Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Penn. No, friend Charles, no right at all; what right hast thou to their lands?

Char. Why, the right of discovery, to be sure ; the right which the pope and all Christian kings have agreed to give one another.

Penn. The right of discovery! A strange kind of right, indeed! Now, suppose, friend Charles, that some canoe loads of these Indians, crossing the sea, and discovering thy island of Great Britain, were to claim it as their own, and set it up

for sale over thy head, — what wouldst thou think of it? Char. Why-why-why-I must confess, I should think it a piece of great impudence in them.

Penn. Well, then, how canst thou, a Christian, and a Christian prince, too, do that which thou so utterly condemnest in these people, whom thou callest savages? Yes, friend Charles; and suppose, again, that these Indians, on thy refu. sal to give up thy island of Great Britain, were to make war on thee, and, having weapons more destructive than thine, were to destroy many of thy subjects, and drive the rest away, wouldst thou not think it horribly cruel ?

Char. I must say that I should, friend William; how can I say

otherwise ? Penn. Well, then, how can I, who call myself a Christian, do what I should abhor even in heathen? No, I will not do it.

But I will buy the right of the proper owners, even of the Indians themselves. By doing this, I shall imitate God himself, in his justice and mercy, and thereby ensure his blessing on my colony, if I should ever live to plant one in North America.

CHAPTER X X XVI.

“GIVE ME THREE GRAINS OF CORN, MOTHER.”*

1. Give me three grains of corn, mother,

Only three grains of corn;
It will keep the little life I have

Till the coming of the morn;
I am dying of hunger and cold, mother,

Dying of hunger and cold,
And half the agony of such a death

My lips have never told.

2. It has gnawed like a wolf at my heart, mother,

A wolf that is fierce for blood,
All the livelong day and the night beside,

Gnawing for lack of food.
I dreamed of bread in my sleep, mother,

And the sight was heaven to see ;
I woke with an eager, famishing lip,
But
you

had no bread for me.

3. How could I look to you, mother,

How could I look to you,
For bread to give to your starving boy,

When you were starving too?
For I read the famine in your cheek,

And in your eye so wild,
And I felt it in your bony hand,
As

you laid it on your child.

4. The queen has lands and gold, mother,

The queen has lands and gold ;

*These words were the last request of an Irish lad to his mother, as he was dying from starvation. She found three grains in a corner of his ragged jacket and gave them to him. It was all she had. The whole family were perishing from famine.

GIVE ME THREE GRAINS OF CORN, MOTHER."

121

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

6. There is many a brave heart here, mother,

Dying of want and cold,
While only across the channel, mother,
Are
many

that roll in gold.
There are rich and proud men there, mother,

With 'wondrous wealth to view,
And the bread they fling to their dogs to-night

Would give life to me and you.

7. Come nearer to my side, mother,

Come nearer to my side,
And hold me fondly, as you held

My father, when he died.
Quick, for I cannot see you, mother,

My breath is almost gone;
Mother! dear mother! ere I die,
Give me three grains of corn!

11

CHAPTER X X XVII.

FEMALE BEAUTY.

be said now,

1. It has been said by some one, and if not said, it shall

that no woman is incapable of inspiring love, fixing affection, and making a man happy. We are far less influenced by outward loveliness than we imagine. Men speak with admiration and write with rapture of the beauty which the artist loves, which, like genius in the system of Gall, is ascertained by scale and compass; but in practice, see how they despise those splendid theories, and yield to a sense of beauty and loveliness of which the standard is in their own hearts.

2. It is not the elegance of form, for that is often imperfect; it is not in loveliness of face, for in this nature has been perchance neglectful; nor is it in the charm of sentiment or sweet words, for even among women there is an occasional lack of it; neither is it in the depth of their feelings, nor in the sincerity of their affection, that their whole power over man springs from. Yet every woman, beautiful or not, has that power, more or less, and every man yields to its influ

ence.

3. The women of all nations are beautiful. Female beauty, in the limited sense of the word, is that outward form and proportion which corresponds with the theories of poets and the rules of artists — of which every nation has examples, and of which every woman has a share. But beauty, by a more natural definition of the word, is that indescribable charm, that union of many qualities of person, and mind, and heart, which insures to man the greatest portion of happiness.

4. One of our best poets has touched on this matter with the wisdom of inspiration ; these are his words:

“ She dwelt among the untrodden ways,

Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there was none to praise,

And very few to love.
She lived unknown, and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh!

The difference to me!"

5. There was a maiden, something more to the purpose than the slender damsels whom academies create on canvass, or of whom some bachelor bards dream. The poet of Rydal Mount is a married man, and knows from what sources domestic happiness comes. The gossamer creations of the fancy, were they transformed to breathing flesh and blood, would never do for a man's bosom. Those delicate aërial visions, those personified zephyrs, are decidedly unfit for the maternal wear and tear of the world. Not so the buxom dames of our two fine islands,

6. Look to them as they move along. If art, with its scale and its compasses, and its eternal chant of “the beau ideal,” “the beau ideal,” had peopled the world, we would have been a nation of ninnies; our isles would have been filled with lazy figures, and beings "beautiful exceedingly," but loveless, joyless, splendidly silly, and elegantly contemptible. It has been better ordered.

7. I have looked much on man, and more on woman. The world presents a distinct image of my own perception of beauty; and from the decisions of true love I could lay down the law of human affection, and the universal opinion entertained respecting female loveliness. There is no need to be profound, there is no occasion for research ; look on wedded society, — is it not visible to all ?

« AnteriorContinuar »