صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


time, and, next to eating, cards try, that I will try it no longer ; and chattering were her highest and though I can laugh and enterpleasures. Both she and her

hus- tain myself with the absurdities and band spoke a lingo of which I did self-consequence of idiots, &c. I not understand one word in ten can by no means submit to live though they bawled it most vocife with them. One day the city lady, rously into my ears. There were to shew her own consequeuce, as four lady boarders besides myself, she thought, and by a side-wind to who talked as loud and as unintelli- let these, her co-mates, know how gibly; one was a London lady, east grand she had lived in London, of Temple-Bar; yet with her v-s and thus accosted me. her w-s, and the rest of her elegant Mrs. W. I think, Ma'am, I have phrases, I understood her very little had the pleasure of seeing you at better than the rest of them. This my Lady Mayoress's balls was the genteel, elegant society I Mrs. H. I fancy not, Madam; for was led to expect. Added to the I never was at a city ball in my life. home-groupe, there were three boor Willing to step a foot higher, she companions of the squire, viz. the continued. curate, the apothecary-doctor, and Mrs. W. I'm sure then, Ma'am, a gentleman farmer. Farmer he I've

seen you

most public might be; but, as to the gentleman, places ? we will say no more on that head. Mrs. H. I have certainly lived The parson was the only one of the much in public life, Madam, but I group who could speak English, yet have never been any where since

soon found he was every thing but I have had this face. what he ought to be ; and the apo- Mrs. W'. Dearee me! I doesn't unthecary-doctor was so very clever derstand you, Ma'am! Why can that I found it would be totally im- one change one's face ? possible to trust my soul or my body Mrs. #. No necessity for that; with either of them; and to me, who surely you know one's face changes wished to set myself down for the of its own accord. (smiling) rest of my life, this idea was par- Mrs. W. Why, to be sure, every ticularly comfortable.

body don't carry their years alike. Friend. But what could they be (Bridling up) who could recommend you to such a Now the finest fun of all was, that place ?

I was the youngest looking in the Mrs. H. Why only a lady and company, except the daughter of gentlemen who had tried it, and the people of the house. boarded there,

Mrs. W. But certainly, Ma'am, Friend. I'm astonished ! What I've seen you at Court. (This sort of people could they he? crowned all. Goodness, thought 1, Mrs. H. Very clever and very gen- where could you

be stuck up there, teel; ay, you may stare; don't you good woman.) know many people, especially clever Mrs. H. I fancy not, Ma'am, ones, like to be the head of their (smiling, for I suppose she thought, company ? That was their case; old or young, one must appear there.) there was good eating and drinking. It is now above twenty years since cards, talking and laughing, every I was last there, and ten years ago one easy in their circumstances, and I don't think any one there would that was called society ; but not have remembered me till they had heiog that society I coveted, of sen- heard my name. sible, well-informed people, shut up I suppose she thought the deuce in the country where I could not was in me, for sticking to it, that command or get at better, you can- I was old and altered. not wonder that I walked off as soon Miss S. Dear me! if you are so as possible.

altered as you say, Ma'am, how Friend. No, in truth, but yet I amazingly handsome you must have should think there might be places been; so handsome as you now are, found where you would meet such and with such an uncommon beausociety as might be called society. tiful elegant figure.

Mrs. H. I have tried it so long Mrs. H. My dear Miss Simpson, and failed, both in town and coun- I thank you greatly for your comto pursue ?

pliment, but I perfectly agree with

science I can't tell; but he looked at Mrs. Rowe.

me as if he would have eaten me

with a grain or two of Lot's wife. Come, gentle age, to me thou dost ap

Friend. Well, but now, my friend, pear No cruel object of regret or fear;

tell me, what is the order of the day

for this Hermit's life you are going Thy stealing step I unreluctant see, Nor would avoid, or wish to iy from

Mrs. H. Thus situated as you perthee.

ceive, near all the parks, and most But still age is age ; a sensible of my old friends still left me in Lonwoman will be the first to perceive don, these apartments I occupy upon its advances, and it is our own fault a plan that leaves my time as comalone if age ever appears ridiculous, pletely my own as I can wish. I when by false disguises, and aping shall, therefore, if I meet with agreeto be young, she renders herself so ;

able people at the tables of my otherwise, poor thing! how can she friends, invite them to come and eat help having been born a great while Hermit's fare with me. If I meet ago; but when she thus tries to such as I do not like, I shall ask conceal what everyone else per.. them no such question. I shall roam ceives, then lies common sense em- about-see every thing I can likebalmed in a bed of roses. This avoid every thing cannot. Of created a langh.

which rambles I sball ever wish Well, Ma'am, says one of the you, my dear Friend, to partake. gentlemen, you have put common Friend. Most assuredly, I shall sense into a sweet situation, however. ever be happy to attend your sum

Mrs. H. If they were not artificial mons. But pray do you know that roses, Sir; but even in real roses, you have got a Brother Hermit in that is not her place; and, as Heaven London, a very clever fellow whocreated everything in its proper

ever he is? place, I am one who wish to keep Mrs. H. Yes, I met with his book them there as much as possible. t'other day, but I don't intend to be

Bless me! says the prig of a par- acquainted with him, though he lives son, what a scrambling now a days would your system occasion, Ma'am, Friend. Why so ; methinks he if that was to be the case; as much would be an acquisition to our strollas we shall have at the last day, ing parties. when we are all looking for our Mrs. H. No, no,-let him keep limbs. Hey, Doctor! and some, to his parties, and I keep to perhaps, that you and your frater- mine. Besides, he lives too much nity may have dissected, and can't in the great world for me ; 'tis too be found. (Laughing at his own wit) late now for me to re-enter those

Mrs. H. There I differ with you, scenes, and you know I was always Sir, I dont imagine there will be most dreadfully afraid of your lady any such fuss; for as it is Heaven's and gentlemen authors; and never appointment, and as God is not the wish to encounter any of them but author of confusion, so I think there through the booksellers and the will be none but what is occasioned

circulating libraries, where ! may in the minds of those who can't so return them without any further readily find their hearts and their trouble, be pleased with their comaccounts in their right places. pany whilst I may, and return them

This gave a check to the Parson's at once if I like them not. wit, whether it gave any to his con

So near me,



" Jo voluptatis regno virtus non potest consistere."--CICERO.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I LAY beneath the shade of spreading trees
In silence and in solitude: the sun
Cast his last smile along the ocean's cheek,
And hasten'd 'neath the wave to seek the couch
Of timid Twilight, who from his embrace
Rush'd, with the blushes still upon her brow,
To seek a shelter in the cloudless skies.
And, having heard her tale, the heav'ns themselves
Blush'd still more deeply at their sun's rude acts.
The birds sang farewell carols to the day,
And sought their mossy pillows. The bright streams
Flow'd calmly by, as moments well employ'd,
And scarcely stirråd the reeds which, in their course,
Sprang verdantly and wild. The winds were hush’d,
And could not shake the dew from violets,
Whose tender forms hung fondly o'er the stream,
And whose blue eyes seem'd gazing on each wave
That lazily pursued its silent course
Beneath the light of autumn's dying smile.
I gaz'd on nature's visage with delight,
Until my eyes grew languid at the view
Of her mute beauties; and my soul resign'd
Its conquer'd energies to powerful sleep.
Two forms appear'd before me in a dream,
And both were beautiful; but; Oh! they were
Dissimilar as twilight and the noon.
The one was habited in spotless white :
A loose and flowing robe was thrown across
The meek and quiet beauties of her form;
Her face alone was open to the sight,
And that was mild and placid as the stream
That near her calmly slumber'd. On her brow
Were mingled shades of tenderness and grace,
And truth and feeling, and kind heartedness.
She moved along, majestic as the swan,
Over a tranquil river. Then I turn'd
To gaze upon the other, who advanc'd,
Clad in a sun-bright garb which barely reach'd
Her 'well-formed ancle, and through which her limbs,
Of nature's fine proportions, dimly shone;
Like lilies thro' a thinly-lattic'd bow'r
When daylight's soft and parting glances cast
A pale red tinge upon them; her brown hair
Was bound with living roses, which were torn
From the dark forehead of an Arab youth
Who once had follow'd her, and died with grief
That he could not obtain her. Her blue
Was dark as night, but sparkled with the fire

That shines not in the temple of true love :
And in her hand she bore a golden wand,
Surmounted by a diamond, so bright
That all who gaz'd on it with earnest eyes
Were dazzled by the lustre of the gem.
The first, in silence, beckon'd me to follow ;



