Page images
PDF
EPUB

daw,"

would

peep out from its embowering poet Wordsworth, he was attracted to shade.

this region as a place of residence, and Yonder, the small hamlet of " Rydal,” for many years remained, finding, in the and the village of " Ambleside," with its natural wildness and beauty of scenery, clustering roofs, pretty ornamental chim- enough to gratify his taste for long, solineys, and the beautiful, half-Gothic church tary rambles, plenty of retirement, and of St. Mary, with its symmetrical spire leisure for the pursuit of those abstruse rising towards the clear blue above, studies in which he delighted; while in greeted the sight; these and many more the select society of men of letters, gathobjects of beauty, artistically grouped, ered in the lake district during a portion assisted in filling out the picture before of the year, and in the indulgence of that us into one of most enchanting loveliness. noxious eastern drug, he found all the Longrigg Fell,” “ Rydal Head,” “Cat mental stimulus which his nature craved. Bell," and further on, “Lang-Dale Alas! that his splendid faculties were so Pikes,” with their sharp, dark outlines, obscured by that pernicious habit of opiand still farther distant, the giants of the um-eating! range, — “ Helvellyn,” and bold “Skid- Over yonder mountain road, seventeen

-form a background for the pic- miles away, lies "Keswick,” for many ture at once grand and imposing! years home of Robert Southey. Thus is

Below there at the right, now shut out this entire lake district full of associafrom view by its surrounding trees, stands tions connected with the lives of the po· Rydal Cottage,” for more than thirty ets and other men of genius, whose works pears the home of the poet Wordsworth. have enriched the domain of English litHis wife, who survived him nine years, and erature, and whose names (though attachbecame at last quite blind, continued to ed to them may come thoughts of some occupy the same home until her decease, imperfections and weaknesses) will for which occurred in 1859. A lovelier spot ages to come be a living power, operating for this poet's home could scarcely be upon the heart and intellect of their kind found! Eminently a bard of nature, so long as sound philosophy, cheery views whose deepest philosophy and highest as- of man and his desting, and love of napirations were drawn from the fresh ture in her varying moulds prevail. springs which this common mother opens Among these scenes have “met and only to those who seek her teachings lov- mingled” Coleridge, elder and younger, ingly and with reverent heart; here, in Wordsworth, Southey, De Quincy, Prothis quiet retreat, surrounded by some of fessor Wilson, Moore, Rogers, Lamb, the sweetest aspects which she wears, among and others, enjoying seasons of richer life a simple people, whose rustic habits and amid these beauties of nature so lavishly rural pursuits were not too homely to at- bestrewn, and through whom these charms tract his interest, and furnish themes for of natural scenery became better known study, — here he lived, and, from this and appreciated by the outer world. place, sent out into the world a large pro

Under the shadow of these guardian portion of all that he ever wrote. So mountains, and near the sweet lakes so much and so well did he observe the sur- much frequented in life, rest the mortal roundings of his locale that one cannot remains of Wordsworth, Southey, and take a stroll throughout the entire dis- Hartley Coleridge; not far distant still

meeting some object, or stands the lovely cottage, — fitly named looking upon some scene, immortalized by - Dove's Nest, once the abode of that

sweet daughter of song, Mrs. Hemans. A few miles above is “Knob Cottage,” Wilson's villa, crowning a height overoccupied by that wonderful scholar and looking the lake of Windermere, still reSet pitiable man, “ De Quincy,” during mains à beautiful monument to his skill probably the happiest years of his life. in planning, and taste in embellishing, a One of the first to recognize and truly country home, which, while living, he ocestimate the philosophical genius of the cupied during many summers.

trict without

his verse.

then that Christopher donned his “shoot- TO MY BROTHER, WHO LEFT US MARCH 20, ing-jacket,” and made the hills and vales

1863. ring with his cheery laugh, and the blue

By Mrs. E. Louisa Mather. waves cleave at the rapid strokes of his oars, wielded by such stalwart arms.

BROTHER, as I read thy letters, while the sun Here, too, lived poor Charles Lloyd, How the mists of time all gather, rolling back

sets o'er the lea, sweet poet and lovable man who, after

to Memory's sea ! years of domestic happiness, of intel e t. And the rainbow-tints of child-land span the ual and social life (to none more enjoyable

past's own sad abyss, than himself), was banished from this while I think of our last parting, of the tearbeautiful region by that dreadfal prostra

ful, silent kiss. tion of reason which, long before it came in its hopeless reality, wag maged to his In that land celestial, roaming, thinkest thou delicate sensibilities in fearful premoni- of earthly things, tion, “like the tramp of unseen footsteps How the birds of fancy soaring, fluttered on ever nearing,” yet still for some time de- their joyous wings? layed.

