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we all drew a little closer to the fire—for it was bitter cold—T. came up, and in that confiding way which a wife so well understands, asked me to say what it was that took me up to Frank Bryars. “Will you promise,” I said, “never to mention the little incident-never, upon pain of the
and boots being produced ?” All promised ; and I expounded as follows:
“You know, my children, that we all have our little ways: or, rather, our little ways have us; and we know it not. We are guided as by the wind, which goeth where it listeth.
“ I tell you, very solemnly, that when I started this morning, I had no conception of any special act, other than to go up to Frank's; but, with equal solemnity, I tell you that I believe the whole motive—hidden and concealed away, like fine gold—from the very start, all through the walk in the snow, all through the household arrangements, through dinner, through everything, up to that piercing scream of yours—was to sing • China'!”
T. smiled faintly as I said this; and Joy was on the verge of a laugh, which I checked instantly with a severe look; and immediately retired for the night.
" Zarry dear," said Mrs. P. just as I was going to sleep, "did you get through singing China'?" "My dear wife," said I, "I have exhausted • China' for six months to come."
HROUGH all the silent rooms, from far away,
The light comes softly, seeking for my love;
And goes up sorrowing to its home above.
With sad dumb look, with speechless questioning,
doors, Where all day long the maple-shadows swing,
Alike as speechless, o'er the vacant floors.
I wonder much that through the whole round year,
Patient and sad, but hopeful as before,
The dear bright face which we shall see no more.
I wonder much the sunlight doth not know,
Or may not guess, -the mute and wondering light,
By living waters, far beyond the Night.
O sunlight, go up higher! In the blue,
With harp and crowns and white robes, --close by Him,
And glad young angel with the cherubim.
Her sweet face still the same we loved, but bright
With glories which we saw not; and her brow
Burning and radiant and immortal now.
Kichard Burleigh Kimball.
Born in Lebanon, N. H., 1816. Died in New York, N. Y., 1892.
STURM UND DRANG.
[St. Leger, or, The Threads of Life. A Romance. 1850.)
BELIEVE! Those words were full of meaning; and in every situa
tion, under every trial, in the midst of scenes the most exciting, I have remembered them. Strange to say, the first lesson which I learned in Germany, the land of mystical philosophy, of wild theories, and of wilder doubts, was BELIEF; and that, too, from the most remarkable individual, every way considered, of whom Germany could boast. But did Goethe believe? I will not vouch for it; I am only confident of his assertion that he did; and I will not think that he was a man to palter. But for my purpose it was of no consequence, so long as the exclamation was evidence of his opinion. And had I wandered so far to learn the simple lesson from him? Yes. And now, just as the German is ascending to his zenith, I, so many years his junior-I, who have had the same glowing energy, the same healthful, hopeful ambition, the same unchanging, determined aspirations—I must stop short when I have scarce entered the lists. I see the door closed upon me just as I essay to cross the threshold
The pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel is broken at the cistern, before a draught of the refreshing waters is conveyed to me; and when the reward of past struggles and of present exertions appears to be close at hand, I am called away, to be here no more. God forgive me for this momentary murmur! I know that his purposes are true, and none can question them. Come then to my aid, O sacred Faith, in this moment of my weakness, and give me strength. Teach me that although we work here, and know comparatively nothing, yet we live always; that knowledge is and ever has been progressive; that the soul of man is as capacious as his aspirations are boundless, and that he has before him duration infinite, in which to labor and to know.
LOVE, AND LIFE.
Those are halcyon days,-continued Hegewisch, after a pause,—the days of the first wish of love; the days when the object is found, and the wish becomes a sensation ; the days when as yet no words are spoken, but when in their place is that indescribable something in the look, the manner, the conduct of each toward the other, which is perfectly appreciated, yet not quite understood; which leaves room for delicious doubts, and exquisite half-formed hopes, and gentle fears, and sweet questionings of the heart.
Hegewisch was silent several minutes, apparently nerving himself for the recital; then his countenance grew animated, his eyes gleamed with a strange fire, and he exclaimed in a bitter tone:
“ NESSUN maggior dolore, Che ricordarsi del tempo felice Nella miseria,"
The Florentine was in the right when he wrote those lines. No, there is no greater anguish; but there is a point beyond that-yes!—where no anguish, nor sorrow, nor torment comes ; because there is nothing within by which to feel them any more, where all is dead. Dead! what more horrible conception! what so dreadful a reality! Vitality, but no life; mind, thought, memory, but no hope, no apprehension, no joy, no pang! Why did not the Ghibelline put that into his Divine Comedy?
