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And boyhood made us sanguinenothing that more easily conjures up the alternate joys and sorrows of maturer years-the fluctuating visions that have floated before the restless imagination in times gone by, and the breathing forms and inanimate objects that wound themselves around our hearts, and became almost necessary to our existence, than the
loss of him who penned it, I dare scarcely look upon. It calls back too forcibly to my remembrance its noble-minded author--the treasured friend of my earliest and happiest days, the sharer of my puerile but innocent joys. I think of him as he then was the free-the spirited-the gay-the welcome guest had its weight, or frankness and hoin every circle where kind feeling nesty had influence; and, in an instant, comes the thought of what he now is; and pale and ghastly images of death are hovering round me. I see him, whom I loved, and prized, and honoured, shrunk into poor and wasting ashes. I mark a stranger
rusal of old letters. They are the closing his powerless lids—a stranger
memorials of attachment-the records of affection-the speaking trumpets through which those whom we esteem hail us from afar. They seem hallowed by the brother's grasp, the sister's kiss, the father's blessing, and the mother's love. When we look on them, the friends whom dreary seas and distant leagues divide from us are again in our presence. We see their cordial looks, and hear their gladdening voices once more. The paper has a tongue in every character it contains-a language in its very silentness. They speak to the souls of men like a voice from the grave, and are the links of that chain which connects with the hearts and sympathies of the living an evergreen remembrance of the dead. I have one at this moment before me, which, although time has in a degree softened the regret that I felt at the
following him to the grave-and I cannot trust myself again to open his last letter. It was written but a short time before he fell a victim to the
yellow fever in the West Indies, and told me, in the affecting language of Moore, that
Far beyond the western sea
Was one whose heart remember'd me. On hearing of his death, I wrote some stanzas which I have preserved-not out of any pride in the verses themselves, but as a token of esteem for him to whom they were addressed, and as a true transcript of my feelings at the time they were composed. I make no apology for inserting them here. Those who have never loved, nor lost a friend, will be backward in perusing them-those who have, will recur to their own feelings and not withhold their sympathy.
Theirs is the grief that cannot die,
But there are other letters whose perusal makes us feel as if receding from the winter of the present to the spring-time of the past. These are from friends whom we have long known, and whose society we still enjoy. There is a charm in contrasting the sentiments of their youth with those of a riper age: or rather, in tracing the course of their ideas and following them up to their full developement; for it is seldom that the feelings we entertain in the early part of our lives entirely change they merely expand, as the grown tree proceeds from the shoot, or the flower from the bud. We love to turn from the formalities and cold
politeness of the world to the "Dear
press of freedom-the true currente
tedious," for it must indeed be an important subject that would elicit from him more than three lines, nor has his rib a whit more of the cacoëthes scribendi about her.*
But there are letters differing in character from all that I have yet mentioned-fragments saved from the wreck of early love-reliques of spirit-buoying hopes-remembrancers of joy. They perchance remind us that that love has set in tears—that those hopes were cruelly blighted that our joy is fled for ever. When we look on them we seem to feel that
Can ransom us from sorrow.
