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depressed in spirits, and fell easy prey to a low, infectious fever, that stretched forty weak and wearied bodies upon the beds of the hospital. Though the Brontes escaped the poisonous fangs of the typhus, Maria and Elizabeth languished into consumption, similarly induced, and before the year ended slept with their mother in the crowded churchyard at Haworth.
Charlotte and Emily, in the autumn following, again rejoined the sadly broken family circle. In their little upper room the children again rekindled their quaint enthusiasm over the intri. cate themes that perplexed politics and letters, and again, hand in hand, they renewed their loved rambles over the heathery moors. Their daily animated discussions gave them readiness of thought, corrected misapprehensions, secured definiteness and precision, developed taste, formed and confirmed opinions, riveted attention, sharpened appetite, and strongly developed the native piquancy and force of individual. ism that lay latent in their natures. This was not all. Cut off from the social pleasures that commonly flavor life, and thereby forced back upon their own in nate resources of enjoyment, their imaginations, as quantities of preserved manuscript poems, magazines, novel. ettes and dramas abundantly testify, under the stimulus of this intimate and uninterrupted interchange of sympathy, and the weird dream-state consequent upon a secluded life, even thus early gave golden promise of their afterward sustained and lofty flights.
Six years this close companionship remained unbroken. Then came forced separations and poignant griefs. Though ill-fitted for rough life, they were born poor, and must fight or fail. Timid and sensitive through painful consciousness of personal defects, yet unswerving in duty and anxious to relieve their overburdened father, with indomitable purpose they sallied out, one after another
in delicate health, first to fit themselves for teaching, then to enter upon its distasteful and thankless duties as despised governesses among the more favored families of the rich. With what ripened thought, developed virtue, and ennobled feeling they came forth from that ordeal of suffering and struggle! Especially noteworthy is the mutually increased attachment consequent upon these seemingly untoward circumstances that hampered and harassed the lives of the sisters. For long months they anticipated with keenest pleasure their Christmas-holiday re-unions in the study room and on the purple moors. No sooner was the day's work done, and sleep hushed the household, than, with extinguished lights and lovingly-locked arms, they paced the floor, talking over the trials and disappointments of the year just dying, so highly prized they the privilege of basking in the warm sunshine of each others' sympathy. Then and there, too, they proposed and perfected plans for future heroic self-sacrifice, in fond hope thereby to realize their bright dream of at some time together successfully opening a school at their own Haworth home. They freely discussed the plots of their yet unpublished efforts in verse and story, carefully retoning every picture. They conceived the design of joint authorship, and by generous and discriminating praise encouraged in each other higher aspirations, and paved the way to certain and brilliant victory.
Still there came, treading one upon another, disaster after disaster. From their first literary adventure they were fated to harvest only expense and chagrin; their cherished school scheme, for which they spent months of severest study on the continent, and sought patronage with most indefatigable zeal among their English friends, proved a total failure; and, to darken all, their gifted brother Branwell, the very light of their eyes, was found fast driving, passion-blind, against the black rocks of ruin. Torn and bleeding, their love grew stronger with their need. Then came a second adventure in joint authorship, at this time in the department of fiction. “Wurthering Heights," “ Agnes Grey," and "The Professor," went the weary rounds among the London publishing houses, meeting with repeated refusal, till at last the first two were privileged to drag slowly through the press, only to be cruelly strangled at their birth by the cold condemnation of the critics. Not even such questionable fortune awaited “The Professor.” It was forced to remain in manuscript.
Nothing daunted, in the midst of sorest domestic trial, while her father's sight from a critical surgical treatment for cataract, hung tremblingly in the bal ance, Charlotte again bravely put pen to paper, and it was not long ere the praises of the unknown Currer Bell, the author of glowing pages of "Jane Eyre," were sounding on the lips of all England. But scarcely had the distant bugle-notes of fame reached the quiet of the Yorkshire hills, awaking glad echoes in the hearts of the sisters, when crash fell again death’s thunderbolt, and Emily, in mental endowment worthily ranked a Titan — whose conception of "Heath cliff” and “Cathy," though bearing marks of immaturity and grim with horror, gave, by its lurid grandeur, clear tokens of Miltonic power in story — Emily, whose iron will alone for months had lengthened out her lease of life, now with Spartan firmness calmly met her fate.
