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'Tis a time
Geo. D. Prentice.
will know no voice until awakened in a brighter world. FRANCIS ARMINE-A ROMANCE.
Peace to that young heart--rest to that fair form! BY A NOVICE.
The wife and the mother sat there. She was so no longer. Many trials had she gone through—
these were the heaviest,-many afflictions had she CHAPTER VII.
passed by-these were the bitterest. The window at For memory and for tears. Within the deep
which Mrs. Morton sat, commanded a view, which at Still chamber of the heart, a specire lifts
that hour might well have attracted her attention. The coffin-Jid of Hope and Joy and Love,
But her thoughts flowed in a far different channel. The And bending mournfully above the pale
themes on which she mused, were dark and melanSweet forms that slumber there, scallers dead flowers O'er what has passed to nothingness.
choly; and as they, one by one, glided before her, and
gave way but to new doubts and fears, the tears of Why turns her brow so pale-why starts to life
affliction gushed from her eyes, and swept, drop by That languid eye? What form, before unseen,
drop, down her pale cheeks. There comes an hour to With all the spells of hallowed memory rife, Now rises on her vision ?
all, when hope, though an evergreen, blooms in vain--or
blooming, as it springs up is withered by the hot winds How mournful is it to realize the truth that Death, of despair ! the slayer, has laid his cold finger upon the young and It was the morning of the day on which she was to beautiful, and swept them from the earth forever. It is witness the remains of her husband and her daughter mournful at all times ! but when his dread wing has placed in the grave. Many were already gathered been flapped over those with whom we were associated around the house. As she sat in the recess of the low by the deep feelings of natural affection, or the tender window of the room, and looked forth upon the people ties of love, it is doubly mournful! How mournful and beneath, their words reached her ears. They were how bitter is it to enter the darkened chamber, and speaking of the child's death, and alluding to its guiltmark the awful change that has passed over forms less murderer. which, perchance, on yesterday moved gaily and hap “ Of what country was he ?”' inquired one. pily down the great stream of life-to behold the lip on “An Italian," was the answer. whose words we lingered, mute and still-the heart, “What was his name?" asked another. whose beatings were all in unison with our own, mo “Francis Armine," was the immediate reply of tionless and calm-the hand, with whose every touch many. we were familiar, dull and heavy-the pulse that Mrs. Morton heard no more. At the mention of swelled in warmth and freedom, throbbing no more that name, a sudden dizziness came over her, and she the eye, whose glance had often met our own, glazed swooned away. and fixed-the smile that once interpreted our lightest wish, departed—the brow cold-the breath choked, and The funeral procession swept on. First came the the frame pressed in the mouldering coffin, where the bier, drawn by two black horses, and surmounted by worm will feed upon it, and where the cold damp earth dark and gloomy plumes; then followed the principal will rot and decay it.
mourner, with the relatives of the deceased. The There was sorrow and death in the dwelling of Mor-venerable clergy, with whom Morton had been assoton. It was a strange contrast between the joy and ciated, came next, with slow and mea red tread. brightness of the outward scene, and the gloom and Next came a great number of little children, the acsadness of that house of mourning. Sweetly and beauti- quaintances and schoolmates of the deceased daughter, fully had the light of another day trembled from the chanting, as they walked along, a low and plaintive distant portals of the east upon the earth. That light song, and at moments changing the air to one thrillingly streamed through the closed curtains of the chamber, sweet and touching, which sounded like tones of hope and fell upon a bed on which lay the unconscious bursting on the despairing mind; then could be seen dead—the father and the child. Though the death of an immense multitude of citizens drawn together in the former had been a violent one, he seemed to have sympathy for the survivor. passed away without much pain. His features were And thus the procession moved on. It had swept calm and settled—the hands, that had performed many through the streets of Paris-thronged with awekind deeds, hung heavily at his side-the eyes, that had stricken spectators--and wherever it moved, the gay looked love and affection, were dull and rayless—the laugh of life was stilled, and the hum of business was form, that had moved among the living but a few hours hushed. Already had it passed through the city and previous, in manly pride, had returned to senseless reached the heights of Charron, on which is situated clay: and the young