Page images

with me.



They may

She loved the nursery-girl much, I spoke sternly, and Caroline began to weep; I better than me, and that was a source of con- minded nothing of her tears, but took her on stant grief and vexation. I used frequently to my knee and gave her the book. send away the girl, and let Caroline cry as long She threw it on the floor, and cried for her as I dared, to punish her for not choosing to I ordered the maid to go down with the have me feed her, and dress her, &c. I fear it roses; and, when she was gone, I told Caroline was to gratify my own temper as much as to that she should pick up her book and read to govern hers, that I exerted my authority. None She refused to pick up her book; she was but those who have subdued their own passions obstinate ; but then I had provoked it by my are fit to be entrusted with children.

own imprudence in teasing her to read when her otherwise love children, but they will not be mind was engrossed with another object. I should just towards them.

then only have told her of the rose, how it was It was in the month of June-a bright, balmy spelt, and shown her the picture of it, and told day—such an one as seems designed for human her stories about it, that would have made her enjoyment, when, to be happy, we have only to interested to learn more. What tyrants we are open the heart to the sweet sunny influences with our children, when, instead of aiding their around us; and yet, if the heart is not right, ideas, we would force them to understand ours ! how wretched we may be! I was unhappy that I had not succeeded to make Caroline pick day. Some difference with my husband had up her book, when the maid entered to say occurred at the breakfast-table. Since the birth Mrs. F- was in the parlour. Mrs. Fof my daughter, we had lived in much better was a very proud and very fashionable lady, and harmony; he had been more reasonable, as he I was glad to receive a call from her ; but, in knew I must attend to the child, when anything my struggles with Caroline, I had quite discomhad gone wrong in our household affairs. And posed my dress, and this made me excessively I believe he loved me more as the mother of his

angry with the child.

Never before had I felt child than as his wife; for he was doatingly fond so towards her. I wanted to punish her seof Caroline, and our chief difficulties now arose verely. The maid offered to take her, but I respecting her. He insisted that I was harsh bade her go down and say I would come soon; with her, and that it made her obstinate ; and and then I told Caroline I should shut her in then he told a long story about his own mother, my dark closet while I was gone. She had and how she used to persuade her children-not always been afraid to be alone in the dark, and hire or drive them—but reason with them. one of the very few things in which I had uni

We had differed that morning in our opinions formly indulged her was to have a light burning respecting the time when Caroline should be through the night. If she ever awoke, and obliged to learn her lessons steadily. I wanted found herself in the dark, she had always been her to commence then, for she was three years frightened. old; my husband thought it was well enough When I told her I should put her in the dark if she chose to learn, but insisted that no com- closet, she screamed as loudly as possible, and pulsion should be used. But, notwithstanding I hurried her in quick, before she had time to what he said, I went out and purchased books, yield, because I feared Mrs. F. would hear her and determined to commence that very day, and shrieks. I locked the door and took the key, that she should take her lessons at regular hours to prevent the maid from letting the child out, every day, whether she were or were not pleased. as I thought that would destroy all the salutary I came home in no pleasant humour ; for I had effects of the punishment. I tell all these mibowed to a lady who did not return my salute, nute particulars that I may be judged truly. I and I felt enraged at her insolence. With these confess my faults ; but yet I did not seem to feelings of anger uppermost in my mind, I en- myself to act unreasonably at the time. Are tered the nursery. Never shall I forget the there not others who have deceived themselves, sweet looks of my child at that moment. She and been cruel when they only meant to corwas sitting on a cushion, with her face towards rect? the door; the sunlight streamed through the Caroline had given one long shriek as I shut window curtain, its beams fell on her pale- the door. “ Mother! mother! it is dark ! all yellow hair, and the ringlets seemed clusters of dark !" was the last I heard her say. pure gold. The nursery-maid had been twist- Mrs. F- was extremely polite, and she ing roses among her curls, and the little creature stayed a long time, I cannot tell how long. My was passionately fond of flowers; so, when I heart misgave me every moment; I wished she entered, she looked up to me with a laugh of would go, for I thought of my poor babe. But such heartfelt joy that I had coine to see her she had to tell me of her new bonnet, and ask pretty roses, and her blue eyes sparkled with a my opinion of the trimming, and advise me to light that made the sunbeams dim-it was the employ her milliner-such was our discourse light of a happy and innocent heart.

