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affection, of forgiveness, too, and some expressions of her own feelings to prove that she was not wholly without suffering, at the idea of the partial separation from her friends which her at the approaching horseman, the same forebomarriage must involve. Margaret was intimately ding struck every heart, that he was the messenacquainted with the workings of her sister's guile-ger of evil tidings, though the evil assumed no less heart, and Virginia was surprised at her an tangible form except in the mind of Mrs. Selden, swering thoughts that she had with much effort who at once thought he was coming to inform forborne to express; she was already more than them of some misfortune that had happened to half ashamed at having ever entertained unkind Charles, who always presented himself first to thoughts of her generous sister; but when Mar- her thoughts on any such occasion. There is garet, without one word of reproach or remon- something indescribable, but unmistakable, in strance, described with characteristic simplicity the whole air of a messenger of bad news, which and force, the state of her own feelings on the those who have once looked upon, are not likely subject, when she spoke of the warmth and gen- ever to forget. erosity of Gerald Devereux's feelings, his nobleness of character, his strong prepossessions in Virginia's favor, his great desire to win from her a sisterly affection-all that Margaret said seemed so kind, so reasonable, that as usual, a com- was slowly fumbling for a letter, without utterplete reaction took place in Virginia's feelings. ing a word, as if enjoying in a solemn way the and her penitence for her own selfishness, as she auxiety he was increasing as much as he poscalled it, was so great, that Margaret found it sibly could. necessary to console her by saying that she knew her apparent coldness and estrangement had pro-what news do you bring?" eeeded from the very strength of her affection. With persons of highly imaginative minds and strong sensibilities, it is often but one step from disliking to liking, and Virginia took this step almost unconsciously, and Margaret was often now delighted to hear her speak with interest and kindness of Gerald, though she carefully
Arthur was out on the steps of the portico in a second, to meet and intercept the highly respectable servant, for such it now evidently was, who, after a deep bow and respectful greeting,
"How goes it, old gentleman," said Arthur;
avoided ever introducing the subject herself.
"How fast the snow falls! I hope we shall have fine sleighing to-morrow: don't you like sleighing, Mary," said Arthur.
“Oh, of all things; but look, Arthur, there is
Mr. Selden threw down the newspaper he was reading, and went quickly to the window.
Not a word was said; but as they looked out
But to complete our sketch. Mrs. Selden was engaged in cutting out various articles of clothing, caps, aprons, handkerchiefs, &c., &c., which were to be made up for the servants as gifts for the approaching Christmas, with a kind consideration not only for the wants, but the tastes of the wearers. Mr. Selden was intently reading by the fading light a newspaper of so old a date, that we should not in the present day deign to glance over such an one, and Reginald was standing at a window watching the snow This at least was a relief, as the journey from flakes as they fell softly and rapidly to the earth, The Rectory could not possibly have taken up clothing every object with a pure and cold beauty, so much time, and there was no river to cross in admiring the sudden transformation in the face the way; and Arthur having gained this much of nature, and dreaming dreams of the future, intelligence, did not wait to hear the conclusion destined to melt away almost as rapidly as the of the sentence, but hurried off with the letter. dazzling scene before him.
Mr. Selden was awaiting Arthur's return with evident uneasiness; he hastily took the letter aud tore it open, while Arthur answered the look of anxious inquiry which his mother cast upon him, by saying,
"Nothing about Charles, mother, that is all I know about the matter."
Mr. Selden's countenance exhibited unusual emotion, as soon as his eye had rested upon the first sentence. Good God!" he exclaimed,
"I have brought a letter, sir, which will tell you every thing as soon as I can find it,” and he went on with the same fumbling process, which brought Arthur's impatience to an acme.
"Can you tell me who wrote the letter?" "Not exactly, sir, but I 'spose some of the family wrote it; but here it is at last," producing a letter sealed with a large black seal and directed to "James Selden, Esq."
"Where do you come from?" asked Arthur, the thought of Charles flashed through his brain.
"Why I started, sir, from Oak Hill yesterday morning, or I should say, day before yesterday morning, but I was detained in a manner, as I may say, sir, in crossing the river; the man that kept the ferry”—
“Poor Williams is dead; killed almost instantly journey ;" then lowering her voice, she added—
Mrs. Selden glanced over the contents of the letter, and looked unusually serious as she was doing so, as if the death of Mr. Williams was not the only distressing intelligence the letter contained.
"Well, mother," said Arthur, "what does this mysterious letter contain, besides the intelligence of poor Mr. Williams' death, and by whom is it written ?"
All Mrs. Selden's hearers, but Mary and Virginia, were aware of the probability that Mr. Selden might be involved in the pecuniary troubles that had come upon the Williams's, but no one gave utterance to these surmises of evil.
