Page images

I looked about me, with a design to escape ; totally and lifted the head, saw, or fancied he saw, signs of life. forgetting my pledge; but as I moved towards the

“Throw open the window !” cried he; open every door, I saw the large entry crowded with men, among window in the house-leave the room clear-touch that whom was the high-sheriff I had seen before. He held bell, sir !” The crowd withdrew, and left us together; an open warrant in his hand; but where was the and, after a moment or two, a middle-aged, respectable nncle? I was afraid to ask—the deep, deep silence woman, entered. He whispered earnestly to her, and, about, awed me. Here were the ministers of the law as he did so, I watched his countenance, and I saw, as waiting for their prey—there was indeed no possibility plainly as I ever saw anything in my life, a smile of of escape now—there was the wife, the young and subdued triumph, almost of joy, flit over his rugged beautiful wife, I thought, by the glance I had of her ; features. the distracted and heart-broken wife, I knew, as she "Surely," said I, to myself, “ there must be some lay cold and lifeless upon the bosom of her husband. I mistake here; we have judged too harshly; that cannot went up to her—I spoke to her—I spoke to him; but be the body of a murdered woman.” As I spoke, she slie lay there like a dead creature, and as for him, he moved, and her husband was on his knees before her, sat with his inouth pressed to her forehead, as if he beseeching her to open her eyes, and speak to him. would never, never breathe again.

But she heard not, she answered not, she moved not. At last the officer drew nigh, and was about to whis- “Oh, my wife! my wife !” cried he, ho ing both her per something in the ear of the offender; but the hair hands to his mouths, and kissing them with insatiate of his beautiful wife—she was beautiful—I could see and frantie joy. “O, Eleanor ! open but your eyes once that now—stirred for a moment, probably with his more, upon your repentant and broken-hearted husbreath, and the officer and I both drew back, affrighted band, and he will die in peace! Will you not, dear ?" at the aspect of the man.

He stooped over her, and waited awhile; and listened, "Be still; I know your errand," said he, after wait- and by-and-by a low breathing was heard, and her ing a minute or two longer ; “be still, I am ready to go pallid lips, when they were touched with a white handwith you, wheresoever ye will; but I cannot leave her, kerchief, betrayed the source of the stain that thrilled she must go with me-dead or alive, we go together, us with such horror. The unhappy wife had probably this body and I, this flesh of my flesh; we never part ruptured a blood-vessel. again."

And then he stood up, righteously and bravely up, The look with which this was said, the piteous, and said to his uncle, with a voice like a man, As for though determined look, and the voice of unutterable me, sir, I do not wish to live; I am ready to die. grief and misery with which it was accompanied—the I deserve death, and I acknowledge it, for what I have poor creature hardly spoke above his breath, yet every- done this day; but, save her-save the child of your body heard him-went to our very hearts; there was dead wife—save her, and I will bless you, and pray for not a dry eye in the room.

you, with the last breath I draw." “But, where is Doctor Farrer ?” asked the sheriff; "I see no use in it, even if I had the power," said the “it is already four minutes over the time.”

stern old man. “Officer-officer, I say, see to your “No such thing, sir. It is exactly time,” said the charge, and have my house cleared of the people." doctor, entering with what I regarded, at first, as a look The officer prepared to obey; but he would have had of dismay, and then as a terrible counterfeit. I won- some difficulty, had not the uncle said — dered at the change; he was altogether a different man, “Look you, Robert Steele; if you do not go without cold, austere, and peremptory now.

another word—you know me—your wife, there, shall “Do your duty, Mr. Sheriff,” said he, “I have done never revisit this earth again, with my leave. Take mine. He is in your custody now.”

your choice”-going to the door, and holding it open“Sir! you will not leave your nephew ?" said I, “either you or I.” astonished at his aspect, so different from what it was The wretched man bowed low in reply; went up to when he left us a little time before.

his wife, and kissed her forehead, her mouth, and her “ And, why not, sir ?”

eyes; and then, with a look of woe I never shall forget, “ Uncle Joshua,” said his nephew, laying what gave his hand to his uncle, who turned away his head, appeared to me to be the body of his wife, calmly and to conceal a tear, I hope; and followed the officer out reverentially, upon the sofa ; "Eleanor is no more.” As of the room, without uttering a word. he spoke, he held up his hand; it was tinged with “ You have no further occasion for me," said I, blood.

