Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

as one man.

few hours. He was like some terrible into the neighborhood of the “red sea," and tocsin, never rung till danger was immi- returned sick and shuddering therefrom. nent, but then arousing cities and nations His person and his eloquence were in

And thus it was that he keeping with bis mind and character. We saved his country and lost himself; re figure him always after the pattern of Bethpulsed Brunswick, and sunk before Robes- lehem Gabor, as Godwin describes him; pierre.

his stature gigantic, bis hair a dead black, It had been otherwise, if his impulses a face in which sagacity and fury struggled had been under the watchful direction of for the mastery-a voice of thunder. His high religious, or moral, or even political mere figure might have saved the utterance principle. This would have secured unity of his watch word, " We must put our eneamong his passions and powers, and led mies in fear." His face was itself a “Reign to steady and cumulative efforts. From of Terror." His eloquence was not of the this conscious greainess, and superiority to intellectual, nor of the rhetorical cast. It the men around him, there sprung a fatal was not labored with care, nor moulded by security and a fatal.contempt. He sat on art. It was the full, gushing utterance of the Mountain smiling, while his enemies a mind seeing the real merits of the case were undern:ining his roots; and wbile in a glare of vision, and announcing them he said “He dares not imprison me,” in a tone of absolute assurance. He did Robespierre was calmly muttering, “I not indulge in long arguments or elaborate will."

declamations. His speeches were CycloIt seemed as if even revolution were not pean cries, at the right of the truth breaka sufficient stimulus to, or a sufficient ing, like the sun, on his mind. Each element for Danton's mighty powers. It speech was a peroration. His imagination was only when war had reached the was fertile, rugged, and grand. Terrible neighborhood of Paris, and added its truth was sheathed in terrible figure. Eaci hoarse voice to the roar of panic from thought was twin born with poetry-poetry within, that he found a truly Titanic task of a peculiar and most revolutionary stamp. waiting for him. And he did it manfully. It leaped into light, like Minerva, armed His words became “ half battles.” His with bristling imagery. Danton was a true actions corresponded with, and exceeded poet, and some of his sentences are thə his words. He was as calm, too, as if he strangest and most characteristic utteshad created the chaos around him. That ances amid all the wild eloquence the the city was roused, yet concentrated- Revolution produced. His curses are cí furious as Gehenna, but firm as fate, at the streets, not of Paris, but of Pandemothat awful crisis, was all Danton's doing. nium; his blasphemies were sublime as Paris seemed at the time but a projectile those heard in the trance of Sicilian seer, in his massive hand, ready to be hurled at belched up from fallen giants through the the invading foe. His alleged cruelty was smoke of Etna, or like those which made the result, in a great measure, of this the “burning mar)". and the “fiery gult” habitual carelessness. Too lazy to super-quake and recoil in fear, intend with sufficient watchfulness the Such an extraordinary being was Danton, administration of justice, it grew into the resembling rather the Mammoths and Reign of Terror. He was, nevertheles, Megatheriums of geology than modern prodeeply to blame. He ought to have cried ductions of nature. There was no beauty out to the mob,“ The way to the prisoners about him why he should be desired, but in the Abbaye lies over Danton's dead there was the power and the terrible brilbody;" and not one of them had passed liance, the rapid rise and rapid subsidence on. He repented, afterwards, of his con- of an Oriental tempest. Peace-the peace duct, and was, in fact, the first martyr to a of a pyramid, calm-sitting and colossal, · milder regime Not one of his personal amid long desolations, and kindred forms enemies perished in that massaere: hence of vast and course sublimity-be to his the name “butcher," applied to him, is not ashes! correct. He did not dabble in blood. He It is lamentable to contemplate the få te made but one fierce and rapid irruption of such a man. Newly married, sobered

Vox. XXXIII--7

[ocr errors]

BY TILA.

into strength and wisdom, in the prime of Ne'er in vain the Patriot dies :
life, and with mildness settling down upon Pours he not life's fountain free,
bis character, like moonlight on the rugged Servile millions to baptise-
features of the Sphinx, he was snatched Proselytes of LIBERTY !
away. “One feels,” says Scott of him,
as if the eagle had been brought down

Southrons! yield not to despair, by a mousing owl.'" More melancholy

Weep not, sisters, maids forlorn;

Wintry nights are worst to bear still to find him dying "game," as it is

Just before the break of morn! commonly called--that is, without hope and without God in the world-caracolling and exulting, as he plunged into the waters of what he deemed the bottomless and the

AGNES. A NOVEL. endless night; as if a spirit so strong as his could die--as if a spirit so stained as his could escape the judgment--the judgment

CHAPTER XXXI. of a God just as he is merciful; but also-blessed be his name !-as merciful as he is

The Reverend Lewis Carlton was much jast.

surprised to have his morning nap disturbed by his servant bringing up to his

chamber door, a card from his old friend, " SOUTHRONS! YIELD NOT TO

Alfred Murray. The man said the gentle. DESPAI!”

man begged Mr. Carlton would rise and

come into the parlour immediately, as he (Written by a young lady of Baltimore, im- wished to see him on urgent business. The mediately after a late reverse to our eause.)