And in dreamland, wandering gladly, lifting At Ambleside, in one of the pleasant up our eyes with joy, stone cottages, still dwells Miss Mar- Thought we of our future, gayly, without shadtineau whose thought has so strongly in

ows or alloy ? fluenced many of the intellects of our

Oh! those birds of fancy, soaring, fell, full oft, countrymen. It is hard to think of her utter unbelief of the life and labors of the And those airy clouds of dreamland left behind

with shattered wing, Divine One, - she, whose soul is so no

them each a sting ; bly philanthropic, whose practical benev. But, dear brother, in that region, where thou olence is telling in improved condition

now dost safely rest, upon her own countrywomen ! But

Every bird of sweet, pure fancy surely finds a whatever doubt and regret may be felt

gladsome nest. (and few of her sex there are who do not feel both) in regard to the stand she has Thou hast seen our sainted mother, with a halo taken in religious opinion, none can deny on her brow. her the credit of sincerity, consistency, How the words celestial vanish, that I heard and benevolent aims in life.

from her just now ! A word here to those who leave our For in visions I have seen her, with her gentle, shores for the mother country in search

saintlike face, of health or repose. To those of pure And she clasped me to her bosom, in a fond and taste and habit, who would fain seek some

true embrace. spot where the overtaxed brain and physical energies can find that change and And our father ! weary pilgrim on this barren, rest necessary to a right equipoise of

earthly shore, mind and body, — such will find' Amble. He has dropped his mortal vestments for the

immortal evermore ; side, Grassmere, Keswick, and the entire lake district, quite Eden-like for a sum

In the summer land of angels, meeting all his

loved again, mer's tarry, while, to the poet and student it will be found most attractive in its How his tender heart rejoices, free from every

throb of pain. charming opportunities of communion with Nature in her fairest guise.

And our brother ! he who battled with the anLilfred's Rest.

gry storms of life,

He, whose sun set in its morning, while the I SHOULD not like to preach to a con- blackened clouds were rife, gregation who all believe as I believe. I He has passed from strite to calmness, to celeswould as lief preach to a basket of eggs, tial peace above, in their smooth compactness and oval Where the sunlight e'er is shining on the rivformality.

ers of God's love.

M м

C. G.

CHAPTER XII.

Thou hast seen the infant brother, him whose THE SPY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, tiny bark set sail,

By Mrs. C. M. Sawyer. O'er death's ocean wildly heaving, guided by

the “boatman pale ; ” And our father's angels met him, as he neared

The hours of the imprisoned Carleton the heavenly strand,

had grown restless and moody. Day afLed him up the shining summits of the glori- ter day, as it waxed and waned, leaving ous wonder-land.

him in the most utter ignorance of the Oh, my brother ! thou hast met them, the be progress of the siege, of the condition of loved of other years,

the city, and of the health and whereaFrom the infant in its cradle to the aged full bouts of Florence, only increased his painof years,

ful and wearing suspense. He paced his Do they, in their home of beauty, dost thou room like a caged tiger, now striving to ever think of me,

gain some glimpse of the world beyond As I sail along life’s river, to death’s yet un- the high walls of his prison-yard ; now sounded sea ?

wrestling with the single iron bar stretchYea, I know I am remembered, by each thrilled across his open window that he might that doth arise

stretch himself further out, his thoughts In my bosom, true and faithful to the dwellers and fears all the while chafing him to a in the skies ;

semi-frenzy. To his mental distress was By each tear delicious, falling, do I feel your added the physical pain of keen hunger presence near,

gnawing him as with sharp teeth. For By the chain of love e'er drawing my own spir- weeks his rations had been constantly diit to your sphere.

minishing in quantity and deteriorating East Haddam, Ct.

in quality as the supplies of the starving

city grew less and less. But now for A LEGEND OF JUSTICE AND MERCY. more than twenty-four hours not a morsel By E. R. W.