shocked and terrified at the presumption of the rude old A smothered cry broke from the crowd at the door-man; “I wish you a good night. If your nephew desires a fierce tumult ensued-and for a moment I do believe my aid, however, professionally or otherwise, I shall be the supposed murderer of his own wife, might have ready, night or day, to speak a good word in his favor.” walked away from the very midst of the recoiling “Very like, sir; but I have need of you, also ; touch crowd: but it was only for a moment; the next, they that bell for me again, if you please." were ready to trample him into the earth—to tear him I touched the bell. limb from limb, in their ungovernable rage.

“Now, don't be alarmed at anything you see.” The But they were arrested by the loud, commanding door opened as he spoke, and another fine-looking voice of the dortor, who having gone up to the body, elderly woman came in, and went straightway up to the sofa, and began chafing the arms of the pale, fair crea- I was thunderstruck. ture that lay thero.

“You do not believe me. But, hear me through. “Poor child, poor child; I hope you have not gone When Robert Everett Steele was a boy, he got fond of too far, sir."

strong drink, no matter how—first, he loved to dip “ Pooh, pooh! I know what I am about. She sugar into sweet wine, and eat the sugar; then be breathes, you see, and she has been breathing all the dipped into stronger, and yet stronger wine; after time, I daresay; so we have nothing to fear on that awhile, he tried brandy and water-then, a little more score; no stoppage, no stagnation, you perceive. But, brandy, and a little less sugar; 'till he drank, as you do then, look here,” touching her mouth, and showing the now, a glass of brandy and water every day before dinsign that so terrified me, "she has either cut her lip ner. But, he was an extraordinary youth, as I have very much, or ruptured a blood-vessel.”

told you before. Something took place one day, after The good woman stopped, and looked up in his face he had been trying with the evil spirit of strong drink with a sort of terror.

the sight of his own face, I believe, in a mirror—and he “There, there, don't be alarmed, child; take her started up, and shook off the encumberiðg chains and away, and put her to bed, and keep her still for twenty- serpents that weighed him to the earth, and walked fonr hours, and, with the blessing of God," taking off away free; and for nearly twenty years not a drop of his bat, and lifting the rim to his face, so that he could strong liquor ever passed his lip; he had forgotten the just look over it—"we may have occasion to rejoice taste, and the smell was a horror and a loathing to him. over the sorrow of this day, the longest hour we have But still, I had my fears; and, on his marriage night, I to live. Young man, this way."

told him before his bride, her mother, the preacher and I limped after him mechanically ; cheered, I know all, that before ten years were ended and gone, he not why, with the devout and benignant seriousness of would be a lover of strong drink.” manner that followed his brief prayer. He led me to a “A curse on your cruel prophecy! How know you, study, fitted up in very good style, though crowded to man-man

an—-how know you, but your words have been the ceiling with books that were covered with dust, and pursuing him from that day to this, haunting him with evidently out of their place and ill at ease.

a perpetual fear? If so, you bave much to answer for." “Sit down, sir. These books, and the furniture “ You mistake, sir. So long as Robert Steele, or yon, below—I see your eyes are of some use to you; saw you or anybody else in your condition-you are angry with looking about you-belonged a twelvemonth ago to me, are you not ?” Robert Steele, one of the proudest and best, and “ Yes." most gifted men of our country. That filthy tavern “Never mind. I shall finish what I have to say, porch where I first met you, was the best furnished nevertheless. So long as you are afraid for yourselves, house in New England, a twelvemonth ago. You see you are safe. But the moment you have no fear, that what it is now. That woman you saw on the sofa, moment you are lost. Would you believe that the final three years ago married Robert Steele, against the opi- overthrow of all this young man's prospects in life, was nion of everybody-he was fifteen years the elder; wrought by his own mother-in-law ?” don't interrupt me, sir; youthful as he may look to you, * Indeed!” what I say is the truth: he and she both have grown, I “ Yes, sir, by my own wife—and with a bottle of dare not say how much older, within a twelvemonth. Noyeau and a bottle of old Jamaica !" Why don't you ask me what has led to the change ?" “I do not understand you."

I was startled at the abruptness and strangeness of " How should you? You have not heard half the the question ; but I contrived to say, “ You will oblige story." me, sir, by telling me how it happened.”