girl, that Francis Armine had that quiet resting place—the last and silent home of the innocently robbed of life and sent to her long resting illustrious and noble dead-Pere la Chaise. place ere the world had withered her affections, seemed That funeral train was a melancholy spectacle. The as though she had fallen into a gentle slumber. How dreary bier with its death-like plumes the mourners many sweet thoughts went down with that beautiful the clergy-the children, and the long line of citizens, child to the voiceless grave! Thoughts of home-of as well as the perfect silence that reigned around, renhappiness of joy, and peace,--thoughts, that may not dered it sacred and solemn to the most unfeeling specyet have burst forth, and awaited but some genial tator. The song of the children had ceased—the cry of touch, to make them flow like cooling waters from the the mourners could not be heard, and the whisperings rock of old, -thoughts of love and affection, that had of the assembled multitude were hushed. All was not yet clustered around that pure mind—and that, alas! I still-awfully still-within the city of the dead. The
mourners stood around the graves—the coffins were he would'nt make such a sorry spectacle of a friend who lowered—the earth was dropped upon them, but its has served him like a brave fellow through all his little hollow sound could scarce be heard amid the loud and sprees, and so forth, on the road." piercing lament that then went up as if from every lip. “He would though. To be sure he was very easy,
And now the vast crowd of carriages and foot pas. when our company first selected him; but splice me if sengers moved homewards-stream upon stream rushed he has'nt become the tightest rogue that ever backed a from the heights of Charron, down towards Paris, and horse in the glance of old Oliver." He shot that great in a short time nearly all of that dense and serried preacher the other night who was buried to-day; and, crowd had disappeared.
I'm told, has said that he intended to quit us. France But Mrs. Morton, overcome with fatigue and sorrow, is getting too hot for him, and he'd better leave it." sat in her carriage alone, and moved slowly towards The robbers became silent, for the person of whom the city. She seemed lingering to gaze upon that spot they were speaking, had joined them. He was about to which the living never turn save in sadness. Al the middle height, of a sinewy frame, and presented this time a change came over the scene. The clouds allogether a brave and chivalric bearing, well calculated that had before passed along silent and unnoticed, now for the situation of captain of the followers of Robin swept swiftly over the southern part of the sky. A Hood. low yet distant thunder was heard—the air, before “Ha! Captain Montanvers." refreshing, now became sultry and oppressive—and “Well, my merry men, how fares the lady since I then suddenly the bending pines gave warning that the left her?" tempest would follow. And it did come. Masses of “Better, far better, captain,” replied Allen. thickened clouds rushed in gloomy ranks up the hea “Hush! hush, man-not so loud. Go you Allen to vens, and contended, like giant gladiators, in the savage the common yonder, and inform me when any traveland convulsive struggle-nearer and nearer shouted ler comes in sight. I have suspicions that some one has the thunder-swifter and swifter flashed the many- blabbed on us-go you—quick." forked lightning, and darkness mantled the outstretched And he departed, chanting such rude ditties as this, wall of heaven-above and about the earth it de- as he walked alongscended in one far-spreading intense banner of gloom
" Much sweeter than honey when the spirit of the tempest moved abroad, and shook
Is other men's money!” out his rainy shroud upon the earth, and fast and fiercely
Some time elapsed ere Mrs. Morton was conscious of it poured and fell. It lasted but for a short time, and her situation. During the night she had talked and ere it came again, a horseman dashed by the carriage raved and suffered—she had, in her delirium, spoken of of Mrs. Morton. As he passed, the whole earth was events and named names, which none but the captain lighted up with an intense and brilliant glare. That of whom we have spoken knew, and which of course light enabled Mrs. Morton clearly to see the horse. none but him understood. When she awoke, daylight man. As she did so, a gladness beamed upon her was streaming into the window of a room of which she melancholy countenance. Her heart was in her eyes; was the only occupant. She looked around, and wonand as they gazed, the warm tears of joy fell uncondered where she was, and then her recollection returned, sciously from them. “Do I dream? No-no! It is and all the grief that had weighed upon her spirit again him! That form, I could never forget it! Would that came rushing back like the chilling waters of some he were nearer! Would that I could again hear his mighty stream. voice! I will!-I will!”