had passed his lips, the craving appetite STERN Justice stood before the Lord

of a vigorous convalescence rendering the Erect, with folded arms and firmly chiselled privation a thousand times more painful

lips. He came at the divine behest,

than if fever were still sapping his As judge and witness both 'gainst sinful man. strength and throbbing madly in his His tones fell cold and calm as he pronounced veins. "Sorrow for sin in even balance weighed.” No mitigation could the angels hear,

Another privation increased his pain. As God reminded him how, out of dust The sweet roses and honeysuckles, with Man's feeble, craving natare sprung.

the two delicate but minute crackers And still be stood with head unbent, Although an angel showed the veil

which had every day mysteriously found Which shut from mortal view the sight of heaven. their way to his prison, for the first time Again the s vereign voice was heard

to-day came not; and the absence of the Wnich said, “ Let Mercy plead the cause of flowers, with their dear associations of his She came and knelt before the throne,

earlier years, left a keener hunger than And held up pitying hands of mute appeal ; that of the food itself. Other changes in She showed the darkened earthly path Where weary, bleeding feet must run;

the monotonous course of his life had also And tried to hide the crooked ways that led to sin. entered to disturb him. He had that But from her anguished, sympathizing heart morning, without explanation, been reNo words came faltering on the tongue, moved to another and pleasanter room, And so the recording angel needs must write With unwilling pen, the cold, hard words of one whose windows with only one bar, Justice.

were far enough from the ground to preThe book was open to pale Mercy's gaze, And, as she trembling left the holy place,

vent any rational attempt at escape, but She bowed her head thereon and wept ;

which looked on towering trees and thick And lo! the angel as again he raised the book, shrubberies surrounding the high walls of Sent one glad cry to greet the hosts of heaven ; his prison-yard, and gave entrance to For tears had washed the hateful sentence out, And mortal need to Mercy's love was given. balmy air and sweet odors. But even Watertown, N. Y.

this pleasant feature was marred; for

man.",

across the windows the heavy folds of a bolted door and the window-bars,—“if I torn and faded rebel flag at intervals slow- only could get out!” He glared around ly swept, as rising to the breeze it spread him. “ Must I stay here like a starved its insolent “ stars and bars” in the clear, rat in a cage, while my comradęs march red sun, a mocking insignia of the treason proudly into the captured city, their and rebellion which hatched it. The hearts beating in time to the blast of sight of this flag was a perpetual irrita- trumpets and the rolling of drums, and tion to Carleton, driving him from the the stars and stripes floating over their window to return to his nervous pacings heads ?”. to and fro in his narrow room.

At this moment the folds of the rebel “It is strangely still to-day,” he flag settled slowly on the dying air, fallthought after a while, as, stopping sudden- ing for one moment within three feet of ly, the clear, whirring sound of a locust the window. It was enough. With a rasping its wings, reached his ears from bound like a tiger, Carleton had seized it, one of the neighboring trees. " It seems and tearing at the tattered fabric, half like a Sunday in the old days in Ver- the dishonored emblem was, in another mont. I have not heard a gun to-day, instant, on the floor and under his indigand how clear the atmosphere is too! nant feet. The sulphurous smoke has quite floated “ Lie there, accursed emblem of an acoff and now hangs like a great cloud miles cursed cause! Lie there, under my feet, away over yonder hills. I wonder what as the traitors who spawned you will by can be going on!”

and by lie under the feet of the governAgain he strove to gain some glimpse ment, they have insulted and dishonof the city streets that might give him a ored!” clew to the new aspect of affairs which A slight noise attracted his attention, had arrested his attention; but he could and, turning, the jailer stood in the dooronly see the moving leaves and the clear way, a half grin mingling with the shame sunshine pouring into the fissured walls and chagrin visible on his dull counteand roofs of the shattered dwellings and nance. the deep furrows of one narrow, grass- • Well, I reckon you've torn down the grown street which afforded him his only first flag, anyhow ! Well, no matter ; glimpse of the world below. Over this they'll all come down now! But here's narrow interval, one after another, glided a lady wants to see you!” the haggard forms of some of the citizens, He stepped back and Florence entered all bent in one direction, while, as he lis- the room, the door closing behind her. tened, a faint, sullen hum, as of thou- Carleton stood, his foot still upon the sands of suppressed voices, steadily arose. rebel flag and the frown of indignation Something new was evidently in progress, upon his brow, but, as the consciousness and the intuitions of the young man soon that that pale, hollow-cheeked, but very led him to the real solution of the mys- lovely young creature, looking with a sad tery. “ The city has surrendered !” smile into his face, was indeed Florence

A glow of triumph passed like a tide dawned upon his mind, a tide of joy long of sunshine through his frame, and, for a "unfelt rushed through him. He started single brief moment, banished everything and took her hand in both of his. but the infinite joy of such a conclusion; “ Is it indeed you,” he exclaimed, with then came the thought that he who had a quick voice, half sob and half laughter, for so long devoted his life to the cause like a nervous child, whose long-missed of his country was not with the victorious treasure is restored.

