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ward-bound vessel, that he left behind one who would sorrow for his absence.
Sometimes, also, leaning over the taffrail of the ship, he sighed to remember her sweetly-given promise to cross the ocean at his side. Ah ! Sir Henry! you are not garnering up pleasant memories for
your · May of life is fallen into the sere and yellow leaf, you will need that some more manly and virtuous deed should adorn your youth !
Little necessity have I to tell how, in after-months, the Quaker priestess and her fair daughter also sought refuge from English cares, in that ideal realm, our New World ;' for, standing on the wharf, you witnessed their arrival.
BEING A CONNECTING LINK IN THE CHAIN.
In olden time, Nature abhorred a vacuum: now-a-days, she holds in equal contempt all lines which bound not that mystic figure ycleped a circle; at least, so teach poets, philosophers, and Cosmos himself.
Round and round through space, 'far as the universe spreads its flaming wall, countless worlds describe their majestic curves; ages on ages of time “circle away;? winds and storms fly swift along a rotary course; even the tiny dew-drop wheels its way from sky to earth, and earth to sky.
The lover places this magic shape about the maiden's finger, to seal the holiest vow lips can utter; it rests on the tyrant's head, to symbolize a nation's degradation.
Circles of acquaintances compose the whole frame-work of society, and as Time completes these human rings, she hangs them up in her musty halls for the use of novelists, historians, and posterity in toto.
You know, very well, who are united in the circle I have selected from her treasures for the present lunch, and if, like poor Oliver, you ask for more, it is ready to your palate.
Immediately after leaving the wharf, Sir Henry, Mark, and Wendall parted company.
It was late when Mark returned to his home, for he had been promenading along the shore, and over the rough hills, eagerly desiring from Night the gift of sleep she bestowed freely on all that met his gaze: not all, however; for as in the course of his walk he had Sir Henry's house in sight, through the open casements he perceived its master rapidly pacing his apartment. Yet he gave the troubled tenant but a passing thought, because his mind was filled with another image, even that of the fair Icelander, till whispering how useless were all his speculations, he coaxed himself homeward, and silently entered the room from which he had gone
forth. The tall oaken clock ticked loudly in its corner; a cupboard
where plate was displayed, looked in the dim light like a huge ghost armed with skulls; stools and high-backed chairs were shadowy; nor could Mark be sure of the stability of a table, whose polished surface shone in beams that penetrated the little diamond panes; and the silver candle-sticks above the Dutch tiles, whose emblems he knew by heart, wore the same uncertain aspect. Being of
brave temper, he was not startled to find, on farther inspection, that a figure of human form reclined in the deep windowseat, albeit it was quite past the family hour for retiring, and verging on the time spirits are said to select for their visitations to earth.
Drawing cautiously near, he saw the spectre wore his sister's dress of white, and curls of gold; so he knelt, intending to waken her with a kiss; but a smile parting her lips, she repeated the name of the English knight.
Very angry would Mark have been a few hours before, though now he had no heart to chide her, or to break the thread of her pleasant dream ; for, thought he: ‘She may never have another vision so bright; and what is real life, after all, but a dream, with hopes and fears unsubstantial as its tissue of gossamer ?:
And if Nannie had bestowed her affections unwisely, surely the night had revealed to him that his own might not be invincible, or always under the empire of reason : thus reflecting, he rested his head on the cushion where hers was pillowed, while years not yet knit up by the rosy Hours, opened before him in sombre colors.
One of our most gifted painters has depicted with the fascination of art, that castle-in-the-air structure toward which youth eagerly stretches its hands.
But not so fair as he has shadowed forth, does it always hover in the distance; clouds black as the raven's wing oftentimes envelop its turrets; storms rage around, till, terrified at the prospect he has conjured up, the gazer fainteth, like Saul before the shade of Samuel.
God alone can know how oft fear for the future weighs down the long lashes of the bride, as she rests her head on her lover's arm: how the proud step and haughty bearing of the youth crossing his father's threshold to make for himself a name, are assumed to conceal the bitter doubts with which he meditates things to
The loud-voiced clock telling in impatient tones to the tenants of Time how rapidly their lease wore out, was unheard by Mark, while his imagination descried images of terror across the pathway of those he loved ; and when its iron hammer drove the twelve nails that fastened the departed day in its coffin, starting with a shudder from the dismal picture before his fancy, he stole quietly away as the new day entered in its swaddling bands of gray, decorated with the stars of its order.
Nannie was still wrapt in a deep sleep, known to innocence alone; and I doubt if Una teaching wisdom to fauns and satyrs of fairydom, bore an aspect of more angelic purity than floated
about the dreaming damsel, who believed kindness and generosity ruled all the world!
The knowledge that her lips had unconsciously spoken his name, might have cheered Sir Henry through those dreary hours in which he thought on things that were, and things that should have been; for very dear to him was Nannie's gentle, yielding spirit.
She had no more sympathy with deceit than a parallel line with a labyrinth : Sir Henry might as well hope to see the Northern Lights illuminate a storm-cloud, as Nannie's love repose on one she dared not trust.
Some such idea being impressed on his mind, he was seeking to prove that it would be needless to tell her the whole story of his life; but though he had a very logical turn, and could follow the by-ways and high-ways of philosophy, he was just now looking through her clear eyes, and even the reductio ad absurdum’refused to aid him. So he strode from end to end of his apartment, warring with himself, with Dorcas, and finally with Nannie's goodness. Let us leave him to bind off ( as a knitter might say) this chapter with the dark thread of his reflections, and we will betake ourselves to Zelda, begging her to embroider us a bouquet from the silks of her genius.
Far, far away, where the green meadows lie,
The sun is slowly sinking in the west;
Thoughts, gushing like some fountain-stream,
me comes the gushing joy
Which filled my spirit when a boy. Mission Gardon, Mission San José, Oct. 1857.
I SPENT part of the winter of in the city of New Orleans for my health's sake.
My life there was generally monotonous and devoid of incident, as the life of a valetudinarian would naturally be — with one extraordinary exception: an adventure so strange, and even fearful, that if the reader will bear with my perchance tedious style of narration, I shall faithfully relate it herein, convinced that the matter will prove of interest to the curious and reflective, in spite of the faults of manner in its historian.
The Franco-American population of New Orleans retain many curious customs and habits of their father (or rather mother) land, scarcely influenced by the lapse of time, the differences of the government and institutions under which, or the essentially antagonistic race among whom, they dwell, and of which they are properly part and parcel.
The tenacity with which they have adhered to their mothertongue, in the midst of the most intimate relations of every kind with a people of totally different speech, is one — perhaps the most curious instance of this.
Another is their peculiar mode of passing the Sabbath: with open bazaars, race-courses, theatres, and all the haunts of everyu day life, buzzing in unison with the chimes of the church-going bells.'
They have also their special festal observances, religious and patriotic: their games, entertainments, social codes and habits, methods of educating their children, cooking, wines, hours of meals; ay, even their dress, the cut of their beards, and the fashion of their salutations- their “yea and nay'
are all decidedly foreign, as well in the families whose living heads were born beneath the skies of France, as among those whose Frankish or Gallic ancestors sleep for three generations in the funereal vaults of the Crescent City.
I have said that their games are peculiar. There is one particularly, with which my story is intimately connected, that demands in consequence a special notice.
There is the game known, on a limited scale, by children every where in Christendom, as • Loto;' but among the French Creoles of New Orleans, played publicly for money (especially by the lower classes) under the name of Kino;' and the modus operandi of 'Kino · being patent to my narrative, I beg the reader's indulgence while I attempt a description of the only establishment