“Where am I?" cried she, rising from the bed. At that instant the carriage struck violently against “My brother—my brother--surely I have seen him. a huge rock in the road, and suddenly overset. The No!-it was but a dream !" boy driver, escaping unhurt from the vehicle, hastened A man entered it was Allen. to assist Mrs. Morton, and found her thrown some dis
“Your service, madam,” said he, bowing low. The tance from the seat and senseless.
captain asked me to thank you for your condescension in honoring his humble roof, and says your carriage is
now at the door, which, thinking you might wish to CHAPTER VIM.
return to your home early, he had sent to the village and My mind misgives
repaired." Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
“Thanks--many thanks--ic is already late, and I Shall bitterly begin this fearful date.
will start immediately. To whom do I owe this hospi
tality." Since I came hither I have heard strange news.
“Why, madam, it was nothing but right-seeing King Lear. that the night was dark and stormy, and your carriage
broke down, I hope your ladyship was not hurt, “Softly, softly-here approaches the captain. Should although you looked awful pale when we found you. he witness your mutinous arm raised so high, be sure This is captain Montanvers' house, and I am sure that he'd tear it off and beat you to death with the bloody any one in distress is welcome here." stump,” said a little man, evidently of the lowest order, “Could I see that gentleman, and thank him personto one of the same stamp, as they stood in the door of ally for his kindness ?" asked she. a small house on the road side, near
“Oh! no, madam: the captain is-is unwell;" and “Hist!” returned the companion, looking at the as he spoke he walked towards the door. The lady folcaptain, who was near the house; and sinking his voice, "Allen, you sly dog, the captain may be tyrannical, but
Romeo and Juliet.
lowed, and was soon in her carriage and on her way | hypocrisy. At that age, when the flower of the heart back to Paris.
had not been cropped by the influence of debased assoMontanvers stood in a side door where he could not ciates, he had displayed a cunning, which at school be seen, and watched the receding form of his guest, won for him a reputation among his classmates, which, until the carriage moved away.
with the natural bent of his mind, tended to unfit him “I would not see her,” multered he, “ fearful that in after life for that straight path which alone leads to she would know me. Now for Paris. My brave men,” happiness and peace. Was there an orchard to rob, or said he, addressing some dozen men who were lolling a bird's nest to plunder, or an “affair” to manage, on the green sward before him, “I am about leaving Henry was the chosen one. In his eye was the subtle you for a short time, and when I again join you I trust fire-in his tongue was the oily eloquence—and in his that all suspicions, which have arisen of late from our arm was the ready movement, which suited well the bold maneuvres, may be lulled, and that I may return, leader of a band of reckless schoolboys. At iwentyfavored by that fortune which always favors the brave one he had grown prodigiously vain--swore that youth and the bold.” So saying, he took up his way towards was the time for pleasure-old age the time for repentthe city.
ance and soberness--that England was wo small for an ambitious gentleman--that the world--the great and
boundless world, was the fit arena for any but a coatCHAPTER IX.
less curate, or a simple squire; for such as him, the
drawing-room of the world, and the huzzas of crowds, Then might my breast be read within, A thousand volumes would be written there.
the only scene, and the only triumph. He accordingly Earl of Sterling.
scorned all occupations, wherewith to gain an honest
independence, and travelled. As a matter of course his There hath arisen betwixt us
purse grew as light as his conscience, both of which were An immortality of hate. Old Time Shall sink to dotage and forget himself,
melting away very fast. In a little time he was seen And pity cling unto an usurer's breast,
in Florence, without money, and of course, from his Ere he and I grow friends. Barry Cornwall. former habits, without friends.
Every day his situation was becoming more unplea-
sant. He was in the midst of plenty, and lived from Lillo.
hand to mouth, until starvation stared him in the face. Behold Montanvers in the full Aush of Parisian life! One evening, at the solicitation of his only remaining Full of crimes and vices he had again been elevated to acquaintance, (the rest had cut him—Oh, money, thou that station which he had before forfeited. His god !) he was induced to enter a well known roulette brightest hopes had been realized, and encased as was club in Florence. He sat down, and lost and lost again; his conscience in a hardy stoicism, which even the sharp and borrowed and lost again. He was now in debt Looth of remorse sometimes fails to penetrate, he again several hundred pounds. To extricate himself he bormoved among the great herd and seemed above them. rowed again, and again lost. He was not only bankAgain in the society of the refined--respected by the rupt; he was deeply involved, and in a strange and men-sought after by the women, we turn to contem- friendless city. What was he to do? He looked plate him.
