads for a necklace.
“Golong wid ye now, Miss May, don't ye see I'se been bein' berry busy. Whar for ye want to sew? 'Speo you make de nice work, any how."
“Come now, Lorry, and I'll try to learn as quick as possible; and I won't tear my dress again on the gin, or take my apron strings to piece out my reins. Just show me a little."
So the good-tempered, but indolent maid gave the first lesson in her seamstress art, and May improved wonderfully upon them, and could soon set very ne. : stitches quite alone. Her first practice of this new womanly accomplishment was hemming a set of handkerchiefs, which she had coaxed out of Maumer Fanny's store-room, for Mr. Anson; and these she left in his room, with a note, expressed simply enough, but in an awkward and most unscholarly hand, begging his acceptance of them as her work. And then she waited with nervous impatience until he had found them, and blushed with pleasure at his expressions of surprise and commendation, more delighted than when he praised the construction of a difficult problem, or the translation of her first ten lines of Virgil.
The four years that seemed so long to look for. ward to passed rapidly away. College duties summoned John and Edward from home, and a governess took the place of a tutor in Colonel Haywood's domestic arrangements. Philip parted with regret from his now manly pupils, who acknowledged that they owed much besides mere school instruction tu him, and from May, as he had left his sister Mary, for there was the same similarity of taste and pur. suits; though at fifteen there was much still wanting to make up a perfect womanly character in the enthusiastic, impulsive girl. Colonel Haywood, ever kind and generous, was not wanting in good wishes, and Philip returned to his home feeling that he had not wasted the years of his seclusion.
This was the retrospect that occupied his heart and mind, on his approach, after long absence, to these familiar scenes. The long reach of lovely
woodland ride was filled with pleasant recollections of the time when he first came there, a stranger, now a welcomed and invited friend. Here was the white, wooden bridge, with its rustic paling, where their horses always stopped to drink, and May, in an unguarded moment, had found herself uncomfortably immersed in the glancing waters, Frisk, meanwhile, leisurely surveying her through his shaggy mane. The woods were perfumed with the long wreaths of golden jasmine as then, the bright emerald leaves of the wild grape-vines circling among the fragrant blossoms. Cherokee roses bloomed in white and creamy beauty in the hedge-rows, and even the gray moss seemed only a neutral tint necessary in all this gush of brightness to temper the landscape. Philip drew off his travelling-cap, and bared his brow to the soft, delicious air. He rode joyously onward, longing to see them all once more, every familiar object sending a thrill of pleagure to his heart.
Now the well-remembered avenue came in sight, the giant oaks, their fantastic shapes throwing a mass of shadow on the turf beneath them, the moss sweeping down, and making a cool, gray tent, suggestive of twilight reverie or the morning's idle reading. Here, often he had seen Frisk trained to the wide circle of shadow thrown by these densely woven branches, and he glanced up involuntarily, as if expecting to see his little mistress and her gay steed coming down to meet him. But the "boy" who had been appropriated to his especial service was the only creature in sight; and, now that Philip was discovered, York moved towards him with an alacrity entirely foreign to his nature.
“Bress my soul, massa! so you done cum at las !" was the first greeting, as the good-natured face shone a welcome with all its wealth of ivory. “Knowed ye jus' dis minute, 'cause you ain't been grow ole. I perticipated 'twas you w'en I see de hors'; an' Miss May, she send de lub, an' hope you berry well.”
“Miss May! Are not the family at home ?"
“ Massa, ole massa gone to de club, Massa John an'he; Massa Edward gone for de fine canter wid Miss Carline an' Miss Lizbeth. Miss May bab de misery in de head—'spec it am-anybow, she ax to stay in de library an' read. She bab de great 'pacity, massa say."
Philip remembered York's delight in large words of old. It was his habit to linger about the room at lessons, and astonish his fellow-servants with tho phrases and terms he contrived to remember.
So May was at home, perhaps expecting bim; but who were Miss “Car’line and Miss 'Liz'beth ?”