We fancy ourselves the adopted of misery-Care's lone inheritors. The bloom has gone off from our lives. For my own part, I have but one written token of her whom I loved in my youth. It is one of consolation, and yet of sorrow, for I received it on the evening after we had parted for ever. If the reader will listen to the "story of my love," he will not feel surprised that the sight of this letter should even now fill me with emotions which I cannot and would
It was on a beautiful July evening that I wandered from the small, but romantic village of R in the south of France. I turned from the high road, and struck into a retired and sheltered path. As I strolled onwards, the last faint streak of twilight disappeared, and the shadows from the trees threw an air of gloom over the face of the scene, which gave it double interest in my eyes. After roaming for some time, I at length reached the extremity of the path, and beheld-not a bower, nor temple, with a shrine of flowers, to which the winds pay homage-not
the cot of humble industry, with its woodbined front, and cheerful hearth, and smiling faces, which my busy imagination had pictured, but a soli tary mound of earth, strewed with a few sweet flowers. At one end, was the fragment of a simple cross, and at the other a wild rose-tree, bearing neither flower, nor blossom, nor bud, nor leaf. It was, as I afterwards heard, the grave of a young soldier, who had borne bravely and honoura bly the dangers and the toils of many battles-but the faithlessness of the maiden he loved subdued the spirit which never bowed before. He died broken-hearted, and left none to weep for him, save an aged mother, whose tered flowers that I saw on his grave. palsied hands had gathered the scatThey were the first-the last she ever placed there, for she died whilst strewing them. The rose-tree was supposed by the peasantry of the place to have been secretly planted by the maiden who deserted him, as it never bloomed, although many flowers near it were in all the pride of freshness and beauty. How could the roses bloom upon his who had blighted the rose of hope grave, when planted by her hand in his heart-that heart which proved how well it loved by dying when she smote it? On a sudden the moon, that fair and noiseless spirit who haunts the sky at night, rose in her beauty. The winds gave a last sigh to the flowers, and died upon them. The birds had gone to their rests— the grasshopper
Chirped one good-night carol more, and all was silent-silent as the grave near which I stood. I seated myself beside the broken cross, and gazed with mingled sensations on the scene around me and the moon which silvered it, when the voice of the night
I have more than once suspected them to be the hero and heroine of an anecdote, which I remember somewhere to have read, of a gentleman who by mere chance strolled into a coffee-house, where he met with a captain of his acquaintance, on the point of sailing to New York, and from whom he received an invitation to accompany hiin. This he accepted-taking care however to inform his wife of it, which he did in these terms:
I am going to America.
Her answer was not at all inferior either in laconism or tenderness:
ingale and another still sweeter, roused me from my reverie. Henriette stood before me, without my having heard
The music of her footsteps on my spirits. Henriette had the kindest heart and the finest eyes of any girl I ever knew. Her voice stole o'er the mind like a spirit of Hope. The most simple word became music when she uttered it;
"Twas whisper'd balm-'twas sunshine spoken;
and a smile ever lingered around her lip, as if enamoured of its ruby haunt. She was, indeed, a joyoushearted creature, and seldom sighed -or if she did, it was for my sorrows and not her own. We wandered homeward; I scarcely felt her arm within my own, except at times when the shadow from some lofty tree or passing cloud alarmed her, and then she drew nearer to my side. Once, indeed, her lips came so close to mine that I could not choose but press them. A kiss was not thought so great an offence in France as in England-thus she was not very angry: but I remarked that she did not shrink from the shadows as before.
honourable, but severe and moneygetting man; and this at times caused him to be harsh to the sensitive child, whose disposition so widely differed from his own. For even in my tenderpondence, especially when I saw other est years I was subject to fits of deschildren of my own age passing their summer-days (for with them the whole year seemed summer!) beneath the smiles and happy eyes of their parents. He might have weaned me from my wayward melancholy, but chose the wrong means. A kind word from his lips was all that was required; but that he never gave. It happened that M. de P, a French gentleman, from whom he had some years before received many friendly services, during a short stay in France, arrived with his only daughter in London, and took up his residence at the house of Mr.C. I was then nearly eleven years of age. M. de P- conceived an interest for me, and offered to take me to France. My guardian was not sorry to be quit of me, and instantly accepted the offer; yet at parting (although he had before never shown any affection towards me) I think he was moved, for he stretched out his hand to me, and my tears fell upon it, as I kissed it. He seemed confused-perhaps I might say, abashed.
was, doubtless, surprised why I could grieve at leaving him; but at that moment all his stern treatment and unkindness were obliterated from my mind, and I remembered only the good that he had done me. In such feelings the child is richer than the man. The knowledge of the world which we obtain in maturer years but too frequently stifles, if it does not entirely subdue, them; and in proportion as it calls to life the dormant energies of the understanding, deadens the kindlier sentiments and purer virtues of the heart.
