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power. It is as if we perceive the The scene below undergoes a gradual breadth of the earth and enter into the transformation. Prismatic hues blend treasures of the snow. "Lift up your softly into the wide landscape. An etheeyes to the heavens and look upon the real vapor floats over it. The purple earth beneath; for the heavens shall hills and azure rocks melt together into vanish away like smoke, and the earth the sombre evening shadows. The earth shall wax old like a garment, and they grows darker and darker. But the towthat dwell therein shall die in like man- ering walls and broken pinnacles above ner, but my salvation shall be forever become more radiant, and deepen with and my righteousness shall not be abo- intenser brightness, as if unaware that lished."
the lower earth has yielded to the emThe hour of sunset offers the greatest brace of night. Their illumined sides enchantment. The town and environs reflect a kind of dusky moonlight. The are full of chosen points of view. From wrapt spectator gazes in profound sithe belvederes of the principal hotels, lence. The damp night shadows steal from the balconies to the various plat- slowly up. So death creeps upon some forms, overhanging the edge of the pre- majestic victim still contending, but in cipice on which the city rises; from the vain, against his mighty hand. Now terrace of the observatory which peeps their lower portion is dimmed, while the down into the streets; or from the tow- summits are yet kindling with triumpher of the minster as from a balloon, ant splendor; when suddenly the warm groups of travelers stand gazing for glow completely relapses into a bluish, hours. Let us mount the eminence ghastly white, as if a human soul had called the Euge, overlooking the valley just taken its departure. of the Aar, about fifteen minutes from I remember to have once taken a the gate, and take our place beneath friend, who had been but a few hours in this avenue of ancient elms. We are Berne, to the terrace of the observatory on the edge of a precipice. About a for a view at sunset. It was too late, hundred feet beneath, the green, limpid to his great disappointment. We had river rushes between its close high caught some glimpses of those shining banks. From the surface of the water, tops, as we went, glowing as if in the the eye measures with a new impression bloody light of a furnace; but, when we the stupendous stature of each giant reached the observatory, the solemn pinnacle. The old town, close built, of giants lay cold and dead in the damp massive stone, with its antique walls night-mists. We waited awhile, to and towers, its steeples, cathedral watch their gloomy outlines disappear and beautiful belfry, is built upon in the thickening shadows, when sudprecipitous hights, and shines and denly they were overspread with a warm sparkles in the aftemoon sunshine. It blush, and their extinguished tops kinrecalls Jerusalem, from the Mount of dled again into rosy fire. For one or Olives, as seen by Him who would have two minutes we watched the not unusual gathered its inhabitants as a hen gath- phenomenon. ers her chickens under her wings and This is only one of the many optical they would not. The surrounding land- effects. Sometimes the setting sun sheds scape, sometimes abruptly swelling into over them only the most delicate rosequite lofty hills, has the blue range of coloring, and sometimes steeps them in the Jura on the north, and on the a broad golden illumination. I have south a rich mass of mountains and pre- seen them reflect the lurid glare of cipices looking in the two lakes of Thun domes and steeples in the red light and Brienz, themselves invisible, but of a midnight conflagration. Perhaps their presence betrayed by that aerial no two sunsets were ever the same. softness which hangs over distant wa- Then comes the enchantment of the ters. The landscape is bathed in mel- morning, the transformations of moon low sunshine, and above rise those fairy and the wonderful magnificence cast snow-realms with their ice-palaces, about them by clouds. It is when half lately of pure silver, but, as the day revealed that they most astonish. Here draws to its close, steeped in a deeper the soul acknowledges the sweetness of and ever-deepening hue, almost impos- the divine artist. Sometimes in my sible to describe. From an exquisite walks they are entirely invisible. The rose-tint, it passes to an ensanguined landscape is half veiled by sunshine stain, and then to a burning crimson. mist. I look in vain for the stupen
dous spectacle, and almost forget, as really seem to grow and expand after we are apt to do, great spiritual truths, frequent observation, and continually the eternal grandeur and beauty so often assume more astonishing proportions, revealed. As the soft vapor rises from bearing away the mind beyond the soriver and hill, I pause again, for the ber reality, vast as that is. This conhundredth time, incredulous,
tributes to render them a perpetual whelmed, and amazed at that broad source of wonder and delight, someworld built up above our world, as if, in thing unfathomable and magical. its ample silver sides, I caught glimpses There are periods of bad weather, of some other planet, gleaming slopes during which they entirely disappear and shining mountains, leaning far up- for weeks, so that the eye becomes acwards into heaven, not having the least customed to the delightful and magniapparent connection with our earth. ficent landscape, without this, its might
