Графични страници
PDF файл

within the walls of the city. It was Aurelian, with a few legions of his army, and the people — always of his part -- against the wealth and the power of the nobility, and their paid adherents. In one day, and in one battle, as it may be termed, fifteen thousand soldiers and citizens were slain in the streets of the capital. Truly does Piso say, the streets of the Colian ran blood. I happily was within the walls of the queen's palace at Tibur; but well do I remember the horror of the time - especially the days succeeding the battle, when the vengeance of the enraged conqueror fell upon the noblest families of Rome, and the axe of the executioner was blunted and broken with the savage work which it did.

No one has written of Aurelian and his reign, who has not applauded him for the defence which he made of his throne and crown, when traitorously assailed within the very walls of the capital ; but all unite, also, in condemning that fierce spirit of revenge, which, after the contest was over, and his power secure, by confiscation, banishment, torture, and death, involved in ruin so many whom a different treatment would have converted into friends. But Aurelian was by nature a tyrant; it was an accident whenever he was otherwise. If affairs moved on smoothly, he was the just or magnanimous prince; if disturbed and perplexed, and his will crossed, he was the imperious and vindictive tyrant.

[blocks in formation]

Ah! tell us all! - say that thou wilt not leave

The tale a fragment, even for future years ;
It were to crush fair promise; to bereave

Fond spirits of sweet smiles, and sweeter tears.
We pray thee tell us all! From thy deep mind

Call forth the dreamy tissue of their fate,
Who dwell within our thoughts, in sadness shrined,

Beings how noble! yet how desolate!
Let us behold their meeting! Let us trace

The path of their strange, wayward destinies ;
And grow familiar with that sad, fair face,

Which hath in glimpses only met our eyes.
Ah! leave us not to sorrow with the good,

And triumph with the evil! Thou must fling
The spell of thy enchantment o'er the mood

That makes thy siately one a desolate thing !
And give back hopes, such as we saw depart

From his young spirit; and cast down the cold,
The false, to dust! I garner in my heart

Thy promise not to leave the tale half told.'
Give to our gaze those deeds of future years,

Which float within the chambers of ihy brain;
I charge thee, by our passionate hopes and fears,

Yield us the last links of the golden chain !
Lexington, ( Kentucky.)




A MONTH, Reader, or two months, how fast they get by! How they push along and keep moving! With their 'portance to the prince or the beggar — to the monarch or the mauvais sujet — they sweep away. When one is at his ease, and in quiet, how imperceptibly they glide! When friends are looked for, or home is nearing on the wave, how melancholy slow! Time ambles, canters, trots, walks, or halts, as it were, with thousands at a time. Those who wish his gait the tardiest, methinks, are those who take their last stand' upon a scaffold, and await that dubious moment which divorces Spectacle from Strangulation. That is a period of which one cannot complain that it is dull

. Like passages in modern novels, (as per booksellers' advertisements) it is of 'thrilling interest.' The only passenger in the black coach just bound for the unknown country waits with exemplary patience for the driver, not willing to leave. Right in his premises, he comes to a wrong conclusion. His neck answers for it.

SINCE I read that curious piece of · Elia's on the splendors of the pillory rather than its disgraces, I have had some little curiousness to meditate on that matter; whether it were possible that one should felicitate himself on a position of the kind; whether pride could be born of pillory conceptions, or thoughts of grandeur from the gallowtree. I think they can. ’T was a proud remark of the Earl Ferrers, when on his way to the gallows, in 1796, when he observed to his sheriff, who complimented him upon attracting so great a concourse of people : 'I suppose they never saw a lord hanged before.' This incident should be used by some play-wright of modern times, and entitled · The Earl's Last Chuckle. This same lord, on the day fixed for his execution, was driven to the gallows in his own landau, dressed in sumptuous garments, the choicest of his taste. Those who demur from gibbet dignity, should have heard the courteous colloquies which did ensue betwixt him and his sheriff aforesaid. The latter, 'seating himself by his lordship, politely observed, that it gave him the highest concern to wait upon him on so melancholy an occasion ; adding, that he would do every thing in his power to render his situation as agrecable as possible, and hoped his lordship would impute it to the necessary discharge of his duty.'

