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there?” asked, in a magisterial tone, the Beech, Whitethorn, occupying a position between Trees from his high station. “ You are both equally and Flowers, was felt to be a peculiarly suitable inquisitive and foolish, and very naturally, for mediator. The reconciliation, nevertheless, was how can anything not quite a year old be other- not easily arranged, as no efforts could persuade wise than a baby?”
the Beech entirely to retract its offensive words. These ill-advised words were like to have At length, an expedient was fallen on, and the brought on a serious conflict; for all the flowers Beech was induced to say, that though he must felt alike insulted, and declared unanimously continue to assert that the Trees were an older they would not pass it over unavenged. The family than the Flowers, he was free to confess Sword Lily, as coinmandant of the floral stand- that the Rocks were older than either ; adding ing army, was summoned to his post; the light at the same time his assurances, that nerer troops of Aconite put on their golden armour, having intended, throughout the affair, to disand the heavy guns of the Stramonium were parage the Flowers, for whom he had the highdrawn out. The very partisans of the Foxglove est respect, he did not feel as if any apology and Strawberry which had called forth the whole were necessary. insurrection, agreed to unite against the com- The Foxglove grumbled a little at this, and mon enemy. Nettles and Thistles, the very the smart Carnation quietly remarked, that it was reserve of the flower militia, were mustered, and conceding just nothing at all. But the Flowers even volunteers invited to join the ranks. generally expressed themselves satisfied, and the
The Rose was the first to turn out, and make business terminated amid renewed assurances ready her sharpest thorns; not the less willingly of amity and good will. that she was thought to have a standing grudge The Beech's admission had again drawn atagainst the Trees, because they would not admit tention towards the Rock, and the wish to get her as an equal, though often bearing her flow- him to speak revived; while the late tumulers on a right tree-like stem. The feud had tuous threatenings of insurrection passed from been pending from time immemorial, and all the the memories of all like a fantastic dream. diplomacy of Tree and Flower had been exerted In what way, however, was the dumb and to bring it to an issue-a prominent part in little companionable Rock to be got at? The which had been taken by the Guelder Rose, Trees would fain have deputed the Brook to which was fond of claiming kindred with the ask him, who had boasted of their friendly inti. taller among the roses, and consequently eagerly macy, and had first made them aware of the Rock's embraced their cause. These proceedings, un- extent of knowledge. The Flowers again thought fortunately, were all carried on by word of they might best gain their object through the mouth; thus depriving the world of a mass of Grass, which, by means of its connexion with documents of inestimable value, after perusal | the Moss, could easily get their wishes commaof which it might probably have remained as nicated to the Rock. This difference of opinion wise as before.
might have endangered the newly-cemented Nor were the remaining Flowers -- who had alliance, had not the Brook bethought itself of a not, like the Rose, any private ground of quar- middle way. rel-a whit behindhand in defence of their ho- Beg of the Fern, which is neither a flower nour. The Anemone especially made a long nor a tree, to negociate with the Rock, who will speech on floral rights ; and the Reed com- never refuse his most intimate friend, which posed and recited a patriotic poem.
nestles so close, and spreads itself over him in The May Lily filled its ample goblet, and vo- such a caressing confidential fashion." lunteered the Suttler's office; and a great body “Fern!" asked the flowers, "wilt thou preof Flowers assembled as an auxiliary force, and vail on the Rock ?” spoke much, and not without enthusiasm, of Fern nodded a silent assent: all listened, dying for the general good; and already pic- while the Brook muttered, as if in continuation, tured to themselves in the brightest colours the something which no one well understood. The brilliant part which individually they were to trees gave themselves a shake, that they might play in the grand floral triumph.