“I thought he was your nephew ?" • Then, sir, in one word, sir : it was grog. Yes, sir, " So he is." it was grog-beastly grog, that made a fool of one of the

“ And yet you say, your own wife, his mother-in-law. most extraordinary young men of the age, and a mad Are you not his uncle ?” woman of one of the loveliest and most affectionate of “A sort of uncle. He was the son of my sister; God's creatures."

but I am his father-in-law, too; he married my wife's “I suspected as much.”

daughter." “You did, hey? But, hear me through ; I have not "Oh-ah!" done with you yet. I saw you throw off a glass of “ You are satisfied, now, I hope ?” brandy and water, the first day of your arrival, as you “ I am." prepared to sit down to dinner; it was the same the “Please to hear my story then. About three months next day, the next day, and the next."

after their marriage, his mother-in-law-my wife-an I blushed and trembled at the rebuke of the old man's excellent woman she was too-she is dead now—there eye.

never was anybody, I dare say, with a heartier detesta"So it was with Robert Steele. And now-look me tion of strong drink. She entered the chamber where in the face-prepare yourself—I know you, and I know he and his happy wife were sitting together, he reading your family; and I tell you now, as I told Robert Steele to her, and she at her work, and setting a sealed bottle on the night of his marriage before ten years are over, on the table before him, said, “There's a marriage-gift you will be a drunkard."

for you; that créme de noyeaa is very old; it came out of the Dash privateer.' Some talk followed, and then looking man, and a much younger man, a former stitor she added, that she had two or three bottles of old of his wife's, one that everybody said she ought to have Jamaica spirits, of a most extraordinary flavor, but as accepted, instead of Robert, who was almost double her be never tasted of anything of the sort, she supposed it age. But a twelvemonth ago was the fatal day. Then would be of no use to him.' 'Certainly not,' he re- for the first time for more than twenty years, he got plied ; "he would not have it in the house. It would drunk-absolutely drunk. It was partly treachery, be a treasure to them that knew the worth of spirits so partly joy, partly triumph: he was elected to a majorold—but for him, it was no better than so much aqua- ity instead of poor French (a cloud fitted over his forefortis.' But a moment afterwards, something happened head, as he spoke the name). Gradually, step by step, to be said about punch-punch is a very innocent liquor, he grew fond of it; neglected his books, profession, as everybody knows—I dare say you began with punch friends—wife, child, everything. I had hopes; but yourself?”

I gave them up, one after the other.

At last, I perI bowed.

suaded his mother-in-law to decoy his wife away. We " Or sweet cider?"

succeeded—we suffered the cottage to be stripped—his I bowed again.

books and furniture to be scattered everywhere-wo “Or Malaga wine ?"

suffered him to be steeped to the very lips in poverty, “Precisely,” said I. “I began with all three, as and to believe his poor wife insane, as she actually was everybody does."

at one time when he saw her in a fever ; in short, sir, "And so, sir, it was concluded to keep the Jamaica we have done everything, 'till to-day-and to-day, sir, for punch."

you were a witness of the terrible catastrophe. Mad “Will you tell me, sir, whether the man is dead, be with the triumph of his old adversary, elected major tofore you go any further,” said I. “I have been long- day in his room-galled and fretted to death by the ing, yet afraid to ask you, every moment since you behavior of the mob — Who knocks ?" returned.”

The door opened, and in walked poor French him“No, sir,he is not dead."

self! He had a patch over his temple, and his riglit “Was he dangerously hurt ?"

arm in a sling, Are you crazy? How dare you " Yes.”

leave your bed, sir?" cried the doctor, starting up in a “ Did he strike first ?"

tempest of rage. The mystery was soon explained. "No matter, now. Hear what I have to say, The new major had come to beg Robert Steele's pardon, and then, you shall know the exact state of the and give up his majority. But, no; his father-in-law affair.

would not hear a word of it, 'till Robert had been “Let us make short work of it now. At the chris- worked upon for at least twenty-four hours. I could tening of Robert's child, his first child, a miniature pic- have wept for joy; I never was so happy in my life; tare of his wife, he inade the punch, and tasted of it, and I wanted to go directly to the jail, and say in a nothing more. I don't believe he drank a wine-glass whisper to the unhappy man:

