Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the necessities of their situation, and the demands of the age on them, and thereupon go immediately and with a hearty good-will to work and embroil themselves, or as it is technically called, "get into hot water.' Am not I right? Did any one ever hear of a female coterie or assemblage but what this very remarkable phenomenon took place therein ? Like Jupiter in the Cymbalum Mundi, they see the mercury going down, begin to grow chilly, are aware of its direful effects on the world, and with a heroism regardless of cheeks or dresses, perform that blessing which a scurrilous world has heretofore considered a scandal. Out upon it!

Ever since that first shameful fight between the wives of Shem and Ham for precedence in entering the ark, which is so touchingly related by the Scottish historians of that period, there has always been a class of men who seem to have had no object or purpose on earth save to vilify by sneers or detract by inuendoes from the fame of these continually-tobe-fascinated-with creatures ; men who have absurd ideas that beauty and good looks are of no account, and that a woman's head must be stuffed with knowledge, or her bosom, like a trussed turkey, with some sort of filling which they call fine feelings, to make her fit for use. These are the men who are always crying out,

Non satis est pulchras esse fæminas; dulce sunto,' and are always bringing up dead languages and dead women as examples and sustainers to their opinions. Sure are we, that neither our language nor our females could support them now. We however place our reliance on the girls in esse. We never yet saw a hideously-ugly girl that was truly amiable. And we believe that all that is necessary to complete the beauties in this most requisite particular, is to read our paper, and then see what “shocking things' may be thought about them when they fall into the hands of a carping bachelor, who has lived his day among the Lorrettes of the Quartier Latine, but never owned a true loving woman-friend. Philadelphia, May, 1851.

R E P E N T A N C E.
Do I not love thee? - let the darkened years

Since we were parted tell their tale of woe ;
Life's page, o'erstained with unavailing tears,

One rash, sad hour hath caused to ceaseless flow.
May I not love thee! — as in days by-gone,

Still let my love find refuge sweet in thee;
Guarding with jealous care apart, alone,

Each blest thought chastened with thy memory.
Oh, let me love thee ! - for, when I have fled

Back to a world where hours come dark to me,
Fain would I turn to that pure light that shed

Joy on a heart that ne'er hath loved but thee.
Ay, I will love thee!— spite of all the past,

Till life's expiring moments each are told;
Thou hast been, and thou shalt be, till the last,

Though I have lost thee, still loved as of yore !

HAL

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

IMMEDIATELY on leaving Levanna, proceeding southward, the traveller will see that the east bank of the lake rises perpendicularly some forty or fifty feet, presenting, in more than miniature, the appearance of the Palisades near the great metropolis, on the Hudson. This bank has a lovely fringe of dwarf cedars, whose perpetual green is as an enduring emerald in the adornment of the Cayuga. The carriage-road is immediately on the height, and there are glimpses of the water scenery always to be enjoyed, while there is a shelter from the fiercer winds. There is but a narrow track at the bottom, though enough for a delightful walk, except in two places, where the rock juts out so far as to give an aquatic variety to the promenade. There was a neat country-house, of some pretension to architectural proportions, on these heights, which belonged to Mr. SHotWELL, of the well-known New-York auction house, Leggett, Shotwell, Fox, and Company; but this was destroyed by fire a few years since. A site so advantageous cannot long remain unimproved. These heights continue for a great part of the distance between Levanna and Franklin-Hill

, the northern boundary of the village of Aurora. In tasteful position, and with every appearance of neatness and comfort, just midway between the heights on the rise of ground above mentioned, is a neat little cottage, erected by WILLIAM DEAN, Esq. It is formed of the handsome stone found on the beach of the Ontario, and is one of those charming farm-houses which are such a significant indication of the advancing prosperity and taste of our agricultural citizens.

These cedars are trees which outlive the race that plants them. They fix their tenacious grasp on the soil, and while they attain a lesser height than many other forest-trees, their strength and longevity are far greater. And the Cedar Heights have seen the lapse of many years, and in the circling vicissitudes of human affairs have not been without their incidents of love and fear, of joy and grief.

