Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

girdled Tempe brought each an offering of trees and fierce, whom the marrow of lions and fat of bears woven flowers, and wise Prometheus, whose limbs strengthened for the sad conflicts of Troas. No yet bore the traces of his vast agony, and the dread homely exercise taught his fingers to fight. TesParcæ with their prophetic song. The ox-eyed lis erit magnis virtutibus unda Scamandri. Came mother of the gods was there : and all of the im- Esculapius, the gentle, the beneficent; the mild mortals, save only Phæbus and the chaste huntress radiance of whose virtues attracts like the evening of the Carian mount. Yet in this august presence star. From the hand of the teacher he received was our great master as an equal, and father Jove a talisman which unlocked the secret powers of disdained not to drink with him health and fair issue herbs, and the hidden agencies of minerals, and to the blushing bride.*

the healing virtue of flowing waters, and gave an Still was his mountain cave his home, chosen for antidote to the miseries of mortal life in the heartmeditation and quiet thought. The proud, unwise, easing nepenthe, and to its temptations in the deepwould disdainfully scoff at the cloud-begotten, the rooted moly. Could not he wrestle with death nubigena.f Yet was he a true “son of the mist,” stronger than Hercules ? Alas! that Jove should who loved nature as a mother, and was stead- fear a divided Empire, and a thunder-bolt be the fast in his love, were she gentle, or in storm. And reward of so glorious benefits! Yet hath the bag from this filial devotion came his wisdom. The of simples its efficacy, and we laugh at the impo- / “ unwedgeable oak” and the everlasting hill were tent rage of the thunderer, which only gave immorat his side, ever mute monitors of constancy and tality to its victim. endurance : the moon, on whose broad diskhe

Time would fail us to report the worth of Jason, gazed in the roidnight chase, or from his lonely of Peleus, and of the many who became illustrious couch on the side of Othrys, taught him her les- under the instructions of the first teacher. Yet son of perpetual growth and decay: the obscure we must drop a tear over the fate of the gentle and neglected wild-flower revealed to him iis cun- Actæon. Brave was he in his life, mournful and ning: the music of the stars inspired an inward untimely in his death. No unhallowed passion, harmony, and the fierce mountain winds trained no vain curiosity led him to the fatal fountain : but him to perfect manhood. In this communion with the nimble deer, and a hunter's weariness, and a nature he grew wise, and the beasts of the field cool shade : and an erring glance, and the wrath learned to reverence and obey him ; which great of the maiden Dian, made the solace of his life fact the artists of later ages have not inaptly sym- the bitterness of his death, But the attendant bolized by a twofold nature. I

Nymphs hung many a chaplet in memory of the Wisdom hath no limit, and knowledge can not beautiful stranger; and his faithful hounds howled he confined. The fame of it comes forth from the a sad eulogy. desert where it would hide, and draws the young,

None of the many who have striven to follow the generous, the pure-minded to itself. So to the example of our great progenitor can boast of this far off school came the sons of gods and he- such pupils. In these poor days, Busby might look roes to gain strange lore and the perfectest mas- somewhat proudly on his bench of Bishops : but ters of art. Came the famed son of Alcmena. how faint that praise ! Vain had been the lessons of strong Castor, of

But we must close our eulogium. Once again, at skilsul Eurytus, of Autolycus, of the noble bard Eumolpus. Each had taught his separate art, but

the marriage feast of Pirithous and the fair Laoda

mia, we find the presence and venerated gravity the completing accomplishment and grace could be

of Chiron, awing to peace, and calming the hot given only by the hoary experience of Chiron. Well doth the glory of the pupil attest the virtoes passions of riotous wassailers. of his master; and long as the “twelve labors,"

Alas! that the wise should die! that the good twelve constellations shall endure, shall abide that we do, often stings us like a serpent! That the hand master's fame.

which had learned its inevitable aim from the great Came the renowned son of Thetis, wrathful and son of Ixion, should loose the arrow of his

death! * Præberetque Jovi communia pocula Chiron, Yet weep not, ye who have admired, and imiMolliter obliqua parte refuşus equi.

tated and mourned. Yonder! high in the heavens ! Claudian, In Nupt. Honor. et Mariæ Præf. the Archer! that bright constellation! That is our

Master. Virg. Æn., VII, 674.

M. H, | Isocrates, Helenæ Encom. 13. Diod. Sicul IV., 70, Etc. Newbern, N. C.

Webb

Vol. X-70

THE ABSENT SISTER'S LAMENT.

“OUR KATE."

And art thou gone, my brother!

CHAPTER I.
And is thy pilgrimage so quickly o'er-
And shall I hear thy pleasant voice no more-
Oh, was there then no other!

