« السابقةمتابعة »
"I may succeed, perhaps, in particularising some of the individual features of Fayaway's beauty, but that general loveliness of appearance which
they all contributed to produce I will not attempt to describe. The easy unstudied graces of a child of nature like this, breathing from infancy an atmosphere of perpetual summer, and nurtured by the simple fruits of the earth; enjoying a perfect freedom from care and anxiety, and removed effectually from all injurious tendencies, strike the eye in a manner which cannot be portrayed. This picture is no fancy sketch; it is drawn from
the most vivid recollections of the person delineated.
"Fayaway-I must avow the fact--for the most part clung to the primitive and summer garb of Eden. But how becoming the costume! showed her fine figure to the best possible advantage; and nothing could have been better adapted to her peculiar style of beauty. On ordinary occasions she was habited precisely as I have described the two youthful savages whom we had met on first entering the valley. At other times, when rambling among the groves, or visiting at the houses of her acquaintances, she wore a tunic of white tappa, reaching from her waist to a little below the knees; and when exposed for any length of time to the sun, she invariably protected herself from its rays by a floating mantle of the same material, loosely gathered about the person.
"This gentle being had early attracted my regard, not only from her extraordinary beauty, but from the attractive cast of her countenance, singularly expressive of intelligence and humanity. Of all the natives, she alone seemed to appreciate the effect which the peculiarity of the circumstances in which we were placed had produced upon the minds of my companion and myself. In addressing me-especially when I lay reclining upon the mats suffering from pain-there was a tenderness in her manner which it was impossible to misunderstand or resist. Whenever she entered the house, the expression of her face indicated the liveliest sympathy for me; and moving towards the place where I lay, with one arm slightly elevated in a gesture of pity, and her large glis$ tening eyes gazing intently into mine, she would
murmur plaintively, Awha! awha! Tommo,' and seat herself mournfully beside me.
"Her manner convinced me that she deeply compassionated my situation, as being removed from my country and friends, and placed beyond the reach of all relief. Indeed, at times I was almost led to believe that her mind was swayed by gentle impulses hardly to be anticipated from one in her condition; that she appeared to be conscious there were ties rudely severed, which had once bound us to our homes; that there were sisters and brothers anxiously looking forward to our return, who were perhaps never more to be# hold us.
"In this amiable light did Fayaway appear in my eyes; and, reposing full confidence in her candour and intelligence, I now had recourse to her, in the midst of my alarm with regard to my companion."
Of his companion, named Toby (who goes away to seek out for medical aid for
the writer), Melville hears no more, and he finally relinquishes all hope of escape from the Typees. Of the beautiful scenes in the valley a charming description is given, which we have not space to quote, and to condense it would be unjust. To amuse him, however, the natives exert themselves in every possible way, and procure for him a canoe to sail upon their "peaceful rivers," where it "floated gracefully as a swan. The females, however, were forbidden to enter a canoe, and Fayaway was at first banished from the white man's side. Fayaway's dispensation from the "taboo" was at length procured, and then, with the nymph sitting in the stern, and Kory-Kory (Melville's attendant) paddling the canoe, they swept gently along the margin of the water. To this picturesque scene a pleasing allusion is made in the ballad.
Fearing the reputed capricious nature of the savages, Melville, in spite of all remonstrances, determines to escape, but is foiled again and again. At last, however, he persuades the natives to allow him to go down to the bay while some Europeans are there taking a cargo of cocoa-nuts and bread- fruit on board their boats. A fight between the natives ensues, and the opportunity is seized by the American to escape.
"In the interest excited by the fray, every one had left me except Marheyo, Kory-Kory, and poor dear Fayaway, who clung to me, sobbing convulsively. I saw that now or never was the moment. Clasping my hands together, I looked imploringly at Marheyo, and moved towards the now almost deserted beach. The tears were in the
old man's eyes, but neither he nor Kory-Kory attempted to hold me, and I soon reached the Kannaka, who had anxiously watched my movements; the rowers pulled in as near as they dared to the edge of the surf; I gave one parting embrace to Fayaway, who seemed speechless with sorrow, and the next instant I found myself safe in the boat, and Karakoee by my side, who told the rowers at once to give way. Marheyo and Kory-Kory, and a great many of the women, followed me into the water, and I was determined, as the only mark of gratitude I could show, to give them the articles which had been brought as my ransom. I handed the musket to Kory-Kory, in doing which he would fain have taken hold of me, threw the roll of cotton to old Marheyo, pointing as I did so to poor Fayaway, who had retired from the edge of the water, and was sitting down disconsolate on the beach, and tumbled the powder-bags out to the nearest young ladies, all of whom were vastly willing to take them. This distribution did not occupy ten seconds, and before it was over the boat was under full way."
