Графични страници
PDF файл


with which I speak on such a subject; but things must not be judged by their apparent value. Of all the painful incidents of my life, this is the one which has given me the sharpest pang. This seems the lowest depth of degradation to which my necessities have reduced me. My sword appeared to pierce my heart as I parted with it. It was like parting with my honour. Yet you may, perhaps, not enter into my feelings. The blade, which had been at my side throughout all my campaigns, with which I had encountered the enemies of my country; which had been my defence, my protection, my companion, and my friend, was now to flourish in mock contests on the stage ;-was to be drawn with a spouting rant, and sheathed in bloodless imaginary triumph, amid the tears of sobbing girls, and the applauses of a greasy multitude;' and the end, it may be, of a soldier's sword, is to be hacked about in a farce or pantomime, or rust amid the wardrobe of a strolling player. No, no, sir, you cannot conceive half my humiliation. But let us turn from this bitter subject. I have already dwelt too much upon it in secret for my own quiet. What I have further to say will not detain you long.

• In one word, I have a favour to request of you, which I would not, and dare not, ask of another man living. I am destitute; I am enfeebled; I am sinking ; I feel that but few more suns will rise on me in this world. But I would see my daughter before I die. I would fain leave


benediction upon her, and breathe my last prayer in her presence. Will you, then, be my friend, as you have ever been ? Will you fetch her to me

Hereafter will you protect her? I trust to your age; I trust to your character; and when I place this precious deposit in your care, I know you

will remember, that you, too, have been a parent ! Lieutenant M- here ended his communication ; he had exerted himself too much for his strength; he drew his breath with pain. I sent for a physician, who ordered such restoratives as his state demanded. I then told him that I had both time and money at command, and that he would confer a favour on me by availing himself of both. For myself,' said he, it is too late; my daughter will thank you.' Having taken his directions about my journey, I promised to return with all possible expedition. Do so,' he replied, faintly, or I shall not live to see her.' He grasped my hand, and I departed.

I found the daughter of my friend a lovely, high-spirited girl of fourteen years of age ; buoyant with health, and just budding into exquisite beauty. I merely told her, in the first instance, that her father was anxious to see her. She appeared to me, as I regarded her, as an innocent and spotless victim, pampered, adorned, and garlanded for the sacrifice. All that she had been taught conspired, if not to injure, to relax her principles, at least to lull them to sleep; if not to spoil or vitiate her mind, at least to soften and enervate it. She knew that she was descended from what is called a good family; she felt that the blood of nobles was in her veins; yet, in a few days, she would be absolutely friendless and pennyless. I thought on these things, and vowed, inwardly, that as long as I had life, the daughter of my friend should never be desolate and unprotected.

As we hurried back to London, I informed the poor girl of the melancholy state of her father's health, and even hinted at his pecuniary embarrassments. Poverty was new and strange; she had read of it in novels and romances, and, perhaps, wept over the imaginary privations of a sentimental heroine ; but she could form no conception of penury, as it exists in its dreadful and hideous reality. She thought only, that the life of him, who was dearest to her upon earth, was in imminent and immediate danger. Her gay questions were changed into anxious inquiries; and her whole soul was concentrated into one impatient desire to be clasped in her father's arms, and hear him speak to her and bless her once more.

Yet even this mournful pleasure was denied to her. On her arrival, Lieutenant M-was delirious. Who could exhibit to his child at once the wreck of manhood and the dethronement of reason? I remained with him during the night, and towards the morning he awoke, calm and sensible, but rapidly declining to the grave. The physician gave me no hope, that he could live throughout the day.

It was then that I ventured to introduce his daughter. But who shall describe their meeting! I can only recall it to my own imagination. I almost fancy that I can yet see her soft blooming cheek joined to the pale, wrinkled, emaciated and burning visage of the sinking veteran. I almost seem to hear her plaintive voice, endeavouring to inspire comfort and hope, but choked by the bursting sobs which she vainly endeavoured to restrain.

Lieutenant M- felt himself dying ; he desired to be raised in his bed, and spoke his last injunctions with a voice which had death in its every tone-God bless you, my dearest child—God in heaven bless you! Your only earthly hope is in the friend who stands beside you.'