"I think,” said Reginald, turning to Mrs. Selden, "I had better accompany my father; if there are any business matters to be arranged, I can perhaps assist him, though I abhor funeral occasions."
"It is written by Dr. Irving, Mrs. Williams' brother, and it contains an intimation that Mr. Williams' affairs will probably be found in a state of great confusion and embarrassment, with a very urgent request that your father will set out as soon as he can after receiving this letter, to attend the funeral of his friend, and Dr. Irving adds to assist him with his advice, for young completely in a world of your own, that you Williams knows no more of business than a child. might not be awake to the real state of things He represents Mrs. Williams as perfectly over- around you, and I wished to prepare you for whelmed, and incapable of thought or action." them. I did not doubt my son, that you would act kindly and wisely when your attention was fixed upon the subject."
Mrs. Selden pressed Reginald's hand tenderly as she spoke, and as he returned the pressure, he looked at her noble and benign countenance with tenderness and pride, and internally vowed that no effort should be wanting on his part, to sustain her in any trial that might be impending.
Meantime Thomas, for such was the name of the servant, after answering Mr. Selden's inqui"It is an excellent idea," replied Mrs. Selden, ries, was ushered by John, who stood at a little "your presence and assistance would be very distance during the conference, waiting to perform useful and agreeable. You know there is noth-his part, into the servants' room in the basement, ing your father dislikes more than a long solitary with an air of importance and ceremony which drive at any time, and such an expedition as this might have befitted an introduction into some will be peculiarly painful to him, for he not only partakes of your general horror of funeral occasions, but he has from his early youth felt an attachment surprisingly strong to Mr. Williams, considering the great dissimilarity of their characters. When they last parted, Mr. Williams was in high health, full of hopes and plans for the future, and there is something so awful in the idea of this sudden passage from life to death of a familiar friend."
"I almost deserve, mother, that you should think this advice necessary. I know that I have been coldly, selfishly abstracted in my own plans and pursuits, but my heart is still the same, and you did not once think it hard or cold."
Pardon me, Reginald, if I have said anything which implied such a suspicion," said Mrs. Selden, who was much gratified at the warmth with which he spoke, "I know your heart is neither hard nor cold, but I know, as you yourself acknowledge, that you have been living lately so
Thomas was evidently the head man of the establishment to which he belonged, and John, who occupied the same station at Sherwood, was anxious to show his guest that Sherwood and himself were not a whit inferior to Oak Hill and Thomas. Accordingly he placed a chair, with a great air, near the fire for Thomas, helped him to take off his overcoat, which he hung over a chair to dry, ordered little Bill, who stood near to receive his orders, in a very authoritative tone to wait in the kitchen until his uncle Thomas' dinner was ready, and to be sure to bring it in hot. Then presenting his guest with a glass
Yes, and there is no man who would feel such an event more painfully than my father." Mrs. Selden approached the window where Reginald was still standing. "How very fast the snow flakes fall," she said, "they send a chill containing a very potent mixture of brandy and to my heart; I fear you will have a very bad water, he advised him to take it off at once, to
carry the cold off his stomach, a piece of advice | 'bout master's dancing that jig. What, says I, which was promptly and cheerfully complied you don't mean, I hope, that's to be master's fuwith. neral. She never said nothing, but shook her These rites of hospitality having been duly ad- head, as much as to say yes, and it seemed to me ministered, John drew his own chair near the like a knife stuck in my heart, and I felt right fire, and prepared to enter into the conversation, mad with Judy; so says I, I've got other fish to with an introductory groan suitable to the occa- fry besides listening to old women's croaking and sion. foolishness-there an't nothing in dreams. So I went out in a huff like, but I couldn't get it out of my mind."
“No, I'll be bound you could'nt," said John, "that puts me in mind"
But Thomas had no idea of giving way to John's reminiscences in such a narration as this, and went on with a nod of the head, as if to signify that he would listen to him when the proper time came.
"Well, it seems like none of us can tell what's a gwine to happen an hour from this time, let alone a day from this time; to be sure, it must have come upon you all, same as the day of judgment, as I may say."
Thomas gave an answering groan, as he replied, "Lord have massy upon us, it came so sudden, it seems to me as if it most knocked me out of my senses, and I a'nt felt straight since. And to think it all came from poor master not taking my advice; he never would listen to nobody about horses, and to be sure he was an elegant rider; he always said he never see'd the horse yet he could'nt back."
John gave a grunt in place of the Ah, indeed,' and 'is it possible,' common in more polished society upon such occasions, which answered the purpose quite as well, and was infinitely more expressive.
"Well, I made bold to go up to master, as he was going out to his horse, thinks I, no matter what he says, I must speak, and says I, master that bay colt has been standing in the stable so long, and his mouth is so hard, that you'll find him mon'sous tiresome to be ride, and you'll have to be watching him all the time, 'spose sir, you let me go to the stable and get Powhatan for you.