The deep-felt loneliness at loss for the dead drew still closer the hearts of the living. With tenderest solicitude, anticipating even the slightest want, Char. lotte jealously guarded the delicate health of her last remaining sister, thus rendered doubly dear. Of little avail proved the watching eyes of love. Only for two short weeks the gentle, patient Anne lingered. Then long years came
and went, checkering with change the destinies of the inmates of Haworth parsonage. Yet in the gloom of the evening, after the lights were all out in the household, Charlotte paced to and fro over the cold stone flagging, her frail form resting in the sweetly-comforting illusions of fancy against those of her dear ones long pillowed in a dreamless sleep. Could the vail have been lifted during those night vigils, she would not have been found companionless. We can have but faint conjecture of the exalted enthusiasm of her joy, composing in these privileged hours of thought those touching tributes of affection that adorn the pages of her later works. To be enabled through the enchantments of fancy to place her sisters under more favoring circumstances than befell their earthly lot -- to unfold their noble traits of character and their rare intellectual gifts, which were but closely-folded buds when the frosts of death fell on them, into perfect flowers under more propitious skies, and at last to extort from the world for them its tardy praise—was a high privilege which her large nature well knew how to prize, increasing a thousand fold the keen delight that the free play and conscious magnetism of the imagination ever award to true genius.
Her love for her sister Maria, on whose little sunken grave already had fallen the snows of twenty-five Decembers, had burst forth in undiminished ardor in that picture of parting when Jane Eyre stole up to Helen Burns' room at midnight to kiss her a long good-by, and both lay in each other's embrace, talking of Heaven until they fell asleep, one to wake on earth, the other among the angels. Prompted by a love equally deathless and pleasurefreighted, on her conception of Shirley, of which Emily is the known prototype, she so freely poured all the rich magnificence of her genius - a genius marvelous in creative power, Grecian in the chaste beauty of its ideals, at times fiery and terrible as that of the poet Æschylus - that the character stands to this day one of the most masterly pen-portraitures in the range of English fiction. Thus about her heart still twined the tendrils of old loves, and be.
fore her rapt vision passed transfigured memories in shining apparel, until her summons came to join the company of her sisters on moors where no chill winds blow, nor black frosts blight the heather's purple bloom.
THE LOST PLEIAD.
BY MAGGIE LUTE SULLIVAN BURKE.
M YTHOLOGISTS tell us a beautiN1 ful story of one of the brightest of the starry hosts of heaven being suddenly stricken from among its shining companions, and disappearing, none knew whither. And they say that the grief was great in heaven. The stars wept and covered their faces with clouds.
This is mournfully beautiful. How touching the idea! There are seven sisters playing upon the heavenly lyre, when one is taken from their number, her chord broken and silent forever. Yet this is but mythology, and half the beauty of the story is destroyed by this simple thought. “It is not true.” But are there no lost stars ? Alas, this is too true!
I knew seven sisters once, to whom no symbol more fittingly applied, than "beautiful stars," and one, the brightest of their number, is the subject of this sketch.
At night-fall when the Pleiads first appeared upon the orient, these, their sister Pleiads of earth, sang their evening song together. But now, alas, one voice is mute, one chord is broken, and the sister stars cover their faces and weep.
Stella Hope was beautiful and gifted; and oh! how much did those two envied gifts cost her! With a heart all full of earnest purposes, and noble aspirations,
she looked forward to their execution and fulfillment with high expectations and a joyous heart. I said she was gifted. Ahl with a soul full of poetry and a heart full of love, was she not indeed gifted ? In her early childhood she would sit, all day long, where the sunbeams kissed the waters and the zephyrs kissed the trees, and weave a woof of bright fancies in the dark warp of reality, until her little heart would swell and throb with the desire of expressing her beautiful thoughts in words, and the sparkling tear-drops would glisten upon the sunny lashes a moment, then falling upon the little sunburnt hand lying so listlessly in her lap, they would awaken her from the blissful dream, and she would sigh to dream again. But Stella's life was by no means all dreams; for she was a fatherless girl, and Fortune, astonished at the lavish hand of Nature, forgot to smile. The village school gave her a little draught of those living waters of knowledge which, when once sipped, created an intense thirst for more. The first faint smile of morn found her busy at her daily tasks; and the midnight taper saw her, with bright head bent low, and weary eye fastened to the page, by severe application, conning the lessons for the morrow.
After awhile she was declared a proficient in all the branches taught in the little brown school-house near her home; and then her heart looked forward with earnest longing to the broader fields and deeper springs of knowledge, and her soul panted to be allowed to range there at pleasure and quaff of the fountain till she should thirst no more. This was simply impossible, and with a heavy heart she resigned the hopes which, though faint, had made earth beautiful, and plied her daily tasks as faithfully as if no hope had been blighted, and no darling ambition dashed to the ground. But the faithful teacher who had so long instructed her, was not willing to see this one, the brightest of his little flock, thus stayed in her ascent of the rugged hill of science, and he determined, if possible, to remove all obstacles. It seems that nothing is impossible to the willing, benevolent heart, and so it proved in this case.