“I can not do that! ask me not! If my father is That Death must nip a flow'r as fair as thou,

no longer able to support me in college, I must And set his icy seal upon thy brow?

look about for some other resource; but I will not

be dependent-least of all on my best friend !" And when again I come With hasty step--and heart o'ergushing full

“I honor your spirit, my dear Frank!" replied To clasp the lovely and the beautiful

Edward Stanton, “and yet I would change your E'en in my own dear home!

resolution. I have abundant resources, thank ForAnd ask for thee-Oh, no! they shall not say,

tune!. or Providence, I should say. Early left an That thou, my own belov'd, has pass'd away!

orphan, as you know, I am my own master, I am And when I turn my eyes

alone in the world. Let me share the fortune Upon the lovely group, and wait to hear

which I scarcely prize with you, who deserve it so Thy silver tones, come bursting on my ear,

much better than 1. Don't you know the adage, In welcoming surprise ;

“a friend indeed is a friend in need ? Vice versa. Oh! must the tear-and hall-averted head

I have it ! but no matter! Give me leave to be a Tell to my bursting heart, that thou art dead!

real friend." And when I call for thee,

“ You are so, Edward! Your sympathy And on thy fair young cheek would sain impress

Sympathy is very good, my dear fellow! but A Sister's kiss, and feel thy sweet caress ;

it wont fill your purse-nor is it all, you may justly Oh, shall it come to me

claim of my friendship. I do not believe you love With spirit-crushing pow'r, and thick, saint breath,

me! You don't believe me a true friend !" That thou art sleeping in the arms of death!

A tear sprung to the manly cheek of young Lee, That thou did'st leave thy play ;

as grasping the hand of his chum, he replied, with Leave the glad circle of thy father's hall,

strong emotion, “ do I not? take this proof of it, Thy young companions, mother, sister, all;

that I will not lower myself in your esteem by And take thy lonely way Down to the Spoiler's home ;-that thou hast gone,

accepting your proffered bounty. In your soul I In all the freshness of thy radiant morn!

know you do me justice. You approve the princi

ple from which I act. Were our circumstances That thy young life is o'er

reversed, I know that my feelings would be yours." Thy fond heart still-thy pulses ceas'd to beatThy cheek all pale as thine own winding-sheet

“And would not mine be yours?" interrupted That thou wilt come no more

Stanton. With thy sweet smile, and soft angelic eye,

“Indeed they would! and yet I believe I should To glad my spirit as in days gone by!

esteem you more for refusing to gratify them." No, no, I see thee now !

“And what do you propose to do?" asked StanThou art not dead; for oh, if it were true,

ton after a pause, during which both had looked That thou hadst gone, without a last adieu

musingly in the fire, as if that could throw some Clean gone forever, thou !

light on a dark path. And I had not been nigh thee, ah, I know,

" Leave college, I suppose, for a year or two, My heart had ceas'd to beat, oh! long ago!

and go to digging for money." And yet methinks they said

“It is too bad! too bad that you must quit the That he had gone-that in its bright young bloom, field now when the goal is in view. One year Death nipp'd ibe flow'r, to deck his bridal tomb

more and we may graduate together! Wbat a That in his lowly bed,

proud day it would be! But unless you are to share They laid him gently down in quiet rest,

its honors with me, I protest I care not a fig for And pil'd the sod upon his ainless breast !

them all!” Lee was sensibly moved, but with a Methinks-methinks they said

strong effort he controlled the rising in his breast, He ask'd for me to fan his sever'd brow

and answered, “it is I who have most to lose. To And kiss his burning cheek-to tell me how,

stand by your side would have been glory enough, When he was cold and dead, He hop'd I'd come, sometimes, unto his grave;

for who can stand higher than Edward Stanton! Where flow'rs, perhaps, would bloom and green grass wave.

But it is all over now; I fear. Instead of rain

regrets, I must think of stern resolves." Another Mother, I'm coming home!

silence ensued, which Frank at length broke by My soul is heavy, and I fain would lie

saying, “there is the Academy in N without Upon thy bosom! no, he could not die! Tell him I'm coming Home :

a Principal. Could I get in there for a year or two, Home, to the dear old place, the one lov'd spot,

the work is done. Who knows but that is just the The Time may all destroy--but Memory can not! place ?"

66

Frank Lee was never long in forming a reso-quired Stanton, perceiving from his friend's fallen lotion, nor slow in acting upon it when once countenance, as he laid down the letter, that it formed. Without another word he rose, went to brought only disappointment. his desk, wrote, folded and sealed a letter; while “Trust Providence, and try again," replied Lee, his friend sat with his eyes still on the fire, his feet trying to look cheerful. on the fender, and his head leaned on his hand, in a • If worse comes to worst you have still one fit of melancholy musing, which lasted till Frank friend!” Lee had returned from the post-office.