child was dying ! “I have brought a new book for you, Caro- The moment she was gone I rushed up stairs, line," said I,

and called “Caroline ! Caroline !" as I unlocked “My roses, mother ; see my pretty roses !” the door. She did not answer. She lay ex

tended on the floor of the closet—her eyes rolled I turned to the maid, and bade her take off up till only the white glared in their socketsthe roses, for Caroline shonld say her lesson. her features convulsed—and purple as with suf

while my

said the child.


focation. Why dwell on this scene? Ilorror ! , death has lain like a mountain of fire, burning horror! is all the word that can express my while it bowed me to the earths. feelings.

“ It is dark! all dark !” sounds constantly it The physician reported she died by fits. The my ears." It is dark! all dark!” to me, inworld believed it; her father never knew other- deed ! Would that I could place my trust in wise; but on my conscience the burden of her the God of light !


BY THE HON, JULIA MAYNARD. (During the last century, namely in the year 1766, Mayhap thou hast a mother yet alive,

two very young French military men were accused, who would smile on thee and would murmur" :00;" at Abbeville, of insulting a crucifix during thé Take but my place, and calculate her woe. night. One of them, named D'Etallonde, fled, Ah, thou art mor'd-I see that thou art movidand obtained employment in the service of Give me thy hand. 'Tis cold-0, deadly cold! Frederick the Great of Prussia; the other, the Con. I could not save thee, Son. À thousand Chevalier de la Barre, less fortunate, trusting to

eyes the influence of his family, had the hardihood to Would spy me out; there's madness in thy pras'ı! brave the popular tempest, and remained to stand La Barre. Yea, madness, Father; my brain was. his chance. . Persecution followed, and he was

ders now. tried and condemned to have his tongue cut, to be Is the knife sharpen'd yet? Carv'd Crucifix! otherwise tortured, and finally to be beheaded; O, have thy pictur’d pangs no power to save which execrable sentence, to the disgrace of hu- From agony to come? I have been wild manity and to the miserable superstition which | And sinful in my heedless, selfish course, degraded it, was carried into effect.]

Too all forgetful of a chaster love, " B. Et que nous apprendra-t-elle ?

A father's warnings, and my better sense ; “A. Que plus les lois de convention se rappro- Yet if but death had been decreed to me, chent de la loi naturelle, et plus la vie est supporta- I could have borne it-died-yea, like a man! ble."-VOLTAIRE.

But to be mangled, mutilated, ere

This feeble frame shall yield its spirit up! [CONFESSOR and LA BARRE.]

Con. I pity thee, my Son; yet dare not own

I pity thee.
Con. My Son, confess!
La Barre.

La Barre. O, miserable cheat!
I tell thee, Priest, avaunt!
Con. The time draws near when to eternity-

This mouthing of Religion where 'tis not,
La Barre. Away!

Does scripture bid ye perpetrate such act? Con. I pray thee, my dear Son, confess

Nay, let us argue fairly of this case. Thy heinous blaspheiny 'gainst Heav'n and us.

The Gospels have no passages that can La Barre. And who art thou, or they, who tor

Be tortur d to uphold ye. No! The truth

Con. I cannot stay to list this blasphems; ture thus ? I was a stripling but a short space hence,

For know'st thou not, rash boy, alas! how rash! With a youth's lightness, both of heart and mind;

That heretics alone read for themselves,

Those doom'd to flames eternal_thoseMy soul has liv'd unto old age since then.

La Barre.

Who think
A ghastly wisdom has grown up in me-
Fool, fool, had I but fled my torturers,

Who dare to think, and not be blinded by
In some far distant land I then had liv’d,

A cruel superstition, miscall’d faith! Secure froin monsters, rob'd in human garb;

() yea, I have grown bold-grown bold to speak And now all impotent I rest, and time

The thoughts that burn like fire within my breast! Goes on and leads to the accursèd honr,

Despair feels ever thus-I have no hope And this poor tongne, with all its tendril nerves-

To prompt the ready self-preserving lie O Ileav'n, I cannot dame it! Are ye men ?