"Spose, sir, you let me do as I please,' he said, with a pleasant sort of a smile. I can see him just as plain as if he was standing before me, instead of laying all cold and bloody in his grave, the Lord have massy upon us. Why, Thomas, you are turning a coward in your old age, but you sha'ut make a coward of me.' And by the time the words was cleverly out of his mouth, he had jumped like a boy on the colt's back, and before he had time to get well on his seat, one of the horses that had got out of the stable gallopped by, and the cussed thing dashed off same as an arrow out of a bow, and never stopped till it had dashed master up against an oak tree in the grove, and to my belief he fell down from her stone dead, for when I got up to him he never moved nor breathed."
"The Lord have massy upon us, taken out of this world without so much as time to say his prayers," said John.
"As to that," replied Thomas, "there is a very good scripture about that, which I have often heard these are the words,
"Somehow or other, when the bay colt was brought out that morning for master to ride, I had a sort of a feeling like something bad was a gwine to happen; I did'nt like the look of his eye, nor the way he held his head n'other, and know'd that breed of horses is nat'rally vicious, and theu too I could'nt help thinking 'bout my dream. I must tell you 'bout that dream; well, just to'rds daybreak, I waked up laughing fit to kill myself, and Judy says, what's the matter that you're laughing about so in your sleep. Says I, Judy, I've had the funniest dream as ever I had before; it seemed to me like the great hall was all lit up with a power of wax candles, and Sambo and Mingo were playing the fiddle for dear life, and the room was full of ladies and gentlemen dancing away in their silks and satins, and their shoe buckles shining like the sun as I may say, and cake, and wine, and jelly, and all sorts of things handing about, and who should be in the middle of the room, dancing a jig, but master, like he used to do in his young days, and he capered away and jumped so high, I could not help laughing, and that waked me up."
John shook his head. "That dream did'nt mean no good."
"Ah, that's the very thing Judy said. Says I don't know what would have become of race she, Thomas that dream don't mean no good; riders and jockies, if it wan't for that. A body don't you know as old as you are, that morning may shoot up a prayer as quick as lightning in dreams goes by contraries, and I'm afeerd some time of need, and master was a mon'sous good, great trouble is a coming; that dance I reckon worldly man, and I cant help thinking that ought means a funeral, and I don't like your dreaming to help some."
Between the stirrup and the ground,
How boyhood loved that land of light!—
Of pearl-wrought tissues, broad unroll'd!
Before suffused with mellow gold
The herald of yon rising morn Come from remotest Ind, behold The City of the Golden Horn ;
And floating high on rosy air,
Above Scutari's marble sheen, With slender pinions long and fair Flutters the dove-eyed Jacobine.
Afar the walls of Smyrna brave
The burning sky and shiver clear The Grecian mountains in the waveRill-swollen-of some haunted mere;
A shadowy mere locked in by hills
The silken flags of Chief and Ban
Bright rise the valley of Cashmere
The Caliphs' palace large and fairThe maid of Georgia without peer
The minarets piercing upper air.—
With all respect for Miss Aguilar-both as an authoress of wide-extended popularity, and a lady of irreproachable character-we consider the volumes under the title given above as decidedly dangerous in their tendency. We say in their tendency, for in letter they ought not to offend the most zealous Christian when the origin of the authoress is considered. Under the guise of an humble and religious interpretation of that part of the gospel which treats of the status and rights of woman, the work is in reality an argument for Judaism, and in many parts almost openly trenches on the question of the divinity or nondivinity of our Saviour-called here as elsewhere by the Jewish writers, The Nazarene.
We are convinced that no religious belief whatsoever should shrink from examination or from the attacks of those who hold opposing doctrines-much less the pure and flawless edifice of the christian faith. Faith in the true is confirmed by any attempt to undermine it, as the frame of the warrior is hardened in the shock of battle. Toleration should be the boast of every religious sect, for by toleratoin alone can the true be sifted from the false. The conflict of opinion annihilates error, as persecution confirms the believer in the faith for which he suffers.
But Miss Aguilar's work is not for the grave doctors, learned rabbis and fair "mothers" of her own "Israel." Her volumes hitherto have found their way to numberless Christian homes and firesides. The Vale of Cedars, and Woman's Influence, have been widely popular;— and we have met with many ladies who considered these works not only "intensely" interesting and delightful, but in addition every thing that orthodoxy could desire. This work will inherit a part of their reputation, but it will be found totally different in its character.
But our strongest objection is not yet stated. It lies Fishermen of Tiberias" (which we have not met with in the fact that the reputation of Miss Aguilar's previous elsewhere) is one of Mr. Hirst's most brilliant and forciworks and their unexceptionable character will recom- ble productions. Many lines have a point and beauty mend the neat and elegant volumes of the "Women of equal to the finest things of Tennyson. e. g. Israel" for gift books. Under the impression that they are gathering at once religious information and entertainment, young girls will read that Miss Aguilar " rejects wholly and utterly all belief in the Nazarene doctrine," and find her specious arguments drawn from isolated sentences of the gospel and quotations from Jewish doctors, gradually stealing upon their minds.
