صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ble-like repose. In her last moments, she looked miniature fell from it. I instantly recognized the into my eyes, and said — Forgive me, Montres- likeness of a young man whom I had met once at sor, and be kind to my memory.'

Mrs. Wilson's previous to my marriage. The “I have nothing to forgive, dearest Marion,' truth flashed on me at once-she had loved himI whispered; “I who have been so blessed in your and I had been accepted because I had wealth. affection.'

There was a letter in the package for me: here “An expression of anguish passed over her fea- it is—I will read it to you—it has never lest me tures. 'Ab! 'tis that—'tis that, which haunts since that night.” me now; forgive me, when you know all.' I He took a sheet of paper from his pocket book, believed her to be delirious then, and thought not unfolded it, and in a husky voice, read the followof attaching any meaning to her words.

ing words : “ It was not until the sods were laid upon her Montressor, can you forgive me for the life of grave, and I kneeled above them, that I felt how duplicity I have led since I became your wife? If utter and hopeless was my bereavement. The misery, such as rarely falls to the lot of woman, worshipped one was gone forever, and henceforth be an atonement, I surely have some claim on I was alone_alone in my desolation. Oh! the your pity. I never have loved you. All this while agony of that hour, when we see the lip pale, and that I have tried to act as though my heart apprethe eye, in whose beams we have lived, grow ciated your kindness, I have felt what a wretch I sightless! Who in their anguish can then say, am, unworthy of the devoted love which it has Not my will, oh! God, but thine be done?' been my misfortune to inspire. Yet with all its intensity of suffering, it is not in «« From childhood I was dependent, and bitterly that hour that we most feel the extent of our loss. was I made to feel it. I grew up with the belief It is not wbile the angel of death is casting the that the worst of ills was poverty, and I resolved shadow of his wings over the home once the abode to marry for wealth. Alas! had I known you of happiness, that we can feel how heavy is the before I ever loved, my heart would have been bereavement; it is the daily, hourly missing of a yours; but ere we met, I became acquainted with dear, familiar face, and the pining of the heart for him whose picture you will find in the packet, the sound of that voice which is now only for our with these lines : need I say that we loved? loved dreams.

as 'youth-passion--genius loves.' He was poor, “I yielded myself to the indulgence of the wildest yet until I was sought by you, I suffered him to sorrow, secluded myself from all companionship, hope. to recall that past whose brightness only made the 6. Mrs. Wilson pointed out to me the advantages present more intolerable. I usually sat in her of an union with you, and I listened with a calm room-it continued just as she had left it—there brow and a heart torn with conflicting emotions; was the book from which she had last read, with she enumerated all the benefits she had conferred a few scattered rose leaves on the page; the work on me, and ended by saying, that if I was silly stand open with her needle-work where she had enough to refuse so unexceptionable an offer, her last thrown it; it was a robe she had been embroi- protection would henceforth be withdrawn from dering for her infant. In one corner was her me forever. I married you, and sealed my own writing desk; she had confided to me the key, and wretchedness. I believed that gratitude would be requested me to look over her papers, and burn the parent of love—but I knew not my own heart. the correspondence with some of her early friends Your affection was so trusting, so devoted, that I which it contained. I had been so absorbed in felt myself the veriest wretch on earth. Oftengrief, that the request had faded from my mind, often have my lips unclosed to reveal all that my until one day I accidentally found the key. I heart experienced, but the conviction would come sbrank from the task, for I knew it would revive to me, that you, at least, were happy in the deluthe first bitterness of sorrow with which I had sion, and why should I destroy it? bent over her lifeless form, and felt that we were " I saw him once after our marriage; he came to to meet no more. No more! Oh, what agony upbraid me; and never to my dying hour will the can be conveyed in those brief words !

memory of his words leave me. He reproached “I drew the desk near a window, and seated me with the fury of a maniac, and left me fainting myself to perform the harrowing task of looking on the grass. When I recovered, I returned to over the memorials which spoke so forcibly of my your house, to wear a smiling brow, and to appear lost Marion. The different packages of letters to listen to your voice breathing the words of were tied up with colored ribbons, and labelled tender affection, while the frenzied accents of with the names of the writers. I bastily took another were ever ringing in my ears. Oh! them out, and beneath them was a parcel addressed how did I sustain the unutterable wretchedness of to myself. I broke the seals, and a number of let- the many weary days that passed, before I heard ters, worn, and looking as if many tears had been from him? I wonder even now that my wan face shed over them, met my sight. As I raised one, a and tearful eyes did not unfold the secret unhap

La Martine.

piness that was destroying me. I at last heard “He died in infancy; he was placed with an that he had entered the navy, and the news spee- Irish nurse, who was devotedly attached to bim, dily came that he had fallen a victim to the climate but he survived his ill-fated mother only a few of the West Indies, on which station his ship was. months. That was another blow which fell with He wrote to me in his last moments: read that stunning force; for the boy was dear to me as my letter Montressor, and wonder not that I am dying own soul, and I never look around me that I do with a broken heart. Physicians call it consump- not sigh to think, that the only scion of my house tion. Ah! how often is that name given to the is a feeble girl, whose name will even pass away rending apart of all the ties we have cherished, when she marries, without she fulfils the contract and with them life itself.

