Imagens das páginas


Gocthe.-The Faust.

Bethesda's waters! where are they? How I became familiar, with this familiar, is,

The friendly hand to guide the way? gentlest of all possible readers—without becoming Remorseless fiend! relax thy hold;

too familiar-none of your business. He came to The demons were cast out of old,

me, suffice it to know, not as visiters from the And I will cling to Jesus' knee ;

unsubstantial world usually come, reeking with Oh! let him speak, and thou must flee.

smoke and stinking of antimony; there was not NUGATOR.

even a flourish of trumpets-not a breeze or breath of music—to intimate his approach. Never was coming more innocent and unimposing. I made

use of no sort of incantations; none of your sculls JACK-O'-LANTERN:

and circles-grim, grinning jowls, skinned bats

and withered frogs, encircled me; and, except the A NEW LIGHT STORY. BY EYES-IN-GLASS.

proverbial devil of the printing office, I do not remember to have ever had before the slightest communication, from or with, any of the hotly

quartered gentry. Nor did I solicit, the honor of Manager. You know, upon our German stage, every one a visit, (rhyme is a devilish propensity,) but unintries what he likes. Therefore, spare me neither scenery nor vited, uncommanded—I will not say, undesired machinery upon this day. Use the greater and the lesser light of heaven ; you are free to squander the stars; there is no want he stood before me; nay, there I am wrong, he of water, fire, rocks, beasts and birds. So spread out, in this stood behind me, such was the unobtrusive monarrow booth, the whole circle of creation; and travel, with desty of his approach at first; and a sound was the considerate speed, fron heaven, through the world, to hell.”

first notice which I had of his near neighborhood.

My devil first made my acquaintance in the shape It is scarcely the best policy to begin the work of a sound. But that, gentle reader, was no vulof confession on one's first entry into the world, gar sound, though not an unfrequent one since the where, now-a-days, if men confesss any sins at all, discovery of Maccoboy. My snuff-box lay beside it is only such as are sufficiently equivocal to pass me, on the table, and from its capacious treasury, for virtues; but as my aim is a moral one, and my I had just withdrawn, betwixt my forefinger and hope the reformation of this very infirmity among thumb, a generous pinch of the titillating dust. mankind, I know no better niode of beginning, Applied to my nostril, it had promptly done its than to put myself right in court, by a frank office in provoking a most relieving and liberal avowal of the matter which has brought me into

What was my consternation to behold, it. Start not, therefore, ye devoutly pious—frown in the next moment, another sneeze behind menot, ye saints of the tabernacle,—and wring not a sneeze, as it were, the very fac-simile and echo your hands, ye godly dames, who form societies to of my own. Such, at first, I was almost perhelp unto grace and gravy, the infinite number of suaded to believe it, but a repetition of the explowise young men, who are possessed of the spirit, sion soon convinced me that it was not the sneeze and lack all other possessions - when I boldly of humanity, and I clearly comprehended the declare unto ye, that, like Saul of old, and the operation of my Maccoboy upon the sternutatory Witch of Endor, John Faustus, Michael Scott, organs of an infernal. “Ha!—tshe—tshe-sheand, possibly, the Reverend Edward Irving, I ba —ha!”—was the melodious acknowledgment have a familiar-in plain language, a devil; one of which my visiter gave to the potency and general those active and intelligent spirits, who from sym- excellence of my tobacconist; and the sympathy pathy, animal magnetism, or some other equally which his nostril thus seemed to exhibit with my unintelligible cause, attach themselves to the for- own, half removed the feeling of disquiet and tunes of that grub-worm, man, for his special apprehension which his first annunciation had comfort and edification; conveying him the news, occasioned me. In an instant I turned to confrunt canvassing morals, (and, par parenthese, the devil him, and a moment’s glance sufficed to set my has a particular interest in this department of heart at ease and silence all my annoyances. On human economy,) and, altogether, affording him looking at him, I felt, of a sudden, all the freedom a mass of information not yet.attainable even by and familiarity of a long acquaintance; and this the most adroit practitioner in clair-voyancing. feeling, the moment I had discovered his quality,

*And, possibly, chapter last, since I cannot be certain that the forced upon me the unpleasant conviction that I taste of the reader will so highly approve of my devil as my had been no better than I should be. His face own does. Time will show. I will bind myself to no conditions. was by no means remarkable. Such a face I have If the mood suils me...and the “Messenger”...there will be more words to this argument. The public shall be made wiser, it often seen. It was rather Gallican in its contour they have the wil to desire it. I shall be happy to serve and and general expression. A disposition to laugh at enlighten them, but I will not throw pearls away upon—those all things seemed ils predominating feature, but who do not know how to wear them. I faith, I had neariy writ. there was a slight sinking at the corners of the len out the preverb in full, and there were no good policy, my gentle public, in that.