That stifies the broad light of self-respect.

Ha! the Dominican. And yet will do this thing and dare to say

Con. Religion prompted it? O, fools and knaves !

'Tis he, in truth! Con. Thy soul is all disturb'd. My Son, kiss this?

[Enter Father IGNATIUS.) [ Offers a crucifix.]

Father Ig. Still obdurate, or penitent, iny Son La Barre. Hold off! Bring not your wretched La Barre. Yea, penitent for these few trivial sie symbols here!

In some degree I do admit I am ; I have been dreaming all the whole night long More calm and more resign'd I feel my soul: Sweet dreams of home, home sports, the very spot As for confession, man, I do deny Seem'd in my sleep so vividly display'd

Thy right to urge, my bondage to comply; I seeming touch'd the trellis-work that lies

Who are ye both? What arrogance is this? This very moment near the casement, where Think ye those toga'd limbs, those sbaven heads, I never more may lean, whilst fragrant scents So awful unto ignorance, can bend Woull laden the soft air, where loving thoughts A heart perchance as innocent as yours? Would fill my heart, of her who was betroth’d, Father Ig. Audacious reprobate ! and can't thou Alas! to one, unworthy though I am,

dream Who yot desery'd not such a fate as this!

Of mercy after words that stamp thee well Great Heav'n, her woe! My father's whiten'd locks! A child of hell— lost, lost, and utterly ! It maddens me to think :-0, Priest, Priest, Priest, La Barre. Thy curse doth fall like snow on lansHast thou no merey? I will kncel to thee,


That melts or ere it touches them. I know Will this pulse throbo-this heart leap to the swell Small merey lives in that expressive eye,

Of joy-fraught tenderness; emotions sweet Full of all malice and too cruel fraud.

Of youth in its first glow of hope and trust : I ne'er did hope reprieve from such as thou, Never-0, never more! Life's bitter knell. Who lack'st the human touch within thy heart O Heav'n, through this great anguish bear me up! That links the common brotherhood of flesh! By the blood-drops of lone Gethsemane; Thy dark profession has chang'd nature's self. By the deep woe that hung on Calvary, 0, black-brow'd Sophist; 0, most evil rules, Father and Saviour, 0, thy mercy pour That bind the priest to his all loveless lot;

On this poor sinful head! Dread Golgotha (Nay I will speak), that rashly do forbid

Spreads out before my fix'd bewilder'd sight-Sweet tie of wife to outcast such as these,

Darkness and torture, and the obnoxious grave! And thus ye sour, all cruelty to woo

[Falls in a stupor, ending in sleep.] Is your delight and recreative joy;

Con. 0, brother, let us leave him to refresh
Thence burning Autos and pale victims, like That lacerated heart; poor wounded deer,
The one who is before ye!

That for short space forgets the hunter's shout
Father Ig.

Tears drop down And his approaching end. For thy depravity, O heartless youth!

Father Ig.

What heresy La Barre. Yea, hypocrite, the crocodile's false Is this, from priestly lips like thine ? For shame! tears!

Out on thy weakness for this Godless youth ! Father Ty. Peace! or I'll strike thce on thy Con. [Bending over La Barre.) Poor boy! recreant mouth !

May-be thou hast a mother, who La Barre. Ay, 'twill become thy calling to the Will weep hot tears of hopeless agony. life!

[Touching him.] Thy brow is burning, coal-like, Father Ig. Audacious! In short space thy boast

to the touch, ful mien

And thy poor fingers ice—this trembling hand. Will be exchang'd for abject humbleness

I would that thou wert in thy lowly grave; When the sharp knife shall prove

For then thy sufferings sad would all be o'er. La Barre.

What demons men,

But now---In fair Religion's garb, can haply turn !

Father Ig. Out on such mawkish pity! Fool, Bat for Heav'n's sake—that Heav'n ye so traduce- To whimper over the young viper's fate. Go; leave me to myself, to commune with

Go, crush these idle feelings from thy heart, The thoughts ye cannot curb or penetrate.

