صور الصفحة
[merged small][ocr errors]

"Oh, Philip! Philip I hew yon sting me !" eried Frank, wildly. "Oh, Father above, it is / who have been weak! What have / been doing? While I faneied that Philip was not strong, not perfeet enough for me, I have been deseending, deseending, till I fear I eannot reaeh him!"

It was a hitter heur for Frank Cushmnn, but benefieial: she learned that even the strongest fail when trusting in themselves.

Now she must write to Philip; not mueh—she eould not trust herself—but a few lines, just to shew him hew far she was beneath the Frank he pietured.

"l>fir. Philip: I am glad you disobeyed me. I am glad you wrote. Your letter has saved me, I trust. I had sadly departed from your ideal; you would no longer have reeognized mo. I was dreaming, and the bright flowers in my path were luring me on to a dreadful vortex! A few moro steps, and I had been lost to you forever, unfit for your newbom self! You will wonder at this; well you may; but I eannot explain till we meet. A few weeks more, and I leave this bewildering maze for a purer atmosphere—for my heme! I am stretehing my arms to it now. I lo»g for it! Can that assuranee eomfort you?"

"Frank," said Clara, eoming into her room some heurs afterwards, " I faneied, somehew, that Perey Bryan had offered himself this morning. Am I wrong? Your swollen eyes would seem to tell a different story."

'• Dear Clara, you have touehed on a painful subjeet. I shall never marry Perey Bryan."

"If you do not, it is then beeause you havo already refused him. Frank, you eannot deeeive me; and yet I theught yon loved him: you have given him every eneouragement."

Frank put her hands before her faee and wept hitterly.

"Yon never would have imagined, then, that I loved another while thus trifling? Oh, faitbless! faitbless!"

"Loved another, Frank!"

"Yes; and one the noblest—the noblest! And I left him beeause I faneied his temper warm, and that it would be imprudent to marry him 1 Left him to eome here and trifle and dehase myself! to mingle in seenes of folly and dissipation, while he was striving to make himself my ideal—a guide and proteetor; and now he has risen, and I have fallen

oh, so low! Clara, dear sister, there is nothing

so hard to bear as the eondemnation of your own heart!"

"Frank, don't talk so! What have you done? Kothing, I am sure, to distress you so severely. It is not wrong to join in innoeent gayety; and, as for flirting, it is what every one does whe is beautiful or disengaged."

What eomfort for a remorseful heart! Frank

to weep.

eould only shake her head and i Clara eontinued—

"As for Perey Bryan, you noed not trouble yourself about him! Men always reeover from affairs of that sort; and, after a while, he will go haek to Sarah Ashton, whe is dying for love all this while; and then there will be an end to his trouble."

Frank heard but one sentenee: "Sarah Ashton dying with love for him I"

"Why, you know, I told you Perey was desperately enamored before you eame; and every one theught it would be a mateh."

"Oh, Clara! Clara! have I eaused all this misery, too? You spoke so jestingly of his attentions to Sarah, that I did not dream of their truth; espeeially as I never saw him with her."

"No; that is the thing. From the first moment he saw you, he was faseinated. So eheer up now! How eould you know that you were whiling him from another?"

"He was not worthy of her; so false, so fiekle!" eried Frank.

"I do not believe she will held that opinion long," was Clara's reply.

"If she is what I suppose her, she will seorn him!" Frank answered, with spirit; and there the. eonversation dropped.


"Good-by, proud world! I'm going bome;

Tbou art not my friend; I am not thine:
Too long through weary erowds I roam—

A river ark on the oeean brine,
Too long I am tossed like the driven foam:
But now, proud world, I'm going bomo 1"

"How still Frank Cushman has beeome lately!" said Amy Bryan to Fanny Ashton. "Ever sinee Perey went to New York so suddenly! 1' it is too had for Perey to flirt so outrageously!"

"And Miss Cushman will go haek to Ohio without a hushand, after all'." remarked another maiden, with somewhat of glee at the theught.