There are objects of great interest, too, one might suppose, on a scaffold, as well as in the pillory. Par example, in the case in ques. tion. His lordship (by mistake) gave ten guineas to the executioner's assistant, which was immediately after demanded by the master; but the fellow refused to deliver it, and a dispute ensued, which might have discomposed his lordship.'

Of course it might. Perhaps he had been a sporting character. Would he not have felt some anxiety to settle the controversy, and see fair play before he went, so as to die in peace ? Indubitably. He should have been spared that sight' - but he was spared, before it ended.

WELL - as there is nothing too low to be dignified by some faint coloring, so there is naught too high not to be dimmed. I look upon the moon as an orb of pearly lustre ; upon the stars as diamonds and jewels; yet ragged clouds, like volant pauper's breeches, patched with yellow, red, or wbite, around their edges, sail by the stars, and moon, and sun, smirching their beauty, and borrowing brightness not their own.

Yet I respect the moon. Fair politician! She changes when she will. Impartial dispenser of radiance 'on tick;' she gets what she can, and gives all she gets. I honor the planet. Prolific mother of hoaxes and sentiment! Grand cloud silver-plater! Meek, virtuous Eminence — Presence serene! Thus wert thou once apostrophized, by one now no more:

O moon! at midnight's contemplative bour,
When placid slumber holds his noiseless reign,
Throbs my exulting heart to see thee shower
Thy streaming splendors upon rock and plain:
From earth aloof my panting spirits soars,
Communing with revolving worlds on high,
Till, lost in deep amazement, forth it pours

Its hymn of praise to Him who lit yon sky,
And gave to my young gaze this wondrous scenery!

O moon! aside the helmsman lays his chart,
To mark thy beams reflected on the sea;
And faithful mem’ry on bis lonely heart
Gives back the light of childhood's revelry.
On his lone pathway may the auspicious gale
Propel the expanded canvass o'er the wave:
Bright be the cynosure which lights bis sail

Nigh be the mighty arm outstretched to save,
When the blue waves run high, the sea boy from the grave!

O moon! the sentinel at midnight hour
Rests the dark vigil of his eye on thee,
And pours his benison to that high power
Who dressed for him that gorgeous scenery:
While the bright beams their softer splendors wake,
And on his burnished casque and armor play,
He hears not the light fooistep in yon brake;

His thoughts have wandered to his home away
His wife and infant boy - are their young bosoms gay ?

O moon! on thee at the lone hour of night
The lover gazes with a swimming eye;
And deems that she to whom his heart is plight,
Gazes as fondly on yon gorgeous sky:
Anon his ardent fancy seems to trace,
In the bright mirror of night's lonely hour,
"The light of love, the purity of grace,'
Which charmed his youthful eye in summer's bower,
When to his heart he pressed his bosom’s dearest flower.

Again he deems, in fancy's wanton flight,
Some bark of pearl in beauty sailing there :
Slow piloting its dubious path in light,
Through the calm ocean of the evening air !
Oh! how his bosom burns to tempt the gale,
With his own loved one, on that azure sea;
With hope's soft zephyr to impel the sail,

And no obtrusive, daring eye to see
His own endeared caress and lore's warm witchery!


'Twas a new idea to me, that conveyed of late by the author of Leslie, surnamed Norman, that the only things you see, after crossing the Atlantic, which you have seen before, are the orb of day, sometimes vulgarly called Phoebus, or the sun, the chaste Regent of the Night, or Luna, that green-horns sometimes denominate the moon, and those jewels of heaven - doubloons of the celestial bank,' as a Spanish poet calls them – sometimes named stars, by plain, uninitiated persons. These, it seems, are the only old acquaintances a man meets abroad. They are not to be put by. A man may curse his stars, indeed, but he cannot cut them. As well might the great sea essay “to cast its waters on the burning Bear, and quench the guards of the ever-fixéd pole. Therefore shall I learn henceforth yet more to love those dazzling planets, fixed or errant, because in no long time I may meet them in Phillippi. Precious then to me will be their bright companionship! Milky feelings will come over me, as I scrutinize the via lactea, with upturned eyes ; conscious will be the moon; inexpressibly dear every glimpse of the lesser lights that rule the night with modest fires. Without the slightest premonitory symptoms of astrology, and being withal no horologe consulter, I yet do love the stars. Rich, rare, and lustrous, they win my gaze, and look into my soul. I have seen them at Niagara, glinting upon the mad breakers through the lunar rainbow, with their perpetual flashes ; on the big lakes of the interior, as if the calm waters were but another sky; on the placid Schuylkill, when the breath of clover-fields came freshened from the wave it never wrinkled ; and I have seen them - oh climax of beauty! - on the Grand Erie Canawl,' just before taking a berth in copartnership with bed-bugs! Enough of stars. I am waxing theatrical.