We reached her father's residence, which was situated at the extremity of the village of R, and I could not help noticing that Henriette He peared paler than usual, and that her hand trembled as she took the glass of Burgundy, which I presented to her. We had hitherto lived as brother and sister, guilelessly and happily together; but the kiss of that night had betrayed the state of my heart. She grew not less kind, but less familiar towards me: and I cannot say that it grieved me, for in situation it was a sin to love her. I was a poor boy, and had neither father nor mother, nor a single relative to whom I could confide my puny cares. I had been left almost alone in the world, and the world seemed unkind to me: but, no! no! there were some few hearts that loved me the better for my misfortunes; and strove to soothe my wounded spirit with sweet words, and smiles, and hopes of happier days. I inherited a small but sufficient patrimony from my father, who appointed Mr. C—
a merchant, then residing in London, my guardian. He was a strictly
We arrived in France. Henriette, the daughter of M. de P was about two years my elder, and beautiful
As a young rose-bud opening slowly,
She was of the liveliest disposition in the world; and, by degrees, her sweet smile taught me cheerfulness. We played together-we learnt together-we wept together. Our sports, and studies, and tears were
wealthy, and his daughter the sole heiress to his fortune. I scorned to wrong my benefactor by beguiling away the affections of his lovely and innocent child, for I knew that all his hopes were centred in her; and I could not, if a world had been my recompence, have destroyed them. I once hinted my wish of going to my guardian, but he would not listen to it. I was thus compelled still to hear the too fascinating voice, and meet the glances of the beautiful dark eyes, of Henriette. I had attained my eighteenth year when M. de Pretired to his chateau near the village of R, where we had resided but two days when I took the evening ramble to which I have alluded. From that time we were less together, for she read my feelingsand if she did not love, I am sure she pitied me. A few months afterwards the young Count de B came on
a visit. He saw and loved Henriette. If any living being deserved her it was the Count de B- for he had not only inherited the title of nobility, but also every qualification of the head and heart that is calculated to adorn it; yet I thought but this perhaps was vanity that
she received his addresses more for her father's sake than her own.
On the morning that she was to leave the chateau to accompany her father and the Count to Paris, I was confined to my room by indisposiA gentle tap at the door told me that Henriette was come to bid me adieu-and for ever. I trembled, and the pulses of my heart seemed to pause. She entered. The paleness of my cheeks appeared to startle her-" I am afraid you are not well, Charles," she uttered feebly-and took my hand. Her voice, which once so enlivened me, now almost broke my heart. I sank back in my chair, and covered my eyes with my hand. "Charles (she added), I am come on a mournful errand-we must part-perhaps for ever-and"-she burst into tears; but suddenly, as if recollecting herself, turned away to
conceal them: then, assuming a more composed air, she continued: “I know and admire your feelings, and were I allowed to follow my own, I
but it is a sin to think of it now. No!" added she, with more firmness, "we must part! Forget that you ever knew Henriette. But, no! no! I do not ask that. Think of her sometimes-but think of her as of a sister -a sister who has always loved you, Charles. Seek among your own countrywomen one, who will make your days, and weeks, and years, pass as a dream of faery. Farewell! my father (she was too kind to say her lover) awaits me." She pressed her lips for the last time against my burning forehead, and rushed out of the chamber. I sat for a moment without the power to speak or even think. My sense of feeling, as well as happiness, had fled with Hen riette.
Struck to the heart, and motionless with grief, An unobservant reckless man, I sate And heard not--spake not-thought not of my woes.
On a sudden the sound of carriage wheels aroused me from my stupor. I was too weak to walk, but contrived to crawl on my hands and knees to the window, which overlooked the street, and supported myself by clinging to the cornice work
at the side. Henriette advanced to the carriage-one foot was already on the step-she turned, and, as if window of my apartment-but, on involuntarily, looked towards the seeing me, hurried tremblingly into the coach-and our eyes never met again. M. de P-- and the Count
closed-the postilion drove off-and followed the door was Henriette was lost to me for ever. I followed the carriage with my eyes, until it became a speck on the horizon, and at length totally disappeared.
that moment of trial had called into The few remaining energies which play, now forsook me, and I sank down in a state of utter helplessness and exhaustion, both of body and mind.
Ea sola voluptas solamenque mali, was dead to me, and I was again in