And not disgrace thy calling by such acts ! I will not answer more--it wearies me;

Con. Brother, thou may'st be right; but I have And I am wearied both in frame and mind,

still And fain would seek repose to gather strength Some fell misgivings, in this fearful case, For that dark hour of coming agony

Whether humanity is not disgrac'd I must endure! [Throws himself down.] Never~ In the harsh sentence that was pass'd on this 0, never more

Alas! though erring, most unhappy youth!

over the



(Concluded from page 78.) THE WOODLAND BROOK.


hunter there steals a gently pleasa

ing awe, which bids him forget awhile his sport, The Pine-tree had closed its tale with the dise and sink down on the grass, a sharer in the heartening and somewhat dubious prospect of a general repose. 'Tis then that prattling brookcontinuation ; his last words had died softly lets tell the flowers their tale, as ours does away, and over the whole forest there fell a deep now: repose. One sound alone was heard amid the “ Know any of you whence I spring, or solemn stillness—the plashing against rock and where my fountain-head, as one may know it root, in broken murmurs, of the Brook, that of the opener meadow stream? It flows forth ceaseless pendulum of the woods. And as it to the light at once, a tiny rill, over a rock, or went gurgling on-now brightly glittering in the down a hill side, growing wider and wider, till sunbeams, now dark with the shadow of cloud the short clothing of grasses will no longer conand forest-while the reflected images were tent it--fondly as they stretch to embrace it with borne trembling on its surface, its unformed their slender stems—but it must needs don the tones began to shape themselves into words ; reed's stiff stays, with thin growing tufts, or and unsolicited, though gladly listened to, by dusky buttons. Of the mountain torrent, too, Leaf and Flower, the Brook unfolded its his- the origin is known. On its summit lies the tory.

hoary perennial snow-cap, which the sun, at his A hallowed stillness lay on the forest, un- rising and setting, paints, and the flying clouds broken, as we have said, save by the one rush- deck with many a fantastic veil; while" deep in ing sound. Who has not felt the influence of the clefts below gleams the dark blue of the this silence, or failed to recognize in it, as it mighty glacier. All on its surface seems fast were, the Sabbath of inanimate Nature? The and unchangeable, but within there reigns actiwild deer breathe more lightly in their lair ; 1 vity and life. Ever welling, ever flowing, play the busy water-drops their game of hide-and- every side of her, she was tempted to give them seek amid the crevices and pools; for the un- hopelessly up, till

, spying in a green field below wearied God of Day lavishes still his kisses on a thousand pearls glittering among the grass, the rosy necks of the mountain, touching and and on the flowers, she naturally took them for softening at length its icy heart, and sending her scattered gems. So taking the casket in forth in tiny rills the offspring of his caresses, her hand in which the pearls had been locked to swell, and grow, and seek and find at length up, she began, as busily as she could, to gather an outlet. When first they come forth to the them up again. light, they pause, astonished at the wide world “But long ere it was full, Titania's favourite before them. Presently, other inquisitive Brook- fancied that it was not the tears of Ocean lets run to join them, and thus encouraged, they she was gathering, but those wept by the Flowspeed further ; no longer tardily lingering, but ers, and she turned sadly away to seek farther

. quicker and quicker still, till, become one living Here she beheld tears drop from a mother's eye. stream, it leaps, like its mountain-cradled lids, as she hung over a dying child, and caught neighbour the Chamois, boldly from rock to them--those tears such as lovers shed, and rock : now foaming white and high, as if in those were gathered—aye, tears everywhere, till rivalry of the surrounding snow-now gliding the casket overflowed. clear as the unbroken icy mirror-till it descends “Oh! what a world of tears are shed upon at length to the plain, and finds pleasing repose the earth! and what a stream flows ever from in the lap of the meadows.

men's eyes ! whose source, though manifold, is “ But whence come 1—the hidden woodland still the same, that human heart, which gries, Brook? No child of ice or snow, ye seek my or sympathy, or penitence, nay, oftener joy must Spring in vain-or if ye trace my steps, fancy 1 touch, to set the wondrous streamlet flowing! must be born beneath yon massy stone, or be- Wondrous, indeed! and magical in its influ. hind yon grassy hillock. But no! far off, from ence! for hard must be that heart which others

' amid the roots of some old gnarled tree, I laugh tears have lost the power to move! Vainly at your researches.