mouth, which denoted a habitual sneer, and a fond


ness for sarcasm, which was strongly opposed to upon me at certain seasons. I am, like many of the general benevolence of his other features. the princes of old, and some of the officers of penal The cheeks were full, fat and rosy, but the eyes justice in modern times, infinitely more fond of a were rather small, and the chin degenerated snug disguise, and a good humored nom de guerre, apishly. His figure was good enough—his person, than of the solemn ceremonial which follows upon though diminutive, was perfect. I cast my eyes and announces the presence of superior attributes. with some curiosity towards his feet, but they At present, sir, as I see you still somewhat at a were perfect also; and in a fashionable square- loss, you will do me the favor to recognize me toed boot seemed even handsomely formed. There under one of my many names the most innocent was nothing like club or hoof to offend my sensi- and least imposing, perhaps, among them—and bilities or alarm my fears, and I wondered at our whenever you may deem it necessary to call me grandams who could tell, and really believe, such by a name at all, which I trust will not be often discreditable stories. My deril, on the whole, the case, to know me as Jack-o'-Lantern. I was really a comely fellow. I have seen the edi- shall certainly be willing to give you all the light tor of a ladies' gazette, a far worse looking man, I carry, should you require it. Jack-O’-Lantern and infinitely less of a gentleman.

is a common acquaintance, and nobody should be With that divine instinct which we have never seriously alarmed or annoyed at his presence. denied to the devil, while denying him all other You, I know, who are a poet and philosopher, virtues, he readily discerned my annoyances and will readily show yourself above all idle superstisaw that his coming bad put me out; but with tious fancies; and you will soon find, upon doing so, that felicity of manner which it would be equal that if I have few virtues, I have many uses; and folly in us to deny to a person so proverbially per- my more imposing names of sovereignty thrown suasive, he took special care in what he said, not to out of the account, there can be no objection to the suffer me to see that he ascribed my discomposure employment of my services.” to any other cause than the natural irritability of “ Your services, Mr. John O'-Lantern?” I an author at being disturbed in his daily scrib- exclaimed with some wonder, in the sudden comblings. I was at this time busily engaged upon a motion of my thoughts, not exactly knowing what new work, calling for all my taste and research, to make of this sort of introduction—" Your no other than a collection of the most fashionable services !" negro melodies, such as Jim Crow, Coal Black “Ay, my services,” he replied; “I propose to Rose, Clare De Kitchen, and other pieces of like serve you, because I see that you need my help, national and moral interest, with a copious appen- and because I have somehow taken a liking to dix of illustrative notes, such as might well become you. You smile, but I am above jest in this. I a work of so much magnitude and interest. am serious. In my friendship for you I hare

“I see that you are busy, Mr. Silex, and I sought you out, and I am resolved to become your would not willingly disturb you at this moment.” friend, companion, assistant, anything, whether

“Pray, proceed, sir-I have time enough to you will or no! You want an amanuensis, and spare, and will wait upon you."

considering the color of the work on which I see He drew a chair as he said these words, and you busy, perhaps I am the very person of all the with the air of a man resolved, under all circum- world whom you should soonest choose. But I stances, to be as good as his word, he prepared to insist not on this. Take me in what capacity you take a quiet seat in a corner, and give himself up please. I am an actor of all work, as the cometo meditation.

dians call themselves. I can be a boon companion, “Beg pardon, sir," said I, “but you will find a grave counsellor, a curious penman, and a dapper it tedious-may I be honored at once with the pur- valet. Make me what you please, with a will, pose of your visit.”

and rely on me to be the thing which you most “That is soon told,” said he in reply; “I see desire. I will take no refusal ; you must emthat you know me.”

ploy me." Here I expressed a little reluctance, and prayed So liberal an offer, so graciously volunteered, for more direct information.

was not to be rejected idly. He saw me hesitate, “I cannot deny,” was my response,

“ that I and threw in certain additional suggestions. have a shrewd guess, but _” There I paused. “My library is large and various ; I see that

“Which is perfectly correct, sir; your instinct you are busy, and sometimes at a loss, in your is not less good than mine in matters of this sort, search after authorities. Your correspondence is and there needs no formality between those al- extensive; let me give you a taste of my skill in ready acquainted. Besides, there is something assisting you to answer some of these letters.” less than civil-certainly less than social-in call He turned over a pile, seated himself at the ing folks continually by their titles of dignity. I table, and with a pen that seemed rather to stream freely confess to you a willingness to dispense with over the paper than to rest upon it, he wrote mine. It operates against me, and sits heavily almost in a breath the most admirable and fitting

