Page images


fervent piety in the house of affliction, on the bed of suffering, animating the bereaved parent, the widow, the sufferer; while a mere verbal recognition of their blessings, and often scarcely that, was uttered by the rich, the vigorous, the happy.

A more healthy frame of mind was engendered by these convictions; reverie gave place to activity, gratitude banished idle despondency, and content succeeded to repinings.

Christmas had come, the “Yule log” been burned, the tenantry feasted, and once more it was “ New Year's Eve.” The ground was crisped with frost, but the trees were not not laden with snow; garlands of variegated lamps hung suspended froin their naked branches, apeing leaves and blossoms with their green and varied hues; the portals of Arlham Hall were open, and the ruddy hue of the fire within gleamed cheerfully from the vestibule. Torches, affixed to stakes at intervals all up the avenue, threw their murky glare around, and in the distance was seen a huge bonfire on Arlham Green, blazing furiously aloft, and tinting the sky with a crimson hue, while its lurid smoke might be traced for miles, waving in fantastic wreaths. The moon and silent stars looked peacefully down in their cold frosty brilliancy on the busy throng that moved in and out the all, and scattered themselves up the avenue, making the hard ground echo again as they tramped vigorously to keep themselves warm, while their voices rose and fell in a deep humming cadence.

Hark! that is a distant hurrah! And now the merry bells of Arlham Church chime in a glad peal. Nearer and nearer come the cheers, louder and louder swell the chimes. And now we can distinguish the far-off tramp of horses and roll of carriage wheels, and the words

“ Welcome to the Lord of Arlham and our noble Lady Mary!"

Long life and happiness to the bride and bridegroom!"

The carriage sweeps up to the door, the surrounding groups divide and arrange themselves as best they may, and Walter Falkland springs from the vehicle, and hands out his bride. They have just returned from their wedding jaunt.

The neighbouring gentry are assembled within to welcome and congratulate, and many to wonder at the now first observed and yet marvellous beauties of the bride- beauties developed by all the new-born energies, hopes, and aspirations awakened by piety and reciprocated affection.

"A happy new year to you, my Mary!" whispered her husband, drawing her fondly to his side, as the turret clock slowly and solemnly tolled forth the midnight hour.

She bent her lips to his hand as she murinured, “ Under your influence and guidance, dearest, and with the blessing of God, I trust it will be a new year to me!” And it was so, and the precursor of

of increasing usefulness and happiness; as a wife and mother Mary had no room in her heart for aught but affection and deep gratitude,



BY MRS. ABDY. She lies in slumber calm and deepOh! do not fear to break her sleep: Glance not in timid dread around, Tread not with faint, uncertain sound; Speak not in low and faltering tone. Advance !--the spell is o'er her thrown; Sleep will not yet her eyes forsake; Advance !--she will not stir nor wake. Gaze on, undoubting, undismayed : No " drowsy syrups" lend their aid, Dimly and balefully to shed Deceptive quiet round her head. Ye shall not see that sleep depart With fearful thrill and sudden start; But her awakening smile shall be Calm as the smile of infancy. Gaze on-soft sleep yet veils her eyes. Hark! hark! the stormy night-winds rise : The ocean, that at dawn of day Like a sinooth lake in stillness lay, Now foams in wrath ; the billows pour With angry tumult on the shore ; The oak-trees in the tempest shake, And yet she doth not stir nor wake. See ye yon stranger by her side ? He can that sleep control and guide He can its instant flight command; And by the waving of his handAye, even by his voiceless thoughtHe can reverse the spell he wrought. Lo, while I speak, his will and glance Have roused her from her death-like trance. She wakes, but does not wake to bear The burden of her former care. The sharp and racking throb of pain, The dull bewilderment of brain Have pass'd: a sweet and quiet calm Spreads through her frame its soothing balm, And with meek joy, in voice subdued, She breathes to Ileaven her gratitude. Ye who to view this scene are led, Regard it not with puerile dread; Nor make a boon so dear and blest The subject of a mocking jest Nor let your thankfulness of heart Lead you that homage to impart To man, which can be fitly shown To man's Almighty Friend alone. Heaven hath in mercy deigned to save This gentle sufferer from the gráveHeaven bath its kind preserving aid By mortal agency conveyed ; But he, empowered to do its will, Boasts in himself no strength, no skill To work the feeblest deed of love, Save as implanted from above. And should we in our future days Distrust God's good and gracious ways, Oh may swift thought recall the past The stormy sea, the raging blast; And how, amid their wild affray, We turned to where our loved one lay, And watched, in wonder bushed and deep, The quiet of her healing sleep!

