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and wrought as if by fairy hands. Through the ample and fretted arch of the portal I behold the Court of Lions, with brilliant sunshine gleaming along its colonnades and sparkling in its fountains. The lively swallow dives into the court, and then, surging upwards, darts away twittering over the roof; the busy bee toils humming among the flower-beds, and painted butterflies hover from plant to plant, and flutter up and sport with each other in the sunny air. It needs but a slight exertion of the fancy to picture some pensive beauty of the harem, loitering in these secluded haunts of Oriental luxury.
He however who would behold this scene under an aspect more in unison with its fortunes, let him come when the shadows of evening temper the brightness of the court, and throw a gloom into the surrounding halls : then nothing can be more serenely melancholy, or more in harmony with the tale of departed grandeur.
At such times I am apt to seek the Hall of Justice, whose deep shadowy arcades extend across the upper end of the court. Here were performed, in presence of Ferdinand and Isabella and their triumphant court, the pompous ceremonies of high mass on taking possession of the Alhambra. The very cross is still to be seen upon the wall where the altar was erected, and where officiated the grand cardinal of Spain and others of the highest religious dignitaries of the land.
I picture to myself the scene when this place was filled with the conquering host, – that mixture of mitered prelate, and shorn monk, and steel-clad knight, and silken courtier; when crosses and crosiers and religious standards were mingled with proud armorial ensigns and the banners of the baughty chiefs of Spain, and flaunted in triumph through these Moslem halls. I picture to myself Columbus, the future discoverer of a world, taking his modest stand in a remote corner, the humble and neglected spectator of the pageant. I see in imagination the Catholic sovereigns prostrating themselves before the altar and pouring forth thanks for their victory, while the vaults resound with sacred minstrelsy and the deep-toned Te Deum.
The transient illusion is over; the pageant melts from the fancy; monarch, priest, and warrior return into oblivion with the poor Moslems over whom they exulted. The hall of their triumph is waste and desolate. The bat flits about its twilight vaults, and the owl hoots from the neighboring tower of Comares.
HELEN FISKE HUNT JACKSON.
HELEN FISKE Hunt Jackson, an American novelist, poet, and general writer, born at Amherst, Mass., Oct. 18, 1831; died at San Francisco, Aug. 12, 1885. She was the daughter of Professor Fiske, of Amherst, Mass. Her first husband, Captain E. B. Hunt, died in 1863. Mrs. Jackson's earliest writings appeared over the signature of “H. H.” In 1870 she published a volume entitled “ Verses.” Her first prose volume, “ Bits of Travel ” (1872), was followed by “ Bits of Talk About Home Matters ”(1873), “Bits of Talk for Young People" (1876), and "Bits of Travel at Home" (1878). In 1875 she married Mr. W. S. Jackson, of Colorado Springs. Here she became interested in the Indians, and in 1881 she published " A Century of Dishonor,” relating to the dealings of the United States Government with the red-men. This led to her appointment in 1883 as a special commissioner to examine into the condition and needs of the Mission Indians of California. After visiting the different tribes she wrote “Ramona” (1884), a novel relating to the Missions. She had previously written two novels in the “No Name" series: “Mercy Philbrick's Choice" (1876) and “Hetty's Strange History" (1877). Besides these works she published " The Story of Boon," a poem (1879); “The Training of Children” (1882); and several books for young people: “Nelly's Silver Mine" (1878); “Mammy Tittleback and Her Family” (1881); and “ The Hunter Cats of Connorloa” (1884). Since her death have appeared “Glimpses of Three Coasts,” “Sonnets and Lyrics,” “Zeph," a novel (1886), and “Between Whiles" (1887).
MY HICKORY FIRE.
O HELPLESS body of hickory-tree,
By permission of Little, Brown, & Co.
Secrets of fields of upper air,
But I too bring, as to a pyre,
But thou, brave tree, how do I know
O LOVE, sweet Love, who came with rosy sail
And foaming prow across the misty sea!
O Love, brave Love, whose faith was full and free That lands of sun and gold, which could not fail, Lay in the west; that bloom no wintry gale
Could blight, and eyes whose love thine own should be,
Called thee, with steadfast voice of prophecy To shores unknown!
O Love, poor Love, avail Thee nothing now thy faiths, thy braveries; There is no sun, no bloom ; a cold wind strips The bitter foam from off the wave where dips
No more thy prow; the eyes are hostile eyes;
The gold is hidden; vain thy tears and cries :
THE silken threads by viewless spinners spun,
Which float so idly on the summer air,
And help to make each summer morning fair,
And blown to east and west and fastened there,
Weaving on all the roads their sudden snare. No sign which road doth safest, freest, run,
The winged insects know, that soar so gay
To meet their death upon each summer day. How dare we any human deed arraign;
Attempt to reckon any moment's cost; Or any pathway trust as safe and plain
Because we see not where the threads have crossed ?
THE hour has come. Strong hands the anchor raise;
Friends stand and weep along the fading shore,
In sudden fear lest we return no more:
New snare in each fresh path untrod before.
Ah, foolish hearts ! in fate's mysterious lore Is written no such choice of plan and days;
Each hour has its own peril and escape;
In most familiar things' familiar shape
No sea more foreign rolls than breaks each morn
Across our thresholds when the day is born : We sail, at sunrise, daily, “outward bound."
HENRY JAMES, a leading American novelist and critic, was born in New York City, April 15, 1843. He was carefully educated in his native city, and at Geneva, Paris, and Boulogne-sur-Mer. He studied law; but, turning his attention to literature, he began, in 1865, to write sketches for the magazines. “The Story of a Year," a tale of the War, was followed in 1867 by a short serial entitled “Poor Richard," and in 1869 by“ Gabrielle de Bergerac.” He went to Europe in 1869, and thereafter made his home in England and in Italy. He published “Watch and Ward” in 1871; and in 1874 he came to America for a few months to write criticisms for the Atlantic Monthly, and to publish his volume of “ Trans-Atlantic Sketches." Returning to Europe, he issued serially in 1875 his first extendednovel, “ Roderick Hudson,” and published a volume of stories, including his “ Passionate Pilgrim.” Then followed « The American” (1877); “ Daisy Miller” (1878); “An International Episode ” (1878); “ The Europeans" (1878); “ Pension Beaurepas” (1878); “ The Diary of a Man of Fifty” (1880); “ The Portrait of a Lady' (1881); “ The Bostonians ” (1886); “ The Princess Casamassima” (1886); “ The Tragic Muse” (1890); “The Lesson of the Master" (1892); “ The Real Thing" (1893); “ Terminations" (1895); “Embarrassments” (1896); “ The Other House” (1896). Among his critical works is a volume of valuable essays on “French Poets and Novelists.” So complete is his mastery of the French language that a story which he wrote for the Revue des Deux Mondes is said to be considered by the severest French critics as an example of most elegant French. The subject most frequently treated of in his novels is the contrast, between American and European life and manners.
DAISY MILLER: A STUDY.1
PART SECOND. WINTERBOURNE, who had returned to Geneva the day after his excursion to Chillon, went to Rome toward the end of January. His aunt had been established there for several weeks,
1 Copyright 1878, by Harper & Brothers.