keep still afterwards, and the flowers popped up l'he aflair meanwhile had become very serious; their heads above the grass; meantime the Fern and if the Trees did not prepare so speedily, it had made known to the Rock the general visb, was because to many the contest would be at- and strangely muffled by the lichens from amil tended with peculiar inconvenience - to the which it issued, sounded his tale as follows:Pirie-tree, especially, who might thus be branded “Well might the Brook say I was the elder with falsehood in his late account of the ami- of the forest: I know all about times far beyond cable relations between Flower and Leaf. And those to which your memories can reach! In by degrees the military fervour of at least the the stories I have overheard among you, there is greater part among the Flowers cooled down a great deal of truth, though here and there coralso. They inclined far rather to hear the rections may be requisite. 'Tis true, as the Rock's narration; so that the efforts of the Poppies have told you, that flowers, one by one, Bramble and the Whitethorn to mediate a peace enamelled the ground; and the Pine-tree was found acceptance with all. The Bramble was right when he described to you the seasons particularly zealous-counting cousins, some partitioning the earth. But before this, there what remotely, with the Strawberry, the cause, extended a long weary period, and many a batthough the indirect one, of the strife ; while the tle had to be fought ere matters were ripe for
that! At the first Creation of the universe, the portion of itself, the tolerant mountain was fain earth was a huge mighty rock, barren and to harbour. Then came the seas and rivers, rugged, but fast and immovable. As it stood, rocks and plains divided; but as yet, all barren cold in its loneliness, the Creator sent those and unfruitful, because on what is grudgingly three potent brethren the Elements, to warm and extorted there cannot rest a blessing. make fruitful. First came, in his garb of gold Then sent forth the Creator the Elements' and purple, the elder brother Fire. Powerful gentle sister Air, in garb of soft pale blue, to help and uncontrolled, he rushed through the earth, and hallow all. She began by reconciling her knocking here and digging there, to conquer the brethren with the Rock; and though the latter stubborn Rock, but in vain; for, let the Fire play still refused to give to Fire his liberty, Air gained on it as it might, the Rock would not give in. permission, at her pleasure, to visit her imAnd wildly did the battle rage ! Now and then prisoned brother; and ever as she did so, she would Fire gain a partial victory, and succeed in brought back with her somewhat of his warmth, splitting from the solid mass larger or smaller and scattered it abroad over the earth. Then fragments, and hurling them in token of tri- first life stirred in its bosom, seeds vegetated umph over the earth; there I and my brethren and struck rools: but heat alone was powerless, still lie, scattered without design or order, the if not noxious : cool waters must assuage and trophies of the caprice of an unbridled con- temper it, ere buds could blossom, or vegetation queror. But it was not always that Fire ob- deck the ground. Water was more than willing tained the upper hand; for in the very masses to assist, but straitened by his banks; so Air he had thus detached in his fury, the Rock hovered caressingly over the other fettered sought and found means first to withstand, and brother, and drawing from his fraternal kisses then to make him prisoner, and bind him with the moisture they imparted, bore it aloft to pour strong fetters in his very citadel. That every it over the plains. Then first they felt mild stone has fire in its keeping you all well know; rains, and clothed themselves in verdure; trees for when men, who love fire, and have also re- and flowers grew, and man and beast could find duced him to bondage, strike on one with thin subsistence. steel, out spring the sparks-slight isolated “ So Air continued her alternate visits to her breathings of the great elemental captive. How brethren, receiving rich gifts in nature; from he still heaves and labours in his central dun- Fire his light and heat, from Water fertilizing geon I will hereafter tell you.
tempering clouds. And this you may observe When Fire had thus been vanquished, came still going on.
Now Air is seen in all the forth his younger brother Water, in vest of brilliant hues left with her by her elder's glowing green, turned up with silver. He was both embrace; now in the mourning vel tlung over viser and more experienced; for not only had her by her junior in their parting hour. The Fire he profited by the example of his brothers' de- you behold in morning's radiant flush and feat, but this misfortune had brought him better evening's ruddy glow; and when Air bids acquainted with the character of their common Water sorrowfully adieu, you mark the weeping foe. And seeing the Fire had made nothing of Mists, and see the cloud sail trooping by. But open war, he betook himself to negociation. So they, as Water's offspring, cling still fondly to le laved, and leaped up upon the rocks, flatter- the earth. Air bids her slaves, the Winds, bear ing and toying with them; now essaying en- them aloft upon their wings; but, pining exiles, treaties, now cunning; now resorting, though they gaze downward in mute woe upon their more rarely, to force.
