صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

both sides. She turned it up and down, laid it upon her toilet-cushion, then pinned it up on the wall, and studied the effect. Two dollars Mr. Ogden had munificently bestowed upon her in token of his grateful appreciation of her services. She looked in the little mirror with a sarcastic smile that said: “ Leigh Doane, you have not lived in vain. You have turned an honest penny. You have fairly earned two dollars.” What should she do with it? Keep it for a time as a reminder of the Valley of Humiliation through which she had passed, and then drop it in the charity-box at the church-door? Yes, that would do. She laid it in her writing-desk and sat down again to think.

A scene from one of Madame d'Arblay's novels flashed into her head. It was that thrilling moment in “ Cecilia ” where the adoring lover finds himself alone with his charmer in a storm. The aristocratic maiden becomes pallid, imbecile, and limp, according to the invariable custom of the heroine of the old-fashioned romance, when the slightest mental or physical exertion is demanded of her. He is nearly frantic with excess of emotion at actually being in the presence of his adored one, with no lady's-maid, companion, or stately duenna to protect her from his timorous advances. The storm increases. She trembles with fear. Her step falters. The lover observes this with exceeding solicitude, and the exigencies of the case tempting him to disregard conventional barriers, the rash impetuous youth ventures upon the unheard-of familiarity of offering his arm as a support to the gentlest and most inefficient of her sex. Aware that the license of his conduct, though palliated by the unprecedented circumstances, was, nevertheless, open to censure in its departure from the code of etiquette in vogue in the pain. fully rarefied atmosphere of extremely high life, yet quite overcome with the rapture of having her finger-tips resting confidingly upon his coat-sleeve, in tones of subdued ecstasy he exclaims, “ Sweet, lovely burden, 0, why not thus forever!”

When this picture of the astounding difficulties attending the course of true love in the olden time had first presented itself to her, it had been a source of great amusement. Indeed, many novels, dear, no doubt, to her grandmother, were wont to convulse her with irreverent mirth. Could anything be funnier than the stilted phraseology of those lovesick, perplexed swains, and the laments of the lachrymose heroines who wring their hands frantically on all occasions, and evince a chronic incapacity for doing anything of the least use to any human being ? She had sometimes congratulated herself upon being commonplace Leigh Doane in the present state of society, instead of a Sophronia Belinda Araminta Clarissa Mac Ferguson under the old régime. But never had the contrast between then and now, between the lifeless but highly decorous demeanor of the model girl of the past “ period” and the extravagant wilfulness of her own conduct, struck her so forcibly. Madame d'Arblay's representation of maidenly propriety, the “ever-lovely Miss Beverly," had nearly fainted in the fiery ordeal of walking a short distance with an esteemed gentleman friend in broad daylight. She, on the contrary, a girl most carefully reared according to modern ideas, had manifested sufficient discreditable vigor to nearly annihilate an unknown man, and had then walked by his side and guided his steps over a long, rough country-road, in intense darkness and a violent storm. She remembered mild, timid, clinging Cecilia, and smiled. She thought of fearless, selfconfident Leigh, and groaned.

Now if he had only thrust an umbrella into her eye, how much better would it have been! It is woman's province to suffer, and it would have been the most natural thing in the world for her to meet with an accident; quite romantic had she been obliged to accept the escort of an unknown gentleman, who would eloquently protest that he never could forgive himself for his awkwardness, and who would prove to be. Tom's old friend. But how unnatural, how ridiculous, for her to savagely charge at him, and then in silence, like a bashful, stupid, rustic, take the wounded man to his destination! The former case would have been like some piquant little adventure in a book. As it actually happened, it was grotesquely transposed, and all wrong. What would Bessie say ? Tom should never know. He would tease her too unmercifully. And as for his friend, Mr. Ogden, whose mental vision must be as blind as were his outward eyes, she would never, never meet him if she could help herself, and she would despise him, upon principle, all her life. “My good girl — ” Here an overwhelming consciousness of the utter ludicrousness of the affair from beginning to end rushed over her, and she laughed aloud. Peal after peal of nervous hysterical laughter burst from her lips, until the tears rolled down her cheeks. Luckily Miss Phipps was too remote to be roused by this untimely merriment, or she would have risen in alarm, fearing for the sanity of her young guest. The ebullition proved a

relief. It carried away much self-reproach and chagrin from the girl's mind. It left regret and some humiliation, but also the more cheerful tendency to look upon Mr. Ogden's uncalledfor generosity as an enormous joke rather than as the personal insult she had been inclined to consider it, and she laid her head on her pillow more happily than she would have deemed possible an hour before. But immutability is not a characteristic of one's emotions at twenty. Her experience that evening had been a varied one, and she had passed through a thousand phases of feeling

Her last thought as she closed her eyes was, “ Perhaps you may stumble against him somewhere,' – O you wise, prophetic Tom!”

