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the importunate passion with the assurance, that their recognition would but disturb the calm enjoyment of that solitude which is dearer to my heart than the favor of princes. Surely, I ought not to blame those whose slumbering memories serve only to enhance the happiness of my closer seclusion. Experti sumus ego ac amici; and since indigence and affluence are rarely boon companions, let us hope we may meet rarely, and part speedily, or, in the language of Shakspeare, I do desire we may be better strangers.'
And can it be,' said I,' that you thus stand aloof from all with whom yon once associated in friendly intimacy?'
'It is not I that stand aloof from my former companions, but rather they from me. There are, however, among the many thousands of this metropolis, three of my early mates whose companionship I still cherish as the sweetest solace of my darkling age. We were all once classmates at the university; in after years all equally affluent; and still later in life, all reduced by a kindred misfortune to that fellowship of indigence so conducive to the best development of friendship. The wreck of our former affluence left us still the means of a humble competence, and having none left to toil for, each bade adieu to the excitements of ambition, and retired to the quiet seclusion of an attic. Naturally drawn together by mutual sympathies and associations, we soon after united ourselves in a sort of club, which meets on every new moon at some one of our quaternian cloisters. On these occasions, each throws aside at the threshhold the pack of cares which the last month may have accumulated on his shoulders, and brings in for the evening's entertainment only the flowers and fruits it has been his fortune to gather during the last stage of his pilgrimage. And while the song is sung, the tale told, or the essay read; while the aroma of Cuba mingles its sweet effluence with the rosy breath of Madeira; we who there luxuriate, if not venerably wise, are at least innocently merry; and when the hour of retiring comes, the shadow of a guilty conscience never darkens the path to our peaceful dwellings. The world calls us loafers, and not dissatisfied with the appellation, we have styled our fraternity the Loafers' Club.'
Would that a youthful stranger,' said I, inquiringly, 'might be admitted to your feasts of reason and flow of soul.'
This may not be,' was the expected reply: 'our magic circle is impassable to all but that grim Phantom, whose advent none can bar. Since, however, your frequent loiterings of a summer afternoon in this our chosen paradise, prove you not devoid of the leaven of loaferism, we may grant you this questionable favor, to examine at leisure the record of our motley communings. It is a kind of literary blotter, where I have jotted down the minutes of our 'sayings and doings' tales, essays, translations, glimpses of biography and topography, dramatic adumbrations, excerpts from our college portfolios, songs, sonnets, and other symptoms of prose run mad — interspersed with criticisms, and garnished with quotations. The perusal of this odd medley is not interdicted to so promising a brother Easy as yourself. So come to my sky-parlor in street, whenever your curiosity prompts you to enter upon the unpromising task.' Thanks to your generous confidence, I will do so this very even
ing,' I gratefully replied,' and with the hope moreover, that you permit me to make an occasional extract for the public eye.'
'Be that as you will,' smiled the quiet dreamer, evidently pleased with the suggestion; and after a warm pressure of the hand, I left him to the wrapt enjoyment of those auroral visions of fame, those bright, brief meteors of the mind, which play so illusorily with the ready credulity of untried authorship. Alas, human vanity! in what one bosom of all earth's many millions, hast thou not an altar and a home!
Away!-from book and pen away!
That rise above our noble river!
That tinkle down their sides forever!
Of what they are, and what should be-
One moment on futurity:
The Past has had so much of strife,
The present hath so much of gloom:
'Tis but the mockery of life!
The tomb! dear mother, unto thine
Throng up, like whispered words from Heaven;
Mother dear mother-from my heart,
While threading life's bewildering path,
Art with me in these silent shades,
Mother dear mother
it may be !
A tone of mind, till now unknown
Which lulls me with its fitful moan,
A voice, heard last when many a tear
Joy! joy!-though wildering paths be mine,
I feel that thou wilt ever be
Cincinnati, October, 1836,
W. D. G.
THE MAGNOLIA FOR 1837. Edited by HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT. pp. 352. NewYork: BANCROFT AND HOLLEY.
We have already spoken in terms of deserved praise of this last and yet first of the American annuals for 1837. As our encomiums, however, were expressed in general terms, we may be pardoned for offering a few running comments upon the merits of the volume, both in a pictorial and literary point of view. There are eleven plates, from the hands of native painters and engravers of acknowledged skill; and they present an aggregate of excellence not before reached in this country. We proceed to glance briefly at a few of them. 'Esperanza,' the first picture, is not misplaced. It is a face of a serene and heavenly beauty, from the pencil and graver of CUMMINGS and CHENEY. Its execution could not be improved; but to our eye there is manifested a sin against taste in the extra profusion of side-curls. The vignette, designed and engraved by CASILEAR, is neat, well drawn, and tasteful. The Rover's Triumph,' painted by CHAPMAN, and engraved by OSBORNE, has but one fault- it is too light, or indistinct. 'Castella,' a portrait, engraved by PARKER, is from a painting by INMAN. It needs no farther laud. Exquisitely soft, and admirable in all respects, is 'Sunset on the Hudson' - heretofore noticed in these pages - painted by WEIR, and engraved by ROLPH. This last-named artist is winning for himself deserved repute. 'Storm Coming On,' is a vivid picture of the scene indicated by the title, and exhibits the artist (H. INMAN) in a very favorable light, as a landscape painter. It is a near and palpable communion with nature. To the Wrath of Peter Stuyvesant,' by DURAND, we have before referred. The burly trumpeter is to the life; and in the two remaining portraits, the artist has been true to the expression as well as the want of it. Mr. CASILEAR has done good justice to the engraving. The Freshet,' by CHAPMAN, is worthy his reputation. It is well conceived and well executed; nor has the engraver, Mr HINSHELWOOD, failed in his portion of the performance. 'The Lake of the Dismal Swamp,' by CHAPMAN, required just such an engraver as Mr. SMILLIE to transfer its beauties to the steel. Of all the productions of both artists, we do not remember any thing more highly creditable to either.