The fulfillment of the hopes of her life-time, which had been deferred so long as almost to become despair, was like a sunbeam breaking through the leaden-hued clouds, that so often hide the blue sky, till we almost cease to remember that it is blue. Stella went to college, and there wandering with Homer and Virgil in the classic shades of Greece, she matured in charms of mind as well as person, until she was acknowledged to be the most brilliant of all her classmates. And as she grace. fully delivered the valedictory at the Commencement, there was no heart in all that vast assembly, unless it were a heart of stone, that was not moved to the very center, by the glowing eloquence, that seemed to burn as it fell from her lips.
But alas! envy had been sown, years ago, in certain little hearts, when the teacher said, “Why cannot you be good, like Stella? She never fails to perform her task.” And that envy had grown with their growth, and now, when the Press was loud in praise of the beauti
ful valedictorian, those hearts swelled to overflowing with their dark harvest, and the first slander-words were spoken.
When Stella returned to her village. home, strange cold looks were cast upon her, and her sensitive spirit discovered -or thought it did — sneers upon the faces even of those who once met her with smiles. She sought the reason, and then she heard faint whispers that, like the breeze betokening the coming storm, grew louder and louder until she was overwhelmed by evil reports concerning her college life, and the means by which she, a poor orphan, obtained such an expensive education. Then she undertook to trace them up to their commencement - alas! poor girl, how soon you are lost in the labyrinth! - of course no beginning could be found, and alas ! neither could she see the end. Poor Stella! her cheek paled, and her step grew slower and heavier upon the grass, that once scarcely felt her footsteps, as she thought and thought till her brain grew wild with distracted conjectures.
Spring came! Beautiful spring! flowers smile at thy coming, and the waters laugh. But Stella lay upon a couch of death. A little bird trilled a soft, sweet lay, all day long at her window, and in the evening when he had hidden his head beneath his wing, and slept in the tree-top, Stella sighed, and wished that she too might sleep, and an angel of God smiled above her pillow.
Then she called her sisters around her, and folding her pale, meek hands above the heads of each one, she asked God to bless them, and save them from the venomous tongue of the malicious.
“I am going home,” she said, “sisters, farewell! We have sung our last evening songs together, for in Heaven there is no night, and there our praises will always be matin songs of joy. I once loved to live, but life is no longer beautiful. The arrows of falsehood have been darted from the bow of
malice, and I am their victim. Yet God's holy will be done! I cannot see why I have lived, but His wise purposes have been fulfilled, and all is well. Still my heart is weak, and there is a great weight upon it, crushing out drop by drop the current of life, as I think of the dark stain that has been cast upon me. O! my Father, must I go to the grare with that chilling blight upon my fair fame? Yet, Thy will, not mine, be done !"" And thus she died. The beautiful, the gifted one! And in a few short years, not many knew that sbe had lived. Yet, I ween, some there
were who could not so easily forget her. No; the viper that Remorse had placed in their bosoms, as they thought of the gentle, loving being, whom their falsehood had crushed into the grave; the pale face of the murdered innocent; and the thin hands that had been reached forth in blessing upon others from that dying couch, haunted their pillows at night, and stung their souls, till she could not be forgotten.
Reader beware of the scorpion that a guilty conscience will surely visit upon the slanderer!
EAST AND WEST.
BY G. NELSON SMITH.
TN The Nation's criticism of Mr. I Lowell's Essay "On a certain Conde. scension in Foreigners," which appears in that journal of December 24th, we find the following significant expression: - America has moved West of late, and has grown in the grace of indiffer Euce." Here we had proposed to stop our quotation, and use it as a kind of text for what we had to say. But the writer says a few other things that are too tempting to be resisted. So let us have them. He says, “Senator Zachariah Chandler, or Senator Nye, have less care, we imagine, as to what the Times or the Edinburgh Review thinks about American affairs, than Senator Everett had some fifteen or twenty years ago. They see too much land, and too many miles put into corn," and shoot too many buffalos from the windows of the cars that are going to connect New York with China. We observe that our Californian travelers now-a-days go to Europe to chaff that continent and neighboring parts of Asia, and do not at all write such books of travel as Dr. Pea
body's and our other Eastern visitors to the old shrines. Nothing is sacred to these sapeurs of old institutions and makers of new.
The fact remains that the new men are far more careless of foreign opinion than the old ones, and the new men are to be, are now, almost, the country. And it is true, that Mr. Lowell holds, in all its intensity — and he does not leave it unexpressed in the essay before us — “the faith in America which some of the faithful blindly hold, and hold alloyed with worse things than a desire that we should be, not merely big and rich, not merely great even, but also fine and beautiful.”
These words are not merely remarkable as showing an Eastern man's estimate of the resources and destiny of the Great West, but as touching, with striking truth, the key-note of the characteristic differences of the two grand elements of our country's life: the East and the West.
The East is characterized by age, maturity, permanency, finish, wealth,