around the room and all shunned him. Delirious from And some will ask, did none of those crimes that his many losses he left the club, sought his own room, stood out boldly on the pages of the past--crimes of and opening his pistol case, loaded one, with which he manifold natures, which the mind would shudder to was about to blow out his brains, when it was wrested contemplate-did they never arise before him to check from his hands. He turned, and beheld in the intruder, the full tide of his longings, or sweep away the aspira- his acquaintance of the club. tions of a reckless and a darkened heart, and a rayless “Montanvers,” said he, “I have come to relieve you. and perverted mind? They did! Vice is, has been, and You are deeply in debe—you want money. An old ever will be, pursued by that unpilying monitor, me gentleman of wealth has just been informed of his mory, or haunted by that scourging avenger, con- wife's illness in a neighboring town, and starts to night science. When we err for once, we err forever. When to see her. He carries a large quantity of money with we commit one dark crime, we secure to ourselves a him—the night is dark.” doom more terrible, a fate more awful than he who He consented to accompany him, and share the signed the death-bond with his reeking blood. And spoils. He went—the robbery was committed—the why is this? Because the memory is undying, and the old man, who had once been an intimate friend of his, images which it brings up, for good or for evil, are its recognized him, and threatened him with exposure-it only “still small voices” to comfort or to damn the pos. cost him his life; and with that deed commenced a long sessor-o the one, it brings sweet incense--on the series of crimes too appalling for narration. other, it inscribes in every lineament, as with the fangs And now behold him moving among the polished of scorpions" Beware.” Montanvers had passed the and the refined. Success had crowned his villanies, Rubicon of crime, with bold and daring stride, and and he was again enabled to throw aside the costume was now an outlaw of virtue, to be shunned by man of the outlaw robber, and assume that of the humble kind, as the brave mountaineer shuns the evil shape of citizen-his former mode of life unknown and unsusthe omened wraith.
pected, save by one—and to silence that one, was one Henry Montanvers had been reared in the midst of of the objects of his present disguise. opulence. He was an only child, and was remarkable, On the day succeeding the date of our last chapter, when a boy, for quickness of invention and consummate Henry Montanvers (we will not trouble the reader
with his various aliasès,) was to be seen moving proceeded back to Paris. Who can tell the fearful through the most solitary part of the suburbs of Paris. thoughts that came over that stern man, as he threaded The path which he had selected was private and seclu- his way through the streets of that city ? Who can say ded, and passed through a thick and dark wood. He what were the elements that then struggled in that had strolled alone for some time, with seeming careless- fierce heart? Who can paint the terrible passions that ness, and was then near the centre of the wood, when nerved that fore-dooming hand ? None should try it
. he espied a hat hanging on a bush—he approached Those fiery and savage passions were raging within, with a slow and noiseless tread, and beheld through concealed by a mighty effort, and traced not on a the thick clustering trees the object of his search, haughty brow and a reckless lip. Lucien Andeli, laying on the grass, in so deep a study “Andeli, Andeli!” muttered he, as he walked along. as not to notice his approach.
“Curses on him! He knows me well, and has already Andeli was alone, and was unconscious of every thing upbraided me. Ever since that fearful deed, that he but his own thoughts, when suddenly a ball aimed by alone knows of, that accursed name has been a dark an unseen hand, whirled by him and lodged in the cloud upon my life—the blighter of my sweetest trunk of a tree by his side. He turned to the place dreams-lhe destroyer of my brightest aspirings. Anfrom which he heard the report of the pistol, as it was deli! how the very name festers upon my tongue-it discharged at him, and beheld a tall athletic figure, but rings in my ear like a death knell! It must not be. He the place was so dark that he could not recognize the dies ! Another, and yet another, to the long list, and features, and could scarcely see the face of his foe. He can live undisturbed. To kill him—to take with his did not wait for a deadlier aim, but sprang forward, own another's life-psha ! it were easier to-down, conand in another instant that foe staggered from the science! He must die ! Will I do the deed? And sheeffects of a heavy and well directed blow, and fell to the ha! I will have most sweet revenge! If he lives I am earth. A glance sufficed to show Andeli that he stood forfeited to eternal disgrace. I'll crush him—but the before Montanvers.