Be comforted !" But full. His wife reminded him of what I had said on the order was peremptory, as he shook his ivory-headed the night of their marriage, and of what he had said cane over me. Go, I should not. Write, I should not. on the night when he received the bottle of Jamaica : “ This trial,” said he, "properly carried through, may • Mother, what if this should make a drunkard of me! save him. Nothing else can. I have no other hope. What if this should lead to the fulfillment of uncle If we can terrify him into self-distrust for the future Joshua Farrer's prophecy,'—he never called me father, (looking hard at me), we are safe." nor father-in-law. Not long after this, he became a He was right. Robert Steele is now a reformed military man. He rose rapidly, and he took the more man—a good husband—a good father-a good friend. pleasure in it, because he prevailed over a much finer. Being afraid of himself now, he is safe.



WHENEVER Fancy wakes her fairy scene
Of dreamy colors touched with tender light,
One radiant form comes gliding on my sight;
One, with a presence stately as a queen,
Yet sweet in smiling beauty ; with the sheen
Of hair like gold that glitters on a brow
White as the blossom of the orange bough.

Her graceful footstep greener makes the green;
Her brown eye kindles to a tenderer beam
The light; and, everywhere, the glimmering huer
Burn to bewitching rose; her bird-like voice
Melts on my heart; delicious joys infuse
My inmost being ; deeply I rejoice
In her, my star, sweet angel of my dream!


Some of our readers will recollect noticing, at one of the question his. The principal fault of the face, appears to us, cxhibitions of the Art Union, several years ago, a marble to be in the smallness of the eyes. We all like open-eyed bust of an infant child, inclosed in a glass case, and duly youth ; we feel intuitively its charm, and in large expansion ticketed as the effort of a Mr. Palmer, of Albany. They will seem to realize fullness, frankness, and nobility of soul. probably recollect that around this bust an admiring crowd This fault in the bust, does not suggest itself at first. It is was almost always gathered; that people wondered who only apparent after you become familiar with its details ; Mr. Palmer was; and that the more bold predicted for the then, not obtrusively, not injuriously. Another defect is an unknown sculptor a brilliant future and a splendid name. excessive fleshiness in the upper part of the nose. The proThose predictions have come to be realized. At this minent forehead, so admirable in this bust, we observe is the moment, Mr. Palmer stands before America in the front rank cast of almost all Mr. Palmer's female heads. We cannot of her sculptors. The exquisite delicacy, the truthfulness believe this to arise from a poverty of invention-yet it and free nature, evinced in this bust (The Infant Ceres) bears that construction. There is also a sameness in the brought appreciative friends to the side of Mr. Palmer; and lips, delicate, beautiful, and instinct with life and sweetness his labors so encouraged, from that day to this he has as they are. steadily advanced in his grand art. Self-taught and self- The bust of stus Corning, Esq., is an evidence of what reliant—a carpenter by trade, drawn to the chisel by the he can accomplish in the sterner and more practical direcsimple and irresistible force of his genius ; true to the pure tions of his art. Of its faithfulness as a portrait, we cannot instincts and impulses of his inspiration—we find him calmly speak; of its firmness, precision, and artistic execution, and strongly advancing onward and upward-winning day we can. by day, new admirers and new friends ; gradually gaining the “Night,” and “Morning,” in bas-relief; “Sappho," in sympathies of the public ; sending out year by year new and alto-relief, are respectively admirable performances. still more beautiful creations, that silently clove their way The statue of “The Indian Girl ; or, the Dawn of Chrisinto the hearts of all who beheld them-until the widening tianity,” is the most ambitious piece of the collection, and, circle of his greatness has expanded into the fullness of a we fear, must be considered a failure. It is, as a critic has noble fame.

expressed it, “neither original nor aboriginal.” It is an The collection of “Palmer Marbles," now on exhibition in attempt “to represent the impression made upon an Indian this city, are securing for him that wide appreciation, which girl by the sudden discovery of the crucifix, when wandering is life and everything to the artist. Thoroughly well as he alone in the forest." The manipulation of this work cannot has been long known to a few, this exhibition, with the libe- be excepted to. The figure is finely moulded--the drapery ral and generous criticism it has called forth, is giving his well managed—the pose in every way excellent—but the name to the winds ; is realizing those old dreams that beholder feels the impossibility of elevating the Indian must have come upon him, in years gone by, over the car- figure to the sculpturesque plane ; the idealization destroys penter's bench.

