Page images

no complaints of the · Ligurian fraud.' The jewelled watch, that exhausted my little purse, has proved as true to the promise of its vender, as a steed to the word of a Turk. I wish I were as regular, and as true to my real interest, as this is to the sun.

But I am not; neither, dear reader, can you be; but were it as easy for us to correct our faults as it is to detect them, virtue would lose the merit she now derives from the conflict: the hardest substances polish the steel the brightest.

The Genoese, especially the young females, are remarkably neat in their persons. Even those in the humblest condition seldom offend you in a negligence of dress. The kerchief that protects the bosom, may have been rent, but it has been repaired; its snowy whiteness blushes back the living carnation of her cheek; the stocking may betray the frequent efforts of the needle, but it sets snugly to the round instep, and then there is nothing else there to make you wish the gentle wearer had forded one of her mountain streams. The daughter of the simple gardener, as she sits at market, by the side of her little vegetable store, seems to have caught her conceptions of propriety from the violets of her parterre ; and the blooming girl of Recco understands how to give an additional attraction to a smooth orange, or a cluster of grapes; she comes in her blue silk boddice, her rosecolored petticoat, her Maltese cross of gold, with her hair fancifully braided and interlaced with flowers; and the tuberose, the blossom of the pomegranate, and the sprig of rich jasmine, in their mingled fragrance and beauty, are not more captivating, than the bright smile which plays over her sweet face. Who would not purchase of such an one? I could not have passed her by, though her basket had contained only the blighted fruit of some vainly cherished tree. I have ever observed, that he who solicits charity for another, or pressed by need, essays to sell what is his own, is most successful when he rather stirs our admiration than pity. Emotions awakened by objects in themselves agreeable, are ever more welcome guests at the heart, than those which come merely to claim our compassion. Hence it is, that rich men dying heirless, oftener bequeath their estates to the rich than the poor. What a miserable thing, after all, is human nature ! But I am moralizing again : this habit will be the ruin of me, and my narrative in the bargain. But can a stream leave the spring and not carry with it the properties of its fountain ? There is egotism in that remark: but let it pass.

We could not leave Genoa without a farewell visit to the Mary Magdalen of Paul Veronese, in the royal palace. This meek being is represented in the house of the pharisee, at the feet of our Saviour; and so full of life and tender force is each limb and feature, that your feelings, unperceived by yourself, begin to flood your eyes. Her attitude, so meek and devoted; her long and flowing locks of gold, concealing more of her face than her emotions; the timid hand, half failing in its office; the look of grief and love ; the tears, as they swim and fall, make you feel that there is a sweetness and loveliness in piety, which nothing can surpass or supply, in the female heart.

We have been to the palace of the doges, but there is only enough there to make you grieve for what is gone. The great council chamber, with its lofty ceiling of vivid frescoes, and stately columns of beau

tiful brocatello, remains ; but the marble statues which once adorned it, have departed, and their niches have been supplied with such representations as plaster and stiff drapery can produce. These men of clay and buckram, standing so astutely in this hall of legislative wis. dom, remind me of those members of our congress unconditionally instructed by their constituents. But there are memorials here, to which an American heart can never be wholly dead; a marble bust of Columbus, and two letters in his own hand, addressed to the eitizens of Genoa. These remains reconciled us to the desolate sensations of the spot; they brought back with vivifying power the virtues and trials, the triumphs and sufferings, of one to whom the world owes its greatest debt of gratitude, and who sunk to his last rest in distrust, desertion, and chains ! But it is not for me to dress his bier; nor will I presumptively cast a flower into that fragrant, imperishable garland, which Irving has woven on his grave. Virtue may be misrepresented, persecuted, and hurried to the tomb; but the righteous wake not more assuredly to the reality of their hopes, than this to an immortal remembrance.

The reader must not suppose that every thing in Genoa wore to my eyes so much of the couleur de rose, as this description may at first seem to intimate. I might have darkly shaded some features in this picture, without being unjust to the original; but my first glance of the city, from the sea, disarmed me. I was like a painter sketching the face of the one he loves. I might with truth have brought into mournfil prominency the ignorance of the great masses; their delusive confidence in the pageantries of their religion; their easily disruptured connection with a virtuous life; the jealousies and guilt which trouble their social relations; the absence of incentives to enterprise and industry, in their civil condition; the spirit of discontent which breaks and embitters their seeming repose ; and above all, the massive despotism which grinds them to the earth. The lingering forms of freedom have at length departed from Genoa ; her doges are in the grave, and her commerce bas fled the ocean. Egypt and Palestine, Asia Minor and Thrace, the Mediterranean and Levant, with the thousand bright isles which gemmed these waters, and where she was once respected and obeyed, now know her no more. Even Venice, her ancient rival, has ceased to dream of her power; to all the East she is only what are now the hosts that went from her bosom to battle in the Holy Land; a phantom of perished greatness.