A N E S C A P E.

(From the French of Dumas.)


A short time after the 18th Brumaire, there istence continued to declare) pure and innocent, was a revolution in Brittany and La Vendée. was watched with that intent jealousy which is The First Consul, anxious to obtain peace, so peculiarly the characteristic of a Corsican employed the likeliest measures to procure tran- husband. This lady was pleased with De Beauquillity ; but he tried to quell the disturbances vais-De Beauvais was pleased with the lady; in the west in vain. At this period a cadet of their mutual satisfaction with each other did not the Maillé family was sent by the Chouans from decrease with the familiarity that sprang from Brittany .to Saumur, in order to establish a their domesticating together like brother and chain of intelligence between certain individuals sister; perhaps it increased in degree, for love of that town and the leaders of the royalist in- grows rapidly in the soil of a prison. On the surrection. Informed of this enterprise, the gentleman's side it assuredly did; but it has police of Paris had despatched agents to seize erer remained in obscurity whether he dared to the young emissary on his arrival at Saumur ; reveal to the lady the nature of his affection. where he was, in truth, arrested on the rery day All that is known is, that the commandant's he reached it, in the disguise of a mariner. worst passions were aroused; he suddenly Having, however, calculated the cbances of his deemed it his duty to exercise rigorous treatundertaking, his papers and passports were so ment towards his erewhile favoured prisoner, thoroughly in form, that his captors were afraid who was then confined to a turret, put upon they had mistaken their man; and the Cheva- black bread and water, and all the other unlier de Beauvais played his part so cunningly, pleasant accessories of captivity: that he was very nearly regaining his liberty ; This turret, situated under the platform, was but the alguazils preferring to commit an arbi- vaulted with stone, the walls being of desperate trary act to letting escape an individual to thickness, and it overlooked the steepest part of whose capture the minister seemed to attach the precipice. When poor De Beauvais saw the such importance, imprisoned him until such impossibility of an evasion, he fell into those retime as superior authority had decided on what veries, which are both the despair and the conwas to be done with him. He was therefore solation of a prisoner. He occupied himself closely guarded, and transferred to the Château with those trifles that become to such as are de l'Escarpe, whose name indicates its situation. similarly situated grand affairs; he counted the This fortress, placed upon rocks of immense hours as well as the days; he began his apprenheight, bas precipices for ramparts, and chasms ticeship to captivity, and with it learnt to apprefor moate : on every side the approach is by ciate liberty and the open air. At the end of steep and abrupt passes, the rocks rising up fifteen days he was seized with that craving like gigantic spikes in all quarters round it; fever for escape which stimulates the captive to whilst, like almost all old castellated buildings, the most daring sublimities, whose wonderful the principal entrance was by a drawbridge. results seem to us as inexplicable as they are The commandant of the prison, delighted in real. having the charge of a man of rank of agreeable One morning his jailor, who had the care of manners, who expressed himself well, and who bringing him food, instead of retiring as soon as was more than commonly accomplished, received he had placed the meagre allowance beside him, his captive as a providential boon, sent to relieve seemed to hesitate at the door, crossing his his ennui. The prisoner was therefore put upon arms, and regarding him significantly. Hitherto his parole. Now, though De Beauvais was an the conversation between them had been brief, honourable fellow, he was also a very handsome confining itself to few things, and never comone. In addition to a fine figure, a bold and menced by the custodian. The chevalier was resolute air, and a fascinating address, he pos- therefore much surprised to hear this man ad. sessed great muscular strength. Well set, agile, dress him : “ Monsieur,” said he, “ you have enterprising, and loving danger, he seemed no doubt some reason for assuming the name of formed to become the leader of a party.