There was some little change in the external appearance of the mansion; no alterations—that would have been sacrilege in the eyes of Colonel Haywood, but an air of renovation and general neatness foreign to it of old.
He saw her first in the hall, dusky with afternoon
shadows, for she had seen him dismount, and came out to meet him. The clear, silvery tones of the voice were the same, the light of the eyes unaltered, but the child was a tall, stately woman, who received her father's guest with finished ease, as if she had been long accustomed to do the honors of the mansion.
“My father left his compliments for you, Mr. Anson," she said, as they entered the library together, as I bade York tell you, and will be home soon. My brothers are just returned from the North, and will be glad to welcome you again. I scarcely knew them, they had improved so much. I hope Hamilton and George will do equal credit to you. We are all happy to have you with us once more. It seems like old times to see you in the accustomed place.'”
But Philip did not think so. Then, when he closed his book in sad or pleasant thought, the child May would come stealing to his side, with a caressing hand upon his shoulder, and those large, eager eyes raised with inquiry. Now the beautiful woman, beautiful most of all by her nobility of manner, sat there so calm, so stately, and, he thought, so cold. The formal inquiries for his journey, his health, the news from the North, it was not what he had expected; and his heart, that had leaped up so joyously, sank down as though some leaden weight were pressing on it. The very air seemed heavy, and he was glad, for the first time in their intercourse, to hear the tramp of horses announce the return of the equestrians, and the conclusion of their tête-à-tête.
Edward was, indeed, vastly improved, a frank, gentlemanly man, who greeted him heartily ; but Miss Caroline, the aunt, who now resided with them, and Miss Elizabeth Hamilton, a cousin, were content to return his salutation by a cold bow, as they swept across the room, their habits trailing after them like the train of a royal robe. They evidently wished to impress upon the new-comer a sense of their own unapproachable dignity, and of his proper place as tutor, in the household. Colonel Hay. wood's return was the first thing to break the un. comfortable spell. There was a real heartiness in his greeting, and the thanks he had to offer for Philip's compliance with his request that he would return to take charge of his younger children, with the assurances of a generous remuneration, and a welcome from all to his old home. John's manner was more restrained, but not the less gentlemanly ; and, when Philip had visited Maumer Fanny in her own quarter, and received the present of two newlaid eggs—a most embarrassing gift, he could but acknowledge-in return for the bandanas he had brought her, he began to think that Haywood might seem like home to him, after all.
In his old room again, with the well-remembered landscape flooded by the tranquil moonlight, the thought of May's greeting returned. But, after all, was it not right and natural? What else could he have expected from the change in years and position ?
The summer, with its change of residence, was passed. Strange that death should lurk in the wreathings of those graceful parasites, or be hidden in the splendor of those brave old woods! Haywood was deserted with the first tranquil summer day, and the first autumn night duly recalled the scattered family group. Philip and his young pupils did not accompany the Northern party; and the boys, who had not ceased to talk of “sister May's" excellences, were delighted at the prospect of welcoming her home again. In his secret heart, Philip had looked for a renewal of something like the old intercourse; but the dignified Miss Caroline was ever at hand, and in the evening, or at their meals, once so social, she took pains to direct the conversation so that he had little part in it: to their relatives, whom Philip had never seen, people they had met in their late tour, the neighbors who had once more called at Haywood, now that May had entered society, and was known to be heiress, in her own right, to a large and unexpectedly productive property, Mrs. Haywood's dower.