means the means." “I spare you, sir,” said Andeli, in a tone that went He entered one of the news-rooms, to be met with in to the heart of his foe—“I spare you, sir, as much as almost every street of Paris, and had scarcely seated you deserve death, to reflect, ere you again stain your himself
, when the Evening Courier, one of the best hands with blood. From me you have nothing to fear; papers of that day, was thrown into the door. He but I warn you now to urge me no more to arrogate to snatched the paper up-in those times as in the present, myself that diviner power which sooner or later must newspapers were the only link that connected mankind overtake you. Great Heavens! I pray that this un- with the great, tumultuous, ever-changing world—and happy man may have atoned for his many errors and had glanced over the columns, when the following words crimes, ere he enters the presence of an awful but a met his eye: just God! Go, Montanvers ! go, and search the dark labyrinths of crime and sin, through which you have
"ARRIVAL OF FRANCIS ARMINE. already passed, and pause amid the desolation and the “Most of our readers are, perhaps, aware that this ruin that you have wrought, and be warned by one distinguished gentleman has arrived in our city. For a who was once your best friend, of the miserable doom more complete notice of his arrival, we refer them to an that awaits you in another world. Pause and reflect, editorial in yesterday's paper, detailing all the circumif but for an instant, and you are saved !" .
stances that occurred to him, as well as the accident “Lucien Andeli,” was his only reply, spoken in a near L'Etoil, which, at that time, created the deepest harsh and hoarse voice, as he glared upon him, “I have sensation amongst our citizens. We are, however, failed this once, but your doom is fixed ! Look-look! happy to learn, that the excitement then evinced has I swear it!”
passed away, and sincerely trust that it shall not Montanvers had arisen, and was retracing his steps become our painful duty to notice, as public journalists
, from the wood, when he turned and gazed in the face of any further outbreak of our citizens against the innoAndeli.
cent offender, whom, with a complete knowledge of all “Remember, Lucien Andeli,” he said, in a voice the circumstances of the accident, we do not hesitate to almost choked with passion, “ your doom is fixed. By pronounce entirely guiltless. Hell! I will have your heart's best blood! I have “Postscript. Since the above was in type, we have sworn it!"
learned from a secret source that the object of the preAnd he moved away. His hatred towards Andeli sent visit of this talented gentleman is, if possible, to had not been of a moment's growth. They had in hear of a sister whose mysterious disappearance from early life been rivals, and Andeli the successful. It her home we recorded some five years since. It was was a hatred that one day will not bring forth, but like then supposed by some that she had been murdered, the poisonous flower that grows in the east in the dark- and that measures had been taken to thwart all endeaest caves, requiring years to unfold, slowly, but surely, vors to find out her fate. We trust, however, that its deadly leaves. It had sprang up in the lonely those suppositions were incorrect, and that the brother recesses of a morbid heart, and was kept there uncon- and the sister may yet be united.” sumed and nourished in the general wreck, as the Montanvers read this over several times, and with mother might nourish her youngest idol in the darkness the names and events spoken of by Mrs. Morton, of a remorseless pestilence. Andeli knew this, and during her delirium at his house, revolved over, he arose despite his bravery almost shuddered as he heard that from his seat. When he did so it was with a prouder voice. The day was drawing to its close when Montanvers / dark frown departed from his brow, and his whole
tread. A sudden hope had flashed across him—the
countenance was animated with a glow of triumph. too, had he loved so wildly as he did now-never, as Fate did indeed befriend him!
the young painter-boy, had he dreamed over a gentler “Ha! well counselled,” thought he, gliding from the or a warmer feeling than that which now intoxicated room into the open streets again. “The means I have. him! Andeli, from you I will indeed have nothing to fear. I “Mine own Meta—my beautiful-my adored,” crush that one, and the vine that has twined its tendrils whispered Andeli, drawing her small and snowy hand around it, falls too. Tremble thou, Andeli, for now within his own. “Your song is sweeter than when thou art doomed."
you sang it in the golden past." Plot on-plot on-dark man! Weave the web around “Why should it not be? It is sung to you—and the innocent, but be sure that thou art not thyself caught! saving you I have none to cling to in the wide world.” Fly swiftly on the wings of mighty mischief! Make “None-none! Your's may be a bitter fate, Meta.” sure thy footsteps on the topmost crag of the precipice; “ Not while you are with me." for if thou fallest, farewell ye laurels, and a long fare "And have you never tired of me?" well ye myrtles!