These wonderful snow-peaks, forever iest feature. It captivates by elements above the clouds, are nature's grand of the richest scenery. The inferior work-halls. Here she forms and pours, mountains in the foreground rise mato remote coasts and oceans, the great jestically into the sky, and those far rivers of Europe: the Po, the Tessino, loftier which form the shores of the the Rhone, the Rhine, and the Danube. the lakes Thun and Brienz, strike with Here she fabricates those lovely lakes, all the grandeur of an Alpine range. whose shores fill the mind with a sense When the weather clears, leaving only of beauty, and in whose transparent some masses of opaque blue cloud upon depths populations find the means of the horizon, the eye measures the nearer life. In those mysterious solitudes the summits, the Niesen and Stockhorn, bedaring traveler has scaled the frozen lieving it has discovered in them the hights which nature seems to have monarchs of the earth themselves, when formed impregnable, and amid those lo! as the heavy vapor slowly sinks or defiles, from precipice to precipice, and breaks apart, above its black edge, at a torrent to torrent, science has cast the hight apparently impossible, projects a solid road; ambition has led proud pointed image-a silvery fragment, cutarmies, and religion has built the hospi- ting the blue sky too sharply with its table convent. How many a weary pil- broken outline to be a cloud, and yet grim, overtaken by the snow-storm, has too near the stars to belong to our lower left his nameless bones beneath yonder earth. You gaze some moments, lost in colossal monument; how many an eager doubt and struck with wonder, as at a hunter has fallen into a bottomless miracle. Noiselessly and imperceptibly chasm; or, by a fatal misstep, plunged the heavy thick cloud-veil falls away, headlong down a precipice, such as, and with a slow grand movement, one says John Miller, sometimes turns giddy after the other, pinnacle and pyramid the head of the wild beast.
of solid silver rise into view, the WetThe effect of the Alps is, I think, terhorn, or Storm Peak; the Finsteraarhightened by a mental illusion. It is horn, the dark Aar Peak, the gloomy well known that the increased apparent father of a beautiful daughter, the river size of the moon, at the period of her Aar; the Schreckhorn, or the Peak of rising, is an error of the reason. To the Terror; the Jungfrau, or the Virgin, eye, she really appears no larger on the and the Blumlisalp, or the Flower Peak. horizon than in the zenith. The belief At Berne, of course, these mountains in her expanded orb, is formed by an are the prominent objects of earth and unconscious process of the mind. This heaven. They are always gleaming upon fact any man of science will explain. you at some unexpected place or moOn the same principle, the Alpine range ment, and in an aspect surprisingly new, appears much more stupendous to the or ravishingly beautiful and grand. Now imagination than to the eye. A da- they lie engulphed in one olid mass of guerreotype view, merely carrying out azure clouds, whose upper perfectly the rules of perspective, would afford horizontal outline resembles the surface no adequate idea of the impression re- of an ocean. From its tranquil and level ceived from nature. In order to pro- bosom rise only the tops of each peak. duce that impression, an artist ought to This beautiful appearance recalls the magnify their real dimensions upon the period of the deluge, or, perhaps, the canvas, as the only mode of satisfying anterior primeval ages of the earth bethose who have studied them. They fore man became an inhabitant of it, when the present continents formed the termination. Is it not remarkable that, bottom of an universal flood, nine thou in the centre of Europe, without seasand feet in depth, and yonder summits coasts, fleets, or colonies, locked in by were actually islands. Now they look powerful military monarchies, where the down into the streets of the old me- word liberty would be treason, she dieval town, far cvertopping the sum- should have founded a constitution, mit of the Minster tower, and now float, modeled upon the ideas of Washinglike a vision of glory, over sweeps of ton, Jefferson, and Hamilton; that she forest foliage. Now they open upon you should maintain a perfectly free press from a tender mist, as if the Creator's in three languages, that she should be hand had, at that moment, first called in the full enjoyment of those rights forth their ethereal tops of soft, rosy fire. of man, with which the Almighty inNow their base dissolved and lost in vested every human being, and of which vapor, they seem suspended above, like none can be deprived without a viola" that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, tion of his laws and the introduction of descending out of heaven from God.” confusion and discord into the plan of
Their effulgent beauty derives a new Providence-in short, that she should interest from its association with the keep the banner of the Republic, float: idea of liberty. It is singular how the ing broadly on the breeze, upon the hand of poetry and history has crowned very pinnacle of the European contiSwitzerland with this halo, and how she nent ? has maintained it through a long series of centuries, amid the wars, revolutions, * Liberté c'est ton jour, ce sol est ton empire ; and selfish diplomatic territorial arrange- Là nulle ambition sous tes traites ne conspire ments of Europe. Even the iron heart D'un peuple pauvre et fier toi seule armes les of Napoleon softened towards her. Af- mains; ter his downfall, when the Holy Alliance
Sur ces pics sourcilleux, rierges de pas humains,
L'aigle au rol indompté semble te rendre honhad everything in its own hands, a certain liberty was still left to Switzerland.
Le bleu miroir des lacs réfléchir ta beauté, The great attempt of the people, in 1818, Et le bruit des torrents dire à l'écho sauvage : to break from their tutelage, was com
Liberté! Liberté! menced by Switzerland. Her hand first struck the chord which vibrated through “ Héritier de ces biens, toi qui les abandonnes, the continent. For a moment, Europe Et soutiens à prix d'or les lointaines couronnes, proc'aimed the principle that no govern- D'où vient qu'aux premier sons d'un air mélomental por: can be legitimate which dieux, does not flow from the people, but in
J'ai vu des pleurs furtifs s'échapper de tes yeux ?
Sans doute, en l'ecoutant tu rêvais te patrie, 1854, Switzerland is the only country
Et des vallons natals l'agreste majesté; where the republic really exists. Liberty
Sans douté il murmurait à ton âme attendrie: appears to be her birth-right, and her de
Liberté! Liberté !"*
* These celebrated lines, by Mad. Tasta, deserve, and have very likely received, a better translation thua the following
Liberty, it is thy day, this soil is thy empire:
Liberty! Liberty !
THE DAMES OF VIRGINIA.
THE cocked-hat gentry have had pre
You explain the undeniable fact of
that lofty consideration, by asserting justly. Those fascinating figures which that the times were chivalric-still filled with such rare life and beauty, hall tinged with the dying radiance of the and bower, in the former days, should knightly age. Such, it is true, was the surely have been first described :--the character of the epoch; the men were pompous, arrogant, and worthy old chivalric, but is it not plain that the planter, and his eldest son, should have ladies were the cause of it? Gilded by given place—mere potter's clay and their bright smiles, the world was no rusty iron as they were, compared with longer a cold reality, rather a fairy land the beautiful vases of porcelain and of poetry and romance, and those fairies gold, with which they floated along on grown to human stature, stamped upon the stream of Time. To rectify the it the impress of their own individuality: error, now,-place aux dames !
it was the graces and conspicuous atSee them enter in a long dazzling tractions, personal and mental, of the line, with bright, smiling faces, and ladies, inusical laughter, and soft voices, like a rippling stream of sound, the “
"That lent the knee desire to kneel, and shook echo to the seat where love is throned.
The pulses" But what singular dresses! you say: how oddly the hair is decorated; what
of those giants, as the world now calls
them, our worthy and strong-hearted a laughable sight the patches on their
grandsires. fries, and how high the red heel of the little choe, which peeps out from the
But to bring to an end this epic chant
of fairies and giants,-substituting desilken skirt! Yet there is so much grace beneath this singularity of dress,
scription for rhapsody, the object of
the writer is to furnish some account, that you cannot turn away, but find yourself unconsciously applying to the
however slight and inadequate, of the
daily lives of the women of Virginia, at gay pageant of so many lovely faces and fair forms, that beautiful description
the commencement of the eighteenth of the Princess Ida and her maidens :
century, together with a few hasty
reflections upon their peculiarities of _" by them went
character and costume. The enamored air sighing, and on their curls,
And first of the Virginia wife:-after From the high tree the blossom, wavering, fell; And over thom the tremulous isles of light
speaking as is proper of the matron Slided, they moving under shade!”
, we shall pass on to themaidens.