But a better day may yet perhaps dawn on Genoa. She is not yet the ruined votary of vice, nor the crouching slave of tyranny. Another Doria, like her first, may yet arise to rally her scattered strength; to break the iron that eats into her soul; to send the malignant despot who rivets her chain, back to his petty isle; and, sustained by the shouting vigor of fraternal cities, to grapple with the force of Austrian interference, and with indignant energy hurl back the broken links of her fetters into the very teeth of that Moloch of despotism. May this day come; may these eyes see it; and Genoa, were not the proffer beneath thy pride, here are hearts and hands for thee! Strike for freedom and for self-respect; for the greatness lost, and the gifts that remain! Thousands mourn thy slumber, and the spirits of thy fathers speak to thee from the grave !

[blocks in formation]

Speak of me then with gladness, not with tears,
For when have fitted by a few short years,
Ye, 100, will pass from earthly care and pain,
And we shall meet in paradise again,

No more to part!
New-York, April, 1839.


M. N. M.

A woman's love, deep in the heart,

Is like the violet flower,
That lifts its modest head apart,

In some sequestered bower;
And blest is he who finds that bloom,

Who sips its genıle sweets;
He heeds not life's oppressive gloom,

Nor all the care he meets.
A woman's love is like the spring,

Amid the wild alone;
A burning wild, o'er which the wing

Of cloud is seldom thrown;
And blest is he who meets that fount,

Beneath the sultry day;
How gladly should his spirits mount,

How pleasant be his way!
A woman's love is like the rock,

That every tempest braves,
And stands secure amid the shock

of ocean's wildest waves;
And blest is he to whom repose

Within its shade is given;
The world, with all its cares and woes,

Seems less like earth than heaven.




I had a dream, which was not all a dream.' • The weather is so warm, and I have eaten such a dinner, that I am confident I shall fall asleep, if I go to afternoon church. What shall I do, mother ?

•Go to church, Louisa, as your father desires. Listen to the service, with proper devotional feeling; and give Mr. Snorer's sermon your undivided attention, and you will be in no danger of falling asleep.'

Mother, I have tried that, and for the life of me, I can neither keep my feelings nor my attention alive enough to keep my senses awake. I have to pinch myself, and run pins into my knee, yet all will not do; some invisible power presses down my eye-lids; and before I am aware, there I sit, my stupid head nodding, with its eyes shut, in full view of the congregation.'

· You have said all this before, Louisa ; but you cannot stay at home, without displeasing your father; so let me advise you to make a virtue of necessity, and do your best to overcome this unlady-like habit of sleeping in church.'

Louisa's mother might have added more; but her father's voice was now beard, summoning her to attend him; and as in silence she pursued her way by his side, along the dusty path, beneath a scorcking sun, her heart rebelled, and she longed to be in her own pleasant garden, or seated beneath the cool piazza. However, to church she went, and to sleep she went; and while her father listened approvingly to the sound doctrine and well-turned sentences of Mr. Snorer's discourse, the nasal twang and monotonous cadence of the good preacher had their customary lulling effect on the senses of several of the congregation; but I doubt if any one of them was visited with so singular a dream, as occurred to poor Louisa, during her stolen slumbers.

The silly girl had read in one of her French lessons, a certain fanciful story, called the ‘Palace of Truth,' and she now fancied the sacred edifice converted into such an abode, and Mr. Snorer's motley congregation subjected to the involuntary betrayal of their inmost thoughts. Even her respected father did not escape. He, good man, listened with profound attention, to be sure; but instead of the spirit of piety, an imp of sectarian intolerance occupied his mind; and all the arguments of the worthy Mr. Snorer were treasured there, as offensive and defensive weapons, wherewith to carry on a wordy war (fighting still under the banner of the Prince of Peace,) with certain of his heretical neighbors. Even in her dream, Louisa felt sorely grieved at her imagined discovery of how very, very far her father's spirit of religious controversy led him from the path of true christianity.

A gentleman who sat in the next pew, was wide awake, and apparently attentive; but when his thoughts were laid bare, they were found to consist of interesting calculations touching his earthly stores; while his wife, a notable house-keeper, was laying thrifty plans of domestic economy, her eyes at the same time fixed steadfastly on the minister, whose discourse she seemed to be devouring with both her ears.

A young lawyer was next subjected to the ordeal, and his mind presented such a medley of incongruous ideas, of shallow learning and vain conceits, that there was no room for devotion ; and Louisa was glad to pass him by, and take a peep at the thoughts of his next neighbor, a brother lawyer, and, to casual observers, his counterpart in mental endowments; but there was a great contrast in the inner man. All wandering fancies were banished, and his high intellectual powers were turned attentively to the sermon of good Mr. Snorer, to whom he was listening, as he had often done before, wishing and hoping to draw instruction from his words; something to satisfy the cravings of a religious heart. But he was disappointed, as usual, and fell into criticisms on the preacher; pronouncing him ‘dry,' “phlegmatic,' and 'wholly uninteresting.'

An old bachelor sat near, a regular attendant on divine service; a religious man; a man who admitted no excuse for those misguided individuals who pass through this weary pilgrimage' without God in the world. There at least Louisa expected to find a well-regulated mind, properly devoted to the exercises of the day. But it was not so. The good man's heart was wandering after his eyes among the younger and fairer portion of the congregation; though he felt half disposed to quarrel with them for looking so pretty in their Sunday bonnets, that he could not keep his eyes off them. Louisa smiled archly, with malicious glee, when she found which way the old bachelor's thoughts were straying, and she dreamed that he stretched out his hand to

« PreviousContinue »