home, till, dissolved in tears, they reach their The earth began now to put on quite another mother's lap once more. appearance ; for Water, occupying all the spaces "Nor are the fiery particles which Air bears his brother had already won, soon established off her willing captives; but when the clouds fling himself in their possession. In that wide basin themselves despairingly downward, fire streams where now Ocean lies, he specially and speedily with them; the one gently weeping, the other spread; and as the Rock had at first no objec- wildly thundering. Thence comes the storm, tion, Water slily crept up higher and higher, and before which man and beast instinctively quail, then put out his strength, and scooped out for yet in which strangely mingle the soft influences himself the valleys, down which run mighty tor- of the weeping Cloud with the terrific lightning's rents. And while the Rock still took this in glare; while, as in all else in Nature, blessing good part, and even stooped to lend banks to prevails over judgment, and when Water and the neiv-formed rivers, the encroaching element l'ire have, thus united, reached the ground, waxed greedier still, and leaving oft his banks Earth teems, revived and refreshed, and all is behind, would threaten to wash the mountain vitality and vigour. base itself away. Rock stood upon his rights What further befel-how the Seasons agreed at last, however, and spurned the Water back and quarrelled-how plants arose and grew, into its bed; but though discomfited, he fell you have already heard. We Rocks behold all upon a wile to extend and improve his domain. blooming and smiling around us, and having All the light débris, of which hy fraud or force witnessed the earlier reign of desolation and he had despoiled the rock, he buried deep within disorder, cannot but rejoice at the view, eren his bosom; and when, after overflowing his though now lying unnoticed and little honoured banks, compelled to retreat within them, he left on that earth once our unchallenged empire. behind a mixture of water and rock, which, as a And here I must observe how idle as the complaint of the Foxglove of our forcing ourselves “Gold, Silver, and Iron were already made, between you; when it is you who daily trespass and Fire grew quite tired of dabbling always in the upon us, and will soon scarcely leave us the same colours; so he begged Air, next time she lessening space on which it is our sole ambition came, to bring him some from Earth; and she to lie down in peace.”
collected Flowers and Grasses for him. It was The Foxglove blushed, and hung down its but little of either she could carry; but with the flower-bells ashamed. The Strawberry tittered Grass's green, and the fairest hues expressed unbecomingly behind its broad green leaves, from the light petals wafted to him, Fire dyed and the Beech murmured something unintelligi- bright Gems, and hardened them in his furnace; bly above. The Brook took fright lest the old so that in those far depths of Earth which you strife should recommence, and said,
perhaps suppose consigned to gloom and dark“Right thankful are we, grey Elder of the ness, all is splendour and brilliancy-the walls Forest, for your narrative; but there is much hung round with precious Stones, the Deep's yet behind which you have got to tell us.” gay garlands, and the Rock's bright eyes. But
“What is it you would know?” inquired the if it happens-as it will—in Fire's workshop, Rock.
that a drop of colour overflows, or even the “What Fire, down below in the Earth's core, painter washes his pencil, dipt in hue of gold or is about; and whether he submits patiently to silver, or tints more precious still, thence come his imprisonment?”
treacherous Mica, deceptive Ores, fictitious Gerns, “ By no manner of means,” replied the Rock; to lure and mock the finder; of which, as my "for though his sister's visits amuse his cap. friend the Brook has told you, Puck teaves tivity, and console him by the share they afford mimic rainbows." him in Earth's fruitfulness, he cherishes in se- “But we have never seen Air carry away any cret, not only hopes of liberty, but even perhaps of our sisters,” said the Tulip, with an increduof ultimate dominion. This, however, would be lous shake of the head. a sad misfortune, and probably bring about the “Because," replied the Rock, “you did not end of all things. And of this both Air and pay attention. Just observe, for once, the ere. Water are aware, and do their best to prevent ning sky, and see how it is lit up with tints Fire from gaining the mastery. When this which never could have belonged to itself
. threatens to be the case, Air comes and kisses There glows the pink of the Rose, and the her beloved brother, who beneath her caresses yellow of the Crocus, and the purple of the glows brighter, clearer, and apparently stronger Violet, and the bright deep red of the Poppy than before; while the heat she in her case over all-in short a thousand hues too numerous steals from him prevents his burning too power- for words. Now it is not every afternoon, but fully. If alone she finds him unmanageable, only now and then, you see this wonderful com. she calls in Water; and after an often desperate bination of distinct, yet melting tints; and then struggle, Fire is at length overpowered. Then be sure it is a wreath of flowers which Air bears he sits him down, in pretended quiet, in his in her hand to her imprisoned brother. rocky cave, deep in the bowels of the earth, be- “ Distance no doubt prevents you, while you guiling his captivity with many a sportive pas- view the colours, from distinguishing your intime.