"Well," exelaimed Fanny, with her usual impetuosity, "I despise a flirt or a flirtation from my very heart! At first, I disliked Frank Cushman, I own it; I misjudged her; and, latterly, her spells, whieh Sarah was so eloquent about, have eharmed away my dislike. It does not strike me, moreover, that she looks like a vietim."

"No, indeed!" eried Sarah, enthusiastieally. "Her appearanee rather eonveys to my mind that her theughts are far away from the gay seenes around her; she looks ehastened and subdued, but not sorrowful. I sheuld say that her spirit was merely waiting for some future happiness—for somo great joy, whieh yet she feels she does not deserve."

One and all laughed at the beautiful visionary.

"My dear, good sister," said Fanny, goodnaturodly, " I eannot pretend to follow you through your misty imaginings; I eonfine myaelf to eommon sense, and it is hard enough to get along with that sometimes."

And Sarah smiled—perhaps a little eontemptuously—and whispered to herself, as many a young enthusiast has done before, hugging her ideal world still eloser, " They eannot understand me; wo feel so differently I"

"Whe in the world, Frank, would believe that it was the end of Mareh already? The winter has passed so quiekly! I wish you would stay the summer out, and go to Newport with us; we shall have sueh a splendid time!"

Frank lifted her expressive eyes reproaehfully.

"Can you press me to stay while Philip waits?"

And Clara laughingly allowed the omnipotenee of the apology; only, as she observed—

"It was so intolerably stupid, Frank, for you to love Philip Arden! I wish he had been at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and then yon would have married Perey Bryan, and I sheuld have had a sister near me. It is too had to think that all my family are eontented to live away from me! I remember when I was a pet at heme."

"Well, of all women, you are the most diffieult to please! What in the world eould you want more than your hushand's love? And did you not leave all for him? Yet now you quarrel with your destiny!"

"Oh no! no! I would not exehange it for worlds !" eried Clara, with a merry laugh. "Harry Hastings for me!"

"And Philip Arden for me!" Frank answered, zealously.

"What in the world are you quarrelling about?" said Mr. Hastings, looking up from his newspaper with a eomie grimaee.

"Nothing; only Clara is running down her hushand," said Frank, demurely.

"Oh, Frank, you wreteh! what a story!" eried Clara, with a herrified expression of eountenanee, kneeling by her hushand's side, with her arms about his neek. "Do you believe her?"

And, theugh he laughingly expressed his entire faith in Frank's statement, she did not eense her earesses; and he forgot, whilo pressing his lips to his young wife's brow, the "arrival of the steamship Britannia,"

Mrs. Hastings gave a farewell party to her sister.

Never, perhaps, parted a beautiful young maiden from a gay and brilliant eirele with sueh perfeet delight. Frank was like a stream of light; wherever she moved, the merry laugh rose on the air; wherever she stood, the erowd besieged her.

For onee, she had given up to Clara the direetion of her dress. What wns dress to her now? They might make a eomplete figure of her, for ai«ht she

j eared! But Clara knew better; and her attire was \ the admiration of the room.

< Onee a flower dropped from her hair, and she 1 ran up into the dressing-room: Fanny and Sarah ! were there.

"I deelare, I never saw you look so beautiful in i all my life !" said Fanny, bluntly. "No one would imagine you were suffering from Perey Bryan's fiekleness. Pray tell me? Do you feel hadly?"

Frank opened her bright eyes. Then she eomprehended the whele, and laughed heartily.

"Poor Miss Cushman! hew mueh she is to be pitied !" she said; then, reeolleeting, with a pang, what Clara had said about Sarah, she spoke gravely, looking, hewever, at Fanny. "I presume it is quite suffieient to tell you I left mg lover in Ohio! I am going haek to him." Fanny stared.