I have made for her.” I cannot die as I have lived, a deceiver, and

“ Contract! father!” exclaimed Lucile, with a of him who has been the best and truest friend I blanched cheek; “ to what do you allude ?" have erer known; perhaps you had been happier “ Listen to me, calmly, Lucile, and do not look had this revelation not been made, but when I so unnecessarily alarmed. You have often heard leave you I know that you will yield to the indul- of your cousin Victor—nay, have corresponded gence of a grief, which may unfit you for all inter- with him. He is my nephew-the son of my only course with the world. Learn how unworthy I brother, and bears my name. He is your destined am of that grief, and return to the sphere which husband; a few more weeks, and he will arrive you are fitted to adorn. Bury the memory of our at Havana; by that time you will be ready to past in the grave, with the frail, weak being, whose receive bim as your betrothed.” last prayer is for forgiveness, and let not the faults Lucile arose calmly—“Father, I cannot—you of the mother alienate your heart from her child."" have my confidence ; how then can you ask me to

receive Victor as my future husband, when my

whole soul is devoted to another? Would you CHAPTER III.

have me act the part you have so deeply con

demned your lost Marion for?" All other loves were in this love,

Girl! no!—but I would have you withdraw She gave back all death swept away,

your affections from this pauper, on whom you The only fruit upon the bough Left by a long and stormy day.

have condescended to look with the eyes of faror.

Marion was my equal in everything save fortune, “Such were the words addressed to me,” con- while he-pshaw! I have not patience to argue tinued Montressor, in a deep, stern tone.

Come hither, child.” He drew her to the reward of my confidence-my devotion. I the window-a full unclouded moon was pouring read the letter to which she referred me, and even its floods of light on the scene before her. "Look amid my own sufferings, I could sympathize with around you—see those broad lands stretching as the deserted, forsaken writer-I had no forgive- far as the eye can reach, covered with my wealth, ness for her-true, she had died the victim of her which hundreds of hands are employed to gather. own mistaken estimate of happiness; but he, whose All these and more are mine, and if you obey me, noble heart she had wrung with anguish, had pre- they will become yours.” ceded her to the tomb, and I lived to feel my trust " Father,” said Lucile, solemnly, "if many in human nature forever destroyed.

times the amount of your wealth were placed on “I became a wanderer on the face of the earth; one hand, and a competence offered me on the for years I travelled over the fairest countries of other, with Sidney to share it, I could not hesitate the east, and became familiar with their habits, a moment in my choice. What, without him, as though I had been a native of the clime. I then would be to me all the splendor that gold can visited the Western world, and spent some years purchase?" in the republic of the United States, which was "Aye, if competence were his to offer; but ’tis then in its infancy. In the interim, an uncle of not-he is dependent on me for the very bread he my mother, who had settled in the island of Cuba, eats, and think you I shall ever be wrought on to died and bequeathed this estate to me. I visited it, consider him a fitting match for my daughter? and was so much pleased with the situation, that I Insolent aspirant that he is, in offering to look so abandoned my paternal halls and settled here for far above his sphere; and how know you that he life. Here it was that I met with a young Creole, is not mercenary seeking the heiress for ber à perfect child of nature—she had never been wealth, and trusting to the blind idolatry of her old taught to veil her feelings by the conventional eti- father to forgive the misalliance, and receive him quette of society-she loved me with truth and as his son?” fervor-I married her-you, my child, can well Lucile raised her form to its utmost height, as remember your mother.”

she replied— “Ah, yes! but the child of Marion-what be- To you who have known hin from childhood, came of it?"

I need not defend him from such suspicion. Ab,

“Such with you.