dividual sisters; but if you had asked your “Now would he roast and then melt the rocks hearts, they would have told you that it was so: about him, colouring the mixture with dyes for do they not draw you powerfully, though from his own glowing fiery robes, and so make perhaps unconsciously, when you all turn your gold. Then would he borrow of the Waters, heads, in longing recognition, towards your dripping from their fissures their lighter hues, fleeting sisterhood ? Your feelings, had you and paint the paler silver. From the very Rock, listened to them, would have taught you this ere his jailor, he would continue to purloin some of now. All you creatures of earth, however, in his dusky reddish coating to lend its dingy, this resemble mankind, that you will not believe hue to his manufacture of Iron. Now none of that love to be the best which you might seek in them, as you may suppose, proved any, very vain for ever from the understanding, but which great blessing. Gold and silver are proverbially the heart is prompt to whisper still!” deceitful things, however men in their folly “ But what does Fire do with the Flowers," crave and seek after them; and as for Iron, inquired Forget-me-not, “when he has robbed chiefly concocted before Rocks and Fields were them of their radiant hues ?” on such friendly terms as now, it readily lent its “He stores them, colourless, but bright and aid to root up and disturb the latter; while undecaying, in rocky clefts—their starry foliage rough, unfriendly, and discontented ever-spite turned to shining crystals." of its obligations to the Rocks—it is more dis- The Rock stood silent till the Oak put in his inclined to pierce us to the heart. As for the word fields, perhaps the damage done to them by iron, “Forgive me if what I fain would ask andoys may be compensated by the greater fruitfulness you, and be sure it never could be my intention that follows. But we Rocks can hardly bear to to offend or wound one so wise and deeply see Earth's goodly breast so cruelly maltreated; skilled in ancient lore. But being, as I am, and when the iron is holding its remorseless next oldest in the Forest to yourself, and show, way, we often interpose to receive the shock and ing, as I do, your two good gifts of strength and turn the plough aside.
durability, I may be said to have a right to
your confidence. Now all are brethren here in Dip thy foot in my cooling wave,' whispered the wood. We have an object amid our vicissi- Ocean to the confiding Mountain. . And I will tudes; we grow, and we bloom, and we bear crown thy summit with bright garlands, murfruit, each after our several fashion. You Rocks, mured Air, “and spread a flowery carpet around however, lie unaltered-ever the same, and on thy knees.' ' And I again' (resumed Water), the self-same spot. Is this not (excuse me) at · when thus embellished, will hold up a mirror once monotonous and melancholy?"
to thy beauties, that thou mayest behold them, "You too are just like mankind,” said the and their reflected image shall adorn my bosom.' Rock, half jesting, half incensed; "you look And so it was; the gently curving Shore flung its upon your doings as of first-rate importance; golden bow round the lovely Wave, and the and on yourselves as the whole object and centre Mountain looked down smiling on the scene. of creation. You grow, and you blow, and you “Now one day that Air was visiting her brobear fruit; and pray what do you make of it ? ther Fire, she began to tell him about this You wither and die, and are forgotten. Time favourite haunt of Water's, where he would stretches his hand over the spot where you dream his brightest, happiest hours away.” stood, and your every trace is blotted out. “ Could I not manage to see it ?” inquired Each one of you is a mere drop in Nature's Fire, eagerly. ocean, unmarked save by himself, and who “ Leave me to sound the Rock about it," reknows not why he exists. Which of us can, plied Air. indeed? But I at least never weary, let me Rock was by good luck in an unwonted comremain ever so long unheeded; for under my plying humour, and at this very spot—thanks rough outside I bear a feeling heart, and to the civilities Air and Water had shown himmark the changes all around. Many thousands peculiarly easy to deal with, so that our arguof years have rolled over me, and no day ment was soon concluded. Rock consented to among them like the last. Meantime, lying, open, at the summit of the Mountain in which as I do, with my ear to the ground, I hold impatient Fire was imprisoned, a window, converse through earth's depths with distant through which he might look out when so inRocks, who tell me of spots on its surface clined, provided Water would allow a Rock to of wondrous beauty, forming bright episodes in rise distinctly in the midst of it, to keep watch the live-long tale which Nature is for ever on his proceedings. Just over against the Bay, wearing for her playmate Earth.”
