Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

66 and

ووو

to have his sisters treated in every re- of whom he was already well known by spect as well as himself, and used to try name, but many of them had never yet and get for them as much liberty and seen him. One of these is fond of telling freedom of thought and action as he how he first saw him, in the midst of a enjoyed himself; their mother used number of other strangers, practising sometimes to be away in the country, rifle shooting, at a rifle ground, that was and then their father, not being very sure much frequented by the exiles. “I of the conduct of the servants, used went into the ground,” he says, to forbid the daughters to leave the looking round, saw a young man leaning house, taking it for granted that his on his rifle, watching the shooters, and son would, like other young men, go and waiting for his turn. He was about five come as he liked. Not so, however, he feet eight inches high, and slightly made; used to insist on their having their fair he was dressed in black Genoa velvet, share of pleasure, and used regularly to with the large republican hat; his long, take his turn of staying at home; 'in-curling black hair, which fell upon his deed,' she said, 'those were our gay shoulders, the extreme freshness of his times, for we knew he would always stay clear olive complexion, the chiselled dewhenever we wished, and we used some- licacy of his regular and beautiful featimes to impose upon his good nature; tures, aided by his very youthful look, and but so far from being angry, he was sweetness and openness of expression, always delighted to see us happy, for,' would have made his appearance almost she concluded, “from the time he was too feminine, if it had not been for his born till now, I do not believe he ever noble forehead, the power of firmness had a thought of self.""

and decision that was mingled with their These details were not intended for gaiety and sweetness in the bright the public eye, and we have some hesi- flashes of his dark eyes, and in the varytation in including them in this notice, ing expression of his mouth, together but we are very anxious that as many of with his small and beautiful moustachios our countrymen as possible should really and beard. Altogether he was, at that know what manner of man this is, whose time, the most beautiful being, male or prite rights were treacherously and female, that I had ever seen; and I have infamously infringed by our govern- not since seen his equal. I had read ment, when he was dwelling amongst us, what he had published, I had heard of in the faith that English hospitality was what he had done and suffered, and the a reality, and not a mockery to a man, moment I saw him I knew it could be no and who has frequently been the subject other than Joseph Mazzini.” of the most maltgnant calumnies on the

The slightness of his figure has been part of the leviathans of our daily press; increased by the hardships he has underand who is now, on the one hand, calling gone. His long black hair has become upon us to aid him in the holy cause of scant and prematurely grey, and his the emancipation of his country; and, whole appearance bespeaks a life of on the other, offering that country to us, trial and suffering, yet there is still in when freed, as an ally in perfecting the his face that rare mixture of power, victory of the freedom of commerce, and beauty, and sweetness which have been in winning that of the freedom of the his characteristics through life, and human conscience, over the thraldom of which have won at once the reverence papal and other ecclesiastical misrule. and the love of all who have had the And after all, although in public print, opportunity of really knowing him, and we shall for the most part be read in which cause even strangers to feel when private, and by the individuals who form they see him, that there is something our English homes, and there such scenes wonderful in him, and that he is indeed and thoughts of home will always meet unlike all other men. with the true appreciation of respect and

(To be continued.) sympathy.

On quitting Piedmont, Mazzini went The difference between fair ladies and to Marseilles, where there were a con- ladies' fairs is this, the former besiege siderable number of Italian exiles, to all men's hearts, the latter the pockets.

[blocks in formation]

I received news in the year 184, of around, and a fair, clear sheet of water, a large property recently bequeathed me the white spire of a church, and specks of by a very distant relative. The event white houses and purple mountains, alfilled me with astonishmeut, for I had most melting away, looming like shanever seen my great-great-uncle, and if dows in the mellow atmosphere, at the all reports concerning his character were extreme verge of the horizon, imposed true, I am certain that had he known admiration upon the least enthusiastic me before, I should not to-day rejoice soul, who might sit at my study window, in a fortune of forty thousand, besides at the right of the mansion. numerous rent rolls; for, unfortunately, I have said it was a double cottage, I am a person apt to speak my mind, and the reader may think there was and express my disapprobation of vice by ample room for a gentleman-and single whoever committed.

-with plenty to spare.

I thought so, Desirous of retiring to the country, yet at least, as I perambulated the old-fashso unambitious as to wish my name and ioned apartments, and counted, in all station unknown, I determined to visit fourteen, besides the kitchen end, which, Greenbourg, as a pay tenant of one of I forgot to mention, was attached to the my own houses; accordirgly I selected house by a narrow, low entry. If I did a very pretty and antique double cottage, sigh, half audibly, because there was no with its side porch completely covered sweet face to smile upon me, no soft voice with honeysuckles, and the most delight. to whisper-—" we shall be so happy,” why! ful odors issuing from its large and taste- was it more than any lone man, with a fully laid out garden. The precise ar- loving but not too susceptible heart, would chitecture of this cottage it would be do? was it more than natural ? difficult to class. It was beautiful, but Still, after a heigh-ho or two, I conby no means modern. The upper win- soled myself by thinking, “at any rate, dows, diamond-paned, projected very I am wealthy enough, though to be sure, much, with a curious little cornice jutting that would be a poor recommendation to out over each, elaborately carved and or- a disinterested lady; but never mind, namented. The front portico was sup- there's a time for all things. ported by four slender pillars, around My first look out was for a house. which the glossy dark vines of the wood-keeper, a good and somewhat garrulous bine curled gracefully, and meeting, threw old lady, with whom I might while away innumerable delicate tendrils over the my leisure hours, for I am a remarkably arch at the top.

The situation of this good listener. I had but to hint to one pleasant house was rather romantic, too; tolerably smart gossip, and the following a deep ravine, filled with rank shrubbery, day I was besieged by some dozen good from among which peeped out scarlet and old souls, with excellent recommendpurple, and blue wild flowers, like timor- ations; but one I preferred above them ous eyes down in the gloom, skirted the all-she had lived with the former master left wall. Centuries ago, some wild thirty years.

For this weighty reason, stream babbled to the mountain pines, madam Jaques was my choice, Very tall, through this same solemn ravine, and very grave, and very much wrinkled, she where rank grass and poisonous plants would have sat finely for a most vigilant kiss the scraggy stones, gold and silver duenna ; as it was, she became installed fishes, bright denizens of pure rivers, from that day, as my very venerable houseplayed in their pebbly dells. A wide- kceper. A week exalted her highly in spread lawn, dotted at regular distances my estimation. When she knew me busy with stately and glorious old elms, slept with my studies, or writing, she would in the foreground; abrupt hills, at which move around the house as noiselessly as the setting sun threw golden shafts, a fairy; but after tea, that general, retipped with gorgeous colors, rose all freshing tea, which no one can make like

her, then, with knitting in hand, while so I went up into my curious little west I sat on the front porch, she would talk room, and prepared to enjoy a quiet, as merrily, as a marriage bell. She had meditative hour. been well educated, and her conversation The night was still and heavenly. was sprightly and correct, displaying Masses of moonlight, intermixed with often a fine versatility of talent, almost a dark, but not unpleasing shadows, laid poetic taste.

upon the swelling banks that swept down One month in the house, and I began into the still, solemn ravine. to sigh over its loneliness. I had made “ What a queer anomaly am I," I but few female acquaintances, for, to tell thought, as my eye mechanically wandered the truth, the village could boast of many over the charming prospect; “the elements pretty women, but further than beauty, of happiness within and around me, yet this deponent sayeth not-donit whisper every note I touch of my own humanity, it. What shall I do? I reflected and every chord to the senses, the passions, sighed, till at last the good housekeeper the affections, jars upon my soul, and put a feasible plan in my brain. makes strange harmony. Why am I yet

*** Why not let it?” she asked me one unmarried ? Have I a false estimate of day," why not let the east part?woman's character ? Have I a secret,

“My good dame," I replied in astonish- undefinable feeling, that she is unfathomment, “how can you suppose me capable able ? or, restless, vacillating, impulsive, of dispensing with that magnificent in short, a perfect enigma to my own view ?"

mind, do I judge her by myself? I have ** True, it is pretty then the west" sought the society of accomplished women,

" And there again; from that ravine, have fancied some, admired others; but with the book of reverie baited with im- when I began to think of love, some agination, I fish up some of my most glo- insurmountable objection, perhaps rcal, rious gloomy thoughts; hobgoblins are perhaps imaginary, I don't know which, great acquisitions, in a solitary place like has prevented me from that interchange this, and I people that old black hollow, of thought, that blending of souls, which every night, with the queerest phantoms; is so necessary to my nature. Well, I positively, it is one of my greatest sources shall never be married, unless of enjoyment.

romantic affair brings round the great The good woman stared at me.

event; of that I am sure. 1 wish I could " Yet," I continued, after a long reconcile myself to the idea that women reverie, “yet this stillness, this monotony, are not angels, or else get a bona fide it oppresses, it is killing me. I rather angel, right from Heavens!” I ejacuthink I'll let the public know that this lated suddenly, and a cold treinor seized part, this west part—I'll go and sit on the me, as I sat there by the open window; fence when I want to look at the ravine- "angel or ghost,” I muttered, “I believe is to let. At any rate, it will le some my impious wish will be answered, peramusement to hear and answer the appli-haps not so pleasantly as I would desire." cants, and I suppose, as I shall let it for Away down in the old hollow, I distinctly a reasonable rent, I shall have at least a saw a ilgure floating about, all clad in thousand and one.”

white. At intervals it would vanish, then * Very likely you will have a great as suddenly return. It was surrounded many,” said madam Jacques, quietly. by a soft, blueish-white light, that moved

That night put up my sign-large with its every motion. I could see the yellow letters, on a white ground, “ fur- undulations of the form, and my eyes nished rooms to let; and that night, I followed it as if attracted by some powerhinted that I should like to know some- ful magnet. A long, white, cloud-like thing of the character of my old great- scarf seemed thrown over the head, great uncle, being very particular to keep the hands moved, sometimes rapidly, our relationship to myself.

up and down, then swayed from side to But madam Jaques evidently did not, side, and often seemed extended up along or would not, take the hint; a fact which the edge of the steep banks of the ravine. gave me a better opinion than before of Once I fancied I saw a face-likewise her discretion. But I was disappointed ; that it was very sweet and beautiful; but

some

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE HOUSE TO LET.

11 I am now inclined to think that it was but me as unfavourable, or whose characters, fancy. I was so absorbed, so singularly madam Jaques being the voucher, were fascinated, that I could not move, but sat not above suspicion. Very many left the like a statue, a cold sweat covering me house, dissatisfied with my terms; I was from head to foot. Suddenly, with my neither sorry nor disappointed, as they nerves up to the highest tension, I sprang severally objected. from my chair, resolved to know what At last there came an aged man, with spirit this was that had thus appeared in a white, lofty brow, venerable locks, and answer to my desire; I felt certain it an unmistakable air of gentility. His could be no conjured phantom of the dress was plain, but rich, his figure comimagination.

manding, and his eye peculiarly earnest I hurried down stairs, passed madam and piercing. He was accompanied by a Jaques, who was knitting in the soft very lovely girl, in whose large orbs, white light of that glorious evening; she though so dark, and deep, and liquid, started, and enquired what had happened; dwelt a singular and unpleasing expreslos for,” said she, “you look pale ; maybe sion, that grew absolutely painful when your tea was too strong.”

she was addressed. She had a way, too, i assured her I was well enough, 'but of pressing her hand upon her heart, with added, almost nervously, and half inclined a gesture that gave my own a pang: to believe myself, though I laughed off Both interested me, so much did they my fear, if fear it might be called, " I am appeal to my sympathics, and silently I going to talk with the spirits in the said, “yes, you two shall have the house." ravine."

But they two did not instantly decide. She stared, with a lowering brow, but “ We will callto-morrow," said the old said nothing. No doubt she thought I gentleman, (and I fancied he glanced was demented.

uneasily at madam Jaques) “and give you I went to the ravine! all was black, a final answer. Come, Maria," and I lonely and still. A cloud passed over the fancied he spoke in a voice too stern and moon, obscuring my vision, and it seemed commanding to such a gentle creature, as if it was gazing down, down into some “Come, Maria, we will go home again." infernal, fathomless gulf. I knelt, and “Ah,” exclaimed madam Jaques, shudpushing aside the tangled bushes, peered dering, as the two disappeared, “ through them into the profound denth. has left the house."

Not a sound -nota movement-it must I was startled by the energy with which then have been a spirit; and a feeling of she spoke, and as I gazed enquiringly at solemnity passed over me, as I knelt her, I perceived her faee was flushed with there, a sensation, is if invisibles were at anger. my very elbow The thought charmed " The old man with his smooth face me, gave me a thrill of pleasant horror, to perhaps you thought him a saint-no define my impressions correctly.

doubt you did Ah! but he is a wretch, But enough of this. I went home, he is a hoary sinner—that he is; I have thoroughly convinced that the theory of no patience when I think of him. Little ghostly visitings was not a humbug, he expected to see me here, retired to my couch-not, however, before That sweet girl! he has blasted all her I had waited long at the window, hoping hopes ; she was an angel--poor Mariafor another appearance of the vision - he has crushed her spirits, made her a then cominending myself heartily to my machine, a mere automaton of his will, to Maker, I soon sank to sleep.

be guided by his slightest look; to move The following day, visitors poured in, when he bids her, and stand still when he all anxious to see the house! for very few commands. Shall I tell you her story? (so said madam Jaques) had ever crossed you seem interested—well, listen then. its threshold during the life of the singu- Maria D was a beautiful creature, lar old man who han tenanted it so long. one of the sweetest girls in our village. He was born there, and died at the Her parents were poor, and died early, advanced age of ninety-eight.

'leaving her destitute. It was a shame, I had determined to ask an exorbitant for lawyer D----, her father, might, but price from those whose appearance struck for his wretched habits, have had a for

a curse uncon

tune; but no, he spent his money in I shuddered. beastly excesses, and died drunk. Well, “But then,” continued madam Jaques, as is usual in such cases, his wife followed thoughtfully, “ the man who him soon-her heart broken. Thus Maria sciously injured her knew all; and how was deprived of both parents, and, poor can he respect the woman he calls wife? orphan, who had she to depend upon but or her father? I believe he hates him with this only unele? He took her under his a perfect hatred; so there is no happiness protection; she might as well have gone in that household-plenty of money but with an arch fiend. I talk too strongly no happiness. I certainly had not such perhaps-well, it is my way when I am a weight of guilt on my head, thank God! excited, and perhaps you will feel equally The story of the unfortunate Maria had indignant when you know all.

filled me with horror ; and I dreamed all This uncle, this old man, had one night of beautiful maidens broken. daughter, very handsome, very artful, and hearted, chains, and mad-houses; for my Maria, was so innocent, so amiable : you imagination is so ductile, cvery passing see she inherited her mother's gentle object will leave an impression upon it, temper.

breeding all sorts of fancies. A rich traveller sojourned here for The next day, towards evening, I had some months, saw, and loved Maria. another applicant: a large-framed, athFor a long time he was equally attentive letic-looking woman, who said her hus. to the cousins, for they were both so band was a timid body, and sick at home. lovely in appearance.

Finally his choice Their house was badly situated, and fell upon Maria, who was not only the inconvenient; and if I could assure her, most accomplished, but the most sensible upon my honour, that there were no of the two. Ah! she was no longer strange sounds heard, and awful visions innocent and beautiful then in the eyes of seen, she would like to take the place; that old uncle, for did he not desire the “ for,” she added, " they say the old house stranger for his own daughter ? Oh! he is haunted—and that west part was what is so avaricious, that old man, I have no the old man occupied ; and he can't be patience when I talk of him. The gentle at rest, wicked spirit that he was." girl returned the affection of this stranger,

Haunted! so the old building enjoyed who was really good and honourable, but, the unenviable reputation of being by all accounts, most shockingly sensitive; haunted. Strange, yet not unexpected she loved him back almost idolatrously, news; the allusion to the old man was yet,that wretch of an uncle, that human strange, likewise, very strange; and viper, that man, with a demon heart and then the apparition in the ravine. will, deprived her of her lover, and with “You look as if you couldn't recomthe most consummate art persuaded him mend it on that score,” she exclaimed, that Maria was not good-do you under-abruptly, starting me from my reverie. stand ? not virtuous. He determined “ Now I don't fear nothing, alive nor that the rich suitor should wed his own dead," she continued ;

the reason I child; and so he did. At the same hour want to know is for my old man's sake, of the ceremony, while the party were at not that I believe in any thing of the church, Maria, poor girl, was raving in a kind; still, when people are nervousfar-off apartment of her uncle's house, tied she hesitated. by the fiend to the wall-secured, hand “ I cannot say,” I exclaimed, taking and foot. Since then, Maria has been advantage of the pause,

" but that I little better than an innocent, except at have seen strange sights." times when she seems to live over again The room was quite dark, and the the horrible, the fearful days that inter- woman glanced around her uneasily. vened during her lover's desertion and “ Do you know," I inquired, drawing marriage.

nearer, with a solemn manner,“ did you How think you would her moaning ever hear of any frightful murder comvoice sound through these thin partitions, mitted here? or connected any way with beseeching, invoking, and shrieking in that ugly, deep ravine out there?" the agony of a broken heart? Poor “ Goodness, no !" she exclaimed, nerMaria !

veusly, catching up her shawl, and fold

« ZurückWeiter »