Citizen Lelue, but that is no affair of mine. It The commandant assigned to him the most is all one to me whether you call yourself Peter commodious apartment in the citadel - admitted or Paul. This I know-winking his eyehim to his table--and at first did nothing but “ that you are the Chevalier de Beauvais, cousin boast of his Vendean captive. But he was mar- of the Duchess de Maillé. Well ?” And he ried and-a Corsican. His wife, young and looked triumphantly at the prisoner, who seeing beautiful, and (as De Beauvais during his ex- I himself incarcerated beyond hope of release, did

[ocr errors]

rope to it.”

not think it would make things worse if he con- self through the opening, and commenced his fessed his real name.

descent, step by step, between heaven and earth, Suppose I were the Chevalier de Beauvais," holding the cords with the strength of a giant. said he,

" of what use is the knowledge of the All went well: at the last step but one-he fact to you?”

knew their number, and had counted them as Oh, of all the use in the world,” replied he descended-a thought struck him as he was the turnkey, in a low voice. Listen! I have about to let himself drop down. He stretched received money to facilitate your escape ; but if out his foot to search for the ground, but it did I were to be suspected of the slightest thing of not reach it. His situation was rather an emthe sort, I should be shot without a moment's barrassing one for a man perspiring with fatigue, warning. However, to gain a little gold I don't perplexed as to the distance that might remain mind meddling in this matter. There, mon- for him to lear, and playing a game for life or sieur, is a little key” (taking a small file from death. However, the space from the ground his pouch):

" with this you can saw through could not be very great, and he was on the point the iron bars of the window. By our lady, it is of dropping down, when a frivolous cause prenot very convenient,” added he, looking at the vented him. His cap fell off-he listened for narrow aperture which admitted light into the the sound it would make when it touched the tower-chamber. It was a sort of bay-window, ground, for it was not light, but heavy—but he constructed above the parapet that ran round heard nothing. Vague fears and suspicions the outside of the turret, and among those large arose within him; what if the commandant had projecting stones which served both to support planned a snare for him ? What if beneath and ornament the battlements. “Mind you him gaped some swallowing cbasm, some pesaw away enough of the iron to admit of your rilous pit, destined to be his grave? A prey to passing through, monsieur.”

incertitude, he resolved on deferring his attempt Never fear--I'll do so," said De Beauvais. till another night. His unusual strength enabled

But,” added the man, “ leave the highest him to remount the ladder-a far greater labour bar untouched, in order that you may fix your than the descent-but when he once more rested

on the stone-work outside the window, it “ And the rope-where is it?"

was nearly gone.

Presently the feeble light of “ Here ;” throwing him the desired article, morning began to show the real state of affairs, knotted into steps to form a ladder : " it is made and casting his eyes below, he saw that between of linen, to lead them to suppose it your own the last step of the ladder and the jagged points fabrication; and it is exactly the right length. of the rocks, there was at least a distance of a When you have got to the last step, drop down hundred feet ! gently: the rest is your own affair. Perhaps “ Thank you, commandant,” said he, with you may find some of your friends in attend-constitutional coolness--" I owe you one !" ance to ensure your flight. I need not tell you Reflecting on this dreadful and diabolical strathat there is a sentinel to the right, so you had tagem, he still judged it necessary to re-enter better choose a dark nighi, and watch your op- the tower. He left the ladder of linen dangling portunity, by which you may escape a bullet.” from the window, to make the jailer believe that

Very well, my friend,” said the happy pri- their plot had succeeded ; and crouching quietly soper; I shall not rot here, be assured. behind the door, awaited his arrival, holding in

“Ah! as well rot here as elsewhere,” said the his hand the largest and thickest bar he had turnkey, with an idiotic smile.