"But Perey Bryan! no woman, whe has tie slightest regard for her happiness, will marry him! Believe me; I have studied him therougbly. I know he is talented and faseinating; but there is no strength in his eharaeter—in his soul. Xo one eould be happy with him through life, unless weak and heartless. One might for a time, but not lastingly."

She did not onee look at Sarah while speaking; but the fair girl grew pale while she listened, and sank into a ehair behind her sister.

"Darling! darling!" said Fanny, after Frank had gone, kneeling, and fondly embraeing her; "did you hear? Oh, believe her!"

"Yes, yes, I heard !" eried Sarah, eonvulsively; "and I believe! Sister, I have made a resolution: one ean eonquer one's self; don't you think so?" looking up appealingly.

"To be sure I" murmured Fanny, stoutly. "There needs but the will; and I know you have got that, sister!"


i t

\ "And I said,' My eousin Amy, speak, and trpeak tbo truth i to me;

\ Trust me, eousin, all the eurrent of my being sets to

| thee!'"

i "On her pallid eheek and forehead eame a eolor and a light,

; As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern

nigh t.''—TtNN rsox.

I She had boon elarped in a mother's embraee, and

5 met fondly a ei,-ter'i* kiss; had wept and smiled by

5 turns, and heard their loving weleomes; and now

5 Frank Cushman etood alone, still in the eentre of

\ the room, but with her small hands elasped and her

5 eyes drooping. She well know the rapid step whieh

< sounded in the hall; but she did not raise her head,

j and her eheek grew blanehed from deep emotion.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Philip Arden throw open the. door, and rushed towards her; but then he stopped beforo he had reeeived the wished embraee, frozen with a nameless terror. Ho remembered her last words: "We shall know, when first our eyes meet, whether the breath of the world hath ehauged our love."

But she did not look up. Bid she fear, then, to show him she was ehanged?

*• Frank," ho said, huskily, "is it so?"

Still she bowed her head, growing pereeptibly paler.

u Frank, oh, speak !" he eontinued, hoarsely, with a eonvulsive spasm about his ehiselled lips. "Fear not to look on me; for the worst must be better lhan this horrid silenee."

It did seem as though she tried to obey him; but the full lids might have been marble, so eoldly, so immovably they fell over her dark eyes: she passed her small fingers over them onee or twiee, as though striving to dispel this nightmare rigidity, then gasped painfully.

Instantly he eame near her, though with a broken, uneven step. He passed his arm supportingly it round her, and her beautiful head sunk upon his shoulder, still with its palo and suffering features, with its drooping lids and long blaek lashes resting on the wan eheek.

"Be ealm, Frank," ho whispered; "I forgive you." And he touehed with his lips her eold brow.

That toueh! Now, at last, her eyes slowly unelosed, and she raised them to those sad ones above her, and in them, though at first ho shrank, fearing to know too eertainly his misery, ho read a tale whieh sent haek the warm blood to his heart, and lent now strength to his nerveless frame.

And over Frank Cushman's faee there seemed to steal a light, swiftly and more swiftly lighting up the wild, dark eye, the pale eheek, and marble lips, whieh were parted now to give utteranee to her broken words.

"Oh, Philip, I am true! Look upon me and say—but I am worthless. Thero was a eloud upon my hopes; I eould not look, though I strove to. Oh, it was dreadful—that feeling—that anguish! I feared you would leave me, while I eould not raise my eyes; and I thought, 'Must I loso all, when happiness seemed eertain, with one so noble and so true V"

"Dearest, how eould you? Oh, faithless!" Philip whispered, fondly.

"I eould not help it . I did strive; but the madness, the wildness stole upon me so suddenly; all seemed so vague, so uureal! I know that you were there, and I so' undeserving—but oh, to lose you! And will that not be, after all? Can you still love me when you hear all my weakness?" And Frank, relieved by this brief expression of her feelings, wept freely on his shoulder.