Life! shall I tell you what it is? Ah, would it were what so many make it : a pumping of air in and out of the lungs; a covering of the nakedness, to the prevention of shame; eating lest the body fall away; sleeping o' nights, from wearisomeness of the flesh!-then were man indeed somewhat better than a beast. But to have pining wants which gnaw the soul, and for which no provision has been made; to love, and feel that love lasts only so long as life; to labor, and know that the grave closes upon all results of toil; to enjoy, and be conscious that time withers up the sources of our bliss; to be miserable, and feel that death may not release us; to undergo all the mad pleasures of earth, and all the remorse which their indulgence brings; to feel in prosperity that nothing can secure against change, and to recognize in adversity no hope-Ha! ha! that—that is life! What a precious boon to that poor praying beggar, man! But in me the god of this world and the God of the other world are both baffled, for I am DEAD!
If ever captive felt lightness of heart when his chains were struck off and he set at liberty, after breathing the noisome atmosphere of a dungeon; if ever convalescent was cheered by the pleasant sunlight and the refreshing breeze, after the confinement of a long and dangerous sickness; if ever mariner, tempest-tossed for months, hailed with transport the sight of the green earth : then did I feel lightness of heart, then was I cheered, transported, at the prospect of this change of life. How the blood went galloping through my veins! I will pack to-day, and will set off tomorrow. Now for life! Pleasure, I will grasp you yet! Change, novelty, new scenes, new actions, freedom—ay, freedom! freedom for anything -by Heaven, I will shut out all but this purpose! I will live a while without the interference of that surly weight that bangs like lead about my heart. Up and out into life! Already is my appetite sharpened for adventure; already a thousand tumultuous thoughts crowd upon
Italy! I shall see thy soft skies; I shall revel in thy classic groves, delightful Tuscany; I shall wander through thy ruins, Eternal City. Spain ! how sweet the anticipation of thy beauties! Already I see thy sunny plains and stately palm-groves, thy orange-walks, and thy delicious gardens. I hear the soft music of the evening guitar; and now, the tinkling of the muleteer's bell greets my ear. 'Tis evening; the maidens of Andalusia are on the balconies listening to the impassioned serenade. I come! I will soon see this birth-place of passion-this home of love!
What if the heart become cold ?- what if the cheek wrinkle and the eye grow dim? Youth! let me but enjoy youth! Give me but the experience of joy, passion, love, jealousy, hate; let me see beauty, and call it mine; let me clutch what looks so glittering; baubles they may be, but let me have them in my hand! Let me see, and know, and feel, instead of taking upon trust, what doth and what doth not perish with the using. Then approach, ye ministers of fate, and do your worst with me!
A SURPRISE FOR THE RECTOR.
[To-Day in New York. 1870.]
NE pleasant afternoon, the latter part of September; it was about
sunset; the Reverend Croton Ellsworth was standing in the open air, leaning against the neat paling which surrounded his grounds. He was enjoying the dolce far niente of his situation to the fullest
degree. He had just made up his mind to preach a couple of old sermons the following Sunday, and the idea gave an additional expression of freedom from all earthly care to the reverend gentleman's features. The soft haze of a September day had, too, its tranquillizing effect. I wish I could present him to you in tableau just as he stood with his surroundings.
Two very pretty young women had been conversing on the piazza with Mrs. Ellsworth, and now advanced to pass through the gate. Some very pleasant words were exchanged, while the young neophytes looked adoration in the face of their confessor as they tripped out.
Croton Ellsworth followed them with dreamy eyes. His soul began to glow with complacency. He glanced around his well-kept grounds. He surveyed the handsome church edifice. “Is not this great Babylon that I have built ?” he felt to himself.
It was the supreme moment unalloyed—the last he ever experienced at Scotenskopft!
"Can you tell me where hereabouts Barnabas Low is anchored ?"
Croton Ellsworth turned, and saw standing before him a large, roughlooking man, with very broad shoulders, a grisly beard, and thick gray hair, which curled closely in his neck. He was dressed in sailors' garb, and wore a tarpaulin on his head.
Croton was startled by this sudden apparition, but he was not easily thrown off his guard. He scrutinized the speaker closely, and could discover nothing dangerous in his countenance, which was, all things considered, an open one. He ventured, therefore, to put on all his dignity:
He looked majestically in the man's face, and said—“What ? ”
“I was asking the bearings of Barnabas Low, who, they tell me, is moored a little to leeward of this, but I am blessed if it is in sight on this tack. What course shall I lay ?” he continued, seeing the other did not speak.
“I can give you no information, my man. I know no such person,” responded the Reverend Croton Ellsworth, stiffly.
“ Are you a priest ? ” demanded the sailor, bluntly. "I am."
“And you undertake to show people the road to heaven, and don't know the way to your nearest neighbor,” exclaimed the stranger, in a tone so free and easy that Croton felt alarmed.
The man meantime did not stir,
"Because it is not agreeable to me for you to stay any longer on my premises."