NO. IL.

no! too long have I seen his struggles to overcome bis attachment, lest such a charge should be

FATE OF THE GIFTED. brought against him. I am loved for myself-I feel and know it. Were I this hour alone, friend

" As the body wastes, less, fortuneless, be would be to me the same that

The spirit gathers strength, and sheds he now is, only more kind-more tender. Poor

On the admiring world supernal light. he is, and low-born, according to your standard, Alas! that eloquence will soon be mute

That harp unstrung, shall lose its loveliness, but the day will come, when the lustre of his

Nor know its own sweet sound again!" genius shall cast a halo of glory around his name, as imperishable as the light of yonder stars which

The first number of our sketches was devoted to the shine above us.” And her face was radiant with literary writings of Chester A. Griswold. The subthe enthusiasm of affection, proud of its object, and ject of our present sketch, from advantages of situation, shrinking not from avowing that pride.

was better known to fame. Many familiar memories “Lucile," said her father, in a softened tone,

will be revived, and many hearts will respond to our “ you are the last tie that binds me to earth, but own, when we mention the name of the lamented poet, much as I love you, I will never consent to so dis

JAMES OTIS ROCKWELL. graceful an union. All that I have loved or che

“His life was the rainbow that's seen on the cloud, rished, have, one by one, been blotted from life's

And his foes were the gloom that surrounds it!” page,' until you are all that is left to me. You know me well-know me to be inflexible-then We regret exceedingly our inability to do justice to hear me swear, that with my consent, you never

the memory of Rockwell. We never enjoyed his acshall wed Sidney: if you rebel against my wishes, quaintance, but knew him, only as a great majority of you go forth to the world, a portionless, helpless always highly prized by us, and from this circumstance,

readers knew him—by reputation. His articles were creature; and your desertion of your father in his aided by an unusual interest we felt in him from some old age, shall harden his heart against you. The slight knowledge we possessed of his circumstances, we hour that sees you his wife, sees my face turned have been led to many inquiries of his early history and from you forever : my feelings steeled into forget- fate. These we shall endeavor to give the reader, fulness, you shall become to me as nothing. You according to the best of our ability. If our imperfect know my history, how I have suffered from the tribute shall meet the eye of any one of Rockwell's ingratitude of her I loved; I forgave her not, literary cotemporaries and friends, and provoke him to though she is now but dust and ashes; the memory do better justice to his memory, we shall not regret of her duplicity is as green and fresh in my heart,

our work. as though only a day had passed since the wound

James Otis Rockwell was a native of Lebanon, Conwas indicted. I forgive not injury, neither do I

necticut. His parents were in humble circumstances, forget. Remember all I have said, and if you Indeed, we feel safe in the assertion, that he did not

and his advantages for education extremely limited. decide to go forth from my roof, it will be without receive what might properly be called “an education.” my blessing, and the portals are henceforth closed While a boy, he went to reside at Patterson, New on you forever.”

Jersey, (if we have been rightly informed,) and worked He turned to hear her answer, but his daughter for some time in a cotton factory. When he had had fainted at his feet. In great alarm, he raised reached the fourteenth or fifteenth year of his age, bis ber, and sprinkled water over her pale features; family removed to Manlius, New York, or vicinity, and yet even when she lay in his arms, without sign of Rockwell was apprenticed to Merrell & Hastings, printlife, there was in his heart no relenting. In a few moments she recovered, and requested

It was here, amidst congenial pursuits, that Rockto be taken to her own apartment, there to recall

well's mind began to expand, and his peculiar poetical her father's words, and to weep over the hopeless within him, and yielded to its sway. Very soon,

talents to develope themselves. He felt " the divinity” task of winning his consent to sanction her choice. (doubtless too soon,) while only a boy, he commenced (To be continued.)

writing for the press. The reception his articles met, only served to incite still more his ambition-and while he seemed, to those around him, only the poor appren

cice, the midnight saw the devoted student at his toil. The wife is ay welcome that comes wi' a crooked oxter.

This, we think, marked his genius. That one who has

enjoyed every opportunity for learning, that time and That is to say, with a present under her arm. This wealth can afford, can write respectably, is what every proverb has a griping, selfish sound, and is by no means one expects. But to see a boy, who has been emphaticomplimentary to “ the wife with the crooked oxter." cally " cradled in the lap of poverty,” almost immeIt plainly intimates what sort of reception she would diately on coming in contact with books and periodiget if she came like the servant sent forth by Timon of cals, delighting literary readers with the genius and Athens, with an empty box under his cloak instead of a brilliancy of his productions, is indeed wonderful! Our gift; and which box produces so much astonishment author's poems, even at this early time, were in a among his friends. [.Allan Ramsay. good degree remarkable for the striking originality of

Vol. IV.-56

ers, at Utica.

thought and easy versification, (though at times faulty,) cause or causes, Rockwell died suddenly at the early which afterward so peculiarly distinguished them. age of twenty-four years.