To be sure, Colonel Haywood's manner placed him on a social equality in all their visits and visitings. He was always invited with them, though rarely accepting, and the boys were taught unhesitating obedience to his commands. But what availed all this, while John's haughtiness, and Miss Caroline's pomp, even May's reserve,
“Still suggested clear between them
The pale spectrum of the salt?" Philip tried to struggle with this cold, unmanly feeling, but in vain. Colonel Haywood's kindness only marked all he shrank from more plainly, and Edward's good-natured frankness failed to win him. The boys became his companions more and more, or, mounting his horse, he would be absent for hours, now riding at a mad gallop through the silent forests, or, with reins laid upon the neck of the faithful steed, he wandered absorbed in thought, and only feeling the cool October air playing upon his forehead. And this was the end of all his bright anticipations of a return to his old home! It was for this he had given up the cheerful society of his own dear family; the gentle mother, so tenderly alive to every cloud that drifted across his path ; Mary, now happily married, and the gay pranks of his little nephew, named for him, and who made them wonder how they had ever lived without the mischievous merrymaker; Annie, who had taken her sister's place as correspondent, adviser, and comforter! This moody, restless spirit was foreign to his nature.
Day by day, the loveliness and harmony of May's character grew upon him. So deferential to her father and aunt, the latter often a trial both to tem
per and spirits, the life of the household, and of the neighborhood, yet still finding time to go on in the difficult paths of study he had assisted to mark out for her, and accomplished in the graces “ which most adorn a woman."
How often he sat in the twilight in the little nook that had been her favorite reading-place when a child, shut by a fall of drapery from the principal drawing-room, and, with his face covered by his hands, listened to the thrilling music of voice and instrument which she poured forth, unaware that any listener shared in the enjoyment which music and its cultivation had long given to her. Miss Caroline invariably went to sleep in her loungingchair, or on a sofa, after dinner; the colonel sometimes walked up and down the room in the firelight, often busy with mournful thought, for the voice was so like her mother's. Philip, not daring to intrude, listened in half sad, half hopeful reverie, sometimes melted almost to tears, and again roused to all that was noble and brave by the changing strain.
He watched her from the dusky recess, as she sat absorbed in her own harmonies, the grace of the drooping figure, the clear, luminous eyes, half revealed. Then she would suddenly quit the keys, and lean over the instrument, as if absorbed in dreams of her own creation, or pacing, with much of her father's manner, through the room, the fire. light glancing upon her dress, or the softly banded hair, or the white and rounded arm. And sometimes she sighed, a long, quivering sigh, like a child that has exhausted emotion in tears.
It was a beautiful, but dangerous study. He longed to read her heart as of old, the aims hidden beneath her usual calm exterior, the memory or the fear echoed in those quivering sighs. Yet he knew this was a confidence he had no right to ask. But why? Had she not always been to him as a sister?
She came to him one day, as he sat reading alone in the library. It was dull and rainy, one of those days when visiting or outdoor exercise is impossible, and the home circle gather more closely. A day of days to those who indulge in the luxury of a new volume, or closer study of ancient lore. No intruders from the social world; no idle, distracting gossip; no wooing sunshine falling upon the open page. Only the obscured, but not melancholy light; the music of the slowly pattering rain upon the window-ledge, or the branches of the leafless trees; the cheerful humming of the fire upon the hearth, inviting to its gentle companionship. Such a day was dreadful to Miss Caroline. No visitors, no rides, no anything, but that eternal and tiresomo knitting! May had this morning thoughtfully provided her with a new open-work stitch, and had seen her comfortably engrossed with its mysteries.
The boys had finished their tasks, the gentlemen had rid over to a parish meeting, and May had dedicated the quiet thus insured to a long review of a favorite author. She started to find the library
already occupied, and turned, as if to leave it. Then came back, as Philip bowed and rose to leave her in possession, with something of her old manner, the reserve melting into one of her most open and winning smiles. He could but think of the expression, half coaxing, half assured, with which she had been wont to prefer her childish requests.
“ If you will not think me too troublesome," she said, laying her hand on the volume she had come in search of.
“Troublesome, Miss Haywood !" he echoed. “Ah, no, you never were troublesome, even in your most mischievous moods."
It was the first time he had ever alluded to their old position of teacher and pupil; but she was so like the child May just then.