Reverend Mrs. Carlton, as the Germans

would say, had by this time fairly wakened Southrons! yield not to despair-

up-lifted her head, in its ruffled nightWeep not, mothers, wives forlorn :

cap from the conjugal pillow, and taking Wintry nights are worst to bear

the card, from her obedient husband's Just before the break of morn!

hand, read the name on it.

“Alfred Murray! Why, I did not know Tho' down-trampled in the dust By a despot's cruel heel,

he was on this hemisphere;" JUSTICB's cause we hold in trust

“I shall verify the fact and inform you, Yield it not for fire or steel!

my dear, whether he comes in the spirit or

the flesh, as soon as possible,” said her Lo! you caitiff, craven slaves,

husband, who by this time bad risen, made While they clinch their country's chain, a. hurried toilet, and was in the act of Tremble even 'midst the graves,

throwing his dressing gown over his shoulOf the victims they have slain. ders, preparatory to his descent to obey

his friend's urgent summons. Let them tremble--they have cause : "Mind, you make him stay to breakfast,

Loudest when they rant and boast, Mr. Carlton,” screamed his wife, as he FREEDOM on her march may pause,

hastened out of the room. But her battle ne'er is lost.

Mrs. C. was not deficient in womanly

curiosity. Mr. Murray was an old favorTho' the servile's bitter taunt

ite of her'smand, another bright idea flashSting you like a viper foul,

ed across her motherly head-she had now Tho' Despair ar d Famine gaunt quite a pretty marriageable daughter, who Like Hyenas 'round you howl. was a great pet with Mr. Murray in for

mer days, used to sit on his knee, and pull Tho' your dearest blood may flow his whiskers, when they were black and On the scaffold or the plain,

glossy. He was in every way "eligible," Tho' your bra vest be laid low

a good "beau” for Fanny anyhow-good Ere your sacred rights you gain- Mrs. Carlton had some imagination under

[ocr errors]

ture.

the ruffles of her night-cap--so she began band, told her all about it as much at to reckon the difference between Mr. Mur- least as Mr. Murray had told him. ray's and Fanny's ages, and to think of "So it is a runaway match! To think "probabilities.” She wasted at least ten of Alfred Murray's being so romantic-at minutes in this manner; then fearing her his age, too! Why, he must be forty-five at careless husband might forget to deliver least, Lewis !!! her message, and really liking Alfred Mur- Unkind Mrs. Carlton! When she had ray, independent of all ulterior motives, been planning for Fanny, she had put Mr. she sprang up, and began to dress as fast Murray down as not over thirty-eight. He as she could. Before she had progressed really was in his fortieth year, though he very far, however, with the copious ablu- did not look over thirty-five. tions which are essential to the well-being "Going to marry the daughter of his old and comfort of cleanly English people, friend, too! Don't you remember that Mr. she heard the house door open and close Graham who was here with Alfred Murupon the retiring guest. She waited for

ray in 18m, the year they came from the Lewis to come back, in order to give a con. East—who gave you the Syriac manu. jugal lecture, for his neglect of her request; scripts ?!'' her husband did not return, however, but

“Bless my soul ! so he was, Lucinda! I went to his sudy much to her discomfi- bad forgotten him! A very gentlemanly She hurried on her clothes as fast

person he was, and a very valuable copy as possible, and hastened after Mr. Carlton that is—of St. Matthew. But," said he, as soon as she could.

taking out his watch, "you have but little “Goodness me! Lewis, what are you time for any preparations you may desire about? And why did not Alfred Murray to make. They will be here presentlystay to breakfast ?":

get Fanny wakened up, while I make my“About, my dear,” said the Reverend self more respectable !" Lewis, laying down his pen and looking

Mrs. Carlton appreciated the wisdom of up, with a comical smile upon his usually her husband's advice, and bustled about grave face, “drawing up a certificate of like Eve, “on hospitable thoughts intent.” marriage, which I wish you and Fanny, she was so pleased at the idea of Alfred and the Hewitts, and Lord Elkington to Murray's making an elopement, she almost witness in a half hour, so please send off

forgave him for getting married and topthese notes to that effect, immediately!"