“I know it! I believe it !” cried Frank, warmly grasping the hand which Stanton extended, “and I

may be driven to beg for the kindness I once reCHAPTER IÍ.

jected; but not till every other resource fails me. It was a bleak November night, just a fortnight Ah! what's this ? a letter from Kate!” he exafter the above conversation took place. The hills claimed, picking up one which had lain unnoticed. of New England were all white with the earliest Eagerly tearing off the seal, he began to read, his snow. Sadly the wind moaned, in the long row of countenance undergoing a variety of changes, naked elms, on “College Green”—but it was mean while that quite non-plussed the sagacity of scarcely heeded by our two friends, as they drew Edward, as did the frequent ejaculations which the up the study-table to a well-replenished fire, and reader threw in, par parentheses. “ What does the sat down to their evening's labor. A stranger girl mean?” “ Here is some joke!” “no—Mother's would have marked the contrast between them, and P. S. will explain all.” “Noble girl! God bless wondered, at first sight, how they came to be friends. her!" A gush of tears accompanied the last exclaEdward was tall, slender, almost feminine in per- mation. Here, read this !” said Lee, putting into son-his high, pale brow stamped with the seal of his friend's hand the letter which had produced thought-his eye deep-set and melancholy-his such an unwonted display of feeling.

“ Read it, manner indicating a sensitiveness too keen to leave Edward ! If ever there was a good sister-if ever its possessor at ease, except in the society of those there was a happy dog, I am one !" whom he loved and trusted—and they were but “ Which ?" asked Stanton laughing. “Oh! the few. To them he was irresistibly fascinating, not dog to be sure !” And with that, our excitable so much by the force of his genius and the bril- hero got up and described such a variety of antic liancy of his wit, as by a certain delicate playful circles around the table, that his more philosophic seriousness, which seemed assumed, while it was friend began to fear for the safety of his underaltogether real. Frank Lee was not so tall as his standing which was no doubt endangered by his friend, but more robust—his ample brow, clear near approaches to the fire in some of the aforeand open as the day-his cheek glowing with said performances. health and manly beauty-his eye now blazing Dear reader! if your curiosity is on the alert with eloquent passion, now melting with tender like mine, step hither, and take a peep over Stanaffection ; always bright, and diffusing gladness ton's shoulder, as he reads—but lightly! and reover whatever it looked upon-his manners gay or member never to do the like again !-serious, according to the impulse of the moment, “My next letter, dear Frank! is likely to be but ever displaying the whole-souled cordiality and penned in Dismal Swamp,' or some other insincerity of his nature-his soul alike capable of teresting part of the sunny South. I wonder if I the lofty and the tender in sentiment, frank, gene- shall be so fortunate as to fall in with one of your Tous, high-toned and guileless as an infant's. Lee • noble-hearted Virginians!' and I wonder if I was a general favorite, and became so at first sight, should treat a 'proposal,' should he make one, as while Stanton secured affection only where inti- you have done? How I should love such an oppormately known. Such were the two natures, which, tunity to show my disinterestedness! and how he like two opposite poles of the magnet, insensibly would admire it! and how heroic I should feel !attracted each other and became as one, till the But pardun my nonsense, dearest Brother! Setwo friends were never seen apart.

riously, I admire your generous-hearted Southron, They had not been long at their tasks this even- and would fall in love with him too, were it as ing, when a hasty knock at the door, and the easy to get out as to get in! and as for you, my entrance of a fellow-student caused them both to noble brother, I love and I admire you a hundred start and look up. “I was at the post-office and times more than ever. And I'll do more than that. thought I might as well save you a walk in the You shall go to college, and through college too, snow-storm," said the intruder casting down a hand- in spite of Fortune. My little head has devised a ful of letters, and making his exit as unceremo- way, and my little heart is quite big enough to do niously as his entrance. Frank seized one that all my head can devise. You are not going to bore the post-mark “N—"and hurriedly broke turn Pedagogue—that's out of the question ! nor the seal.