“Ask the flower if it wearies of the light.”
“And I am doubly so."
“But come, dearest, let's to yon shadowy banks and
enjoy the hour.” They met, all innocence--and hope-and youth :
And they sallied to the spot that Andeli had reand all their words were thoughts,--their thoughts pure truth: marked. The sun was sinking in the west, and poured Every new day that pass'd, pass'd them the fleeter, And hours though sweet, were chased by hours still sweeter :
its golden light along the tops of the tall and noble trees, Love had adopted them.
The Garden of Florence. leaving the mossy lurf beneath shadowy and pleasant.
“ What a delightful evening is this !” said Andeli, A tale of thine, fair Italie !
“ how calm-how lovely! There-there, by that light A tale of sorrows-for e'en on thy bright soil
you look younger than ever.” They had seated themGrief has its shadow, and care has its toil. L. E. L. selves on the fresh turf under the shadow of the old
trees. Before them was the little white cottage--the It was a lovely evening. On the velvet turf, and cottage of love. Ah! if those walls had tongues, how spangled with the dew of evening, lay the manifold sweet the tales they'd tell. Around them arose the flowers of every hue and fragrance, with which the murmur of nature, sweeter than love's first whispered rich bottom lands of the Seine abound. The tall trees tones—the breath of leaves—the tinkling sigh of the were clad in summer's brightest foliage-among which sparkling waves—what music for the young lovers was the bland air stole
here! “Making sweet music while the young leaves danced ;"
“Meta,” said Andeli, drawing that slight and beau
tiful form nearer to him, “I remember that on such and those green, green leaves, were vocal with the an evening as this, some two months gone, you prohum of insects and the song of birds. Far, far away, mised me your history-1 fain would hear it now, opened one of the richest landscapes of that lovely sweetest.” clime, valley and plain, and woods and waters, bounded “Yes, Lucien, yes! it is right that you should hear it,” by a faint, blue outline of numerous vine-clad hills, replied Meta, “and now, even on this lovely spot, and which lay in quiet relief against a most brilliant sky. by this softened light, I'll tell you. I will not dwell long, And that sky, that unrivalled, deep blue sky, was dear Lucien, upon such painful memories my life is without a mist or color-save where in the far west it all sunshine now." couched a bed of clear and limpid water—and there it She looked sweetly up from the breast of her lover, was glowing with those purple and golden tints, which, on which she had cast herself, and thus began: reflected over that enchanted earth, add much to the
Meta's HISTORY. beauty and loveliness of a sweet summer evening, “I was born on the borders of Tuscany. You might
On such an evening Meta sat with Andeli in their have traversed all Italy for a more beautiful spot in cottage. The little fountain still threw up its sparkling vain. Nature seems to have enriched that region with waters, that fell in showers upon the rich and odorous the loveliest objects in her great store-house--bright, turf near the door of the cottage, and the bright stream green earth-perfumed air—transparent water--dreamstill swept through woods and vales, and groves, and like skies. wending gracefully around the home of the lovers--as “After a youth spent in travel and dissipation, my if it too desired to sweeten the moments of such pure father returned to his home, and married the daughter and hallowed loves-wandered on to yield its tribute of of a noble house, whose lands adjoined his own. Some waters to the imperial Seine.
two years after their marriage they left their first resiHer lover sat at Meta's feet, and gazed up to that dence, and chose for their retreat the spot on the borsweet and child-like face, whose every feature seemed ders of Tuscany, where I was born. At my birth my yet breathing the song, which a voice marvellously mother died, and my father—who desired that the first clear and sweet, had just warbled to the accompani- of his children should be of his own sex, and enterment of a harp. Ah! those were happy, happy tained, from the moment that I saw the light, the most moments! They were both young-both the children bitter feelings for me-was plunged still deeper in his of the summer. And that fair, bright creature, how dislike by her death. Never after that event did he deeply, how fondly she loved-how breathlessly she wed another, but living in seclusion and privacy, strove hung on every tone of that voice ! Never-oh, never! Ito forget that world in which he had once mingled as