Now do I veil my spark- would such an one escape the touch of pity to ling surface beneath a thousand plants and say, "Those tears affect me not, they flow de flowers ; now sink unseen among a pile of servedly.' 'Tis a harsh verdict, and a false one! stones, wbich, emulous of the forest's greenery, for they are tears still

, and none the less bitter have decked their hoary heads with festal crowns that the heart they flow from has been, pero of moss. But still I keep flowing on, and drip chance, self-wounded ! forth ere long to view, though keeping ever “Our Fay took all alike, however, equally for the wood's secret—that of my origin. Listen, pearls, grasped the casket firmly, and took her however, and I will tell you now whence I was way to her cloud. The casket she found grew born.

keavier and heavier-for tears, alas ! are any “ Aloft, on a light cloud, slow moving over thing but light!--and when she opened it

, lo! the the plain, there sat a gentle Elf, the Fairy supposed pearls had all disappeared. Sadly she Queen’s favourite tirewoman, arranging her few from cloud to cloud for all held her dear mistress's jewels. From out of its casket she -and told them her distress. The clouds sent drew forth a long, long string of costly pearls, down their rain on the earth, to help to discover a present from the Sea! Guard well these the lost pearls; and it fell streaming till plants tears of Ocean,' Queen Titania said to her, they and flowers hung their heads, and the dew.drops are my most precious gems; and well they may were all wasted away, but the real pearls were be, for locked deep within his fastnesses, the not to be found. Puck, rogue as he is, was Fisher risks his life to bring them forth to day, sorry for the poor Fay, whom he intended only and shining and solid as they have become, to teaze, and not to grieve; so he dived into the their lustre wears yet the dimness of the eye bowels of the earth, and got froin his friends

, that wept them. The Fay, aware of this, would the Gnomes, bright shining splinters of ore, and fain hold up the gems she too was fond of, to bore them aloft to the Elf, saying, “There, you try if they would look brighter in the sunshine; have all your own again, and better and brighter but pearls are not like precious stones, which still !' shine with borrowed lustre; the Tears of Ocean “ The clouds gave over raining, and the Fay close fast within their heart their inward radi- rejoiced. But as she inspected the gifts more

narrowly, they proved all glittering shams: and " Behind the Fay sat Puck, the rogue, tor- she seized, in her indignation at the deception, ment of men and elves ; and unobserved by her, the cup in which they lay, and threw them from while lost in admiration of her charge, the her, so that they fell

, in shivered rays of light, frisky spirit cut the string, and down rolled the on the far horizon, where-deceptive still-they pearls, first all about the cloud, and from thence mock in stormy weather with their broken fragto the ground. The poor Fay sat a moment ments the stately, peace-bespeaking, welcome stunned with surprise and fear, then gathered Rainbow. And often does Puck, the rogue, res her affrighted wits, and fell down from her new the treacherous device he first bethought cloud after the trembling treasures. But as, himself of, to console the Fairy whom his tricks while floating in empty air, between the clouds had despoiled. Nay, when the clouds still weep and earth, she marked the bright tiny balls, in sympathy with her remembered sorrows, rolling and glancing, now here, now there, on Puck hies him up aloft with his delusive trea


sures, and builds, beside the first, a smaller, fain endeavour to outlive. For this he flings fainter arch, in memory of his stratagem, all into my current many a sharp stone, and rugged powerless as it proved, to comfort the Fay, who obstacle, making my drops spring high aloft in sat disconsolately on her cloud.

air: then hangs his tinsel spangles in the sun"Titania found her there, and for once, capri- shine, opposite my mirror, and asks if his be cious Queen! in the best of humours-on hear- not the gayer, gaudier pageant? But quickly ing her damsel's misfortune, she forgave her. it dissolves, and I run sparkling on, unchanged. Perhaps she did so the more freely, that another As when o’er human hearts, when well nigh mighty Ocean Spirit, to gain her heart