There is not in all the world a stronger tendency to superstition than is found in the population of Germany. It has been the theme of their own worderful writers, and the pens of other nations have gathered wild and strange fancies from the legends that are associated with river and glen and mountain-height and cave and castle of the land of the Rhine. The people have a superstitious tinge in their belief very frequently, and it affects their conduct even in the daily and common-place practice of the duties of life. Even the free air and quadrated action which surround them on coming to our country do not immediately divest them of this looking beyond the known to the mysterious. It does not, however, generally last very long. The schools of America, though not as profound as those of Germany, or fathoming such depths of learning, are straight-forward and practical, and teach men to grasp at the substance and think little of the shadows. It is a most interesting theme of reflection to watch the gradual but sure incorporation of all the foreign elements into the quiet, practical American character.

The family of Heinrich Fritz had emigrated from the suburbs of Frankfort. He was the best-natured of Germans, and left his native city only because, while the society was very good; while the disputes of the scholars around him were very agreeable, being generally on some question involving theories so abstruse as to be beyond the comprehension of the debater and the audience; while the literature was as glorious as Goethe and Schiller could make it; yet the bread was scarce, and the young family around him, though they liked books, could not eat them. Ilis boys wandered through the streets of Frankfort, unwilling idlers. That was not profitable education. His one bright-eyed girl staid peaceably at home, and devised a dinner out of the scantiest possible material. He had lost his wife, and it had been a loss that, as he determined, never could be replaced — was never sought to be. The children would have deemed it a species of insanity if another mother had been alluded to. It would have required all the charm of Fanny Forester's clever poem on such a subject to have won them to the propriety of two mothers,' as she describes. The mother of his wife survived, and was for her sake the object of the most respectful regard. She was a clever old lady enough in her own sight, but was less influential in the family because of her queer and superstitious vagaries. These were respected by Heinrich, because of her age, and of the fact that she had been the mother of the being who, even in her grave, held his affection. The preservation of quaint and useless furniture, decayed and dusty; the fondness for certain lucky days, and the horror of unlucky ones; the imagining that a good genius governed this month, and an evil one that; the dread of fancied lights and airy illuminations; all these were the characteristic weaknesses of the old lady, respected but not believed in by the family, that, with all her peculiarities, would have starved themselves to feed her.

A cabinet council was held on the subject of emigration, and all were consulted. The boys belonged to the emigration party, having the highest possible ideas of America as a land where every thing but hunger and poverty was common, and where there was no such thing as failing if they would work. Heinrich had given them right notions of what our country really was. Lucille, the fair Frankfort girl, beautiful even in her poor garb, had great doubts, inasmuch as she thought it probable that on the day they landed at New-York several wild Indians would proceed to make a meal of her, having first in a savage manner taken her scalp. The boys all laughed heartily at this, declaring that any Indian might have their scalps who could take them. The old lady was perfectly : willing to go, if they would postpone the departure till the twenty-fifth of August, on which day St. Agatha was canonized. She was certain that era would be a felicitous one. Heinrich met this by a device worthy of a statesman. He suggested to her that on the eighteenth of June, when the steam-boat left Frankfort, St. Agatha had first determined to renounce the world and enter the convent of which she was an ornament so distinguished, and that the good luck would doubtless belong as much to this day as to the other. This effectually satisfied the matron, and it only remained for Heinrich to decide. My mother and my children, said he, “in America labor is dear and bread is cheap. It is the country for the poor to become prosperous. I could exist in Frankfort, but we shall all live in America.'

Merrily they all wrought, and their few preparations were completed. The neighbors were sad to lose Heinrich, but they all predicted for him in America nothing short of a principality. The boys were in great glee, and pretty Lucille shook her ringlets as merrily as if she had no dread of their being severed by a rude Indian's knife. He did what few foreigners have the sagacity to do; he sold all his old and cumbrous furniture, which had been in his house so long, producing nothing, and 'lumbering up the room. He thus avoided the spectacle that all of us have seen in emigrant ships, of a burthen of useless and most costly freight. He did save from the sale the curiously-carved work-table which his wife bad used, and which, though he might have often sold it for that which would have produced many comforts for him, he would not have yielded up for any pecuniary consideration. The mother insisted but on one point, and that was in consonance with her superstitions. There had been in her possession since her childhood a square and very strongly. formed chest. It had singular devices in brass carvings on the lid and around the lock and at the corners. It was always in her room, and was undisturbed, except by the neatness of Lucille, who, because she saw it delighted the old lady, made the wood and metal brilliant with hard polishing. It was very heavy, but its contents were utterly unknown to the family, and as much so to the mother. Such a thing could occur only in Germany. It had been given to her by her father, who had been

« AnteriorContinuar »