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-What did I say to the schoolmistress ?Permit me one moment. I don't doubt your delicacy and good-breeding; but in this particular case, as ] was allowed the privilege of walking alone with a very interesting young woman, you must allow me to remark, in the classic version of a familiar phrase, used by our Master Benjamin Franklin, it is nullum tui negotii.
When the schoolmistress and I reached the school. room door, the damask roses I spoke of were so much heightened in color by exercise that I felt sure it would be useful to her to take a stroll like this every morning, and made up my mind I would ask her to let nie join her again.
EXTRACT FROM MY PRIVATE JOURNAL.
(To be burned unread.)
I am afraid I have been a fool; for I have tola as much of myself to this young person as if she were of that ripe and discreet age which invites confidence and expansive utterance. I have been low-spirited and listless, lately,—it is coffee, I think,-(I observe that which is bought ready-ground never affects the head,)--and I notice that I tell my secrets too easily when I am downhearted.
There are inscriptions on our hearts, which, like rhat on Dighton Rock, are never to be seen except at dead-low tide.
There is a woman's footstep on the sand at the side of my deepest ocean-buried inscription !
- -Oh, no, no, no! a thousand times, no! Yet what is this which has been shaping itself in my soul ?-Is it a thought ?—is it a dream ?-is it a pas. sion?— Then I know what comes next.
The Asylum stands on a bright and breezy hill; those glazed corridors are pleasant to walk in, in bad weather. But there are iron bars to all the windows. When it is fair, some of us can stroll outside that very high fence. But I never see much life in those groups I sometimes meet;-—and then the careful man watches them so closely! How I remember that sad company I used to pass on fine mornings, when I was a schoolboy !-B., with his arms full of yellow weeds,-ore from the gold mines which he discovered long before we heard of California,—Y., born to millions, crazed by too much plum-cake, (the boys said.) dogged, explosive,-made a Polyphemus of my weak-eyed schoolmaster, by a vicious flirt with a stick,-(the multi-millionnaires sent him a trifle, it was said, to buy another eye with ; but boys are jealous of rich folks, and I don't doubt the good people made him easy for life,)-how I remember them all!
I recollect, as all do, the story of the IIall of Ehlis, in Vathek," and how each shape, as it lifted its hand from its breast, showed its heart,-a burning coal. The real Hall of Eblis stands on yonder sum
mit. Go there on the next visiting-day, and ask that figure crouched in the corner, huddled up like those Indian mummies and skeletons found buried in the sitting posture, to lift its hand,-look upon its heart, and behold, not fire, but ashes.—No, I must not think of such an ending! Dying would be a much more gentlemanly way of meeting the difficulty. Make a will and leave her a house or two and some stocks, and other little financial conveniences, to take away her necessity for keeping school.—I wonder what nice young man's feet would be in my French slippers before six months were over! Well, what then ? If a man really loves a woman, of course he wouldn't marry her for the world, if he were not quite sure that he was the best person she could by any possibility marry.
- It is odd enough to read over what I have just been writing. It is the merest fancy that ever was in the world. I shall never be married. She will; and if she is as pleasant as she has been so far, I will give her a silver tea-set, and go and take tea with her and her husband, sometimes. No coffee, I hope, though,—it depresses me sadly. I feel very miserably ;—they must have been grinding it at home. - Another morning walk will be good for me, and I don't doubt the schoolmistress will be glad of a little fresh air before school.
--The throbbing flushes of the poetical inter mittent have been coming over me from time to time of late. Did you ever see that electrical experi ment which consists in passing a flash through letters of guld leaf in a darkened room, whereupon some name or legend springs out of the darkness in characters of fire ?
There are songs all written out in my soul, which I could read, if the flash might pass through them,but the fire must come down from heaven. Ah! but what if the stormy nimbus of youthful passion has blown by, and one asks for lightning from the ragged cirrus of dissolving aspirations, or the silvered cumulus of sluggish satiety? I will call on her whom the dead poets believed in, whom living ones no longer worship,—the immortal maid, who, name her what you will,—Goddess, Muse, Spirit of Beauty,—sits by the pillow of every youthful poet and bends over his pale forehead until her tresses lie upon his cheek and rain their gold into his dreams
Thy wings of morning light
Beyond those iron gates
To chill our fiery dreams,
Leave me not fading in these weeds of care,
Whose flowers are silvered hairl
Have I not loved thee long,
Ah, wilt thou yet return,
Come to me !-I will flood thy silent shrine
soul's sacred wine,
And lapped in Orient seas,
Come to me thou shalt feed on honied words,
Sweeter than song of birds ;
No wailing bulbul's throat,
Thy ravished sense might soothe
Thou shalt be decked with jewels, like a queen,
Sought in those bowers of green
Where loop the clustered vines
And Summer's fruited gems,
Sit by me drifting on the sleepy waves,
Or stretched by grass-grown graves,
Whose gray, high-shouldered stones,