pling down her castles in the air. Mrs. Carlton took the notes dutifully

The witnesses soon arrived. Mr. and rang the hell-gave the necessary orders Mrs. Hewitt-his manly son, and three 10 the domestic who answereil it, and then daughters-all grown up-all clever peo. came back te her husband's desk. The ple-and all on the qui vive for the wedHewitt's were the American Consul and ding. Lord and Lady Elkington also his family, who lived next-door ; Lord and made their entrée. His lordstrip's wig a Lady Elkington, English people, boarding little awry, and her ladyship’s collar not over the way, members of Mr. Carlton's quite straight in its pinning--showing rafold.

ther unseemly haste; but everybody in “And now, Lewis! whe is to be married high good humor, which was wonderful, at this unchristian hour ?"

considering the son himself had just got"Alfred Murray of Louisiana, to Agnes ten up, and he ordinarily rose several hours Graham, spinster, daughter of the late Ed. I before they did; last of all, stole in pretty ward Graham, also of Louisiana," said Fanny Carlton, with "her shining morning her husband, reading the names from the face” looking as fresh as a rose in her pink certificate he was drawing up.

gingham morning dress, with its little white Mrs. Carlton threw up her eyes and ruffles close around her sweet throat. Mrs. hands—Well, I never! Mercy on us! | Carlton beamed like another sun, The Alfred Murray! Tell me all about it, do Reverend Lewis in his white surplice, and Lewis?"

the prayer-book open at the marriagc ser. And, Lewis being a good natured husovice-joked and chatted in a wonderful

style with his friends. Suddenly, a car may be most agreeable to Mr. Murray, and riage dashed up. Mr. Murray, aided his will be pleased to become better acquaintbride to alight, gave her his arm, the doored with his old friend Mrs. Carlton," said was thrown open by the waiting lackey, she, smilingly extending her hand to that who ushered them in with a broad grin. lady. , They walked for rd and stood before the Mrs. Carlton, charmed with the words clergyman.

and the beautiful smile, as well as pleased Agnes' head drooped upon her bosòm- with having her own way, took Agnes her long mantle and heavy veil fell around, hand and led her to the breakfast table--her like a pall; but steadily and distinctly, seating her by herself-leaving Mr. Murthough very low, ber sweet voice made ray to Fanny and Mr. Carlton. Agnes the responses after Mr. Carlton Mr. Mur- talked, smiled, ate a little. Mr. Murray ray's full tones trembled more than her's had enough to do in watching her, and reAgnes had spent the intervening hours of plying to the Rev. Lewis' innumerable that morning well, in prayer to God, that questions. He looked with surprise at the since it seemed her fate to be the wife of sudden transformation of the pale, weepthis noble, generous man, she might be ing girl of last night into this self-possessable to fulfil her duties faithfully, as a ed, stately lady, who now sat talking with Christian woman ought, to the utmost. Mrs. Carlton. He wae delighted, and al

The past was dead. Let it be buried most stopped several times in the midst of now and forever. No weak repinings--no a reply to Mr, Carlton, to listen admiringly girlish sentiment for Agnes Graham-to Agnes. Mr. Carlton forgave his preno shrinking-no looking back. li her occupation. The Murray's left immedipath lay over the burning ploughshares, ately after breakfast. The Carlton's were there she would walk unflinchingly, look. charmed, and unanimous in their praises ing to God for strength for herself--for him of the bride. to whom she in full understanding of the

"So beautiful! So graceful! Such exword's now "gave her troth.” So her voice

quisite manners!" it was a perfect chorus never faltered in its calm even tones; and

among them. when the service ended and the clergyman stepped forward to congratulate

And, Mr. Murray, when they were alone, the bride, she swept the veil back from her took his wife's hand, pressed it to his lips face, and Mr. Murray's eye filled with and thanked her for the effort she had pride and admiration, as he observed the made for his sake, to gratify his friends. lofty grace and gentle courtesy with which Agnes Murray smiled her peculiar Daseshe received the greetings of his friends, nant smile. There were heights in her The witnesses took their leave. Mrs. Carl. nature even he could not understanı, none ton had ordered breakfast to be served im- but a poet could. To make an exbibition mediately after the ceremony was conclud of feeling before "people,” at any rate, was ed, and insisted upon the newly wedded pair impossible for Agnes. She had learned partaking of her hospitality before they self-command too early and tno thoroughly left-especially as Mr. Murray designed for that. Impassioned natures soon do, but quitting Naples that very day. Mr. Mur- not passionate ones. Pride was the heri. ray looked at Agnes, fearful that this would tage of Agnes Graham. It takes protean be beyond her strength. He knew how forms. Besides, it was probably more severely it had already been taxed. She agreeable to her that they should have been had taken no food that orning be knew. among strangers at that trying hour. He suspeeted none the day before. He Would it have been so—would Agnes have little knew how small had been the portion been so calm, so self-possessed, bad she of nourishment which had passed her lips loved her husband with a different love? lately.