, had pro- breaking, some touch of wild, strange mirth will mised her a second string of pearls; for the flit, none know from whence, across the tearful Great can be generous at the expense of the scene, and an unbidden smile play on the tears they cause to flow. But what, meantime, aching brow; even so, amid the deepest harwas to be done with the heavy contents of the monies of Nature, will odd discrepancies arise casket, which still weighed on the Elfin's tire- to mar their unison. Some rude fantastic root, woman's arm?

or dead unsightly stem, will peep perversely Hasten,' cried Titania to her, 'to the from the meadow's flowing carpet, or the wood's most retired spot of my woodland domain, and leafy canopy; and 'mid the flush of full-blown pour out those precious drops amid the sweetest roses, a pale and cankered bud will sadly show flowers; tears they must remain-but flow at among her happier sisters her wan and withered least united—in one mighty tear of the Wood. aspect. These all are Puck's devices ! but feel

"The damsel obeyed her Queen's behest, and ing's office is, like Nature's, to remedy and so flowed the first Woodland Brook, and thus repair them.” came the forest by its tears. And now do you So did the Brook conclude. Awhile the know my source-lying deep in the heart of the silence lasted, but for its murmurs, and the forest, as those of men's tears in the human whispering commentary of Flower and Leaf, breast. In Summer, when so many children of Then came a sudden crack, and the large dead the woods bloom but to fade, I How lightly, topmost bough of a huge Oak fell crashing though musingly by. In Autumn, when all de- through the branches, burying twig and flower part, I bewail in silent grief the flowers and beneath it; while hosts of leaves, whirled headleaves which the wind oft strews on my bosom, long in its fall, bestrewed the Brook, which, to find there a sympathy—last abode. In the stirred to its depths by the fierce intruder, first waste loneliness of Winter, my tears grow pearls sent its waters leaping up on high in air, then like the hidden ones of Ocean; and suspended sought, in a more turbid stream, a darker pool. on rock and root, shine forth like them, in dim, A second more, and all was still. unearthly lustre. But in gay Spring, when feel- Methought Puck had been at his tricks ing wakes in every heart, my tide, too, swells again. with sympathetic joy, and I o'erleap the barrier of my banks to exchange friendly greetings with the flowery mead. Nor is my sympathy


The Rock. to sorrow; for whenever the clouds weep rain, The first shock over, silence did not long or the flowers distil their dews, responsive prevail. How could it? Where so many dwell

, pours the Woodland Brook. And feel ye not and stand so close together, there will always be that my source must be the forest's heart, from wherewithal for gossip; and Flower and Leaf my whole aspect, and the plaintive music with had much enjoyed the stories, and felt themwhich I greet the listening ear? 'Tis this at- selves quite agog for hearing more. tracts the sighing rushes to my side ; 'tis this

“If yonder Rock has really something to that scatters, ever as I flow, the flower of senti- relate,” said a tall, neighbouring Foxglove, ment-Forget me not !-still softly raising its “ let us ask him to communicate it. Indeed it blue

eye to heaven, like friendship in the part is but his duty to entertain us if he can, seeing ing hour. Over my wave the weeping willow that he stands bolt upright between us-not hangs its changeless, mourning veil; wherever only keeping others asunder, but always dumb I fow, I awake or cherish feeling.

The very himself.'' rugged rock, that plants himself in my path, “ Foxglove is ever full of curiosity,” rethe stern and immoveable, past whom Tíme fits marked the Strawberry Blossom. unheeded, drops a tear after me, when quitted “ Curiosity !" retorted the Foxglove," why by my leaping waters ; and mine are the sole am I always to be twitted with that failing ?" caresses he endures, if not returns. And this “ Because 'tis just to spy out all you can, endears to me the


that you stretch your long neck higher and * Men tell a sad and wondrous story of one higher,” quoth the Strawberry. who survives all, and from whom Death eter

Nonsense !” said Foxglove,

« 'tis but to nally flies. Methinks the Rock must be the sur- get my head above the Rock.” vivor of the Woods, and could tell many a tale

Fudge!" muttered Strawberry, only half himself : far distant are the days to which his aside. memory reaches !

And pray what do you do all the while ?" But Puck, the rogue, bears me a grudge, asked Foxglove. and envies me that lasting flow and constant

Bear fruit!” cried Strawberry, proudly. shining, which he with his mock glitter would “ What are you quarrelling about down


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »