« AnteriorContinuar »
world, the frank, free countenance of second marriages. For instance : the companion of your boyhood, or when Mrs. Smith, after the expendithe form and features that “ first love ture of a due and proper quantity of traced ;" through it the mother gazeth grief, has prevailed upon herself to be with mournful tenderness on the simicomforted, and has, at the expiration litude of her absent or departed child; of a decorous period, legally invested and children with grateful recollection Mr. Brown with the rights and prion the presentment of those who were vileges of her defunct lord, it is a the first and last to love them. And, peculiarly embarrassing consideration no matter how common-place or ge- to the wedded widow to know what nerally uninteresting the countenances to do with the face Smith left behind of those persons who have been so him. It looketh unfeeling to stow it preserved—they were dear to some away at once in the garret or lumberone. The beneficent law of nature room ; but then again to suffer it to saith, that no human being shall go remain staring from the wall, inspectutterly unbeloved ; it has insured ing, as it were, the proceedings of her sympathy and affection to all ; a nook and her new help-mate, with an exin some heart to the most despised - pression of countenance changed (to “There is a tear for all that die,
her eye at least) from a beneficent A mourner o'er the humblest bier.” e humblest hier v smile to a reproachful frown, as much
as to say, “ frailty, thy name is Therefore, as an art that yields to the woman," is, mighty uncomfortable. eve that for which the soul yearns, When she entered into her new state, portrait painting is worthy of all love she ought to have had a hole dug in and honour. But, then, it ought to the garden, and Smith's portrait buried minister to those sacred and hidden along with the rest of her Smithonian feelings in the “miniature" size, so reminiscences; but a sort of pseudo that the object could be worn next the delicacy preventeth this, and there heart, or deposited for unobserved hangs 'Smith, intruding most disinspection in the silent closet or quiet agreeably upon the domestic privacy drawer. It ought not to placard your of Mr. and Mrs. Brown. The effect love and esteem on two square feet of is decidedly unpleasant to both parcanvass, to be stuck against the wall ties, reminding the lady of her faithfor the criticism or annoyance of the lessness to the memory of the dear cold or uninterested ; that is too bare. deceased, and placing perpetually befaced an exhibition of your sympathies; fore the gentleman the features of the too obtrusive a setting forth of your person who formerly ate, drank, and affectionate reminiscences.
slept with Mrs. Brown. Now there Again, a man is not to be respected is something indelicate in this, a whose portrait occupieth a prominent
species of moral bigamy. How can station in his own nouse. It is too conjugalities go on in such a presence? self-sufficient by half. It is using his If Smith has to hang there, his face friends ill, giving them, as it were, ought to be turned to the wall instead too much of himself. Perchance he of from it. But this is not the worst; gives good dinners. Well, admit the for in the cas
for in the case of any domestic differhonourable fact ; still he is not jus
ence, and such things will occur tified inexorbitantly indemnifying despite of love and legal ceremonies, himself by the exhibition of more the secondary wife hath a provoking than. the privileged quantity of ego- habit of reverting to the past; and by tism. There is a decency to be ob- way of reply to Brown's expostulaserved in such matters, and the first tions, she fixeth a lack-a-daisical gaze person singular is sufficient for any upon the features of the departed gentleman without showing off at one,'' as much as to say second hand. Such double-faced pro
"Ah me! ceedings are not commendable.
Besides, this Janus fashion of a man Seeing what I have seen, seeing what having a couple of visages, is often
I see !" attended with unpleasant consequen- and then Brown waxeth warm, as is ces—more especially in the case of most natural; and asketh-" why the
del she married him?" and she nexion with the fine arts, the Widow replies " she cannot tell ;" and sobs, Wilkins having made an affectionate and sighs, and putteth her handker- rule through life never to suffer a huschief to her eyes to intimate the pre- band to go out of the world, or a child to sence, or hide the absence of tears, as come into it, without having their porit may happen. Now this wounds trait taken, and a room, of which she Brown's self-love; he taketh the pet alone kept the key, was set apart for with his dinner, and Mrs. Brown the reception thereof. Now Mrs. neglecteth to press him to eat, but Wilkins having gone through so much, continueth to wipe her nose, and rub and having suffered so many bereaveher eyes, and look mournfully and ments and worn such a succession of tenderly at Smith. Then up jumps widow's caps, had naturally accumu. Brown from the table, wroth exceed- lated a large quantity of grief-more ingly; and he seizes his hat, and hies than she could bear, so that when she him forth, and proceeds to the tavern felt herself rather low, she was wont and calls for strong drink and the to have recourse now and then to newspapers; and lo! when the clock artificial stimulants in order to prevent strikes twelve, his nightcap remaineth her sinking altogether. Taken in unoccupied, and his head resteth not moderation, they had operated very on its own proper conjugal pillow. well, but when applied too copiously,
This episode about second marriages they used to open the flood-gates of recalls the Widow Wilkins to my mind. affliction, and then away came her Never shall I forget her. She was the pent-up sorrows, trials, and tribulagreatest patroness of matrimony and tions, like a river bursting its banks, portrait painting I ever met with. Her and sweeping everything before it. In virgin designation was Higginbottom, these moods she used to proceed to but she had exchanged it as she went her beloved portrait gallery-her great through life for that of Thompson, store-house of buried affections and Johnson, Bradshaw, Mugs, Morris, deceased sympathies—and there inand Wilkins, to which rather formid. dulge in all the “luxury of grief." able list of gentlemen she had succes. One day-one never-to-be-forgotten sively resigned her heart and hand, so day-she seduced me to accompany that latterly she scarcely knew what her, attended by a brace of her pledges her real name was, and used, in con- of past happiness, answering to the sequence, to make sad confusion at names of Mugs and Morris. As we times in her mournful recollections. proceeded toward the room fearful
Lest any venerable spinster should forebodings stole upon me which were, be overpowered with surprise and alas ! too soon realised. astonishment at the marvellous good The Widow Wilkins turned the key fortune of the Widow Wilkins, I may and threw open the door. Heavens ! just be allowed to mention that she what a sight met my view ! Not possessed a handsome annuity, as well Fatima when she entered Bluebeard's as seven hundred pounds a-year in her blue chamber, could have been more own right.
electrified. There hung the semblances Besides this, she was, by nature, of of the deceased Thompson, Johnson, a most loveable temperament; and if Bradshaw, Mugs, Morris, and Wilkins, her face and person were not of the with all the little Thompsons, Johnsons, first quality, she made up in quantity, Bradshaws, Mugses, Morrises, and Wilbeing fully the size of any two of her kinses ranged in order due under their husbands put together. No one could respective progenitors. Gracious powsay that the Widow Wilkins was "no- ers ! what a crowd of recollections must thing to look at"--it would have been have rushed upon the widow's memory mighty difficult to have taken a minia- at such a sight! It was too much for ture of her! Her progeny was almost her, and she sunk overpowered into an as unlimited as herself-ranging some- easy-chair, and began to heave and where between twelve and twenty, of shake (so did the house) most fearfully. all ages, sizes, and denominations. I She was a bad figure for the pathetic, mention these seemingly trivial parti. it must be admitted ; but let that culars because of their intimate con- pass. Meanwhile her two young
hopefuls had stationed themselves in govern themselves as a free and indethe centre of the room, and, regardless pendent people, had long rendered a of their mother's grief, commenced residence there precarious. On the amusing themselves by puffing dry morning in question, the banner of peas through a tin tube at the eyes revolt was seen floating in proud deand noses of the several objects of the fiance upon the walls of the castle of widow's regards and regrets, in great Fort Royal, and in the far distance style, accompanying every successful the smoke of villages showed the track shot at a prominent feature, with an of the merciless demon of insurrection. exulting shout. I attempted to rebuke Every vessel in the harbour of Fort them, but the widow recovered herself Royal was crowded with refugees, who, sufficiently to explain to me that “the having hastily collected their most poor, dear boys were always best when valuable effects, had filed before the they had exactly their own way." Her tide of destruction which was rolling tongue once loosened-went, andwent, fearfully over that ill-starred island. and went! I soon ceased to wonder Among them was a merchant of high at the excessive mortality of her hus. repute, who, with his wife and daughbands ; such an instrument, in con- ter, a beautiful girl of about fifteen, tinual operation, was quite sufficient took passage for France, whither on to be the death of any man. In the the following day the vessel salted. present case there was no lack of argu- Fair winds gave them a quick passage ment. Every glance of her eye brought to the Cape de Verd, and after a tarry upa recollection and suggested a theme. of a day or two, they weighed anchor for She described the persons, vouched Havre. At dawn on the second morning for the accuracy of the likeness, and after their departure, they espied a enlarged upon the virtues of the very dark-looking brig bearing down upon extensive range of subjects before her, them, and as the sun rose above the interspersing her narrative with copious horizon, it portrayed to them the details of all their friends, families, re. truth, that an Algerine corsair was latives, and connexions, direct and their early visiter. So much were the contingent, with a fulness and fluency high seas infested at that time with that must in a very little time longer pirates, that every vessel went prehave proved fatal to the hardest and pared for an encounter. Immediate most patient of listeners.
preparation was made for a contest, It wanted a quarter to four as I should the corsair overtake them, and entered that room. It struck seven all sails were spread to the breeze. as she turned the key, and expressed a The pirate came up—the contest hope that I had been gratified.
was fearful—the father and mother My nervous system had been for were murdered—and the beautiful orsome time previous to this in rather phan was made the prize of a band of a shattered state. Ten days elapsed ruffians. In a few days they neared before I again left my chamber. Ever the Barbary coast, and she was sold since I have entertained a very natural, to the bey of Tunis for ten thousand and, I trust, excusable horror of every- sequins. The prediction of a fortune. day portraits.
teller, years before, that she would one day wear the coronet of a queen, impressed on her mind with a con
viction of its truth, which spread a THE MAID OF MARTINIQUE. halo of light round her amid the darkA TRUE STORY.
ness of the worst of slavery. Her
beauty made her a favourite, and A LOVELY morning in October, about two years afterward, Sultan 17—, was rendered a gloomy one to Mustapha carried her in triumph to the inhabitants of Martinique. Re- Constantinople. Her beauty, her peated injuries inflicted by the ruling virtues, her ample powers to please, powers, coupled with a burning desire made her the exalted favourite of the among many ambitious and perhaps imperial seraglio, and she became the patriotic men, to crush foreign influ. honoured Sultana. Then indeed were ence upon their beautiful isle, and to the predictions of her destiny verified, and she wore the crown as queen of for they are going to have work again the Ottoman empire. Mahmoud II., for the executioner in the great square the presant Sultan of Turkey, is her of Elvira ; and she is such a handsome son; and to her influence upon his lady too, and so young, that all the early character may be attributed his world is heart-sick about it." " Will taste for European customs, and the you take me to the place, Pedro ?" frequent innovations which his will “ Senor,” said he, “ you had better has made among the customs of his not go, for it may be badly looked people. The last act of importance, upon by the police. Besides, people and which seems like a great stride say in whispers that there will be a toward the elevation of Turkish wotumult, though nobody dares to speak men to the same station which females out about it; and how then will they hold throughout Christendom, is the dare to lift a hand for poor Donna opening of the doors of the seraglio, Maria ? So you had better stay within and permitting the women to go in doors this morning. But if your and out at their pleasure, and enjoy worship must go," said he, seeing themselves by rambles upon the lovely that my curiosity was getting the plains which stretch along the banks better of his admonitions, “ you have of the beautiful Bosphorus. The only to cross the Daro, and so follow number who were confined in his sera- along with the crowd you will see glio were about six hundred.
moving that way." The interest The fate of that young girl was which the fact of a young and beautiful similar to that of Josephine, wife of woman falling a victim to the execuNapoleon. She, too, was the subject tioner would necessarily excite, even of a similar prediction, and even when in the heart of a stranger, made me confined by prison bars, and upon the curious to gather the particulars of a eve of conveyance to the guillotine, story, which I obtained partly from that prediction stood up before her Pedro and partly from other sources. with all the brightness and sacredness Donna Maria de Pineda was a native of truth; and when the downfall of of Spain, and, I believe, of the gay Robespierre caused her prison to be land of Andalusia. Her parentage thrown open, " There,” exclaimed she was respectable, with a tinge of noble to Madame Fonteany, a fellow pri. blood ; and nature had endowed her soner, “ I told you I should yet be with personal beauty and mental queen of France." And she was in powers above the common standard. deed queen, not only of France, but She had been married at an early age of the heart that beat in the bosom of to an officer in the Spanish army, by that proud Corsican who swayed its whose death she was left a widow, but, destinies.
as I believe, without children. At the time of his death she numbered
but little more than twenty-five years, DONNA MARIA.