He then put his hand on her head, and once more solemnly blessed her. He would have placed her hand in mine, as a token of giving her into my protection, but at the very moment she fainted and fell to the ground. I carried her motionless form carefully from the chamber, and before she recovered her senses her father was no more.

I returned to my friend, who was now calm, composed, and perfectly resigned to his approaching fate. The bitterness of death,' said he, is past. As an Englishman and a soldier, I have learnt to look upon the extinction of life without terror.' . And as a Christian,' said I. • Assuredly,' he replied, and bowed his head in submission-My only wish to live was for the sake of my child, and you will be a better guardian to her than I could have been. I have your promise,' added he, looking stedfastly in my face, have I not?' . My most solemn and irrevocable promise.' • Then I am contented. You will also settle my affairs and pay my debts, I would not have dishonour attach to my name after my death. I am asking too much,' he said, after a pause— but this is no time for pride or hesitation, If

you see any of my family, say that I forgave them; and tell my dear, dear child, that my last earthly thought was a prayer for her happiness. For you,'-his voice had been growing gradually weaker and weaker, and he stopped. His hand had been placed upon mine ; I felt it stiffen and grow cold. I looked at his features, but they were fixed; I felt his heart, but it no longer beat-his miseries were over!

Yes! his last thought was his child's. Of all human attachments, the loveliest and holiest, perhaps, is the affection of a father for a daughter, There is not only parental fondness and protecting tenderness, but there is also the remembrance of early love ; refined, and chastened, and purified ; without passion, and without change.

I hope and trust that I did my duty to his daughter. It was fortunately in my power to settle upon her a small independence, and to reconcile her to part of her father's family, She has since married a man of some fortune and distinction; and I have often letters from her, in all of which she expresses both her happiness and her gratitude.

FAREWELL! for I may not rest longer here ;-
I have heard the far voice of the waning Year!
As it came through the valley it whispered of death,
And the forest-leaves paled at the sound of its breath ;-
The white-bosomed lily sank down on the stream,
And the violet shaded her blue eye's beam.
The reaper hath gathered the golden corn ;
The hunter is out with his baldric and horn ;
The wild-bee roams yet, and the ruddock that weaves
The pallid bahe's shroud-dress of withering leaves :
But the starry-winged fly, and the purple-hued flower,
They are gone

they are gone from my faded bower.
And I must away to a sunnier isle,
With the swallow to bask in the blue heaven's smile :-
Alas! ye will mourn when the wintry North
From his ambush shall pour the swift hail-shaft forth;
And the sickly moon light the thin clouds as they go,
Till they gleam like the snow-shining mountains below.
But mourn not for me : I will shelter me far,
Where the winter-wind blights not my wreathed tiar;
Again in the beds of your streams will unfold
My noon-day mantle of green and gold ;-
And lull Day's bright fall in my rosy nest,
Till his young eyes close, and he sinks to rest.
Yet ere I return-there are who will sleep
In a cradle more dark, in a slumber more deep,
Than the darkling West, than the day's decline,
Though fairer and brighter than aught of mine;
I shall see them no more they will go to that bourne
Which they may not repass, whence they cannot return.
I have seen them abroad in the dawning hours,
Light were their steps o'er the unbent flowers,
With rose-buds, like gems, in their amber hair,-
And eyes that look sweet as the dew-bright air,-
As they eagerly gazed o'er the billow's swell,
While they listed the chime of the convent-bell.
I have seen, and yet see them all beauty and bloom !
But mine eye wanders forth to their turf-built tomb :
The glossy locks scattered,—the love-lit eye,
Lying rayless and quenched as embers lie;
The earth-worm and shroud !-Can I see these, and smile
On ye who must pass from my best loved isle ?
I cannot—the thought hath awakened this tear,-
But hark! the far voice of the waning Year
Grows deeper and wilder, more hollow and stern,
As it murmurs, by fits, in the sear, red fern;
There is fear in the sound, there is woe in the knell,
Its echoings whisper of death- -Farewell !