“Never? You forget how you used to scold me, or look at me, I mean—it was always worse than Maumer Fanny's scolding—for my sad, romping ways, the torn frocks and aprons, the dog-eared books; and I'm sure you must remember how I teazed my brothers when they were trying to study, and mocked the hic hæc hoc Edward used to stumble in. I must have been a household torment,” she added, still smiling.
Philip's reserve and moodiness for the moment melted at the remembrance of her mischievous gayety; its spirit, still lurking in that smile, exorcised all the bitterness of months.
“You were going to read ?” he said.
“A little. I find I am getting sadly behind. Truth is, I get little time, and I meet with many difficulties which I have not patience to conquer. I sometimes have been tempted"
“Not to give up your studies, I hope ?" Philip spoke eagerly. He had often mentally attributed
much of the superiority of her character to this patient and well-directed industry.
“No-yes, sometimes. But that was not what I meant just then. I was going to say-to beg you to take another pupil, or an old one in charge again; but I have never had the courage to ask it.”
“Ah, have you? Will you allow me to offer any assistance, any advice? I have so much idle lei. sure; and it would carry me back to those dear old days: not that I could ever fancy you a child again."
So the agreement was made, and once more Philip directed that quick, grasping intellect, and learned to wonder daily at its strength, and yet the true womanliness of its character, that could turn from deep philosophy to the details of social life.
There was a new charm for his existence. He ceased to notice John's hauteur, or be annoyed by Miss Caroline's marked dislike; nay, he even offered to assist her in sorting worsteds one evening, when the dim twilight mingled and confused colors beyond her somewhat failing vision. Not that Miss Caroline ever paid any outward tribute to Time. Far from it. Her dress was quite as juvenile as May's, and her double eye-glass was assumed, as she on this occasion asgured Philip, only on account of a most annoying near-sightedness.
Even York noticed the change in his mood, and told Lorry, now Miss May's own maid, "he 'spected Massa Philip hab great fortune lef' him, hab such fine spirits, and whistle w'en he cum in. Else de lady lub, orf to de Norf-hab de 'garotype on de table, wid de elegant curls-gwine to hab him right away. Guess she hab a heap o' money herself.” A piece of speculation which Lorry took care to communi. cate to her mistress that very evening, with her own remarks and additions,
(To be concluded.)
ILLUSTRIOUS WOMEN OF OUR TIME.
“ It seems to me that we over-educate the memory, while the temper and the feelings are neglected: forgetting
that the future will be governed much more by the affections than by the understanding."-L. E. L.
It has been judiciously remarked that “if the possession of excellent talents is not a conclusive reason why they should be improved, it at least amounts to a very strong presumption; and if it can be shown that women may be trained to reason and imagine as well as men, the strongest reasons are certainly necessary to show us why we should not avail ourselves of such rich gifts of nature; and we have a right to call for a clear statement of those perils which make it necessary that such talents should be totally extinguished, or at most, very partially drawn out. Nature makes to us rich and magnificent presents, and we say to her, “You are too luxu
riant and munificent, we must keep you under, and prune you. We have talents enough in the other half of the creation, and if you will not stupefy and enfeeble the mind of women to our hands, we ourselves must expose them to a narcotic process, and educate away that fatal redundance with which the world is afflicted, and the order of sublunary things deranged.'”
Thus wrote one of the leading spirits of the age in the year 1810. At the present day he would not have to lament that the finest faculties in the world have been confined to trifles utterly unworthy of their richness and their strength: for the pursuit of knowledge has become the most interesting as it is the most innocent occupations of the female sex; encourage her in becoming what Wordsworth has so happily described
they have learned to feel that happiness is to be derived from the acquisition of knowledge as well as from the gratification of vanity. While this most important change has been thus progressing, we have solid reasons for judging that the important duties of life have not been neglected, for at Home woman still reigns, and
As mother, daughter, wife, Strews with fresh flowers the narrow way of life,
quite as efficiently and satisfactorily as when her time was wholly devoted to the household gods. That “good mothers make good men,” may still be aptly quoted in application to our fair countrywomen; and the “Mothers of England," by Mrs. Ellis, one of a series of works on the subject of female duty, is a fair exemplification of the manner in which it frequently is, and we trust ever will continue to be carried out.