In the soft twilight hour of that day, a happy group onee m^re assembled in the eheerful parlor

overlooking the Muskingum. The good, the praying mother was there, peaeeful and serene; and Carry, who had protested so loudly against the long visit, whieh was now aeeomplished, flitting about restlessly as usual, and smiling whiles upon her sister, who looked so beautiful, so poaeeful, so full of repost at last. And beside Frank was Philip, just as handsome, yet not quite so stormy-looking as six months before. Now, his

"Spirit had to manhood grown;"

and knowledge had for onee brought happiness. What saith the best of books about he who ruloth his own spirit? Frank know, elso sho had not smiled so sweetly, so eonfidingly, upon her ehosen hushand.


"There is a gentle element,and man
May breathe It with a ealm, uuruffled soul,
And drink its living waters till his heart
Is pure: and this is human happinesF."—Wima.

"We are not made to wander on the wing!
But, if we would be happy, wo must Wing
Our buoyant hearts to a plain and simple sehool."

"franr Cfshman,"eried Carry, rushing into her sisters home, some mouths lator—" Frank Cushman, here is a letter from Clara! Quiek, read! mother wants to hear the nows, and I 'm appointed reporter V

"My name is not Frank Cushman !" replied her sister, half playfully; yet with a littlo pride, too, in the now title whieh she had borne for two whole weeks—the wifo of Philip Arden: and the happy wife, the trusting, the respeeting wifo; for eaeh of these feelings mantled on her glowing eheek and beamed from her expressive eyes.

Carry laughed, and tossed her bonnet aside as she did so.

"I deelare, you are so snug, so eomfortable here, Frank—Mrs. Arden, I mean—that I eould spend the evening, only mother was peremptory. So read, quiek, read!"

But Frank was already absorbed in the epistle before her, and nothing eould arouse her, save her hushand's step upon the gravel-walk before the house.

"Oh, Philip !" she eried, springing to meet him, with the letter in her hand, " only think—poor Perey

I Bryan! I deelare, it is too had! I almost pity him!

j See what Clara says !" resigning to his hands the let

) ter sho was too modest to read herself. But we will not withhold from our readers the part whieh eon

\ eorns our heroines:—

\ "Well, Frank, I dare say you are happy—of { eourse, I ean't dishelieve your protestations: but you know your old eavalier; I am dying to tell you about him! I said he would not break hl a heart: are you not sorry he did not? You had not been gone a month, before he returned to his former flame: quite desperately, every one said; the more no, that he had a rival, one of the finest men you ever saw—every ineh a man, as my loving hushand said when he saw him. Well, Frank—don't laugh— but last week poor Perey took another trip to New York; and, what is more pitiable, or amusing, whiehever you eheose to eonsider it, people seem to understand mueh more generally the eause of this seeond journey! Frank, you were too delieate by half! Not one person in twenty would eoneeal sueh an offer as you reeeived. Not that I mean to say Sarah Ashton enlightened the publie as to hers; but her sister Fanny proved an exeellent reporter. Sometimes I feel disposed to give the folks an inkling of your eonquest; but Harry hushes me up, adding an ineomparable eompliment to your ineomparable self.

"I faney Perey will be somewhat at a diseount, if he returns, whieh is not at all eertain. A eommon man may be refused a dozen times, and no one think the less of him for that; but let one of your

starry throng suffer sueh 'a dfaagriment, and he is used up eompletely.

"Sarah Ashton looks more beautiful than ever, with the health entirely restored, whieh no one but me ever notieed was injured. So mueh the better for her prospeets, then, whieh promise brilliantly, ; with this Boston eelebrity at her feet!"

"Poor Perey ! are you not sorry that he did not break his heart?" Philip repeated, half seriously, half misehievously, when he had finished reading.