The literary contents of the 'Magnolia' are of a superior character. 'Three Days from the Life of Cavendish the Rover' is marked by those graphic touches and stirring incident, which distinguish nearly all the productions of the writer's pen. His language is always nervous and well chosen, and his conception of dramatic effect correct and forcible. But for the intimate connexion between the several parts of the extended narrative, we should be tempted to justify our opinions by liberal extracts. 'A Winter's Tale' is the title of a story by GRENVILLE MELLEN, wherein is woven much of exciting and romantic adventure, together with the reflections of a poetical and sensitive mind, unweaned from that childhood of the soul which is the true elixir vitæ. 'An Unsolved Riddle,' by Miss SEDGWICK, who touches nothing that she does not ornament, will remind the reader of IRVING'S 'Stout Gentleman,' though written in a somewhat different vein. 'Maria Jeanne,' by THEODORE S. FAY, is a charming sketch, the incidents of which we remember to have seen in the original French. It
is replete with startling scenes and strong contrasts.
"We pass over the rage of the wronged father. We have no space to record his reiterated vows- too faithfully kept and that never a penny of his should pass into Daniel Prime's hands. He made a will that he would never again speak to his child, at once, and published it, formally disinheriting his daughter, and devising his property to various public institutions. Dorset tried to appear as cheerful as was his wont, for he was a proud man, and loth, even tacitly, to confess his dependence on any human being; but nature was too strong for him, and when he was alone, walking over those fine, fruitful fields whose tansmission to his posterity he had so often contemplated as a sort of self-perpetuation, his disappointment would break forth in audible groans. And when he returned to his home, and missed his gentle, patient child, who had always anticipated his wants, and endured his impatience without a murmur, his parental tenderness would find its way in tears. But after the first ebullition of passion, never a word of complaint or regret escaped him. He went on, as if nothing had happened, enriching his farm, and dispensing liberally from storehouses always full.
"In the mean time, Submit, born to be a thrall to whatever power might be over her, faithfully kept her vow of allegiance to her new lord, though her heart in secret pined for the ease, abundance, and cheerfulness of her old home. Her father's temper was gusty, but the storms were short, and succeeded by sunshine and a healthy atmosphere. Her husband's disposition was of the brooding, forecasting sort, that hangs like a leaden sky and pestilential fog over the domestic scene. as the means of attaining the great end of his life, she was inestimable to him. But he He was not severe or unkind to her; was anxious and restless till that was secured. He never, for a moment, believed that her fitful, impulsive father would persevere in his disinheritance of his only child; but there is no passion keener than avarice, and he was continually forcing her on active measures to recover her father's favor. This embittered her life. She could endure and suffer to the end of the chapter; there was no limit to her passive virtue: but to execute what her husband planned-confront her storming fatherdue his resentment, was an enterprise for Submit equal to that of a nervous person, -to attempt to subwho should attempt to pass under the sheet of water at Niagara.
"In obedience to her husband, she repeatedly wrote to her father. The letters were returned unopened. She even, like a trembling victim, went to his house again and again. The good-natured servants-they were slaves, for our story dates before the revolution-gathered about her with their honest, hearty welcomes; but her father passed by her without one glance of recognition, and if she ventured, in a half stifled voice, to address him, he gave no sign of hearing her. Thus matters went on for three years. Aunt Marah, whose whole life was devoted to that most teasing domestic alchymy, by which one man's shilling can be made to go as far as another man's dollar, was a continual thorn in Submit's side.
"At the end of three years, the light broke in upon her dreary existence. She had a child that best of heaven's blessings-that ray of celestial light which penetrates the intensest darkness that can encompass a mother's soul. A child! who could be miserable with such a treasure! - a gift that enriches every other possession that is riches to poverty; meat and drink to the hungry and thirsty; rest to the wearied; health to the sick; an immeasurable present joy, and an infinite promise!
"Our poor mother's soul was kindled with new life; her home was no longer a waste and desolate place. She turned her eye from the dark spirit brooding in her husband's face, and felt the smiles of her child warming her heart. She listened to the first, sweet sounds from its lips, and was deaf to aunt Marah's eternal stories.
"You say your father likes babies,' said her husband. 'Sybil begins to take notice the child had been warily named Sybil Dorset, after its maternal grand-parents-dress her up in her best, and take her to your father's; don't be scared away by the first frown -stay a while-he 'll come to at last "Submit obeyed with alacrity, because with hope. She believed her child irresistible, - an old dog don't turn for the first whistle.' and longed to see it in her father's arms. The little girl had arrived at the prettiest stage of infancy; she was fat and fair, and bright, and dressed in her prettiest. No wonder her mother walked with a light step up the narrow lane that led to the only place her heart called home. She was humbly making her way toward the kitchen door, when the old house dog sprang upon and licked the baby's hands. Dorset stood, unseen, at a window, stealthily watching the approach. The baby, instead of crying, clapped her little hands in reply to the dog's caress. An exclamation of pleasure