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would not own it even to myself. I spoke less to her;
I sat less by her side. Margaret Bruce took her K place; and talked away, when I would have wished her equally silent.
“Winter was now approaching; the loud blasts of November began to desolate the coast; and I fled from the shores of -------- with a new arrow rankling in my heart.
“If November be a melancholy month, the darkness and decay of its half-spoliated shades is soothing and congenial to a sorrowful mind. I retired to my seat at Wolsterley, where I passed some weeks in utter seclusion. I read Petrarch, and wrote Sonnets on Julia, which yet I had not courage to send to her. When I am dead, those Sonnets shall appear in a little volume, which I hope will not disgrace my name.
“The long gallery which forms the library of my ancient mansion, is rich in the poetry of all the nations of Europe, since the commencement of printing. The romantic cast of sentiment, which sprung out of the manners of chivalry, is, so far as it is warmer, still more delightful to me, than the chaste models of antiquity. I love Tibullus and Propertius; but they are scarcely wild enough, and scarcely rich enough in imagery, for me.
“After wearying myself with long walks in the rudest and most unfrequented parts of my park, or rather the ancient forest where my abode is placed, which I liked best when the blast was abroad,
and the rain drove by fits till the leaves sobbed under my feet, I came home, and ordering the windows to be closed, and a blazing fire to be made, I sat down to my lonely dinner. Then with a book or a pen in my hand, exhilarated by wine, my fancy ruled with the most brilliant and despotic power over my brain. I conversed with the Spirits and the forms of the absent as well as of the dead. I saw all that is pleasant in the past, softened of all its roughness, and of all that debased it: I saw it in hues more vivid and more beautiful than those in which reality had invested it. I saw Julia arrayed in charms so attractive, that my soul contemplated her with idolatrous admiration; and I resolved, daring and presumptuous as I thought it, to solicit her affection and her hand.
“These were evenings, ‘worthy of the Gods ! The roaring of the tempest which rushed along the forest, and then shrieked through the battlements, which it made tremble above me, produced sounds which were in unison with my animated feelings. "Tomorrow,' said I, shall I enjoy the ravages of the storm; shall see daylight opened through new passages of the groves; and behold the gentle sun of the declining year pierce through recesses which had not for ages been unfolded to his beam!
“Short intervals of broken slumber, which carried me through the groaning night, were interrupted by troubled dreams, from which I waked in a state of mingled awe of the past, and apprehension of the future!
“Some of these 'monstrous and prodigious appearances,' of these frightful colours in which the world was shadowed to me, vanished before the broad eye of day. External objects, even under the clouded sun of winter, wore a calmer gloom than the figures which my fancy presented, when the face of Nature was covered with the mantle of darkness, and the mind rioted in its own appalling creations.
“ Julia! I muttered to myself; 'O, soft and bewitching Julia! whither art thou now wandering? And how dost thou employ those hours of sombrous aspect, so suited to thy pensive and romantic temper? Dost thou listen to the blast, that comes across the ocean; and behold with melancholy interest the spray that the rocky shore throws up in volumes to the sky, from the dashing wave? Or rather, dost thou sit, while the winds howl without, reading the glowing effusions of poetical genius, or the tale of some eloquent writer of Romance? Dost thou still hang over those affecting pages, to which I endeavoured to direct thy pathetic taste? And is not rather a Being so woe-begone as I am, already forgotten by thee? The vigour of youth, indeed, ought not to have forsaken me; but to thee, perhaps, my cheeks, furrowed with care, have the forbidding appearance of age and decrepitude. Presumptuous fool that I am! Yet am I not rather weak and despicable, thus to unman myself? Thus to indulge any other passions than those of scorn, or sorrow, or regret? () Julia, there is a trembling softness runs through my frame while I
think upon thee, which is more virtuous than the sterner pangs of noble ambition; or the perils of unbending heroism !
“Thus did I continually talk to myself. On one of those days, which I had spent within the house, among my books, and in deep musings, twilight was coming on, when a sudden gust burst open the folding doors at each end of the room, and I thought I saw distinctly pass through them the figure of Mrs. Bruce, who held a bloody dagger in her hand, and seemed to frown and shake her disheveled locks at me. Horror seized me; my hair stood an end; drops of cold sweat stood on my face, and for some moments my senses fled: a little time afterwards my servant
found me with eyes fixed, and my lips muttering s slowly some inaudible words. Many days passed be
fore I recovered this afflicting vision.
“But why should I detail to The Sylvan Wanderer these rovings of an intellect which most persons will deem maniacal? How much I have since suffered; and the tale of torn affection that I have yet to tell, are you or your readers inclined to listen to? If you are, strange as it may appear, it will be a relief to my
bursting heart to relate it! To interest the melancholy, 3 to purify by agitation the stagnant bosom, is now my best, almost my only amusement!
“H. W. W."
September 6, 1813. The Sylvan WANDERER dedicates the present number to two beautiful Sonnets, received this morning from the eloquent, and highly-gifted author of “ Childe Alarique,” which, though not intended for publication, he ventures to take the liberty to make this use of, confident that every reader of taste will think of them as he does.
TO THE REDBREAST.
August 24, 1813. And thou already hast renewed thy lay,
Mild cheering Minstrel of the fading year?
Waked by thy magic notes at once appear
And vanish all the phantoms dim and drear,
Still in my heart revives a kindred ray,
And angel forms and heavenly harmonies
R. P. G.