"I ought to be, I know," Frank answered, with equal misehief; "but," and her eye exehanged its sudden sparkle for a look more loving, "somehew, \ my heart is too full of happiness to admit one sad \ sentiment." And then she was silent, in her perfeet \ joy, till startled by her merry sister's voiee, i u Well, Frank, you make a beautiful tableau, < doubtless, you and your bonny hushand; but please I reeolleet that it is past seven o'eloek, and your moj ther waiting all this while for news from the wan. derer. Dear, but I'm glad, after all, that I'm not I married! I*m ture I eouldn't sit still so long. Are ) you not tired to death, Frank V


No reeords are more interesting than these whieh tell of the attaehments of men of genius—attaehments often suddenly formed, and yet as remarkable for their eonstancy as for their ferveney. Years may still speed on, but imagination supplies every eharm of whieh they may have robbed the beloved one; the grave may have withdrawn her from other eyes, but still her pure spirit lingers by her lover's side, in the haunts where they so often met .

Love at jtret tight was exemplified in Raphael. His window overlooked the garden of the adjoining heuse, and there he saw the lovely girl who amused herself among her flowers; he saw her lave her beautiful feet in the lake; he fell passionately in love. He soon made his feelings known; his love was not rejeeted, and she beeame his wife. He is said to have been so passionately enamored of her beauty, that he never eould paint if she were not by his side. The lineaments of that fair faee still live in some of his sublime produetions; and thus while she gave inspiration, he eonferred immortality.

Theugh among poets the most remarkable instanees of ardent and enduring attaehment may be found, their marriages have not, generally speaking, been happy. Milton failed in seeuring the felieity of wedded love, whieh he has so beautifully apostrophized. Neither the heme of Dante, nor that of Shakspeare, was one of domestie happiness. Ra

eine's tender sensihility met with no responsive sympathy in his partner; and Moliere experieneed all the hitterness of the jealous doubts and misgivings whieh he has so admirably depieted. Yet the poet is of all, perhaps, the most eapable of strong attaehments. His warm imagination throws its glow over all that he loves; heme, with all its fond assoeiations; "the mother whe looked on his ehildheod; and the bosom friend dearer than all," are so impressed upon his feelings that they mingle with every mood of his faney. True, some erities, of more ingenuity than judgment, have doubted the real existenee of the romantie attaehments by whieh some of the finest poets have been inspired; and endeavor to explain as ingenious allegories the impassioned and pathetie effusions whieh find their way to every heart. Beattie—of whem we might have expeeted better things—sees, in the anient expressions of Petrareh's devotion to Laura, the aspirings of an amhitious spirit for the laureateerown; and Dante has been said to have allegorized his energy in the study of theology under the guise of a passion for Beatriee. But the great eharm of Dante's poetry is its deep earnestness and truthfulness, and thoso touehes of tenderness whieh are seattered througheut his sublime work, Uke the wild flowers of heme unexpeetedly met with in drear and remote regions; the faeta of an imperishable attaehment ean be traeed throughout his whole poetry. J It is the eustom in Florenee for friends, aeeompa- < nied by their ehildren, to assemble together on the first of May, to eelebrate the delightful season. A' number of his neighbors had been invited by Foleo; Portinari to do honor to the day. Dante Alighieri, } then a boy of nine years, was among them; young J as be was, he was instantly attraeted by the loveliness of one amidst the group of ehildren. She was about hip own age, the daughter of the host. Through all S the vieissitudes of a long and eventful life, that early j impression was never effaeed—he loved her ever * after with an in tenseness of passion and unshaken • eonstaney that gave a eolor to his whole existenee— \ in the various paths of life whieh he was destined < U> tread, her image was ever present, inspiring the \ desire for distinetion; their early intereourse, like J the sweet May morning on whieh they had first met,' was bright and happy; the purity and artlessness of \ youth made it so. The young eompanions of Bea- i triee rallied her on the devotion of the youthful poet, and the gay sallies with whieh she herself treated j the ardor of his love, only served to make her the J more engaging in his eyes. She was indueed to \ bestow her hand elsowhere; more, it has been said, in aeeordanee with duty than inelination; for it is j supposed her heart was not insensible to the love of t the gifted youth, whose devotion, purity, and intelleetuality might have found their way to one harder than hers. Dante fell siek and slowly reeovered; whether her marriage was a subjeet of whieh he eould not bear to think, it is eertain that it is not onee alluded to in his poetry. Beatriee did not long survive her marriage; within the year she was borne to her grave. The anguish of Dante was so 'intense, that it brought on a fearful illness, in whieh his life was long despaired of. Boeeaeio mentions that he was so altered by grief that he eould seareely be known. Beatriee oeeupied all his thoughts; on the anniversary of her death, he sat alone thinking of her, and portraying "an angel on his tablets." The influenee whieh she had over him was as powerful in death as it had been in life—still to be worthy of loving, and of joining one so good and pure beyond the grave was his eonstant aim; all that ho desired in renown, all that he wished for in fame, was to prove himself not undeserving of having devoted himself to her; in the eamp—in the highest diplomatie positions, this was his great objeet in all his trials, and they were many and severe: this inspired him with a lofty dignity, and supported him under insults and injuries whieh would have broken many a proud spirit; but sublimed above the eoneerns of earth, his affeetion was sueh as might be felt for one translated to a eelestial abode. By eontinually dwelling on but one subjeet, his mind beeame utterly estranged from passing events, and he often fell into sueh fits of abstraetion and despondeney that his friends, fearing that his reason would be eompletely upset, anxiously sought }VOl. xxv.—6