are you to turn Paddy and go to digging praties " And what will you do now?" anxiously in-'but I, with all my nonsense, can be serious, and I

have taken it into my wise head to be a school-driving blasts far behind. It is a warm sundy afterma'am. Hinder me who can! My trunks are at noon, and we may sit in this little shaded porch, the door. Rose and Hetty are watching for the while the children and kittens gambol in the yard, stage which is to convey me to Providence, whence without getting our noses frost-bitten. Indeed it I shall go on to Fredericksburg, Va., with Mrs. is quite like summer; one genuine Indian summer ; La Motte, an old friend of Mamma's, now mar- so soft, so warm, so dreamy, that even yon little ried to a Southern planter. It was through her bird-you see him in the aspen yonder !--folds bis agency that I obtained the situation which I am wing, and sleeps, and dreams, perchance, of his going to occupy as teacher. Hark! the stage is loving mate, who hops lightly from twig to twig, coming. Dear Mamma tries to look cheerful, and as if in fear to disturb his slumbers. A light, soft I try to feel so-but-good bye !"

veil of mist hangs over that still lake, just there P. S. by Mrs. Lee. “. But it is hard work,' she among the persimmon treeslake we will call it, would have added. Yet, for your sake, my beloved though it seems more like an artificial convenience son, we can do it, and much more. Our Kate is for making ice in the winter; serving also as a really gone! I can not realize it. The whole thing bath for sundry animals of the fowl, or foul kind, has been so sudden, so unpremeditated, at least by at other seasons. But listen. What is little Fred me, that I am as one bewildered, hardly knowing saying? what has happened. Kate has, I believe, had this “I don't believe I shall like her that I don't! She project in view ever since Mrs. La Motte's visit to wont let me laugh or play a bit, I spose !" us last summer. The day before your last letter "Why, bubber! you don't spect to play in stool, came, we received one from her, stating that she does you ?" asked a blue-eyed girl, a year or two knew of a good situation for Kate, which could be his junior, with an air that seemed to say, “ Ah! I immediately secured, if we desired it. Mother,' know all about it!" said Kate, think of that opportunity to aid our “I wonder if she is pretty!" observed a youth dear Frank! In our present embarrassments, such of sixteen, who, with his back leaning against a a salary as I shall receive is quite a fortune!' tree, stood patting a savage looking beast whom he Your letter arrived. It decided my wavering reso-called Beauty. lation-and our noble Kate joyfully received my "She may be pretty enough, for your Yankee permission to do as she pleased. I please to girls are all so, if bright eyes and blooming cheeks have my brother stay where he is !' said she. constitute beauty; but I imagine they are all her • He would do anything for us~I will sacrifice a fortune, or she would hardly be coming out here little present happiness for him. It will only be to exchange them for money," replied his brother, for a year or two-and then when I return, and some two or three years older. Frank graduates, and we are all together once “For shame! for shame! Gerald !" cried out a more, low happy shall we be! how light will be thoughtful looking girl, who had hitherto sat readthe toils, the sorrows then past! And she is gone! ing on the door-steps, but now rose and mored to Your dear father sinks under the reverses that the side of an elderly gentleman in the porch, who have overtaken us. But we hope for brighter put his arm round her and said, fondly: days. When you return, wearing the laurels which " That's right! that's right! my child! Always a strong arm has enabled you to win, we shall be take the part of the injured !" both proud and happy. Go on! my darling boy! “As you do, dear grand-papa! and I thank you write for yourself a name that we can read with for teaching me that lesson! And will you be my honest pride. Fear not ihat our Kate will repent teacher still ?” she asked after a pause, during of her resolution. She is no longer the timid, which she had been twining a lock of silver hair sensitive child that she appeared in the days of our in her fingers. He drew her closer to his side, prosperity. She has become, all at once, ener- and pushed back the curls that fell over her pale getic, unselfish, cheerfully devoting herself to the intellectual forehead, shading a pair of soft hazel task of sustaining us in our misfortunes. She is eyes, that turned confidingly on his own." And learning to look on life as it is_real, earnest'— why should you doubt it, my Lucy ?" not a vague longing for that which is not! That “I do not, only I thought, perhaps, now Miss Lee she will adapt herself to her new situation, and be is coming happy in it, I doubt not. Our blessings, and the “ You shall have two teachers instead of oneblessings of Heaven be upon her, and upon you so never fear, my child,” said Mr. Ashton, kissing

her. Lucy put her arm around his neck, and mur

mured in a voice low and soft as the music of 3 CHAPTER III.

stream, and yet so plaintive that it seemed the We will now put on our "seven league boots” moaning of a turtle-dove. “Nobody loves me like and transport ourselves to the front porch of an you, dear grand-papa ! Mamma is--does not like old-fashioned mansion in one of the interior coun- me to caress her. Oh she is not like my s ties of Virginia. We have left snow-storms and 'sweet mamma, whom I shall sec no more! My own

my son!”

gentle mamma! And papa-he loves me-but he reply. " What next ?" thinks our tired heroine, is seldom at home, nor does he ever talk to me wondering if all the servants in the house are like you. I sometimes think he loves even Beauty coming to see her. Again the door opens—Kate and Cato more than me, for he never seems so looks round nervously, and sees a pair of saucerhappy as when caressing them. But perhaps I do like eyes, and two rows of very white teeth, looking wrong to say it. You look displeased! are you forth from the surrounding darkness, like two new angry with me? Pray do not be angry !" moons from a thunder-cloud. “Well, what now?"

