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She sprang to join him, and the swollen seas
FROM THE PRIVATE JOURNAL AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THE LATE MRS. SOPHIE MANNING PHILLIPS.
'25th. - HAD some sport to-day, walking Chesnut street, in company with L speculating, to 'the top of our bent,' as far as such casual glimpses would warrant, on the passing faces of humanity before us. What an irreparable disagreement of different eyes, forms, gaits, noses! Fat people, with the sanguinary flood of life laced up into their cheeks and ears; lean people, with the wadded petticoats of the age and season administered impartially to all parts of the person; men incapable of whiskers, ambuscading the end of their nose in a marshy moustache; those disqualified for the moustache, 'laying a flattering unction' to the turpitude of their whiskers. If all creation did ever absolutely look flimsy to me, the pleasing idea was caught in Chesnut-street.
26th. Nothing since last time, except a little snow-storm, vouchsafed to us again to-day, in behalf of the cracked and parching earth. Such a drought, it is said, is not in the recollection of the 'oldest inhabitant.' With what a grace the feathery particles pursue their mute dance toward the ground! Well, we 're all sinful, ministers and all; and are extremely meritorious of a spell of weather.' If it were n't for theatres, and the Somnambula, and grand caravans, and such like, I'm convinced we should n't be visited with half the quantity of slop and snow. It's my belief, a body might become quite hardened, after a few undivided reflections before an old black stove, like this where I sit; that is, all hopes, all feelings, all delights,' might soon be ascertained down to cinders, which, sifted in Reason's ash pan, would disseminate in fine dust, which thereafter clearing away, would leave us as clean as a penny. So should we no
more shrink from the bared bosom of deceit, nor bleed at the unlooked-for slight of friendship. So should we gather back from shrines near and far, our honor or our love, and care not that, in another hour, their flowers had withered beneath the curse and coldness of mortality. Wonder if I'm to open my Juno lids to-morrow upon a continuation of this snow story? Believe I'll ask the watchman, and give him a dollar to say 'No ma'am !'
'29th. Last time I shall notice the weather, unless an unnatural gleam of sunshine should come to 'fright me from my propriety.'
Hail, rain, frost, fog, to-day, backed by darkness, drizzle, sleet, slippery, devil! It's wicked to murmur and say devil, but when a sensible young woman sees every element fighting and fisting which shall make itself most abominable; when, to a benevolent vision, the ears and noses of a once white humanity appear in royal purple ; when, week after week, that season usually appropriated to the blessing of light, namely, the day-time, can only be guessed at by the wakefulness of hens, and other feathered creatures, and one's hope of spring, at the end of February, wears 'madness on the face on 't ;' it is no amazement, the lion should be roused' in the meekest, and that we all are roaring with might and main, in the winter desert.' Entering the room just now, with considerable energy, where my olive branch lay sleeping, Miss Murphy desired me, from her post, by the bedside, to make a noise aisy!'
'MARCH 2d, half-past 10 o'clock.-Heavens, what a night! The clear cold sky, all brilliant with the moon, doth span us as a beauteous mystery! Friends I have known and loved, and see not now, my soul is with you! Remembrance, then, is not a promise vain, a hopeful mockery. Truly, the air to-night smelleth of spring; a soupçon of buds to be born into blossoms. Verily, this hath a pleasant sound. I know where the crowned Summer will come in her sceptred loveliness, to sit upon a throne unmatched in this world's glory! Pray heaven, mine eyes be there to see!
'Friday, 4th. Moon shining yet, like all natur.' Just returned from Musical Fund Concert; favor received at the hands of Mr. and Miss B, relicts of E B—, late of my particular acquaintance at West Point. After so lengthened a 'retiracy' as mine, from the sublunary amusements and follies of a glaring world of lamp-light, the concert presented to me a sufficiently alluring view of men and women, with 'varnished faces' expressly assembled for show and pleasure. Followed my leader, hood in hand, about halfpast six, into the midst of countless fluttering heads, and glancing hands, all shaking out their curls and pocket-handkerchiefs, before a final settlement upon the long, hard benches, arranged for auditory purposes. Long time since I had the felicity to make one in any such crowded assembly. Buz! buz! on every side, with a sort of dizzy universal motion all around about. First twenty minutes, distinguished nothing; then grew out gradually on my more accustomed vision, a belle here and there, among two or three cavaliers, agitating her fan and ear-rings. Youths with hat under arm, and hair parted carefully at the side of the head, which does n't look the least finical nor girlish! Felt something heavy, that my closest scrutiny among the whole of these human faces divine, saving those I went with, still returned me the unanswering glances of eyes I knew not, and that knew not me. Oh, forlorn! I repented me for awhile, that I was there. Performers-vocal, of the evening, Mrs. and Miss Watson, and Miss Wheatley. Great rig of satin, white and pink, with silvered pink wreaths, displayed by the trio. Stage about as high up as a comet. Never beheld such a cargo of fiddles since I was born! Looked about for a rat-hole to creep into, when the first grand crash
should descend from the musical fund eminence. In truth 't was awful! Some sweet singing from the three rigged-up women, interspersed with choice overtures by first and second fiddles. I was born with a rebellious instinct against this little King Squeak. All the Paganini's going,' could n't make music therewith, in mine ears. Home from concert by the light of the moon, and haunting memories in my soul of other eves of pleasure, sought ought and partaken with friends now divided from me. If I were to ask the kindly. looking depths of yonder blessed heaven above, how long this weary parting time shall be, what voice would answer me? Ah! but I am weary, sick, of living alone among the people!'