Vol. IV.-43

replies to the greater number of them. To a poli - Bond! for what? speak out my dear master tician wanting a vote, and giving a dinner accord- that is to be, and tell me your real difficulty." ingly, he wrote a brief but comprehensive eulo “Well, in plain terms then, Mr. Oʻ-Lantern, gium upon the arts of the cuisine, and concluded do you not want to bind me, body and soul, in with an acceptance to his invitation, premising return for these services? Do you not want a only that my wine for the current month was mortgage of my soul ?” Lachrymæ Christi. To a lady of fashion whose “ Your soul, indeed, what do I want with it? billet for the next soirée was rather a summons Bless your stars, my dear Mr. Silex, that thing is than a solicitation, he pleaded a rule to reject all entirely out of fashion now. I have more souls invitations for Friday, but complimented her at than I know what to do with—they are positively the same time upon the recherche fold of her mis- rotting on my hands. I wouldn't be burdened or sive. To the editor of a weekly magazine who bothered with an increase on any terms; and next begged for contributions, for which he promised to to the mistake which you have been led into by pay in praises, he wrote an essay on independent your grandmother on the subject of my character, criticism. To a tailor soliciting custom and prof- is that monstrous error which you men seem to fering extensive credits, he penned an order for a entertain as to the value of the article you think I claret colored coat, such as the man wore who trade in. Souls, indeed! The very idea is absurd. seized on the New York arsenal, and kept it for No, sir, if I wished for anything at your hands, it the whigs against General Arcularius and his man should be the breeches you have worn. Now I Friday. There was one letter which he was think of it, sir, I will have pay for my services. about to open, but as if he knew the contents You shall pay me in old breeches ; you shall conalready, or saw from the glance of my eye that he tract to give me all your breeches after a month's was now on forbidden ground, he paused in his wearing them, and I will trust to your generosity, progress, and I availed myself of the interval to should you ever get married, to throw in occasionacknowledge his powers, and relieve him for the ally a petticoat of your wife's. These shall be my present from their farther exercise.

terms. I ask for no other. Keep your soul, and “ Enough, Mr. O’-Lantern, I am quite obliged do what you please with it; I would'nt have it as to you. You are indeed a valuable acquisition, a gift. But your breeches, sir—your breeches; and really I know not how I shall requite you." and in the event of your marriage an occasional

“Requite me—I ask no requital, Mr. Silex- petticoat of your wife's; these you shall give me, if none. The pleasure of serving you is enough anything, in return for my services. What say for me.”

you to these terms?” “Indeed! Truly you are becoming disinterested A bargain,” I exclaimed, delighted with the in your old age. You have not always toiled thus humor of the fellow, not less than his generosity. unprofitably, and with so little regard to self. If “Breeches and petticoats! you shall have them report speaks truly, you have usually been a all! Why, Mr. O' Lantern, you are the very severe expectant—a rigid exacter of your dues. pink of liberality, and I rejoice at your coming. You have done nothing for nothing."

Pray resume your seat, and let us talk over this “Report has done me wrong,” he said coolly. matter, that it may be the better understood lie“I have always been a much scandalized person tween us. There may be something covert and among men, I assure you."

equivocal in it, after all. You gentlemen of the Never did injured mortal look more in need of lantern are apt to hang out false lights for the sympathy. I felt myself getting lachrymose. temptation of the unwary, and I am resolved to

“What!” I proceeded, “and is your love in see that you have no occult signification in what my case so great that you are willing to do for me you say, before I sign this agreement. It may be those things for which you have exacted the eter- iny soul, after all, that you're driving at, in aiming nal and unmitigated toils of other men, not to at my breeches. I know many men whose souls speak of their sufferings?”

never go beyond their breeches, and though I trust “I do not understand you, really,” was his that mine is not of this sort, yet I would take every reply, and he certainly looked at a loss when he precaution against involvements. I will have spoke these words.

legal advice first in this business.” “ 'Pon my soul,” I continued, “either you are “ You are right, my dear sir," he replied exceedingly dull, Mr. O’-Lantern, or I have been promptly,“ take what precaution you please, and grievously imposed upon in the histories I have be satisfied before you proceed a single step in this heard of you. Is it really possible that you intend matter. I have no disposition to deceive youto serve me for nothing? Do you really want no indeed, I am not a proficient in the arts of falsecompensation? Do you ask nothing of me in hood. I know many lawyer who would put me return?”

to the blush for incompetence, and might, if lying “ Nothing.”