Did Mr. Murray forget the shy, timid, blush"Mrs. Carlton is very kind-but I fearfing, trembling girl whom he once Mrs. Murray" he began.

bending like a flower beneath the ardent Agnes turned quickly towards him, glances of Robert Selman? No. He had' Mrs. Murray will be glad to do whatever "noi forgotten it--but he admired more this

was

saw

noble woman who now stood beside him, the Rectory, announcing her marriage as his life's companion,--this strong wrest. without any explanation. She felt she had ler who had come out from life's battle- no right, even to them, to violate the confi. field purer, grander than ever, and he was (dence which should be sacred. None content. His "heart trusted in her;" no- should ever know that she had been an bly did Agnes meet his trust. She devoted unwilling bride-her husband's honor was herself to her husband. She conformed concerned there. She could not make herself in every way to his wishes. She that return to his noble generosity. Let studied her duties-her husband's disposi- them misjudge her. Let them think her tion and tastes. Her's was the larger nature, inconsistentinconstant-politic--untrue the artistic. It is catholic in its sympathies, to womanhood-better that they should, in its powers of adaptation. Agnes was than ever know the truth from her.' They no hypocrite, only a woman of the highest did think her marriage strange--suddentype. One of her first acts was to take all but they knew her too well to doubt her. the letters—all the souvenirs that, girl-like, Dr. Leonard wrote to Robert, telling him she had carefully cherished before her mar of her marriage without comment. Robriage, and put them in the fire-all but ert replied to the business part of the leione that was the broad, gold-linked brace- ter, but made no allusion to Agnes, nor to let, with its ruby clasp, which she had un- his own life in South America. clasped from her arm just before she went to be married, This she took and sealed in a box, and put it in a secret drawer of her dressing case, locked the drawer and

CHAPTER XXXII. put the key away; during her husband's life that draw was never unlocked. She

The spring had passed at Dasenant guarded her very thoughts jealously-for Rectory, and the long hot summer had her own gweaknesses she had no mercy.

begun his tropic reign. Dr. Leonard had Every talent her husband admired, she cul- just returned from visiting a.patient, and, tivated. Even her music, that was a trial tired with his dusty ride, was sitting on

the shaded gallery outside of the glass at first -but if she showed some conscious

door of Mr. Danver's study, enjoying a ness of weakness in her careful avoidance of sentimental music; if she never sung

cigar, petting his little black-tan English

terrier, which had clambered upon his love diities, and there were some operas she “never liked” now; if she avoided all

knee, occasionally exchanging a word

with the occupant of the study, who was passionate expression in music, conversa

reclining upon a couch near the door, with tion or reading, yet who saw the change

a book in his hand. Mrs. Clark suddenly or missed these chords ? not those who lis

appeared within the study, evidently tened with rapturous delight to the rich

somewhat agitated, or what she called "all voice in the music of the severer higher in a fluster. This responsible individual masters, or wondered over the brilliancy had been induced to take up her abode at of the wit and intellect displayed in the the Rectory after the burning of Dasenant conversation of the beautiful Mrs. Murray, Hall. She attended to the housekeeping "the admired of all acmirers,” the envied for the two confirmed old bachelors, while

Mr. Murray never repented his mar. her husband found such occupation as riage. Agnes seemed always satisfied to pleased him in the garden, or in pretendplease him. The name of her cousin ne

ing to look after the boy who had charge ver passed her lips ; she asked no ques of the Doctor's horses. They were very tions about him in her letters to the Rec

well 'satisfied-had little to do-good tory. Agnes understood, though they wages, and their own way in everything. had not, Robert's bitter words—"all or no- Mrs. Clark, to do her justice, was really thing !That was true and right! So attached “ to the poor dear gentlemen," as those who had begun life's journey, so she called them and looked after their inclosely united, were now "nothing” to terests with great fidelity, even if she did each other. Agnes wrote to her friends at principally consnlt her own comforts a lit

one,

« ForrigeFortsæt »