At eighteen years of age, Rockwell left Utica, hav. From the press, only one sentiment was expressed ing already acquired, what is technically termed, “a that of heartfelt sympathy for his sufferings, and sorrow newspaper reputation.” He made a temporary resi- for his loss. His friends and admirers, regardless of dence in New York, still contributing to our periodical partizan feelings, seemed to rally like a band of bereaved literature, and soon removed to Boston. Here he brothers around his bier, and many and grateful were worked for a time as a journeyman printer, while his the sentiments of esteem and manly regret universally contributions to the press were received in the most expressed. We have ourself accidentally met with a flattering manner, and gave him unusual popularity. large number of poetical tributes to his memory, (from Kettell was then publishing his “Specimens of Ameri- one of which we selected the sentiment that accompacan Poetry,” and Rockwell was allowed a place in the nies his name, at the head of our article,) many of which work, with one “specimen poem.” Soon after this, he were sung by stranger bards, to whom his name and was employed as an assistant editor of the “Boston song had become dear. STATESMAN," and the star of his fortune was rapidly We cannot better conclude our brief biographical on the ascendant. How long he remained in the office sketch, than by quoting an article written at the time by of the “Statesman,” we know not: in the autumn of the editor of the “New England Weekly Review," an 1829 he removed to Providence, Rhode Island, to take opposing political journal. the senior (and we believe the sole) charge of the “Providence Patriot."

« Oh how it seemeth idle This was an important, and in many respects an un

To talk about the dead,

When praise availeth only happy era in our author's life. He was now fully em

To tell us they have fled.' barked under his own flag, in the political strifema warfare not at all congenial to his feelings. With a “The last number of the Providence Patriot anconstitutional sensitiveness, which amounted almost to nounces, by its mourning columns, the death of its editor, a fault, and made him shrink instinctively from the James O. Rockwell. He was but twenty-four years of rough contact of every-day life, he now found himself age, and had seen little of the world. The finer facul. involved in the jarring perplexities of political turmoil. ties of his soul had not been matured into a perfect de With the accustomed recklessness of partizan bellige- velopment. Yet he has left a name behind him which rents, his opponents did not scruple to assail his private will be heard of hereafter-a self-established reputation character; and, finding no other vulnerable point, of genius—which will linger over his grave, and bless meanly taunted him with his low birth, education, and it. We speak not so much of what he has done, as a former occupation. This, to a spirit like Rockwell's, poet, as of the evidence which he gave of high and Dowas too severe strife. Still it was but the accustomed ble capacities. He wrote always hastily, and without partizan abuse, and did not in the least affect his literary pruning away the superabundant fancies which somereputation abroad. This was constantly increasing times marred the symmetry of his productions. His and as proof of the amiability of our author's disposi- conceptions were always imbued with the same wild tion, we may add, that many of his warmest personal spirit of poetry-vivid, original, and sometimes very friends were of opposing political sentiments. powerful—but they needed the polish of a disciplined

For a time--we know not precisely how long-Rock. intellect. They were the rough ore of the mine-full well continued his editorial course with honor, and his of intrinsic worth, but unshapely, and unprepared by name was every day gaining new renown—when, in the ordeal of severe reflection and extensive learning. the summer of 1831, with scarcely a note of warning, And how could it be otherwise ? Instead of treading his friends were startled with news of his death. The his way to fame over flowers and greenness—instead last article he ever wrote was the following, in keeping of reclining in studious ease in the halls of learningwith his wild and eccentric disposition :

Rockwell was compelled to win his way upward “THE CARD APOLOGETIC.

through a thousand difficulties. He was a poor, un“The editor of this paper has been accused of ill learned boy—unhackneyed in the ways of the worldhealth--tried--found guilty-and condemned over to and with no friends to urge him onward in the career the physicians for punishment. When he shall have of ambition. Nor were there wanting those who were recovered his health, he will throw physic to the dogs, ready to oppose his early efforts to stand in the arisand resume his duties."