were a prime requisite in my dominions, usurp “What! shall there be no bond between us?" their sovereignty. Even if your soul were in

[ocr errors]

your breeches, there would be little danger of its find me a wondrous acquisition; and will soon loss; all you have need to do is to shake them well wonder how you ever did without me before.” before giving them to me, and unless it be a very “I nothing doubt it, Mr. John O'-Lantern.” sleepy or a very adhesive soul, it is physically im “Plain Jack, if you please, Mr. Silex. John possible that it should stick there long after the O’-Lantern will do for visiters and state occashaking.”

sions, when we go into company. Between us, “But the instrument, itself! how would you and at our own fireside, a little more familiarity is have it drawn up? possibly you may desire that best, and plain Jack more agreeable to my ear it should be written with my blood; if you do, I than any other epithet. And now, sir, shall I must tell you—

bring in coffee? Your usual supper hour is at His immoderate laughter silenced me.

hand.” “Another pinch of your Maccoboy,” he said, “ If you please, Jack,” was my answer; and yet, helping himself. “I see you have been among the I had some qualms of stomach, not to say conGermans. These are diabolical fancies I confess, science, as I thought of the proverb which deand to my mind, rather dirty ones. I pray you, nounced all liquor, however pleasant, of the devil's my dear master, look on me as one having a tole- brewing. While I thought thus, the coffee urn rable taste, and rather delicate stomach. These was hissing on the table, and to do my new retainer blood-pudding imaginings are my abomination. I lean justice, I assure you, I never drank a better deal differently with my friends. Leave the cup of the purple beverage in my life. As a cook drawing up of the instrument to me, and keep alone, he deserved new breeches daily; we shall your soul and blood to yourself. I would not rob see, as we get on, that he displayed other qualities you of a particle of either. The breeches will which entitled him to far higher rewards; but of content me,—the breeches; and, mark me! an these—anon. occasional petticoat, whenever you may think it necessary to bring home Mrs. Silex.."

“ You shall have them—that you shall,” was my answer.

MENTAL SOLITUDE. The deed was drawn out in the twinkling of an eye, and the contract signed and delivered.

By the author of “Atalantis." Nothing could exceed the delight of Jack upon his installation into office as my servant of all work. The bells are gaily pealing, and the crowd, His joy broke out into tumultuous expressions the The thoughtless and the happy,—with light hearts, moment the papers were completed.

Are moving by my casement :-) can hear I congratulate myself, my dear master, as well The rude din of their voices, and the tramp as you, on our mutual acquisitions. There is And my soul sickens in its solitude.

Of hurrying footsteps o'er the pavement nigh, nothing so distressing as being out of place; I have

Each hath his own companion, and can bend, been trying for sometime to employ a master after As to a centre of enlivening warmth, my own heart, and my rapture is now excessive To some abode of happiness and mirth ;at baving found him.”

Greeted by pleasant voices, --words of cheer, “A double-edged compliment," I muttered to and hospitality,—whose outstretched hand myself, with a slight shiver. He beheld and di- Draws in the smiling stranger at the door. vined the sensation.

They go not singly by, as I should go, “Ay, I see,” he cried playfully, “ you are still But hanging on fond arms. They muse not thoughts unassured. You do not conjecture my value yet. Of strange and timid sadness, such as mine; But let me convince you. Say, what shall I do for But dreams of promised joys are in their souls,

And in their ears the music of fond words you? It is proper that I commence my duties

That make them happy. forthwith. Let me know them. I am ready now. I have no trunks to remore. My wardrobe is of all this populous city, must remain,

I, alas!-alone, already here. As for my bedding, I want none. Shut up in my dim chamber,–or

, perchance, A chink in the chimney will yield me a suficient If I dare venture out among the crowd, sleeping place, and your saving in candles, alone, Will be among, not of, them ;-and, appear,will be no small item. You have only to set me for that I have not walked with them before, above the chimney-piece when you want a light, Nor been a sharer in their festivals,and I will burn at both ends to please you. In As some strange monster brought from foreign clime food I am moderate. A fricasseed frog is the But to be baited with the thoughtless gaze, utmost that my stomach will bear, and in wine I The rude remark, cold eye, and sneering lip, am a single bottle man. In supplies I am a prime Till I grow savage, and become, at last, commissariat, and you would find me valuable for The rugged brute they do behold in me. this quality, even if my consumption were greater Talk not to me of solitude !-Thou hast than it is. To speak with due modesty, you will | But little of its meaning in thy thought