The wife of the Virginia planter was an What wonder that those fair ladies important personage, and occupied no made our brave grandfathers kneel to insignificant position in the everyday them, and pay them homage! What life as well as in the affections of her possible match was the stalwart cava- lord and master. Her husband had not sier, the courtly gentleman, with sword, married her by lottery, as is the usage musquetoon, pistol, and all manner of to our own day in some other lands; warlike insignia, for one of those little or by command of his family, as was so tender personages, whose more death- frequently the case under the ancient dealing weapon was a fan, whose more régime in England and on the continent. fatal fire-arms were a pair of eyes, that He had simply fallen in love with her blinded the poor cavalier with their soft when he was a boy of sixteen summers, mimic lightnings? Who could for a and,“ dallying with the innocence of moment compare the strength of the love," dreamed his days away like an strongest arm that ever grappled with honest fellow over little favors from her the soldier, breast to breast, and throat -flowers or other trifles, but worth to throat, with the all-conquering puis- kingdoms to him. He had ridden on sance of the small, tender hand, laid on his fine hunter beside the window of her his sleeve, or given him to kiss? Was father's old lumbering chariot, prancinz it wonderful, that our forefathers knelt gallantly to display his horsemanship to them, and set them up on the high leaping fearlessly every obstacle to replaces in their hearts, and almost wor- tain his position, and making his nob”. shiped them?
charger seriously doubt the sanity of the individual who bestrode him. He is heir to :no description of bodily had danced blissful minuets with her to ailment was unknown to her, and for all enchanted music on golden floors of she had an infallible remedy. She Calif-palaces in Bagdat-and ridden ferreted out sickness among her neighwith his young queen through Fairy bors, and sent panaceas to them: she land, which undiscovered country lay silently encouraged the indolent negroes between her father's mansion and the to report themselves “on the sick list,” paternal dwelling. He had worn her by sending them, or rather having glove under his brocade waistcoat.- carried with her on her visits to the stolen her miniature for nightly reverie quarters, huge platesful of warm toast, and rapt meditation-and done many and full cans of nourishing and invigorother things affording full proof of ating drinks. She rejoiced in a case of Shakspeare's maxim that love and folly sickness in black or white, as a general are inseparable companions. Then he rejoices in finding the enemy offer battle had gone with dreadful heaviness of with enormously disproportioned forces; heart to England to learn the art of con- and it is simple justice to say that in structing Latin and Greek verses at many cases her system of therapeutics, Oxford, where, among his select friends founded as it was on long experience, at wine parties, he gave mysterious met in practice with eminent success. toasts in honor of "the fairest of the Then, grown older still, the good dame fair," and commiserated the unhappy took to wearing glasses, and would sit youths whose eyes had never feasted plying her busy needle in the comforton her face. In the dazzling glitter of able chair by the corner of the fire;
and a London season the image of his faith- discuss, pleasantly gossiping, the affairs ful Virginia maiden might have been for of the neighborhood—the deaths, and a time lost sight of, but once more on births, and marriages-her sons and the wharf at Yorktown, he felt that daughters around her in a merry group, inane splendor fall from him, and the and the portly planter, her erewhile tender form again take its place. She boy-husband, for whom she had never had been faithful to him and so they ceased to feel, an admiring, changeless, were married, and when the old folks profound affection, sitting with his feet were gathered to their fathers—with upon the fender, reading, opposite to love and blessings for the little daughter- her. When the true-hearted lady dies, in-law who had brought into the mansion be sure that not her household alone so much sunlight—the honest young fel- will weep for her: a gloom will fall on low and his maiden wife reigned in the every countenance when the countryfamily homestead, the same faithful side hears of it; and all will feel that. lovers always.
a true, tender, loving nature, kind to As she grew older, the now buxom the poor, and faithful to her God and mother of a growing flock eschewed neighbor, has gone from them. minuets and all gewgaws of dress or The planter and his family in the decoration-wearing her hair in a tower old chariot, with white handkerchiefs scarcely a foot in hight, and using to their eyes, will not be the only shoes alarmingly low-heeled. She be- mourners who follow to the tomb, in the came an oracle in all matters appertain- old churchyard she passed through to ing to the household, and, indeed, spent church so regularly, the mortal remains much the larger portion of her time in of the pure-hearted lady. The distance, keeping everything neat and orderly, rather, shall alone blot out and swallow in laying up supplies of pickle, and pre- up the long line of carriages dragged serves, and every imaginable delicacy slowly on by horses with drooping for her lord, and family, and guests. heads and gentlemen who rein in their She arrayed her forces in the kitchen animals to the dead-march gait--and and store-room with the precision of a plainly-clad pedestrians, male and feveterati commander, and the army- male, who whisper to each other, with light and heavy troops-moved under moist eyes and subdued voices, all the her guidance with a spirit and method virtues of the good lady who has passed fatal to the city of Idleness which she from them. She lived long, and was stormed and took, and demolished to surrounded at her death with all that the foundation. Grown older, the good makes old age comfortable, * as honor, lady took extreme delight in discoursing love, obedience, troops of friends;" but at great length on all the ills that flesh it is hard to lose her, even to see ho