sawn from the window. Nor was it long ere De Beauvais took the remark as only one of the turnkey came earlier, indeed, than was his those stupid comments which escape from the wont — doubtless in the persuasion that the ignorant or the apathetic, the expectation of re- vengeance of his employer had been accomgaining his freedom inaking him so merry that plished. He entered, whistling; but no sooner be scarcely knew what he was about. He set to had he taken a few steps into the room, than work on the instant, and at the close of day had De Beauvais struck him so violent a blow on sawn through the bars. Fearing a visit from the head, that the traitor fell like a mass, withthe commandant, he concealed his work by co-out uttering a single cry. The chevalier, stripvering over the cuttings with crumbs of bread, ping him of his apparel, arrayed himself in it, rubbed over with rust to give them the colour and imitating the gait and manner of his jailer of iron. But he might have spared himself the as nearly as he could, proceeded down stairs. trouble, the commandant came not. With that Thanks to the early hour, he met nobody; and concentrated impatience and profound agitation without any difficulty effected his exit from the which dramatize the life of a captive, he chateau. awaited for a favourable night; and at length, one dark autumnal evening, he cut through the remaining portions of the bars, fixed firmly the ladder of linen, and towards morning, when the only is it generally applied

to the knowledge of

Education has various systems, though to one sentinels were most likely to be sleepy, if not various facts and rules, acquired by years of toil and asleep—when the last sounds of the patrol had application, perhaps forgotten as soon as known. passed—and when the nearest watchman had | Ah, wise parent, teach your child to think ; then and gone out of reach of hearing-periods which a then only will he be educated, and equal to the emercaptive knows almost intuitively—he forced him- Igencies of life.--Evelyn Stuart.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Sulleply the sun hath sunk

To bis ocean tomb;
And the night is gathering fast

With a boding gloom :
Cloud on cloud, in grim array,
Blackly blot the Heaven's way.
If danger threats with closing day,

Jehovah, aid !

Fisher, in thy fragile bark

Combating the wave,
With thy eldest-born beside,

Like a lion brave,
Couldst thou mark his dauntless eyes,
Lip from whence no colour flies,
Thine own heart would stoutly rise :

Jehovah, aid!

Hark! the solemn silence breaks,

And through every tree
Runs a shiver, as of dread,

Murmoring fearfully;
Through the tall grass creeps it low,

Timid flowers before it bow 7. Our hearts

dumb with dread: oh now,

Jehovah, aid!

Ah, thou fear'st not for thyself ;'

Spirit bold is thine :
But of dearest love and hope

Is thy boy the shrine ;
And ber afar thou dwellest on,
In that distant cot alone,
How she'll list the tempest moan !

Jehovah, aid! Oh, good God, thy pity, help,

We beseech and crave, For those who have their dearest ones

On the reckless wave : Behold their anguish, deep and dark ; Oh, then, guide the ship, the bark ; Let each vessel be an ark;

Jehovah, aid !

On the rocky ocean-waves

Wreaths of foam arise,
And their shaggy brows they toss

Higher toward the skies ;
Sea-birds flock with shrieking sound,
Settling on the billow's bound.
In the danger lurking round,

Jehovah, aid !

Hó! the blast is coming now

Ho! it sweeps along; Round-about, in-and-out,

Howls its demon song: See the trees, in wild affright, Wrestling with its fiendish might! Oh! throughout the coming night,

Jehovah, aid!

Thou, who hast not where to lay

Thy poor head to-night,
Awe-struck at the smiting blast,

Sinking in affright,
Deem not thyself a cast-away ;
ONE watcheth o'er thee night and day :
Lift thy voice, and pray, ob, pray

! Jehovah, aid !

Like to feathers on the wind

Giant boughs are tossed ; And the crash of falling trees

In the din is lost: Over all is darkness spread, Darkness deep, as know the dead ! Oh, throughout this night of dread,

Jehovah, aid !

Mighty God! oh, shield, oh, shield

Through this awful night!
Let thy saving influence sweep

On the whirlwind's might!
We are sinners; yet, oh hear;
Blunt the lightning's fiery spear-
Let the wave thy fetters wear,

Jehovah God!

God of Heaven ! what a blaze

Dashes through the gloom ! Such a glare might rouse the corpse,

Mouldering in the tomb ! Lightning banners 'thwart us fly, Thunder roars around the sky, Human hearts with horror die !

Jehovah, aid!

Bright stars ! that beam upon us like the eyes

of watchful seraphim, in your clear rays, So pure and beautisul, a power lies

To soothe and cheer, when in the dusty ways of the hard-toiling day the soul grows faint,

And the heart weary. As we look on ye,
Gentle reprovers, hush'd is ev'ry plaint

And fretful murmur of our misery.
Ye seem to say that He, whose mighty hand

Form'd you in loveliness, regards us still,
Though we have oft neglected his command,

And stain'd our soul with falsehood, doubt, and Ye whisper of our birthright in the skies, And lift our thoughts from earth and all its vanities.