But I was young, and could not find delight
In calm and loveless eyes. The other plac'd
Before mine eyes her light and glitt'ring wand,
And instantly I felt my brain turn round;
Impellid by passion's whirlwind,- I had fallin,
But that her arms, white as unspotted snow,
Sustain'd my weight. She strained me to her breast,
And, O! I felt her heart against mine own
Throb with voluptuous transport and delight.
She spoke ; and then my lost, lost soul drank in
The music of her words; and, like the swan,
Seem'd to die with it. "I will follow thee,”.
I cried, “ where'er thou rov'st!"-She led the way;
And, as I wander'd where the river's banks
Sloped gently to the tide, I look'd around
And saw the form that I had left
Frowning full on me; whilst a crystal tear
Trembled beneath her eyelid, and then fell
(Like dew from heav'n) upon a rose's breast.
But I could not recede. My lovely guide
Still lur'd me onward thro' enchanting yales
And smiling fields, which yet retain'd the bloom
Of vanish'd summer. And we came at last,
With panting bosoms, to an ancient wood
(Like that of Thessaly, which th' exil'd bard
Has by his verse immortaliz'd"); for there
A foaming river dash'd resistless on,
And many smaller streams rush'd o'er their banks
To join their ancient sire. We journey'd still,
Until the sound of falling waters died
In the still lap of distance. I was so hush'd,
That, as we onward trod, I heard no sound
Except the beating of my own wild heart.
The solitude and beauty of the place
Awoke desire within me, and I rush'd
To clasp my fair conductress--but she fled;
And, with her bland and fascinating smile,
Still lured me forward. Then, at length, we reach'd
The outskirts of the forest; where a voice,
In accents of entreaty, cried “ Return!"
The sound of that sweet voice fell on my heart,
And died there ;-for again all sounds repos’d.
My resolution waver'd; and a dread
Came like the chill of death across my soul,
I turn'd to fly; but the fair one came
And plac'd once more her wand before mine eyes :
My senses fled; and when, at length, I woke
To reason and perception, I beheld
A scene of lonely horror. Not a tree,
Nor bush, nor flow'r, nor solitary shrub
Gave life or verdure to this wilderness,
Througb which a waste of blood-red waters flow'd,
And ghastly figures stalk'd across my path,
Devouring human hearts. My soul grew sick.
I strove to free myself from her strong grasp,
But strength had left me; and she bore me on

[ocr errors]

• Est nemus Hæmoniæ, prærupta quod undique claudit

Silva : vocant Tempe : per quæ Penêus ab imo
Effusus Pindo spumosis volvitur undis.



Until we gain'd a steep and dangerous rock,
Up which she sprang and draggd me like a weed
Which some rude torrent hurries to its fall.
We reach'd the summit, which impervious clouds
Envelop'd with the majesty of night.
No objects to the eye were visible;
But, Oh! in that brief moment my dark soul
Gaz'd from the lonely precipice, and saw
A scene of horror, solitude and death.
I stood a while in darkness and in dread,
When suddenly the clouds dispers’d to nought,
And, where I turn'd me, desolation sat
And frown'd o'er all in sullen loneliness.
“Here must our journey end,” with alter'd voice
Cried my conductress, “and now turn and view
The star which thou hast followed." I obey'd :
Her features then had undergone a change
As awful as the scenery; and her eyes
Were deeply sunk, but still retain'd some fire;
Yet not of love, and languishment, and bliss,
As they were wont: no! Brooding vengeance cast
From those pale eyes death's lightning on my soul.
I shriek'd with terror. “ Fool!" she cried, “thou add'st
Another reptile to the endless list
Of my lone victims. Thousands have pursu'd
My steps that lead to gloom and death. But know,
That since the sun first cast his brilliant rays
To light a world as pleasureless as vain,
None have obtain'd me yet. And thou, a slave,
A low, ambitious mortal would'st aspire
To win the goddess, PLEASURE, to thine arms.
Look down, proud youth ! the stream that glides below
Has gain'd its waters from my victims' blood;
And ihine must add another to its waves.
See'st thou yon Dæmon sitting 'neath the rock
With folded' arms? He now awaits thy heart
To make his rude insatiate repast.
Thy time is come.” She ceas'd, and pluck'd a thorn
From out the roses which adorn'd her brow,
(For Pleasure's roses bear a poison'd one,)
Then thrust it in my side, and hursd me from
The dreadful precipice. Against a crag.
That jutted out below I should have fallin,
But felt myself supported by an arm
Of kindness and of power. "I turn'd and saw
The silent form whose warning I had scorn'd.
She wore the same mild smile and placid look,
And ev'ry feature bore th' external stamp
Of real, true, and fix'd internal worth.
“ Thou hast despis'd my counsels, mortal youth,"
She said aloud, “ but I can save thee still.
Dangers surround thee here at every step;
But lean on me, and thou may'st brave them all.”.
She led me over sharp projecting rocks,
Which mortal feet had never trod before,
Until we came to where a river cast
Its troubled waters in the stony laps
of far outstretching crags:- Now follow me !"
She cried, and with a sylph-like airiness
Straight glided in the current. I obey'd ;
And, like a blest protecting Deity,
She buoy'd me safely till we guia'd the shore.

« السابقةمتابعة »