Page images

prosecute me next. Well, if be chooses, let him . bring on his bears' as soon as he pleases : I can be heard of at any time through my solicitor, D. D. Dominus, Esq., New Haven. I can tell him one thing, however, beforehand. He won't find me worth powder and shot. I am only an hundred and twenty-five dollars worse than nothing, and live in daily fear of being compelled to · absquatulate,' or "Swartwout,' or whatever else the reader may choose to call it; I am not quite sure which is the most fashionable name for this very fashionable act.

But revenons à nos moutons; (a quotation more than usually applicable here, for we were a very sheepish looking pair ;) Miss Cleveland continued to contemplate her shoes with remarkable assiduity; while I, to keep her company, took a comprehensive survey of my pumps. In this situation we stood for some minutes ; I waiting very politely for the lady to open the conversation; but finding no indications of such a disposition on her part, I at length made a desperate attempt.

Very warm evening, Miss Cleveland.'
Miss Cleveland replied in the affirmative.

• But it was warmer yesterday,' continued I, vigorously following up my first movement. The lady assented to this proposition likewise.

There was another long pause. I began to feel fidgetty. My ears, which I felt growing red, were stunned by the incessant clatter of tongues every where around me. The more I desired to say something, the more I did n’t kuow what to say. At last, an idea flashed across my mind, and was instantly pressed into service.

Have you seen the exhibition of the National Academy, Miss Cleveland?

• No, Sir, I have not!'

This was a complete damper. I was utterly nonplussed. Happily, at this moment was heard the welcome call: 'Gentlemen, take your partners for a cotillion.' I led off' Miss Cleveland to her place, trying to recollect as much as I could of the steps' which I had learned three years before at school.

Jingle, jingle! went the piano. “Forward two! quoth the M. C. pro tem; and off started the dancers. I believe I trod on my partner's toes occasionally, and once or twice came near running over a very small young lady who was my vis-d-vis. But on the whole, things went off as well as could be expected.'

Any thing for a change,' as the vagabond said, when they took him to the watch-bouse. The company decided that it was too warm to dance, (I had been of that opinion for some time previous,) and determined to have a little music, by way of variety. Accordingly, demand was made on a young lady, who, after declaring, first, that she never sung; secondly, that she did n't know how to sing; and thirdly, that she had n't practised for six months, finally marched up to the piano in grand style. I took Miss Cleveland in tow,' as a sailor would say, and sauntered in the saine direction, on the principle of what mathematicians call 'the sufficient reason,' namely, because there was no particular motive for my going any where else. The fair performer, after turning over about two dozen songs, at last succeeded in finding one to her taste. My eye was accidentally

[ocr errors]

caught by the title. To my great surprise and gratification, it was neither * Di Piacer,' nor · Tu Vedrai,' nor any other fashionable Italian — melody, I suppose I must call it — but a beautiful Scotch ballad.

The diffident artiste commenced. There is an old adage about * not hallooing,' etc., and never was it more forcibly exemplified than in the present instance. As it has been said of Carlyle and his imitators, that they write German with English words, so it might be said of this young lady that she sang Italian with Scotch words. She lengthened out the sweet strains, as if she never could have enough of them, like a fly crawling through a pot of honey. Annoyed beyond measure by the performance, I leaned against a corner of the wall, and sought the last refuge of the miserable. But a 'coy dame was sleep to me.' I could command only a reverie.

I was awakened by a grand crash. A young lady, with any amount of mouth, and a very small quantity of nose, was doing execution on the unfortunate instrument, at the rate of twenty-knots an hour, and letting loose upon society a vast number of words in some unknown tongue, pitched in the shrillest possible treble; while a young gentleman in two waistcoats, with one side of his collar standing up and the other turned down, and his mouth awry with musical intensity, was accompanying her in the very deepest kind of bass. I listened out of pure astonishment, and soou distinguished the words, · Dore, dove, dove, il mio valor,' (I am not sure that I have spelt the words correctly,) repeated agaiu and again, iterum, iterum, iterumque, in the loudest conceivable tone, amid terrible thuuderings of the piano.