TO THE LARK.
SENTINEL of the morning light!

Reveller of the Spring!
How sweetly, nobly wild thy flight,

Thy boundless journeying!
Far from thy brethren of the woods, alone,
A hermit chorister before God's throne.

O, wilt thy climb yon heavens for me,

Yon rampart's starry height,
Thou interlude of melody

'Twixt darkness and the light!
And seek, with heaven's first dawn upon thy crest,
My Lady Love, the moonbeam of the West I

No woodland caroller art thou;

Far from the archer's eye,
Thy course is o'er the mountain's brow,

Thy music in the sky:
Then fearless float thy path of cloud along,
Thou earthly denizen of angel song'

Anonymous.

JULIA WARD HOWE.

HOWE, JULIA WARD, a famous American poet, essayist, lecturer, and philanthropist, was born in New York City, May 27, 1819. Her father, Samuel Ward, a well-known banker, gave her an education which comprised an unusually wide range of studies. At seventeen, while still a school-girl, she published a review of Lamartine's “Jocelyn" with an English metrical translation, a review of Dwight's translations from Goethe and Schiller, and a number of original poems. At the age of twenty-four she was married to Dr. Samuel G. Howe, the well-known philanthropist, whom she assisted in editing the anti-slavery journal, the Boston “Commonwealth.” She visited Rome; and returning to Boston, she published, in 1852, a collection of poems under the title “Passion Flowers; ” which was followed by “Words for the Hour” (1857); a drama which was produced at Wallack's in New York in 1857 ; " A Trip to Cuba ” (1860), which is said to have been numbered among the books prohibited in Cuba; “Later Lyrics” (1866), containing her celebrated “Battle Hymn of the Republic;" “ From the Oak to the Olive" (1868). In 1869 she took a prominent part in the woman's rights movement; she assisted in founding the New England Women's Club. In 1872 she went to London as delegate to the prison reform congress; and while there she helped to establish the Woman's Peace Association. In 1874 she issued "Sex and Education,” in reply to Clarke's “ Sex in Education;" and in 1876, upon her husband's death, she wrote a “Memoir" of him. Her lectures on “Modern Society” were published in 1881, and her "Life of Margaret Fuller" appeared in 1883. Her “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was written in 1861, while on a visit to the camps near Washington. To the tune of the “John Brown” song it quickly became, as one writer says, “the Marseillaise of the late American war."

THE LAMB WITHOUT.1
WHENE'ER I close the door at night,

And turn the creaking key about,
A pang renewed assails my heart -

I think, my darling is shut out.
1 Used by permission of Lee and Shepard.

Think that beneath these starry skies,

He wanders, with his little feet;
The pines stand hushed in glad surprise,

The garden yields its tribute sweet.
Thro' every well-known path and nook

I see his angel footsteps glide,
As guileless as the Paschal Lamb

That kept the Infant Saviour's side.

His earnest eye, perhaps, can pierce

The gloom in which his parents sit;
He wonders what has changed the house,

And why the cloud hangs over it.
He passes with a pensive smile -

Why do they linger to grow old,
And what the burthen on their hearts ?

On him shall sorrow have no hold.

Within the darkened porch I stand

Scarce knowing why, I linger long;
Oh! could I call thee back to me,

Bright birds of heaven, with sooth or song!
But no- the wayworn wretch shall pause

To bless the shelter of this door;
Kinsman and guest shall enter in,

But my lost darling never more.
Yet, waiting on his gentle ghost,

From sorrow's void, so deep and dull,
Comes a faint breathing of deli", " ,

A presence calm and beautiful
I have him, not in outstretched arms,

I hold him, not with straining sight,
While in the blue depths of quietude

Drops, like a star, my still “Good-night."
Thus, nightly, do I bow my head

To the Unseen, Eternal force;
Asking sweet pardon of my child

For yielding him in Death's divorce,
He turned away from childish plays,

His baby toys he held in scorn;
He loved the forms of thought divine,

Woods, flowers, and fields of waving corn. VOL. XII.-6

« السابقةمتابعة »