In Mr. D'Israeli's "Contarini Fleming" we are told that, when his turn came the Hebrew merchant Besso, wrote upon the wall where the Protestant, the Catholic and the Freethinker had already inscribed their tenets"I will not believe in those who must believe in me."
We submit with all respect that neither the doctrines nor the writing, of this race are the proper inmates of Christian homes.
THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. By ELIZABETH WETHERELL. 2 vols. New York. Geo. P. Putnam. 155 Broadway. 1851.
We were first tempted to read this work by an advertisement which stated it to be from the pen of Mrs. Browning, the elegant authoress of the "Drama of Exile." The authoress, or rather author, as the fair knights of the Pen are fond of styling themselves in these latter days, is not Mrs. Browning, but Mrs. Elizabeth Wetherell.
The work appears highly entertaining and in the heading, to the chapters, we were particularly struck with the tact and skill of the writer. Chapters under such delightful curiosity-prompting titles must needs be engrossing. Who could resist the desire to become further acquainted with the halcyon pages which chronicle "The Running away with the brook,"-"Counsel, Cakes, and Captain Parry,"-"The jingling of sleigh-bells," and "The little spirit that haunted the big house." The very title of "The Wide, Wide World," has about it a vague, mysterious sound as of fairy-land, which will recommend it for a gift book to those little folks for whom no doubt it is partly or wholly intended. For such a purpose it is unexceptionable.
A glance at the neat, attractive and somewhat peculiar binding, betray at once the press from which it issues. We have received it from the publisher.
SCENES IN THE LIFE OF THE SAVIOUR; BY THE POETS
This compilation is edited, as the reader will perceive, by Mr. Griswold-the man to whom, above all others, the literary public of America should be most grateful. His numerous editions of the "Poets of America" have served more than any other works whatsoever to make Europe and the world acquainted with the poetic literature of the western world. The bold pioneer of American letters, this constitutes his least merits. To a temper so energetic and indefatigable as seldom to be equalled, he adds an amount of information, a catholicity of spirit, and a truth and sincerity of character which entitle him to the respect and admiration of all who know him.
"A man of stately presence-one whose brow
With the literary portion of the "Scenes, &c." our commendation ends. The engravings, in the lowest and rudest style of wood-cut, are most execrable-not for a moment to be endured. The eye turns away from "Christ stilling the tempest" and "The entrance into Jerusalem" with positive pain. The most gorgeous efforts of the old masters of the pencil and the burin would be powerless to eradicate the mean impressions produced upon the mind by these cuts, were the reader to dwell long or often on the coarse engravings (by courtesy so called) in the "Scenes, etc." The artists would seem to have felt the rudeness of their designs, for scarcely any have attached their names.
For sale by Harrold & Murray.
LIVES OF THE QUEENS OF SCOTLAND, AND ENGLISH
But one volume of this work has appeared in this counThat is before us. The Lives of the Queens of England acquired for Mrs. Strickland a gratifying repntation, and the present volumes we think will add to it. The contents so far are the lives of Margaret Tudor, the violent and selfish queen of James IV; of Mary of Lorraine and of Magdalene of France, first queen of James V., whose life, according to the authoress, is "a romantic but carefully-verified love tale of royal romance."
Mrs. Strickland's works are always valuable, for they are the fruits of diligent research, careful comparison of authorities, and a thoroughly truthful and impartial bent of mind. These qualities are all apparent in "The Queens of Scotland,"-if any more plainly than another, her research.
Those were days of pomp, splendor and chivalric gallantry, and a lady of Mrs. Strickland's intellect and enthusiasm for her subject, could not fail to do the actors in them justice.
The work is printed in the clear and beautiful type of the Harpers-but when will publishers revolutionize the present style of binding and do away with this most worthless "muslin." The worst feature of its use is the close-clipping of the margin, rendering after and more durable binding impossible, The "muslin" once worn out the book is worthless,
TREASURED THOUGHTS FROM FAVOURITE AUTHORS. Edited and arranged by CAROLINE MAY. Philadelphia. Lindsay & Blakiston. 1851.
This is a volume of much interest and value from the
The present work is illustrative of the Life and Pas-press of Messrs. Lindsay & Blakiston, of Philadelphia, a sion of our Saviour-the pieces being selected chiefly from house which we believe has but recently commenced buAmerican writers-from Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Osgood, siness. These works, though popular with a large porLongfellow, Willis, Hawthorne and Whittier. "The 'tion of the community, are very little to our taste. We