Now it is not surprising, that hearing these words so often repeated, I should have felt some curiosity to learn their meaning. "Il mio valor,' I conjectured to mean either 'my valor' or 'my value ;' most probably the former, since the value of such a performance appeared to me exceedingly trifling, whereas the valor required to execute it before so large an audience might be considerable. But dove'-- what could that mean? I looked anxiously around, in hope of discovering some one from whom the desired information might be extracted. To my great relief, I recognized two old school-mates whom I had not before observed.

Good evening, Johnston! How are you ?'
Good evening! Glad to see you here.'
• Can you tell me what dove means ?'

Do vay? (he knew rather less Italian than I did,) why, 'go away! to be sure.'

Not feeling quite certain of the correctness of this version, I applied to the second.

Ah, Smith, how are you? Can you tell me what dove means ?' • Do- ve? I believe it is the Italian for dove.' And with this lucid explanation, I was obliged to rest content.

The duet, like all other sublunary things, came to an end in course of time. Supper soon followed, during which I enjoyed some sensible conversation concerning old times with my two friends; but as soon as we had imbibed the necessary quantity of refreshment, they carried off, or were carried off by, their respective ladies. Some one else had made away with Miss Cleveland, and I was left to my own


resources. First, I stood still in one corner for a few minutes; then I walked over to another, and stood there; next I tried to listen to a song which was being' murdered, but the instinct of self-preservation soon compelled me to retire to a respectful distance. Then I trod on a lady's toe, and begged her pardon for so doing. Even this little incideni afforded me great relief.

Suddenly a fan was dropped. I sprang forward like a young comet, tearly demolishing an exquisite who was advancing, with the same object, seized the fallen article, and presented it to its fair

But at that inoment I was sensible that something about me had given way. Partly concealing myself behind a window curtain, I endeavored to reconnoitre the extent of the damages.' My worst apprehensions were realized! I bad ruptured my coat, from under the right arm balf way across the back. Governor Marcy's immortal untalkuboutables were not a circumstance to it !

Well,' thought I, Tempus est eundi,' as the Grammar has it; it's time for me to be off!' And without bidding good-bye to any one, I manæuvred myself out of the room as quichly as possible, and started with rapid march for home, leaving my cousin to be escorted thither by some one of her many beaux. Though I had left before any one seemed to begin to entertain an idea of going, it was past twelve when I reached my comfortable dormitory. It took me a very little while 'to peel,' and snugly ensconce myself between the sheets.

Next morning I was awakened by our Irish waiter making a variety of noises in the room. I rubbed my eyes, and stared at him vacantly.

* Breakfast is ready, Mister Charles.' •Well, Patrick, tell them not to wait for me : and — I say, Patrick !" · Yes, Sir.' • You need n't put any thing by for me: I sha'n't want it.'

[blocks in formation]


The evening fire burns bright and clear,

While round it gather sire and child,
Oft listening, with attentive ear,

To ballad old or legend wild.
Gorham, (Maine,) October, 1840.

J. P.

SO N N E T :





Pensez À mor: but not in hours of glee,

Nor when bright sunshine glitters on thy way,
And Hope is gath'ring, like some honey.bee,

Sweets from all now'rs; nor when soft glances lay
Their spell upon thy spirit, while there play

Love's music-tones around thee; nor when gladness
Makes home within thy heart, dispelling sadness,

And bubbling like some fountain into day:
But when, though distant, there shall come again,

Like dark-wing'd messengers of stern decree,
Hours of long-suffering, nights of lingering pain,

And strange looks greet ihee; when thou long'st to see
The glance of eyes long thought of, but in vain
Kind friend, sweet sister, think thou then of me!

9. ..