And less in thy observance. It is not To go abroad into the wilderness, Or dart upon the ocean;—to behold, The broad expanse of prairie or of wood, And deem,- for that the human form is not A dweller on its bosom,-(with its shrill And senseless clamor oft, breaking away The melancholy of its sweet serene, That, like a mantle, lifted by the breath Of some presiding deity, o'erwraps, Making all mystery and gentleness,)That solitude is thine. Thy thought is vain!That is no desert, where the heart is free To its own spirit-worship;-where the soul, Untainted by the breath of busy life, Converses with the elements, and grows To a familiar notion of the skies, That are its portion. That is liberty! And the sweet quiet of the waving woods, The solemn song of ocean—the blue skies, That hang like canopies above the plain, And lend their richest hues to the fresh flow'rs That carpet its broad bosom,--are most full Of solace and the sweetest company! I love these teeming worlds,-their voiceless words, So full of truest teaching. God is there, Walking beside me, as, in elder times He walked beside the shepherds, and gave ear, To the first whispered doubts of early thought, And prompted it aright. Such wilds lo me Seem full of friends and teachers. In the trees, The never-ceasing billows, winds and leaves, Feathered and finny tribes,-all that I see, All that I hear and fancy,- I have friends, That soothe my heart to meekness, lift my soul To loftiest hope, and, to my toiling mind, Impart just thoughts and safest principles. They have a language I can understand, When man is voiceless, or with vexing words Offends my judgment. They have melodies, That soothe my heart lo peace, even as the dame Soothes her young infant with a song of sounds That have no meaning for the older ear, And mock the seeming wise. Even wintry clouds, Have charms for me amid their cheerlessness, And hang out images of love and light, At evening, 'mong the stars,-or, ere the dark That specks so stiliy the gary twilight's wing, With many colors sweetly intermixt. And when the breezes gather with the night, And shake the roof-tree under which I sleep, 'Till the dried leaves enshroud me, then I hear Voices of love and friendship in mine ear, That speak to me in soothing, idle sounds, And flatter me I am not all alone.

Darting o'er ocean's blue domain, or far In the deep woods, where the gaunt Choctaw yet Lingers to perish,-galloping o'er the bald Yet beautiful plain of prairie,-I become Part of the world around me, and my heart Forgets its singleness and solitude. But in the city's crowd, where I am one, Mongst many,-many who delight to throw The altar I have worshipp'd in the dust, And trample my best offerings—and revile

My prayers, and scorn the tribute which I still,
Devoted with full heart and purest mind,
To the all-wooing and all-visible God,
In nature ever present-having no mood
With mine, nor any sympathy with aught
That I have loved ;-'tis there that I am taught
The essence and the form of solitude
'Tis there that I am lonely! 'mid a world
To feel I have no business in that world,
And when I hear men laughing, not to join,
Because their cause of mirth is hid from me:-
To feel the lights of the assembly glare
And fever all my senses, till I grow
Stupid or sad, and boorish ;-then return,
Sick of false joys and misnamed festivals,
To my own gloomy chambers, and old books
That counsel me no more, and cease to cheer,
And, like an aged dotard, with dull truths,
Significant of nothings, often told,
And told to be denied-that wear me out
In patience, as in peace ;-and then to lie,
And watch the lazy-footed night away,
With fretful nerve, yet sorrow as it flies !-
To feel the day advancing which must bring
The weary night once more, that I had prayed
Forever gone! To hear the laboring wind
Depart, in melting murmurs, with the tide,
And, ere the morn, to catch his sullen roar,
Mocking the ear, with watching overdone,
Returning from his rough lair on the seas !

If life be now denied me!--if I sit
Within my chamber when all other men
Are revelling ;-if I must be alone,
Musing on idle minstrelsy and lorem
Weaving sad fancies with the fleeting hours,
And making fetters of the folding thoughts,
That crust into my heart, and canker there ;-
If nature calls me to her company-
Takes up my time-teaches me legends strange, -
Prattles of wild conceits that have no form,
Save in extravagant fancy of old time,
When spirits were abroad ;-if still she leads
My steps away from the established walks,
And with seducing strains of syren song
Beguiles my spirit far among the groves
Of fairy-trodden forests, that I may
Wrestle with dreams, that wear away my days,
And make my nights a peopled realm that steals
Sleep from my eyes, and peace ;-if she ordains
That I shall win no human blandisbinent,
Nor, in the present hour, as other men,
Find meet advantage,-she will sure provide,
Just recompense--a better sphere and life,
Atoning for the past, and full of hope,
In a long future, or she treats me now
Unkindly, and I may not help complaint.


The story of the Ephesian matron versified by La Fontaine is found in Petronius, who took it from the Greeks-they from the Arabians--they lastly from the Chinese. It is found in Du Halde.

« AnteriorContinuar »