C. D. M


The sullenness of Dutch drivers. is such, that it is with the utmost difficulty you can procure an answer to any question you may ask. This humour in the lower order of the Mynheers is truly characteristic. A Dutchman is always wrapt up in himself, whatever may happen to be his condition. He is smoking his pipe, and you disturb him; he is meditating upon his own business, and you interrupt him. It is true you hired his chaise, at a certain rate, to transport you from this place to that, which he will faithfully perform : there ends your contract. You did not hire him to be your gazetteer, or interpreter. Curiosity is sure to be baffled by such a fellow. He will either be deaf to the question, or surly if repeated; or ignorant touching the matter questioned; or unsatisfactory in his answer.— How many leagues, honest friend, do you count it to Gircum?'

Ugh!' says Mynheer; 'How many did you say ? Ugh! ugh! ugh!' which is as much as to say, you might have inquired that before you set out. Shall we be there by dinner-time, think you?'— Ik verstaa u niet!' • I don't know what you mean.'— What fine castle is that ?'- I gaat my niet aan !'—that's no bread and butter of mine, says the Dutchman ;-you may make use of your eyes, and welcome, thinks he; but Satan may be your decipherer for me.

He takes upon himself the whole command, and is to all appearance no less the master than the driver. No man, he thinks, has any right to interrupt or direct him in his business, which he knows and will execute upon the mere principle of duty. He sits in the front of the carriage, under the awning, and consequently interrupts your prospect. He lights his pipe, and fumigates you at pleasure, without ever inquiring whether such incense be grateful to you, especially before breakfast ;-if you like it, so much the better; if you dislike it, you will not have a whiff the less. His perfect serenity and total disregard of his company is such, that you would almost be induced to think his business was to recreate himself rather than to serve you. When he is tired of sitting, he stops the horses and dismounts; walks them leisurely, and marches by their side. When he has stretched his legs, he stops them again, remounts, and reassumes the reins. He has his regular houses of call; at each of which he is presented with a dram, and a fresh pipe, ready charged with tobacco. He takes the glass from the attendant; drinks one-half of its contents, and returns it. He next takes the pipe in one hand, and the fire-pan in the other. He is sure to have his pipe well lighted. He then swallows the remainder of his liquor.

Between whiles, he takes from his pocket a parcel, neatly wrapped up. He begins to unfold it. You perceive several clean paper wrappers, and begin to wonder what they are; they are so distinct as not to interfere with each other. In one there is bread, in another cheese, and in another ham, or hung beef, or it may be a pickled herring; and lastly, (in a small pot or saucer) is butter. He spreads his butter upon his bread, lays his strata of hung beef and cheese, and claps on it its farinaceous cover; these he eats with great composure, driving his horses accordingly. His meal finished, he thinks a little walk would not be amiss, so dismounts as before, by way of aiding digestion.

An English coachman, post-boy, or waterman, generally expects some grace from the passengers, over and above his fare, neither is it an easy matter to content him on that score. A Dutchman has no such expectation. Is it his modesty, think you, that prevents his asking? No. What then? Perhaps he has been taught that it is unmanly to beg, and that the stated price of his labour is sufficient to support his rank. I believe there is something in that. If it comes without begging, says he, well and good, I shan't refuse it; but I have no title to ask.

After all, it may arise from a consciousness that he has not deserved anything. His sorry behaviour to his passengers, in my opinion, indicates no less.



THERE is an hour when all our past pursuits,

The dreams and passions of our early day,

The unripe blessedness that dropped away
From our young tree of life,-like blasted fruits,
All rush upon the soul : some beauteous form

Of one we loved and lost; or dying tone,

Haunting the heart with music that has flown,
Still lingers near us, with an awful charm!
I love that hour,-for it is deeply fraught

With images of things no more to be ;
Visions of hope, and pleasure madly sought,

And sweeter dreams of love and purity;
The poesy of heart, that smiled in pain
And all my boyhood worshipped—but vain !


Oh when the lips we loved are cold, and fixed in silent death,
The tender tale that once they told parts not with parting breath;
A word ma tone survives its hour-an angel's passing strain,
Once heard when dreams from heaven had power, and never heard again!

From eyes that death hath closed, a gleam thrills softly o'er the leart !
That joins with life its blessed beam, 'till life itself depart!
Then from its last exhaling fires it purely parts above,
And with the mounting soul aspires to light it up to love!

Z. z.

« ПредишнаНапред »