In concluding this summary of the story upon which the ballad was founded, we
have pleasure in being able to add some interesting particulars with reference to the composition. During the period Mr. Duggan was in America, he became an intimate acquaintance of the talented Mrs. Child, with whose works many of our readers are probably familiar. "Typee" was read by the poetess to the musician, and the picture of Fayaway admired equally by both. The poetess has translated her admiration into words of touching beauty, and the musician seems to have imbibed the spirit of the sunny story, and to have expressed it thoroughly in the music.
ADHERE rigidly and undeviatingly to truth; but while you express what is true, express it in a pleasing manner, Truth is the picture, the manner is the frame that displays it to advantage.
"COME, my children," said an aged man to his young companions, "let us rest awhile beneath this beetling crag, for the way has been long, and somewhat weary."
The beetling crag, weather-beaten and lichen-dotted, and varied with ferns and flowers, presented much of sylvan beauty, while from out the fissures feathery sprays of the birch and ash trembled in the summer breeze, and threw their quivering shadows over the raging waters that rushed beneath. The channel of the stream was broken by huge stones, which had fallen from the cliffs above; and these, varied with bright-yellow and dark spots, uprose amid the torrent, while around them im petuously toiled the agitated waters, recoiling at one time in gurgling eddies, at another leaping over the intervening barriers, and sparkling and foaming in their onward course, till finding a smooth channel, their restlessness subsided, and they glided on with a soft murmur, winding through green meadows, and embellishing a landscape of exceeding beauty.
The sun was setting amid clouds gorgeously tinted, and very mild and beautiful was the scene, over which a slight haze began to gather, No sound broke the silence of the place, except the streamlet's rush, or the song of birds, answering one the other, or at intervals the bleating of sheep in the far-off valley.
"Look, my young friends," said the old
There is nothing, says Plato, so delight-man, "at the meadows and their flowing ful as the hearing or the speaking of truth. stream, with that ample range of wooded For this reason, there is no conversation hills which rises against a solemn space so agreeable as that of the man of integrity, of clear quiet sky. A short time since, who hears without any intention to betray, the outlines were well defined, and every and speaks without any intention to de- prominent object—whether of blue ridges ceive. or giant trees-stood forth in bold relief.
But now, most gorgeous clouds rest on the horizon, and a slight transparent silvery mist, wreathing over the intervening valley, obscures the middle distance. I have promised to teach you somewhat concerning such natural objects as are most familiar; and in the calmness of this lovely evening, our thoughts may well recur to the first mention of that haze, the parent of bright flowers and green herbage, without whose active ministry all scenes of beauty and repose might soon be changed to brownness and sterility :'There went up a mist from off the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground; for the Most High had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.'-Gen. ii.
"Thus we read," continued the aged man; "and what a mental vision of silence and of loneliness, and yet of sylvan beauty, rises before the view! But have you ever thought concerning the nature of that mist, which becomes visible when the glorious sun is setting, and shadows begin to lengthen upon the grass, without whose continual recurrence the earth would become parched? That mist or vapour-dear to poets as the evening star-slightly veiling yet not obscuring the prominent features of the landscape, consists of two parts; the one, a large proportion of air; the other, a watery vapour, exhaled from the earth. When meeting in their ascent with a degree of cold sufficient to condense them, their gravity, or weight, becomes increased-for some weight they have, though imperceptible to us and their further progress is prevented; they then descend upon the earth in the character of dew, or drizzling rain, or float as mists over the evening land
"But beautiful are they in this last development, when seen by moonlight, when not a single cloud, journeying across the heavens, obscures the brightness of her beams; when stars of the first magnitude alone are dimly visible, and it seems as if the valleys had suddenly become lakes, and the hills bold headlands. Their formation may be readily observed at the close of a hot day; but their greatest density is generally about midnight, or between that time and sunrising, when they float among the hills, and wreathe far up their sides, in forms the most pleasing and fantastic;
gradually disappearing as the day advances, till he who rises late seeks for them in vain
and instead of floating mists and meadows sparkling with dew, the air is sultry, and a grey haze, betokening heat, is seen to rest upon the fields.
"You no doubt remember, my young friends, the exceeding beauty of mountain mists, as we once saw them in the valley of St. John, near Keswick.
"Blue was the sky, blue the water, while light fleecy clouds seemed to float in the depths below. Mists curled around the hills, and the robe of Iris could not surpass their hues, But their beauty, with that of the woods and lake, must have been seen and felt-it is impossible to de scribe or paint them; they spoke to the feeling heart in clear deep tones concerning their great Creator-they bade all men rejoice and look upwards, and think what this world will be when the blight of sin and misery is removed for ever!