the fidelity ; it ceases to be aboriginal, without becoming Mr. Palmer's genius is American. He has never been to Circassian. We are desirous of seeing Mr. Palmer in anoItaly. If going to Italy would make him, in the least, less ther statue. We cannot believe that his genius is to stop original, fresh, or natural, may he never cross the sea ! His short of this highest exposition of his art. speciality appears to lie in busts. In full length figures, The Palmer Marbles are on exhibition in the hall of the Mr. Powers probably excels him; in busts, he is the finest of Church of the Divine Unity, 648 Broadway. all the modern sculptors. His manipulation is not better than that of Powers; his imagination and creative faculty, -At this writing, we are in the midst of the Christmas are much superior. In his busts, he evinces the most exqui- days. Hilarity and mirth clash their cymbals. Charity and site and delicate fancy; a fineness of poetical feeling, that good-will monarch hearts and pockets-alas! for so brief a overcomes you like the “dying fall” of an exquisite strain rule! The streets are gay. The shops, in hemlock and of music.

cedar, are picturesque and pretty. The air is crisp and Over “ Spring,” idealized in the type of girlhood, we have bright. People walk brisker, look brighter, have redder hung for many minutes. Of all his works, it is our favorite. noses and ruddier cheeks than at prosier times. The cold There is, perhaps, little to choose between it and “Resigna- does not nip and shrivel, but sets them all aglow. Every tion;" beautiful in womanly graces, as the other in girlish man carries a bundle—some are laden with them. People ones : but upon every visit we find ourselves returning more wbo ordinarily would look askance at a parcel bigger than frequently to “Spring,” than to its companions. It is sur- a cambric needle, totter now under accumulations of packrounded by that mystic charm which ever hangs about girl- ages, formidable in size and number. They are the Christhood; and, if ever the sweetness, purity, truth, and simple mas gifts. Strange revolution—the world has grown more love of blooming youth were caught and realized by art, fond of giving than receiving. Stranger revolution still Mr. Palmer has done it in this bust of “Spring.” It is, per- people speculate upon ways and means to bestow happiness ; haps, not without its faults. We like it better than the rival each other in the desire to excite mirth and pleasure. rest, praise it more, and for these reasons must be permitted The toy mongers chuckle at the inflowing silver. Urchins to criticise it more. We do so, however, submittingly; for congregate around the confectioners, and devour up the how can we help the con iousness that Mr. Imer has sugar monsters with their eager gaze. Music pours from bestowed vastly more study upon it than we have? And, parlor windows; the home dance rattles the casements. where taste and art so perfect have been exhibited, we are Upon butchers' stalls, the fat beef, bedecked with ribbons almost inclined to impugn our own judgment, rather than and hemlock, looks good enough to eat raw.

The book


shops ravish with their gorgeous volumes. There is no | the various phases of passion, in marking delicate shades O. school, and the streets ring with childhood's merry laugh. character, and, which is rare, he is as felicitous in the genial Broadway outdoes itself ; more gaiety, animation, bril- breadth of humor, as in the sterner and grander delinealiancy; denser throngs, showier shops, gayer colors. Gala is tions of passion. We recollect once hearing a distinguished the air, gala is the street, gala in every eye, upon every poet remark that he had known a good many actors who lip, in every voice !

could spell, a few who could cypher, but never but two that Beautiful episode in the year's cycle! Love weaves new could read! If our actors had before them standards of links, affection strikes into deeper depths, the generous vir- delivery as perfect as the elocution of Professor Hows, this tues expand-hatred and selfishness shrink howling off! severe satire would soon become an injustice. Let us say, Blessed be the day and the time!