at the opening of its circle to admit the Water, Aye!" assented the Pine-tree," there are, rises a conical mount, looking down on one side indeed, glorious spots in the world, as my cousin on the gulf, and on the other on the open sea has told me, who, you remember, enjoyed great beyond. What I am telling you I had from opportunities while roaming as a ship's mast.” this Rock itself.
Oh, to be sure !” exclaimed the Aspen, “Right opposite to it, on the main land, is scoffingly, “ regions all snow and ice, where Fire's observatory. By day, when light sheds your friend Winter keeps the earth and people its clear beams over the earth, the smoke alone on it alike imprisoned !"
is visible, which he puffs forth in clouds. But "Your restless fluttering must have lost you when night comes, Fire thrusts up his flaming half my story," said the Pine, leisurely, “ else head out of his attic window, and illumines the you would have been aware that there are spots darkness with the lightning of his eyes; while wholly the domain of Summer ; where Winter he evidently enjoys his freedom, and plays many never intrudes, where trees are ever green, and a fantastic trick: he often nods in a familiar flowers spread a perennial carpet; where the way to my friend the Rock, who would return waters are never arrested by ice, and which the compliment, were he not so fast anchored in snow only visits as a colder kiss than usual the sea. And ever since the opening of Fire's from the clouds."
window, the shores of the Bay have grown more "Ah!” exclaimed several Flowers at once, and more lovely. Fire was too much of a gen“could we but see those favoured regions !” tleman to enjoy the sight of its beauties without
“ I am on the way to do so," said the Brook, contributing something towards them, and scatsomewhat proudly; and leaping higher, and tered his sparks far and wide over the coast. running faster at the very thought, I hasten to Some of them fell on the verdant trees, kept join the River, and it falls into the Sea, which fast hold of their shining boughs, and instead of surely will bear me with it to those lovely going out, these sparks turned into golden fruit, lands."
glowing as when they left their native furnace. In the meantime," said the Rock, “ Ill tell To this day (so the Rock tells me), do these you more about them, for of one at least of same Trees grow red fire-apples (some call them those privileged and renowned spots of earth I oranges). And perennially glowing is this fiery have authentic information :
produce; for as at every season the Trees wear At the time when Water was concluding his alike their coat of dark, but shining green, so treaty of peace with us Rocks, he scooped him- do these fire-born fruits adorn their twigs self out a lovely Bay, and the Mountains bowed throughout the year.” themselves in a circle like a crown around it. “ But do these wonderful fruits never bear This Bay was the Sea’s favourite retreat ; and it blossoms?” inquired the Apple Tree. invited Air to come thither and breathe her “ That do they, like a shower of soft and franchest influences over these lovely shores. grant snow. The same branch carries fruit and flowers, and the scent of the blossom mingles bolts to keep them fast. What passes there is with the flavour of the fruit. But there is one known only to the Elements themselves, and to spot on this favoured coast more richly fruit- my friend the Rock, who harbours them. But clad still. 'Tis when the mountains tread more he is pledged to secrecy, and keeps his pledge.” closely on the strand, and raise their summits, crowned with orange groves, interwoven with a for it. Is he, too, fond of flowers?"
“ That is right," said the Rose; " I like him net-work of the long streaming tendrils of the Vine.
“Roses at least he loves, surrounded as he is “ Fire, meantime, looks out from the moun.
by a perpetual Spring,” replied the Rock. tain, rejoicing over his gifts. The Sea whispers
“ How lovely that must be!" sighed forth the its mysterious lays to the strand, and fringes its flowery Queen. margin with the whitest and lightest of foam.