In the choice of her subjects, Mrs. Ellis has been duly actuated by a feeling of their importance as regards the condition and happiness of women, and consequently has sometimes given offence by reprobating too sharply the follies which are sanctioned by society, and the peculiarity in the present aspect of social and domestic life which commonly are expected to pass unobserved. On this subject she remarks: “If, in the performance of this stern duty, I may at times have appeared unjust, or unsisterly, to the class of readers whose attention I have been anxious to engage, they will surely have been able to perceive that it was from no want of sympathy with the weakness, the trials, the temptations to which woman is peculiarly liable; but rather, since we can least bear a fault in that which we most admire, from an extreme solicitude that woman should fill, with advantage to others and enjoyment to herself, that high place in the creation for which I believe her character was designed.” We have many valuable dissertations upon female character as exhibited upon the broad scale of virtue, but, until this excel. lent series of Mrs. Ellis's, none which contained a direct definition of those minor parts of domestic and social intercourse which strengthen into habit, and consequently form the basis of moral character. She has penetrated into the familiar scenes of domestic life, and has thus endeavored to lay bare some of the causes which frequently lie hidden at the root of general conduct. “I have confined my attention,” she remarks, "to the cultivation of habit -to the minor morals of domestic life, because there are so many abler pens than mine employed in teaching and enforcing the essential truths of religion, and there is an evident tendency in society to overlook these minor points, while it is impossible for them to be neglected without serious injury to the Christian character."
The whole aim, in short, of Mrs. Ellis, in her benevolent and moral exhortations to woman, is to
“ A perfect being, nobly planned,
To warn, to counsel, and command:
With something of an angel's light." But while we entirely concur with Mrs. Ellis in deprecating the over-education and the laborious exercises to which youthful minds are sometimes subjected, and which too frequently overcloud the spring-time of life, we cannot exactly sympathize with her in the disposition, from which she is not free, to deprecate accomplishments, as if there was anything at variance between them and pursuits of a more intellectual nature; and she sometimes, too, seems to forget that a woman is no longer bound apprentice to accomplishments only; that her understanding is not now confined "to hang upon walls or vibrate on strings," but has become the first spring and ornament of society, for it is enriched with attainments upon which alone such power and influence depend. And in saying this, we do not depreciate the accomplishments which lend so many charms to social intercourse; so far from it, we wish to convey the fact that practical good sense, with science and accomplishments, are thoroughly compatible.
It was in 1833 that Miss Sarah Stickney (the maiden name of Mrs. Ellis) first appeared before the public in a literary career in which she has been so eminently successful, and her three series of “Pictures of Private Life” soon became as popular as they have ever since continued to be. Her mode of combining pure lessons of morality and manners with the amusement and interest of fictional narrative has been successfully followed up by, among others, "Family Secrets, or How to Make Home Happy," and “Social Distinctions, or Hearts and Homes." A residence of fifteen months on the Continent has enabled us to profit by a very amusing and well-written little book, entitled “Summer and Winter in the Pyrenees," and the sensible remarks on travelling with which it concludes cannot too strongly be impressed on all those seekers of excitement who think that change of place and scene will infallibly stimulate listlessness or remove discontent. In her own case she completely verified the truth of her motto: "I know of no pleasure that will compare with going abroad, excepting one-returning home."
In 1845, Mrs. Ellis brought out the “Young Ladies' Reader." The remarks which it contains on the art of reading well are sound, judicious, and usefully directed, and entirely do we agree with her opinion that reading aloud ought to form a part of an accomplished education, particularly in regard to females. “If in our ideas of the fine arts,” remarks the authoress, “we include all those embellishments of civilized life which combine in a high degree the