however, in behalf of the stage, that there is a movement

in this matter in the right direction. Actors are discovering The death of Mr. Angus B. Reach, in London, a gen- that talking can be made even more effective than ranting; tleman of various literary attainments, has started upon the and Hamlet's advice to the players is at last beginning to be usual joke-round a story that was current of him a few practically followed. years ago. But we find it in some quarters very differently stated from the way we recollect hearing it originally. It - It is suggested that gentleman should adopt a style of is well known that Mr. Reach insisted upon pronouncing his hooped Raglans, in order to keep pace with the spirit of the name as if spelt Re-ack. The new version of the story is, age--and the ladies. Let it be done. There is no reason that Tom Hood, when seated near him at a public dinner, why one sex should monopolize these pyramidical advantaillustrated his fastidiousness by exclaiming :

ges—why the doleful complaint of “Though lost to view, to

memory dear,” should be so signally confined to one por“Angus B. Re-ack,

tion of the human race. Give me a pe-ack." Now this is not the way we heard it. It wasn't Tom Hood at - The engraving of “Shakspeare and his Friends," from all, but Mr. Thackeray, who perpetrated the wicked satire. the painting by Mr. Faed, is at last completed, and ready for The occasion was a dinner, and Mr. Reach somewhat osten- subscribers. It is two years since the original painting was tatiously corrected Mr. Thackeray's pronunciation of his exhibited in this city, and since that time the subscribers to

Mr. Thackeray apologised and promised to remem- the engraving have impatiently waited for its completion. ber. A few moments afterwards he cried out in a loud tone, We well recollect the enthusiasm which the painting excited “Eh, Mr. Re-ack, eh–I will trouble you to pass me a in the breast of every lover of Shakspeare. The scene re. pe-ack.” The table was in a roar—and Mr. Reach, we be presents Shakspeare at the Mermaid, surrounded by his lieve, never forgave the satire. Which of these versions is friends—by Bacon, Raleigh, Beaumont, Fletcher, Jonson, the true one we say not; perhaps both are inventions. An Dorset, and others—those whose wisdom and genius gave amusing part of it is, that the Tom Hood version is pre- the “ Augustan Age” to England's history. The figure of faced with the comment that the anecdote, unlike very Shakspeare was exquisitely painted—and the engraver has many anecdotes, is perfectly true. We will not deny it admirably preserved the spirit, grace, and delicacy of the but a story which runs so wide in its different accounts, is original. exposed to the suspicion of being apocryphal.

-We clip the following, for the sake of pointing a - A VERY pleasant bit of romance has just fallen in the moral: “A Sensation.-Sallie Jones says, that when she way of Bayard Taylor-so pleasant and so rare that we do was in love, she felt as if she was in a tunnel, with a train our best to embalm it for perpetual record. The readers of of cars coming both ways.” There is more mirth in this Taylor's African volume will recollect frequent reference in effusion than the perpetrator dreamed of. That must have its pages to a German travelling companion, who ascended been an extraordinary train of cars that could come two the Nile with him. This German gentleman—a baron it seems ways at once! Mem: When you make a joke, look to your -has presented Taylor with an estate adjoining his-grounds grammar. complete, and house furnished-requesting its acceptance as a gift, and as a token of the esteem which their brief com

-A EUROPEAN correspondent of one of our dailies, states panionship had inspired. This is a wonder, indeed a bit that Thackeray has a contract with a London publishingof romance that has the true, old-fashioned ring; a gem, house, to furnish a work, of a stipulated length, for six thoutoo, of lofty generosity and noble friendship, that becomes sand pounds. Mr. Thackeray went into a calculation, and of universal interest and pride, because it exalts human na

discovered that this price was about three shillings (English) ture.

per line. Notwithstanding this enormous price, several

months elapsed, after signing the contract before he over– Prof. J. W. H. Hows, of Columbia college, has just came his constitutional laziness sufficiently to get to work. completed a course of Shakspearean readings, which includ. The writer states that it is a romance; and that the hero is ed King Lear, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, and two to be killed off in America; which will afford Mr. Thackeray evenings devoted to miscellaneous selections. Professor the opportunity he undoubtedly desires, to touch us up with Hows is the only acceptable Shakespearean reader among his caustic pen. This is, probably, the same work that one us—a man who has given a life-time to the study of a of our publishing houses announces as in the press. master he venerates, and an art he loves. Close analysis, fine taste, kindred sympathies, and a responsive genius have -Fairy folk are not responsible, we suppose, to the combined to render him an intellectual and perfect exponent Decalogue; and, under any circumstances, orchard robbing of Shakspeare. His renditions are not merely correct, is one of the winked-at offences. The moral, therefore of they possess fire and vigor. He succeeds in grasping all the following lines, need not be scrutinized too closely.

« PreviousContinue »