THE CATHEDRALS OF SAINT DENNIS AND SAINT GENEVIÈVE, PARIS, Often in passing through the narrow streets, I go into the old churches, with their ornaments dimmed by time, yet endeared and rendered beautiful by the recollections of ages. Indeed, I seldom if ever pass one of these old and noble edifices, which man has reared for the service of his Maker, without entering it. If I find it to be an old and favorite acquaintance, I loiter along its walls and by its altars, until I can carry away with me the recollections which its holy enclosures have suggested. I am led insensibly to admire the equality with which all men are received into these temples of religion; where he who feels that he is one of the least in human society, can yet approach the society of his God, unabashed by feelings of inferiority. These pillars, this fretted vault, were made for him, as well as for his most exalted fellow mortal.

I canuot help thinking that the Roman church has been wise in introducing into her public temples those beautiful works of art, which please the taste of the refined, and are at the same time equally calculated to operate on the imaginations of the common people. The stained glass windows, portrayiug the histories of the apostles and holy men who have lived awhile on earth ; the paintings and statuary, which reveal to your memory some noble traits of character or of action; the architecture elaborately chisselled into the rude forms of early art; all operate powerfully on my feelings, and impress me with the belief, that the associations which they suggest are not wholly useless.

In my rambles, a few evenings since, I chanced to pass through the street which contains the cathedral church of Sainte Genevieve. This ancient pile is called after the patron saint of Paris, and has the honor of enclosing her remains. It was toward night as I entered. A few devotees and idlers were around, strolling under the picturesque arches, and lengthened halls, in the architecture of the

olden time. Many of the poor of the neighborhood were at their devotions on the cold stone Hoor. They had come in, in the eveniog, after the day's work : some were looking up silently at the altar, with their hands clasped and pressed upon their breasts; others were murmuring their prayers with down-cast eyes, and an evident sincerity, which contrasted strongly with the tattered garments of the worshipers. Their poverty had forbidden them to pay the few sous which are asked for a chair, and they were kneeling in the open space before the altar, or around the railing; the men in their laboring dresses, with their caps on the stone floor by their side ; and the women in such finery as the poor can afford, with their hair tastefully arranged under the neat head-dress peculiar to the lower orders of Paris.

The time and circumstances were favorable to their devotions: men were retiring from the busy day's toil, and the hum of the city was fast subsiding without. The last rays of the sun were streaming in rich lines through the stained glass windows, set in heavy architecture, dim with age, and time, and dust; but like the moonbeams mentioned by Shelley, the tints were such as have 'no comparison on earth.' Nothing in all the early branches of curious skill, is full of more mysterious association than these heavy catbedral windows, adorned by an art whose history is not known. They speak to us of the hands which have so richly blended nature's light and shade, and which for so many ages since have lost their cunning : even the holy deeds which their delicate art has revealed to our times, had their commencement many ages beyond theirs; and he wbo fashioned these imaged histories, viewed their story through the same lengthened vistas of time, through which we are now gazing upon the efforts of his skill.

The evening shed a dim religious light on the old paintings in their antiquated frames, and by its faintuess one could only see the outlines of the figures, kneeling, or in acts of mercy, or at the stake, or on the cross. I have a respect, amountiug almost to veneration, for these old and mouldering cathedrals. So many generations bave worshipped in them; so many centuries have rolled over them, and over the dust of the commanding spirits who sleep beneath their vaults ; so many tempests have swept by, in the social system of human government; while the rage of man, excited in revolutions, has spent its fury in desecrating their walls and ornaments : for at the present day, in the capital of France, amid monuments which national pride should take care to preserve, the bars of a prison have been reared at the windows of her holy temples, to keep their sacred contents from destruction! Strange that they are not exempt from the excesses of infuriated men! The very steps in front of the church of St. Roche have perhaps had more human blood spilled on them than any spot of the like extent in Europe.

Never have my feelings of respect and veneration toward inanimate objects been more strongly excited, than in the Cathedral of St. Dennis - the oldest of France, its first stone having been laid about the year three hundred. Here are nearly all the monuments and ashes of the kings of France, from Clovis downward ; and bere is the oldest monument in the kingdom, having been finished about

« PreviousContinue »