to give him some now interest in life, and at length prevailed on him to marry. This made him still more wretehed; he eould not if he would, detaeh his mind from dwelling on her who had been his early and his only love, and to all his other misfortunes that of an unhappy marriage was added.

Like the attaehment of Dante for Beatriee, that of Petrareh for Laura was the result of a sudden impression; he had hitherto ridieuled the notion of the power of love, but he was yet to experienee it in its most extreme intensity. He was twenty-three when he first saw Laura de Sade, then in her twentieth year; he has himself recorded over and over again the exaet hour, day, and year; it was at six in the morning on the 6th of April, 1327; it was at the ehureh of Santa Claire at Avignon. Everything eonneeted with that memorable meeting has been dwolt on with fond minuteness by the poet; the dress whieh sho wore, the green robe sprigged with violets; every movement, every look was forever treasured in his memory; the eelestial beauty of her eountenanee bespoke the purity for whieh she was so remarkable in that age of lieentiousness, and in eontemplating her loveliness, reverenee for virtue mingled with admiration. Petrareh and Laura often met in soeiety, and beeame intimately aequainted; be was eharmed with her eonversation; she appears to have boen in every way eapable of appreeiating Petrareh, and deserving of the influenee whieh she possessed over him, whieh was exerted only to exalt his sentiments and strengthen his prineiples; though unhappy in her marriage, true to her vows, she preserved all that purity of thought whieh gave sueh an unspeakable eharm to her beauty. The ehivalrous spirit of the age eneouraged a devotiou to the fair sex, and platonie attaehments wure the fashion of the day, so that the dignity of Laura was not eompromised when Petrareh made her the objeet of his poetieal devotions, and the eelebrity whieh he gained by this homage to her eharms may have gratified mueh better feelings than those of vanity; the faith whieh she had pledged, though to an unworthy objeet, she held most sacred; she repressed 'the feelings of the enthusiastie poet whenever they appeared transgressing the bounds of friendship. Onee, when in an unguarded moment he ventured to allude to his passion, the look of indignation with whieh she regarded him, and the tone in whieh she said, " I am not the person you take me for," overwhelmed him with shame and sorrow. The hopeless passion, of whieh be only dared to speak in song—and even the allowed indulgenee of thus giving it expression, had a fatal effeet; his health gradually deelined; he grow pale and thin, and the eharming vivaeity whieh had been the delight of his friends utterly forsook him; he estranged himself from the soeiety of his former eompanions, and was no longer met with in the cireles of whieh he had been the darling. At length he made an effort to eonquer feelings that were too powerful to yield,

« السابقةمتابعة »