"In a few hours the scene changed! You remember how dark and lowering the heavens became; the hills caught their gloomy hue, a dense vapour brooded in the recesses of the valley, and the mists, no longer floating and transparent, looked dusky, and rested on the hills. Suddenly, and as if commissioned to fulfil some secret errand, up rose the vapours high in air, and whirled about in fantastic shapes; the clouds parted gradually, then hung low, and began to move onward with mysterious sublimity, like messengers on some great, yet solemn errand; or shadowy troops of mourners, passing from a nation's grave! Again they became stationary! but suddenly the sun broke forth with exceeding splendour, brightening the dull clouds, and tinging them with golden hues; silvery and transparent mists floated around the hills, lingering at one time in the wooded hollowsat another melting into light, till the scene was such as memory loves to recall in her best and happiest hours.
"Resting some years sinee, beside an aged tree, in one of the wildest parts of Sweden, where tradition tells that Gustavus, when seeking to elude his enemies, watched for the coming on of night in weariness and loneliness, I listened to a wild and beautiful descant, and thus the poet sung:
"How wonderful and yet how lovely is
this fair world; how glorious is the sun, wind that had danced blithely over the blue shining in his brightness over land and hills came back again, but not as heretoflood; and now, when cool winds are stir-fore, for his breath was hot, and as he came swiftly towards the cloud, he said, 'Thy wish is heard, and I will answer it; but art thou willing to become a sacrifice?'
"The cloud hesitated for a moment. She remembered her glorious beauty, alone in the immensity of space, floating without care or apprehension, and reflecting the brightness of the sun. But again faint voices reached her from the earth. • We are perishing,' men said; 'our children too, and cattle. Ah! beauteous cloud, water-urn of the firmament, wilt thou not revive us?'
"I am willing,' she said; and the wind drew nigh. He urged her with loving haste over the parched fields, and it seemed as if the same viewless power which caused the creeping mist to become a cloud, now exercised some mightier influence. For suddenly her beauty vanished, and she darkened and expanded, and grew exceeding fearful to behold; her mighty shadow descended to the earth, while the wind, her brother, spoke loudly, and his voice was terrible. The loftiest oaks bent as if to do him homage, grass and shrubs lay prostrate, and men hastened to take shelter, fearful, although they knew that the wind and cloud were fraught with blessings.
ring, and the evening is set in, the moon looks mildly down over the silent earth, and on high bright stars crowd round, as if to do her homage!'
"Thus spake a dusky creeping mist, that hovered over a vast extent of swamp:The earth looks beautiful,' she mournfully repeated, but what am I, and what my birth-place?-a swamp, which men avoid; myself voidless, without aught of grace or loveliness!' And thus bemoaning herself, the mist continued to creep slugglishly over the surface of the stagnant pool.
"Suddenly an evening breeze came dancing over the hills, fresh, and full of life, and the mist was driven upwwards, brightening as she rose, for the moon shone full upon her, and her dusky hue changed to a silvery haze. That evening breeze possessed a secret power, known perchance to few, yet capable of achieving much. He bore the mist swiftly on his wings into the higher regions of the heavens, and breathing on her as he passed away, she became a cloud.
"Meanwhile, the sun arose, and men looked forth from their cottages on the fields sparkling with dew; they looked also to the sky, and saw a glorious cloud sailing over the distant hills. 'We may hope for rain,' they said; and went cheerfully to their daily labours.
"In a moment the wind hushed. Loud bursts of thunder came from the bosom of the cloud, lightning gleamed forth, and then a torrent of rain descended on the smoking earth. The earth drank it in, the dry clods became soaked, and the fields revived. Heavier and heavier fell the rain, till at length streams began to flow, and flocks and herds quenched their thirst among the sedges.
"Then the wind spoke gently, and the sun broke forth, lighting the earth with beauty, and causing the rain-drops to glitter in his beams. Across the bosom of the cloud, while yet she lingered, as if rejoicing in the blessings she had shed, rested a beauteous rainbow, emblem of that love which caused her to become a sacrifice. And a sacrifice she was; for swiftly as the gliding in of night melted that cloud away, yet was she not forgotten; for old men still speak of the rain that fell on that memorable day, blessing and refreshing the parched earth, when hope had begun to fail."
In joy still beams its gentle spark;
Like a fair cloud the moon rides high;
Though thou hast oft that heart neglected,
Oh, turn not now in gloom aside,
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY ABOUT TO DEPART FOR INDIA.
Thou art wooed away to a sunny land,
And the palm-trees bend when the wind's soft hand
Hath touch'd them in idle play; Where dark blue streams, with a mighty song, Rush down between fragrant trees, And strange birds spring with golden wing On the surges of the breeze.
Man's love is fierce in that burning climeIt brooks not a cold delay;
But it withers away 'neath the wing of TimeIt is born for fast decay.
But here it glows with a passion deep,
That land hath jewels that Earth's dark caves For ages long conceal'd,
And gems that once blush'd beneath the waves, In their beauty unreveal'd;
But are they as bright as the love-lit eyes
That so oft gazed into thine?
Oh, no! for these were not Earth's or Sea's, But jewels from Love's own mine!
They will weave for thee rare bright Indian