One word more, though, before I dismiss these luminaries. That verse of Byron's, wherein he compares the object of some early affection to a star, dropping from its sphere, always struck me as peculiarly beautiful. Look at it, reader, and say so too :

'I know not if I could have borne

To see thy beauty fade;
The night that followed such a morn,

Had worn a deeper shade.
And thou wert lovely to the last
Thy day without a cloud hath past,

Extinguished - not decay'd;
As stars, that shoot along the sky,

Shine brightest, when they fall from high.'

The same individual — who was a highly nice person for making apt pieces of metre out of his head has, in the handsomest manner, volunteered his services for the moon, at the close of the following passage :

'I do remember me, that on a night like this,
I stood beneath the Coliseum's wall,
Mid the chief relics of almighty Rome :
The trees that grew along ihe broken arches,
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber, and more near,

From out the Cæsar's palace, came the owl's long cry,


And interruptedly of distant sentinels the fitful song,
Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon! upon all this,
And cast a wide and tender light, which softened down
The hoar austerity of rugged desolation,
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not,'ull the place
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
In silent worship.'

One cannot write, by any possibility, with a sense of pleasure, when his subject brings too many things to his recollection, and pours remembrance full

upon the eye.

I love to go back to the moon-light eves of other years; and I do confess, that the shimmer of a star over a city chimney; the rustle of vines in its garden walks; or the soft hum of a summer shower at nigbt, tinkling on a thousand shadowy roofs around, and gurgling down the conduits of the eaves those regular eaves-droppers - can awaken in me a multitude of pleasant thoughts, which lie too deep for tears. Unanswered aspirations come before me with their solemnities, and I hold a deeper communion with my Maker. Some soft instrument of music, touched by a fair hand, in the nocturnal hours, adds to the quietude, and I thank that Spirit for its spell, in hurried numbers ;

When the worn heart its early dream,

In darkness and in vain pursues,
How shall the visionary gleam

Of joy o'er life its charm diffuse?
How shall the glowing thought aspire,

The cheek with passion's flush be warm,
Or the dim eyes resume their fire,

Their sunshine, victory of the storm ?
Ah, who can tell? Not thou, whose words

Are lightest, liveliest of the throng;
Whose carol, like the summer bird's,

Pours out the winning soul of song;
Not thou, whose calm and shining brow,

The sadness of thy strain belies;
Whose spirits, like thy music, flow,

Won from the founts of Paradise !

a milli.

BY-THE-BY, the first individual from whom I ever heard an amatory effusion, was an immense arrangement of flesh and blood ner, from Yorkshire, in England. She had come from home, with her large fat face, with all the bloom on, and with big watery eyes. How she would flatter herself that she was enchanting the students, as, in quizzing convocations, they invited her at green-horn parties, (after a turn at Blind Man's Buff

, or some such highly intellectual game,) to sing 'Oh, 'tis Love - 'tis Love!' Her stupendous chest seemed to expand with the tender passion; and oh — ears, that were searched with the volume of her notes, attest the fact — how she tortured the attentive tympanum! In form, as I have said, she was immense ; a John Reeve in petticoats, and not unlike that most fantastic Cupid. Gentle Giantess! Many years have passed, since she chaunted to those roystering Academy boys !' If she yet live, she might say 'Here!' to Elia's description of her whilome Oxford

« ПредишнаНапред »