“ Have you come army to share its triumph, but a starving at last ?” captain in the prison-halls of cruel and She drew nearer to him, but a choking most unscrupulous enemies.

in her throat kept back the words she “ If I only could get out!” he reiter- tried to speak. He perceived her emoated again and again, grinding his closed tion, half understanding it, and a sudden teeth and shaking and straining at the paleness displaced the bright glow that

will now

[ocr errors]

for a moment had suffused his thin and acy, severe punishment for my fidelity to haggard face.

my country. You do not yet know all Sit down, dear cousin,” he continued, the ways in which I have manifested it'; drawing her to a large chair which stood but he does.” Dear.

“ You are changed, and only one Carleton looked in her face with a who loved you as I do would at once have troubled inquiry in his own. recognized you.

“Yes, he knows what I will tell you “Changed? Yes! Oh, Guy! what I now, Guy, that ever since the war has have suffered !” and a quick sob broke been waging in the West, I have been a her voice. “ And you ! but you

constant and unwearied spy in the service be free! The city has surrendered, Guy; of General Grant. Do not look shocked. and our beloved flag at last floats over its Even he does not know that it is a wointrenchments,"

man who has thus served him. He has “ I knew it, Florence. It came to me; always, to this day, believed me to be but and here, under my feet, lie the rags of a shrewd and daring boy, and to the end the rebel flag that has so long flaunted he must still believe thus. You have over the city. The wind bore it within partly lifted the veil before, Guy; so I my reach, and I clutched it and tore it reveal the whole to you as a secret not to down.”

be betrayed to others." She smiled. "May it never rise any “ Betrayed !' and by me?” said Guý, higher, Guy! But leave it to its fate. a glow of many mingled feelings coloring I have much to say, Guy, before I leave his wan face. you. I have come to bid you farewell !” " I do not fear any ill from you,” said

“ To bid me farewell ?” he exclaimed, Florence, reaching out her hand, with a turning very pale.' “ You do not mean full, frank look into his face ; " and I it!”

know you will guard this secret as I am “I do. We must separate, Guy, and sure even Pemberton will, though he has who knows, in these disastrous times, if confiscated all my property for the benwe shall ever meet again!” The tears efit of the Confederate Government.” rolled unrestrainedly down her cheeks, Carleton laughed. “ Little good will and she wrung his hand with an uncon- it'do them. With the entrance of our scious vehemence as she repeated, “We victorious army into Vicksburg, the powmust separate. You will soon be free; er of the Confederacy over your fortune but I am a prisoner still, and while our ceases." victorious army enters the city and gives "You forget that only a small portion you liberty, I shall fulfill my parole and of it lies in this neighborhood. But let leave it with the family of General Pem- that all go; ” she stopped; the tears berton."

rushed to her eyes and her lips quivered. “ But it will be but for a short time, “ You do not know, Guy, that I have Florence. You will soon be released. I been bereaved. My little Flor is dead.” will petition General Grant to insist on “Dead!” repeated Carleton, in deep your immediate exchange."

sorrow and surprise.

" Little Florence She shook her head with a wan smile. dead!" “ Oh, you don't know what a dangerous “ Yes, dead; and but a little while. character I am in General Pemberton's She died of fever produced by hunger eyes, Guy ; I doubt whether he consid- and confinement in underground air. ers even General Grant much worse, or The darling! She was spared more inwould regard strong measures as much tense anguish perhaps. Lillie has but more indispensable for him than for me. I just survived the privations she endured; Though we are old friends, and, person but with the surrender of the city, food in ally, in spite of the mortifications I have abundance found its way in, long before occasioned him, he shows me much kind- the terms of capitulation were finally adness ; still he has felt it his duty to visit justed, and she is now better." upon me, in the name of the Confeder- "And you, too, have suffered. I read

« PreviousContinue »