tocracy of their learning, and haughtily gesture back Alas! his hope was never realized. The same the young aspirant. And one-a miserable hackney paper that contained his singular "card," or the next scribbler-an unread, unreadable author-not long since one succeeding it, was dressed in mourning for its attacked him in a witless but malignant satire, the editor! Respecting the cause of his death, there has venom of whose shaft was counteracted by the weakalways been some mystery. True, he was ill; but ness of the bow which propelled it. Let him now this by no means clears the matter. It has been said, breathe his loathsome malignity over the green grave that he was troubled at the thought of some paltry obli- of Rockwell with what satisfaction he may. gation for two or three hundred dollars, which, from not “We knew Rockwell personally. He was our receiving his own honest dues, he was unable to meet; friend. We loved him for his enthusiasm-his geneand his too sensitive spirit shrunk from the gloomy rosity-his singleness of heart. For some time past he prospect of a “Debtor's Prison.” Again, it has been has been the editor of a paper directly opposed, in a said, that disappointed affection had a part in the political point of view, to our own sentiments. But event. But, whatever may have been the immediate Rockwell was not formed by nature for the strife and

bitterness of politics. We knew that he loathed the task “ Faded Wave! a joy to thee,
which necessity had imposed upon him--that his spirit Now thy flight and toil are over!
sbrank from communion with the ruder ones of those O may my departure be
who surrounded him--that he longed for the still waters Calm as thine, thou ocean rover !
of quiet contemplation—and for the beautiful flowers of When this soul's last joy or mirth
poetry, with a thirst ardent and unceasing. To a mind On the shore of time is driven-
like that of Rockwell's, nothing is more uncongenial Be its lot like thine, on earth,
than the stormy strife of party. With him that strife To be lost away in heaven!"
is now over-and the political enemies of the living will
Feep over the grave of the dead. The fame which he

The following lines-of nearly the same style of longed for while living, shall flourish greenly over his verse with the former-are decidedly superior. The quiet tombstone. And while the gay will laugh as be-third and fourth stanzas, particularly, exhibit a most fore, and each one of the busy world continue to chase happy flight of fancy, while the whole article is rehis favorite phantom,' one heart at least will cherish his markable for harmony and melody: memory, and breathe in sincerity the prayer of Halleck

“THE LOST AT SEA. over the grave of his companion

“Wife, who in thy deep devotion
“ 'Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days.""

Puttest up a prayer for one

Sailing on the stormy ocean, We very much regret that Rockwell's poems have Hope no more-his course is done. never been published in a connected form. But they Dream not, when upon thy pillow, never have been, and probably many of them are lost.

That he slumbers by thy side, We shall present the reader a few of them, from the For his corse, beneath the billow, small collection of articles which we have been enabled

Heaveth with the restless tide. to make; and if among them he recognizes any familiar

“ Children, who, as sweet flowers growing,
odes, we trust he will not regret a re-perusal.
We first select his beautiful and much admired stan.

Laugh amid the sorrowing rains-
Know ye not that clouds are throwing

Shadows on your sire's remains ?
“TO A WAVE.

Where the hoarse gray surge is rolling,

With a mountain's motion on, “ List ! thou child of wind and sea,

Dream ye that its voice is tolling
Tell me of the far off deep,

For your father, lost and gone ?
Where the tempest's wind is free,

" When the sun looked on the water, And the waters never sleep!

As a hero on his gravem
Thou perchance the storm hast aided,

Tinging with the hue of slaughter
In its work of stern despair,
Or perchance thy hand hath braided,

Every blue and leaping wave,-

Under the majestic ocean,
In deep caves, the mermaid's hair.

Where the giant currents rolled, “Wave! now on the golden sands,

Slept thy sire, without emotion,
Silent as thou art, and broken,

Sweetly by a beam of gold.
Bear'st thou not from distant strands
To my heart some pleasant token?

" And the violet sunbeams slanted, Tales of mountains of the south,

Wavering through the crystal deep,
Spangles of the ore of silver ;

'Till their wonted splendors haunted Which with playful singing mouth,

Those shut eyelids in their sleep :
Thou hast leaped on high to pilfer ?

Sands, like crumbled silver gleaming,

Sparkled in his raven hair-"Mournful Wave! I deemed thy song

But the sleep that knows no dreaming,
Was telling of a mournful prison,

Bound him in its silence there!
Which when tempests sweep along,
And the mighty winds were risen,

“So we left him; and to tell thee Foundered in the ocean's grasp,

Of our sorrow and thine own,-
While the brave and fair were dying.

Of the woe that there befel thee,
Wave! didst mark a white hand clasp

Come we weary and alone. In thy folds as thou wert flying? “ Hast thou seen the hallowed rock

“Children, whose meek eyes, inquiring, Where the pride of kings reposes,

Linger on your mother's face,
Crowned with many a misty lock,

Know ye that she is expiring-
Wreathed with sapphire green and roses ?

That ye are an orphan race ?
Or with joyous playful leap,

God be with you on the morrow-
Hast thou been a tribute flinging,

Father, mother, both no more !
Up that bold and jutty steep,

One within a grave of sorrow,
Pearls upon the south wind stringing.

One upon the ocean's floor!”

« السابقةمتابعة »