and was still in the possession of all those graces of spirit and person,
which, as found in the native of I was amusing myself one morning Andalusia, are irresistible. She was with looking out from my window living quietly in Granada, under the upon the varied scene in the Plaza de circumstances I have mentioned, when Campillo, when Pedro, an honest one ill-omened day the justicia, that Gallician, who filled at the inn the terror of the oppressed Spaniard, indefinite place of valet-de-chambre, appeared at the door ; and having valet-de-place, cleaner of shoes, and demanded admittance in the name of actor of all work, stopped in the midst the absolute king proceeded to search of brushing a coat, and assumed a very the house in which she lived, and with sorrowful and contemplative air, as peculiar jealousy the appartments if he had some very bad news to im- with the unfortunate Donna Maria part to me. “What is the matter, occupied. The scrutiny of these dePedro ?” said I, curious to know what testable commissioners of despotism distressed him. “Ah! Senor,” said --for in Spain what character is so he, “ this is a sad day in all Granada, utterly despised and so utterly despicable as that of the Alguazil and the form had been raised, upon which Escribano ?—was at first unsuccess. Donna Maria was seated; her dark ful ; but at length they discovered in brown hair was smoothly divided over a closet, in a corner obscurely lighted her pale forehead, and I fancied I and well suited to the purposes of could discern, even at the long disconcealment, an unfinished piece of tance which separated us, the traces embroidery, in the form of a pennon of that beauty which I had heard so or standard, and bearing those three much praised. A friar of the order odious colours under which freedom of mercy, in white flannel robes, with had so recently triumphed in France. a girdle of rope, a long rosary, and This emblem of emancipation was having the crown of his head shaven, greedily dragged from its hiding-place was seen holding up a cross before by the eager justicia. Its being found her, upon which was nailed the image in her apartment was sufficient to of the suffering Saviour. Disposed in stamp her as a traitor to her king and a hollow square round the platform, country; and the helpless Donna Maria to cut off the hope of rescue or escape, was hurried to prison, and there placed a company of foot soldiers were posted in rigorous confinement.
with fixed bayonets; without them Convinced of the hopelessness of was a troop of cavalry, their drawn pardon, she is said to have looked sabres and steel caps glittering in the forward to death with quiet fortitude. sun. I had scarcely passed some two On the evening before the fatal day or three minutes in looking round, which was to conduct her to an igno. upon this gloomy scene, when a man minious execution, she wrote letters to vulgarly dressed was seen to ascend her dearest relatives and friends, exhort- the platform. It was undoubtedly the ing them to bear the misfortune which executioner. A sensation of heart. assailed them with the same energy sick misery came over me ; for an which she herself felt. This duty occu- instant, indeed, the thought flashed pied her till a late hour of the night, upon me that if a thousand, nay, but when she laid down and slept tranquilly a hundred, resolute arms could be till the morning. When she rose, she raised for the rescue, that unfortunate made her toilette with more than usual woman might live. But where were care, arranging her hair with her own they? She had but a few fast fleeting hands, and adjusting her attire as moments left, and her death was as deliberately as if she were not going certain as the course of yonder sun forth to death, but to some scene of towards the mountains of Loxa. I holiday enjoyment. I do not know turned sadly away, and left the square how she received the exhortations of of Elvira without daring to look back. the priesthood, who in Spain are al. Very soon after Donna Maria expired, ways at hand to console the last mo. adding another name to the bloody ments of the criminal ; but as religion record of the victims of absolutism. is deeply implanted in the heart of the Spanish woman, and, in forms, at least, exerts a strange influence over
COMMON-PLACES. . the most profligate of her sex, it is probable some of the last hours of one EDUCATION has upon the natural whose reputation was so spotless were mind the same transforming effect devoted to holy exercise. When the that culture has upon the wild rose. fatal hour of mid-day was tolled from In the latter case, nothing new is the tower of the cathedral, she was added, but the leaves are so multitaken out of the prison, placed upon plied and the colour so deepened that an ass, as is the custom of the coun- the improvement looks like a new try, and being surrounded by a strong creation. force of foot soldiers and cavalry, was It is not well to have many ene.. slowly conducted through the silent mies, but it is worse, far worse to have and awe-stricken crowd to the fatal many friends. A useless friend is a place, the great square of Elvira. millstone about one's neck. Next to
All eyes were directed to the centre one's self, one's worst enemy is an of the square, where a wooden plat- intimate friend.