“ And all this I am bound to see!" gladly The Mountain towers over the scene, and Air repeated the Brook. waves its soft mantle over all. The sweet per
“ Then fail not to carry greetings from us to fume of the Orange-blossom pervades it; the the roses on the mountain ?" cried all the flowers Spirit of the Water reigns there, and invites together. Earth's denizens to bathe them in the tepid
"And from us to the Orange Trees on the flood. Each evening, when Air paints the west- shore," murmured the Trees. ern sky with her parting hues, she decks the
“ But how shall I know the spot?" inquired mountain too with roseate draperies, that make the Brook of his neighbour Rock. her look as though she were the Sea's blushing
“ From my description,” was the answer, bride. Each night does Fire hang forth from
“But Men call the Bay that of Naples, and in his stronghold brilliant streams, gold-grounded their language, my friend the Rock is known by and embroidered over with precious stones, the name of Capri.” Then do Fire's flames and Ocean's waters toge
Oh, I shall find them!” cried the Brook, ther hold their pastime--the red glow now hiding
and ran plashing on.
But it had a long way to itself beneath the wave, now peeping forthi
, travel, and a great while to wander in the inchither and thither, broken by the trembling of mensity of the Sea, ere it beheld the wonderful the surf. All this my friend the Rock beholds, siglıts described in its neighbour Rock's story. who bears himself a crown of vine-leaves, and
The narrator of this tale stood in Sorrento on sports, an orange-bough, and a nodding palm- the verandah of a little villa on the shore, of branch, for a plume in the verdant cap woven which he was the inhabitant. The Vines which for him by the Turf, and fastened on his brow o'ershadowed it were now withered, and adby thorny Aloe and the prickly Cactus. He mitted the pale rays of the Sun; hut the Orangelooks on, as I said; and in return for the enjoy- blossoms still scented the Air, and the fruit ment which the kindred, Fire, Air, and Water, smiled invitingly forth from the ever-green have afforded him, he resolved to do them a
foliage. Vesuvius sent forth its smoky pillar, pleasure, and build for them a private retreat, to and the Waves told their unceasing tale. One hold their brotherly meetings in.
Wave, however, leaped up kindly on the rocks “On the Rock’s outermost margin, towards with a decided homeish sound. It was that the open Sea, there opens a long entrance, which bore from its far birth-place the message scarcely perceptible to man; behind it, however, of the trees and flowers. The brook had at expands a lofty, high-domed, ever cool cave, length fulfilled its mission; but though sraught where, united though apart, Fire, Water, and Air, with greetings to the children of Nature, it may meet together. Water fixed here a mirror brought alas! to the Bard no tidings of thuse for her ever restless wave; but Air's deep blue, dear to him. clear as the brightest skies afford, finds access too; while the reflection of the Fire plays, bril. liant and wonderful, yet lambently over all; quenched as it were by Air's soft veil, and THE POWER OF SONG. wavering in the shimmer of the waves. Now does Air seem to monopolize the lofty dome, as
(For Music.) Water does the depths below; but ever in motion, they give place at times to Fire, leaping and licking with his forked tongue the rocky bases of the cavern.
E’en as of old Ainphion's tuneful string “So do the Elements hold their secret converse,
Made walls and turrets to his verse upspring,
So in our hearts the poet's simple lays yet granting at times to mortals the privilege of
Bulwarks of Beauty and of Truth may raise; being present at the conclave: these build them
Whose walls, impregnable and pure, may dare skiffs, row in and behold these marvels, then
The shafts of sin-the darts of wild despair. sail forth beneath the bright blue sky, admire the radiance of the imprisoned fire, and bathe
And e'en as Orpheus, with his silvery song, them in the glancing waters. But when the
Drew to his music stubborn brutes along, talk of the brotherhood grows strictly confiden- So in our hearts the poet's power may draw tial, these intruders are excluded. Then Ocean
In mute obedience to harmonious law closes with her heavy booming portals the nar- Our passions wild-and with celestial lays row entrance, and Air sends the winds with their Our grovelling senses to Elysium raise.
BY CHARLES H. HITCHINGS,