Like a chain of ocean alps,

Billows rear their height Madly upward, and the shore

Lash in monster might! Bellowing through mysterious caves, Forward, backward, rush those waves. Thou, to whom they crouch as slaves,

Jehovah, aid !





“A poet could not sleep aright;

For his soul kept too much light
Under his eyelids for the night."


Many years ago, in a green, quiet field, not | lingered in the far-west, and looked as though far from Basingstoke, sat a poet with a book. they were fringed with gold. Sometimes he looked upwards into the clear • Cloud-land !” murmured his companion, blue sky, or watched the cloud-shadows as they with the same wandering smile. "Yes, it is passed over the waving grass; and sometimes very beautiful!" he looked down and read, or rather, seemed to Pleasant looked the little sitting-room at the read. He was about the middle size ; of a pale Rectory, with the crimson curtains drawn close, complexion, with grey, dreamy-looking eyes, and sweeping the floor ; and the fire-for it was and a countenance of intense thonghtfulness, now the middle of autumn, when fires begin to Presently a poor woman drew near, with a baby look comfortable-blazing cheerfully on the in her arms. The poet was struck with her hearth, as the young Rector said, they wanted wretched appearance, and instinctively felt for no other light to talk by : but he had a better his purse, in order to relieve her ; but forgetting reason, and remembered with thoughtful kindhis benevolent purpose even in the very act, he ness how the eyes of his companion grew every withdrew his hand and smiled, while the woman day weaker and weaker, and seemed, to use his passed on with a disappointed air. But the own words, as if thousands of bright stars were smile was not one of mockery; just so had he constantly dancing before thein; and yet, when smiled upon the birds and the flowers, and the he shut them, they ached still more, while the little children as they stopped to gaze on him: pain appeared to penetrate into his very brain. so that a casual observer might have supposed “Do you recollect, William," said the Rector, him to be what he was not-a happy man. All “ the firet verses that we ever wrote, and sent to around him were lights, and forms, and tints, the Gentleman's Magazine;' and how and sounds of beauty ; among which he sat like anxious we were until we heard that they were one who has been born blind. They called accepted; and how beautiful they looked to forth no delight, and awoke no train of sweet us in print?” association : the golden chords of memory and “Yes," replied his companion. "Fame, like imagination were jarred and out of tune, and a heaven, seemed nearer then than it has ever dark shadow hung over the genius which had done since !" once reflected back the loveliness of nature as “I remember that yours was entitled 'Verses in a poetic mirror.

to a Lady weeping, and that it was much Evening came slowly on, with all those indi- praised at the time." cations and accompaniments which he had im- “How long ago it seems ! Let me see, we mortalized in times past: but the poet still sat, were then at—" with his head bowed down upon his bosom, like “ Winchester." one who sleeps without dreaming, until aroused “Yes, Winchester; and, what's his name?by a cheerful voice at his side. It was the I always forget names--wrote with us. But he Rector of Winslade, himself something of a poet, died, I think ?” besides being a man of profound and unques- Many years since,” replied the Rector. tionable learning and abilities. He had now “ Poor fellow ! but then it was for the bestcome from his study and his Greek transla- everything is for the best. I wish-" tions, in search of his guest; and even as he You wish that you could always remember spoke he passed his hand over his thoughtful to think thus; and so do I too, Williamn, with all brow, as if to clear away some of the erudite my heart ; but it is not in human nature." perplexities which still haunted him. “ It is " What is human nature ?" asked the poet. getting late,” said he, “and the dew begins to There was no answer, and both fell into a fall : let us return."

reverie, during which it was strange to watch The poet arose, and followed him, without a the strongly marked profiles of the two friends, word.

dancing in the firelight on the opposite wainscoat. “How beautiful !” exclaimed the Rector, The Rector found it at all times difficult to mainpointing to the rose-coloured clouds which stilí tain a connected conversation with his guest, whose

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »