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She never told her love,
Smiling at grief.
It is singularly brief, this sketch of Viola, but it is uninterruptedly beautiful--her patience, her constancy, her devotion to the one object of her heart, her losing sight of all that woman so dearly prizes—position, respect, admiration, sympathy : all for the one dear object-verily there is more philosophy in Woman's patience and more heroism in her fortitude than in the loftiest genius of a Newton, or the proudest daring of a Wallace.
In almost every other character on which Shakespere has lavished the powers of his mind, the interest of the audience is not allowed to pause until the conclusion, but here the great beauty of the creation sheds its charm over the first part of the play. In the last scenes Viola is lost in the intricacy of the plot and the rapidity of the action. It is only at its close, we get one last glimpse of the devoted love which she keeps.
as true in soul,
That severs day and night. Viola's interviews with her brother, fraught as they are, with such true tenderness, the scene with the old Seaman, where she throws out those sparks of woman's sympathy, so genuinely belonging to the sex: all demand our study—but the gentle quiet harmony of her nature resting on the heart of the beloved, like a willing and well attuned instrument of music, vibrating with the faintest approach of the master-hand—this sweet and generous quality is more brought out in her unheeded confessions to the Duke. It is there she rests—either an inspiration or an echo--for ever.
THE THREE ARTS.
He embodies the drama of every story,
He bringeth soft tears into manhood's features ;
He sheddeth a charm over every duty,
REMINISCENCES OF CHILDHOOD.
“ Thoughts golden key Unlocks the treasure-house of memory."
The affectionate son and biographer of Crabbe, the poet, writing of this gifted parent, says,—“ Among my first recollections of him is his carrying me up to his private room to prayers
in the summer evenings, about sunset, and rewarding my silence and attention afterwards, with a view of the flower garden through his prism." Earlier still were his reminiscences of his mother. “ The very earliest, I think,” he continues, “is of her combing my hair one evening, by the light of the fire, which hardly broke the long shadows of the room, and singing the plaintive air of Kitty Fell,’ till, though I could not have been more than two or three years old, my tears dropped profusely. How natural and touching are such remembrances—and who has not some ? The late Thomas Hood, has written a little poem upon
this subject, full of a sad truth, tenderly and beautifully expressed, which want of space alone prevents us from quoting entire.
" I remember, I remember
Than when I was a boy!” Dickens, says—“ I recollect when I was a very young child, having a fancy that the reflection of the moon in water was a path to heaven, trodden by the spirits of good people on their
way to God.”
One of our first living poets, speaking of the strange idiosyncracies of childhood, told us that he used to take a great and painful delight in looking at a star-or rather, its reflection in the waters of a certain moat belonging to Fort George, in Invernesshire, not far from his father's parsonage. He used to watch it with a species of fascination, mingled with fear, until it grew a passion. He recollects once trying to hit it with a stone, and running away frightened to see it, when the rippling of the water had subsided, shining down bright and calm as ever. “My great secret-keeper, my dear mother,” he adds, “chided me gently for striking what I loved—but it was not love I felt for that star.”
The same poet, when very young, had the brain fever, during which he kept pleading in his intense thirst, for a draught of the water which Moses struck from the rock of Horeb, with the rod of miracles; and parched and burning as he was, would touch nothing else. He was given over; when that same dear mother of whom affectionate mention has before been made, suddenly thought of substituting common spring water for the miraculous draught, which she brought to his bedside carefully corked and sealed up. The child drank the healing watersfell into a sweet sleep-and recovered.
A lady whose early years were passed in an old country house in the North of England, remembers, that when a very little child she always used to repeat the following lines ; but she cannot recollect who taught them to her. Most probably the faithful and simple-hearted old nurse, who died when the narrator was about three or four years old : at the advanced age of ninety-eight, the greater part of which had been spent in the service of the family. The words are rude enough, although not without a certain charm
“There are four corners to my bed :
I pray to Christ, my soul to take.” The relator of this little anecdote has a distinct recollection of her ancient bed-chamber, with its tapestried walls, and deep windows, and how the curtains used to sway backwards and forwards when the wind was high ; while that same wind sang
all sorts of wild and mournful tunes in the wide, open chimney, or played with the old trees without, until they creaked again! And yet the child never felt frightened, but used to think that no harm could possibly come with the four angels watching over her! She even fancied that she could distinguish them apart. Two had large books open before them, in which one occasionally wrote ; while the others kept guard over her all through the long night. She remembers being much struck, while walking
with her nurse through the village churchyard, by some figures upon an ancient gravestone, which reminded her of the angels, but, on approaching nearer, she found them cold and decayed, and not nearly so beautiful. And that she wept bitterly, fancying they must be dead.
ci Years afterwards," writes the narrator, “I returned, a grey
headed old woman, to the home of my childhood. I even slept in the same room, and heard the wind singing the same wild tunes, and rushing and moaning round the house like an unquiet spirit. I had grown wiser since then, but not less happy. Although the angels had vanished, I could still repeat the concluding lines of my little prayer with child-like faith, and my sleep was sweet and peaceful.”
Miss Barrett has written an exquisite poem on this subject, called “ The Lost Bower,” and so simply and naturally, that we cannot but look upon it as an embodied reality-a tuneful reminiscence of her own childhood. To attempt any description of it in prose is like striving to imprison the sunshine, and it is too long for extract--for ourselves, we know it by heart!
Walking one day, when quite a child, in a little wood near Malvern, so graphically described that the reader accompanies her perforce, spell-bound, this sweet poetess tells us, that she came all at once upon “a bower,” such as none could paint but her who saw it, either actually, or in vision.
“ Tall the linden trees, and near it
An old hawthorn also grew;
Hovered dimly round the two,
On either side of the entrance, grew a red and white rose tree;
" And the ivy, veined and glossy,
Was enrought with eglantine;
And the large leafed columbine,
Greenly, silently inlaid."The carpet and chairs were of the softest moss, and amid all“Came a sound a sense of music which was rather felt
than heard." A bird-like harmony, and yet not like a bird. The poetchild went forth dreamily through the green wood into the open sunshine ; and presently began to rejoice in her discovery, and to determine in future to be the sole queen of that fairy bower—but, lo!