THE next passages recorded in the journal, are dated at Louisville, Kentucky, whither Mrs. PHILLIPS had accompanied her husband, who, being soon after ordered to a far western military station, was compelled to leave his affectionate companion, amidst new scenes and a new people, 'alike unknowing and unknown.' It is no marvel that, under these circumstances, that most miserable of all maladies, homesickness, should have taken possession of her spirit, or that, while under its blinding and desolate spell, she should have ' seen as through a glass darkly' the noble country and people, where, and among whom, she was a lone and unhappy sojourner.
'LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY! - How we are shuffled about in this world! -* And here am I, 'beyond the mountains!' 'Chained,' not to 'the chariot of triumphal art,' but among the brick, dust, and darkness, of this disagreeable town; away from every taste that directed, and every sympathy that civilized me! * Who that has lived in mine own fair eastern land, and warmed him in the light of its blessed, blessed skies, and heard the sound of its beloved voices, can see among these cowering woods aught but dimness and estrangement? O, for a sight of my home! What does a woman here? And they have taken the very husband, for whose sake I am here, and flung him to the Choctaws! Reviens mon mari ! 'Kaintuck !' Oh, how I hate it! When shall we quit - when, when, never again to hear from, or visit, or mention, the name
* 'It seems to me, that like some beautiful summer shower, I every now and then 'hold up' over this my learned diary, and again break out, like the vernal rain-bow, particularly when the color of blue is likely to predominate.' 'After death, from which we know there is no return, oh, what is like parting from the face we love! The last, last look, the trembling breath, the dropping hand, the turning form! Bitter, oh, bitter is it on earth to part!
'I do try to talk to these people. It surely is pleasant, where our lot is cast, to find some sharer of our words and thoughts; but there are repulses, though they be not meant, and barriers, though built by no voluntary hand, which the best of us have neither patience nor power to surmount.' * 'Letter to-day from G -. He 'opines how I am shining among the new sisterhood!' I would as soon
come out with some fairy's silver gift, to glitter among a row of pewter platters! 'Shine,' in Kaintuck,' forsooth! Reviens mon mari !
TO MY FLOWERS, RECEIVED THIS MORNING, FROM MRS. G- -N, NATCHEZ.
Он, blessed, blessed flowers! the hand
Most tender and most beautiful,
All fresh with dew, and rich with balm,
When thus your gathered crowns I see,
Yet breathe once more upon my sense,
Ye stir my soul to humblest song.
And not alone ye solace bring,
I find a spell of memory's pow'r.
In every odorous breath, I feel
That thus, in other spring-times gay,
To whisper gladness round my way,
And there were friends with loving eyes,
Therefore my gentlest thanks I sing
Time is flying! Time, that thins our locks, that chills our blood, that robs this earthly form of comeliness, that severs our loves, and mocks our hates, and lays us in the dust; this time is passing on, and yet I wish it fleeter. I remember not its penalties. I only feel that every minute here is wasted; utterly lost, and spent for ever!'
'SICK to-day, and Dr. G told me I must not eat, for 'in the day that I ate,' I should surely be worse. The Major has a cardparty this evening, and there be edibles on the table down stairs, fit to beguile one an hungered; to wit, a great cold roast angel of a turkey, a verdant dish of cucumber-pickles, a happy pair of ducks, abundance of chicken-salad, a retired ham, and much more which I have not fortitude to mention. * * There's Gen. Awill strip the whole of that lovely turkey, at one 'rush!' I've
avoided temptation, Dr. G——, as we are counselled to do, by coming up stairs, and my guardian spirit has somewhat softened my trial, by sending me a horrible cold in my head, so that the smell of the supper hath not dominion over me.' 'There's a letter
i' the candle!' as sure as can be! Pray heaven it is de Toi, to say WE'RE going home, and I shall be happy. BE HAPPY! Life, and love, and earth, and heaven, can make us no more than this. Happy! The old are hoping, the young are panting, and all are struggling, from birth till death, to be happy!'
FAREWELL to thee, lov'd one!
- the moment has come,
And the desert of life must now be my home;
We have linger'd too long o'er those pleasures which lie
Still we cherish'd the leaves, that lay scatter'd and strown,
Like the last birds that linger, ere summer be gone.
Oh! fools that we were, to love on through such pain,
Yet the trials and sorrows which gloomed o'er our way,
In despair it was nurtur'd, in sorrow it grew,
And if ever a smile cross'd its path, 't was from you:
As the moon when she bursts from the womb of the cloud.
Then twine we the garland, though wither'd it be;
Ah! little we thought when in morning's bright hour,
Were yet to be twin'd in the chaplet of death!
Are the bloom that we gaz'd on, the faith we have plighted!
Still strain'd I mine eye through the vista of gloom,