" It is better," answered Mr. Ashton, his brow The saucy little "nigger” grins in her face and resuming its placid aspect, “it is better that you runs away. Our heroine hastens to turn the key, should not indulge in remarks of this kind. Never but it is not there. Well,” she wearily reflects; does it become a child to criticise a parent's tastes “ well, this is not home, my own sweet home !" and pursuits, however she may feel in regard to That word never seemed to her so full of meaning them."

before. Home ! its forsaken joys—its kind tones"Forgive me, I will not do so again. But-I its beaming eyes--its dear embraces—its bright know not low to express what I feel—I am so hearth, and cosy winter evenings, all come back lonely here"—and Lucy laid her hand on her agi- like the shadow of things long past; and she feels tated bosom. “I am so lonely grand-papa! I have as if ages had intervened since she left them, no friend but you, and "

though it is but a week. Home! the sound un" And you want another who is younger and locks a fountain of sweet, bitter thoughts, and she handsomer? Is that it ?"

throws herself on the bed and weeps. It is the “No, but

first time since she left that home. Hitherto her The reply was prevented by a shout among the mind has been occupied—but now, the strangeness children, of " There they come! there they are!" of her situation bursts upon her all at once; a and a moment after a carriage rolled up to the new feeling of depression, of abandonment, as if front gate. A black servant hastened to let down there were no being in the world but herself, comes the steps. Out jumped a middle aged gentleman, over her, and she can but weep :-A light footwith a jovial eye, and a face that indicated a fond- step has glided into the room.

Kate turns away ness for good cheer. After depositing himself her face, expecting no sympathy, and not choosing safely on terra-firma, he proceeded to hand out first to betray emotions which she feels are too sacred a lady in velvet hat and feathers, secondly “our for the eye of a stranger. Presently a soft arm Kate," habited in a simple riding-dress, and straw steals around her neck, and a voice so like her own bonnet. The children crowded round “mamma," dear Hetty's, that it startled the blood from her drawing her as far as possible from the formidable heart to her cheek, murmurs timidly in her ear, " school ma'am," and engrossing her attention so “ do not cry! are you very sad, dear Miss Lee? I completely, that the stranger was in a fair way to am sad too sometimes, though I am not far from be forgotten, had not grand-papa perceived her fol- home, like you! I should love to have a sister, lowing alone, and gallantly handed her up the such as I know you would be ! May I not be your steps. Mr. Morris had lingered behind to return friend, your own dear sister ?" It was not in Kate's sundry attentions bestowed on him by his quadru- nature to resist kindness. She looked up in the pedal friends.

sweet, serious face of Lucy Morris-for she it " Jenny! show Miss Lee up stairs. Dick, take was—folded her arms about her, and answered as those trunks up to her room.” The servants did her grateful heart dictated. as ordered, and both contrived to linger, under Very slight things direct the currents of feelsome pretence or other, long enough to get a peep ing. Kate found herself, without an effort, beat the new teacher's face.

coming cheerful. She thought of the motives " I want no assistance," said she, at length, won- which had made her a voluntary exile-her brodering why they did not go. Whereupon Dick ther's image rose before her, and she felt strong. made his bow—but Jenny, being seized with a " It is for him !" she said to herself, “and it is but sudden fit of industry or neatness, or both, caught for one or two short years and then I shall return." up a broom and fell to brushing the clean brick Hope, bright-winged hope, presented before her hearth.

the hour of reunion; she began to think how her " That will do,” said Kate. Jenny examined mother would look-how much the little ones would the pitcher which she had herself filled, not ten have grown-whether her father would have any minutes before, and finally made her exit. Kate more grey hairs—whether she herself would be at sat down to collect her thoughts. The door opens. all changed ; and what the neighbors would say. Missus say does you want anything.'

The tea-bell summoned her, in the midst of these "No-thank you," and Kate begins to amine speculations, and, hastily arranging her disordered the state of her trunks.

curls, she followed Lucy down to the supper-table. Door opens. “Come to see does you fire burn." Mr. and Mrs. Morris are there, Mr. Ashton, Lucy's " It is doing very well!" is the half impatient 'maternal grand-father, is in his place. Half a

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »