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(formerly called The Virgin Widow). It in Edwin the Fair) almost approaching gro-
is, perhaps, the most successful specimen.
The Lay of Elena is a poem of so much beauty and thorough merit as to suggest the reflection that its author might have aim. Looking at his political and moral attained no mean eminence as a lyrical poet standing-point, and the friends with whom had he worked in that direction. But he was for many years associated, one might though it gives evidence, strongly con- be disposed to call him the dramatist of firmed by the shorter but charming sketch the Lake school. But he stands in reality called Iago Verese, that he might have completely alone, and differs from Southey written well in the lyrical style of Words- as widely in bent of genius and method of worth, he would never have made a good composition as he resembles him closely in song-writer. There are, it is true, some elevation and greatness of heart. The few exquisite stanzas scattered here and present century has produced few English there among the plays, but there are more poets of whom it can be said that they of inferior merit, and some (like Earl delight more reasonably or instruct more Athulf's song, 'Sinks the sun with a smile,' nobly. H. M. M.
He stood on the rock,
WE have received two volumes, moderate in Lamplighter, we note considerable advance in price and agreeable in appearance, of Low's breadth and power. There is genuine dramatic Copyright Series of American Authors (Samp- force in the passion of love and horror with son Low and Co.) Mr. Holmes's Guardian which the two women strive to screen the supAngel is too well known to call for any criti-posed murderer, and much pathos and truth in cism, but our readers ought to know that it is the story of the last hours of the penitent, reaccessible in a very convenient form. Haunted claimed from sin, but scarcely roused to higher Hearts, by the author of the Lamplighter, is thoughts, who dies in the unwavering faith that new to us. It is a story of life in New Jersey, she cannot be separated from the dead child for and well worth reading. The story is well told, whom she knows that she has felt a pure, genuand there is much vigour and freshness in the ine love. The episode recalls, but not by any drawing of character. The sketch of the old thing like imitation, one of the most pathetic Puritan widow is fairly conceived. Judging by passages in Mary Barton, the story of Hester. our somewhat indistinct recollections of the Spectator.
FIREWORKS AND THEN DARKNESS.
BELLA suddenly stood by Eric's side, without his noticing her approach.
"You are unusually grave to-day," she
said in a low voice.
"I am not used to the confusion of such a fête."
"I always feel as if you would have something to say to me," she murmured lower.
Eric was silent, and Bella continued:"Does it seem to you as it does to me, when you see your nearest friend in a great assembly, as if you met in a strange land, or as if struggling in a river, in which you are drowning?
"Ah! Bravo!" many voices cried suddenly. A flight of rockets was sent off, while music was heard, and a trumpet across the river took up the strain, and echoed it. Far away they saw the people from the towns and villages about, standing on the river-banks, their faces lighted by the glare. "Ah," exclaimed Bella, as all was dark again, "we are all nothing but slaves! If we could live like that, that would be life indeed! to burn like that rocket in the free air, then come, darkness and death; ye are welcome!"
Eric trembled; he did not know how it happened, but he was holding Bella's hand fast in his.
Again bright fires rose from river and hills. It seemed as if all those people who were looking on from the distant shore must have seen Eric's hand in Bella's. Eric drew back with a start. The Prince came up, and Bella immediately took his arm. Eric was left alone, and as he saw Bella walking up and down the road before the house, leaning on the Prince's arm, he tried to recollect whether he had not said to her, I love you. It seemed to him that he had spoken aloud, and yet it could not be. Firewheels, the monogram of the bridal-pair, Roman-candles, were exhibited, and at last from a boat on the Rhine rose a great golden wine-flask, which burst in the air, and scattered a shower of sparkling drops of light. Music resounded, and from the shore a shout was heard, as if all the waves had found a voice.
Eric's brain reeled; he knew not where he was, nor who he was. Suddenly he felt an arm laid on his own: it was Clodwig. Eric would have liked to kneel before him, but he felt unworthy to utter a word, and he could only make an inward vow: I will send a bullet through my heart, rather than
allow it ever again to thrill with this excite
Clodwig spoke of Roland, saying that he could not think it right or wise that he should be thrust into a sphere strange to him. Eric answered at random; Clodwig believed that he must know of the project, while Eric thought he was alluding to the military profession; and he seemed so distracted and inwardly excited, that Clodwig admonished his young friend to exert himself less strenuously, and not to torment himself needlessly.
Eric avoided saying good-night to Bella. It was late when they drove back, in'the same manner as they had come, except that the Cabinetsrath and his wife accompanied them, to spend the night at Villa Eden.
The Minister rode with Sonnenkamp, and the conversation naturally fell on the fete, and on the dissolution of the old and respected firm of wine dealers, since the Wine-count was now about to sell at auction his whole stock. The Minister's lady said that Bella had told her that she intended to write Eric's mother and aunt for a visit; Pranken pretended to know of this plan, but was inwardly very much surprised. Now that they were alone and need not be reserved with each other, the Minister's lady said emphatically, that no one could bring about the conferring of the new dignity on Herr Sonnenkamp more easily and simply than the Professor's widow. It was not exactly decided upon, but it was hinted to Herr Sonnenkamp, that he might establish the first claim of hospitality by inviting the ladies to Villa Eden.
Sonnenkamp smiled to himself, for he had a further plan of making Frau Dournay useful: the General had said several times that she was a trusted friend of his sister, the Superior of the island convent; here were two wires to be pulled.
In the third carriage Eric rode again with Roland; they sat silent for a long time, as the carriage rolled slowly on. At last a voice called out:
"Good evening, Herr Captain!" Eric ordered the driver to stop; it was Claus's son, the cooper, who was walking along the wood. He brought Eric a greeting from Martin Knopf at Mattenheim, and said that he had been there with a message from his father, asking Knopf to appear before the jury the next day, as a witness in his defence. Roland rubbed his eyes, and looked about him as if he were in a strange world. He asked the cooper to get into the carriage with them. The cooper thanked him, but declined, and went on to say how wonderful it had been, as he came over the
hills from Mattenheim, to see, just as he left | definite image of these. The teachers praised her quick comprehension; a French bonne was dismissed, and a strict English governess received into the family; Bella learned languages easily, and good manners seemed natural to her. Her smart repartees, when she was very young, were repeated admiringly, and this flattered her vanity, and extinguished all childish ingenuousness.
the woods, the strange fires mounting to heaven from the Rhine far below, and he had stood just where the rocks echoed the cannon. He held out his hand to Eric, but not to Roland.
As the two drove on again, Roland said: "Then Claus has heard the cannon in his prison, and perhaps he saw the fireworks too. Ah, he has not a single dog to speak to near him. I've often been sorry that he had to wander about so constantly through the fields by day and night, but now he must long for that old weariness. And while he sits there in prison, everything is growing outside, and the thieves of hares and foxes know, that no one knows their burrows so well as he: and I do believe he is innocent. Ah, why must there be poor, unhappy men; why can't the whole world be happy?"
For the first time, Eric saw that he must advise Roland not to say anything to his father of these thoughts about the huntsman, and about the poor and unfortunate.
Eric felt quite satisfied that all the praise Roland had received for his appearance as Apollo had done no harm.
A REPRESSED HEART.
Her father yielded to her wishes, and Bella, at fourteen years of age, was introduced the next winter into society. She made a brilliant appearance, and was much courted; everybody spoke with admiration of the air of fresh youth that hovered around her. But she early exhibited a sort of coldness, so that she was nicknamed the mermaiden, and in her eye there was what might be called a cold fire. Even the reign
"WHAT are we, when judged by our most secret thoughts?"
So had Eric written in answer to a dainty note which Bella had written to him. She had requested him to send the coat in which ing Prince singled her out. She still kept she had painted him, as something peculiar the engagement-card of her first court-ball in its cut had yet to be introduced, in order as a sacred relic, and with it a withered to give the finishing touch to the portrait. bouquet. The way in which she had signed her name startled Eric; there was her name, Bella, but instead of her surname, an interrogation point between two brackets. She had scratched this out, as if thinking better of it, but it was still to be perceived.
She put the coat upon the lay-figure in her studio; it affected her strangely, and she stood there now, with her hand placed upon the shoulder of the figure.
Now followed an unbroken chain of homage and attention. Bella, with her ready and apt replies, was the life of the circle in which she moved. While yet a child, her beauty had been praised in her own hearing, and now that she was a woman, her remarkable mental powers were extolled, either directly or indirectly, so that she was sure to be informed of it. Her striking remarks and keen criticisms were quoted, and her witticisms passed around. In this way she had acquired the reputation of great knowledge, which, with her spirited piano playing, and above all, her skill in painting, caused her to be regarded as a social wonder, and to be held up as a pattern to many a young girl who came out after her in society.
Before she was sixteen, she had refused many offers of marriage, and she smiled when she heard of the betrothal of one and another, for she could say, You could have married this man, if you had wished to.
"What are we, judged by our most secret thoughts?" had Eric written, and it seemed now as if the words came from the mouth of the model before her.
Ladies and gentlemen visiting the house, or meeting her casually in different places, praised her beauty in her hearing. She was confirmed, but the holy ceremony appeared to her only as the sign of her deliverance from the nursery, when she must lay aside her short dresses and put on long ones; and when going up to the altar, the thought which predominated in her was, Thou art the fairest one. As the bishop had taken tea the evening before with her parents, he was not to her a supernatural being as to the rest, for he had spoken familiarly with her, and she appeared to herself to be, in the church, the central point of all observation.
Bella shuddered, and was seized with a deadly trembling, for as she stood there with her gaze fastened upon the floor, and her hand laid upon the garment of the man not her husband, it seemed to her as if she would sink to the earth. At this instant, her whole life unfolded itself to her view.
The days of childhood - there was no
Her mother would have been glad to have her married young, but her father was not willing that his child should be separated from him so early; he hoped that some prince of the collateral branch would unite himself with her in marriage.
Her seventeenth birthday was ushered in by a morning serenade from the band of the Guards, and congratulations poured in from all sides; but if she could have been seen then, as the tones of the music awakened her from sleep, and a new thought stirred within her, her large eyes would have presented a look different from any ever seen in them before. The thought was, I have no belief in love. All this singing and talking of the power of love is nonsensical romance! Her mother's teaching had contributed not a little to produce this conviction; she had early uprooted the influences of love, perpetually representing to her daughter that the main thing was, to make a brilliant match; and Bella, in fact, had never loved any one, for she insisted upon the submission of him towards whom she felt any preference. From one of her mother's cousins she heard suggestions of an opposite nature; she frequently said, half satirically and half seriously, that the only right love was that dirested towards a man of a lower condition. If you should love the artist in whose studio you work, or your teacher of music or of language, that would be genuine love. But it seemed to Bella as if any special attachment to a teacher was like entertaining a love for a livery-servant, or even for a being of a different species, and choosing him for a husband.
On that seventeenth birthday, there was perceptible, for the first time, that cold, glassy, Medusa-look, which regarded men with indifference, as if they were nothing but shadows; but no one remarked it, and it seemed as if on that day something was paralyzed within her which would never again feel the stirrings of life.
Before she was twenty, after the year of mourning for her father had elapsed, with feelings already cold and benumbed, Bella withdrew from society, entering it only occasionally, as if she were performing a burdensome duty. She studied, she painted, she practised music, she occupied herself with artists, scholars, and statesmen; and she wore a constant rigidity of countenance and look, except when she was flinging around her criticisms, which always produced a greater impression from the fact that her deep, masculine voice was in striking contrast with her feminine appearance.
It created considerable excitement, when it was understood that Bella had removed
the opposition of her parents to her younger sister's marrying before her. Bella stood before the altar by the side of her sister, and through her sister's bridal veil she saw the dark brown eye of the Adjutant General, who had been recently made a widower, fixed upon herself. She moved her lips slightly, saying to herself with self-rejoicing pride, You will woo me in vain. She took delight in wounding, disturbing, breaking hearts, by turns enticing and then repelling them. She had said to her father, I should be glad to marry, if one can like to do what one cannot bring his mind to do; but to stand up before the altar and say yes, for life and for death!-I frightened when I heard my sister say that, and I thought that I must cry out, "No! No! No!" And I do not answer for myself, that I should not involuntarily say no.
She proffered herself as companion of an invalid princess, who was ordered to reside for a year at Madeira; on returning, after the death of the princess at the island, Bella smiled when she was told of the Adjutant General's marriage. She could not complain that suitors gradually grew fewer in number, but still she was vexed at it.
She took now a journey with two English ladies to Italy and Greece, with Lootz for her courier. She spent a whole winter at Constantinople, and the malicious tongues at the Capital said, that she was after a man of exalted position, and that everything else was a matter of indifference to her; that she would marry a gray-bearded Pacha. On her return Bella generally appeared dressed in satin.
Then came Clodwig's suit; and, to the great surprise of the whole Capital, the betrothal and the wedding took place within four weeks of each other. Bella retired with her husband to Wolfsgarten, not essentially changed by marriage, and without gaining that full development of the nature it gives to woman. What was there still to be developed? She was accomplished, and she was specially happy, so far as happiness was possible to her, in perceiving-what she had not looked for, although she hoped to find it - Clodwig's nobility of soul.
For the first time, she felt humble and modest; her life was peaceful and retired, and the days flowed on in uniform round. Clodwig was as attentive, as sympathizing, and as full of devotion as at first; a composure and a steadfastness, such as is assigned only to the gods, was the prevailing characteristic of his spirit. He was personally considerate and tender, to an extreme degree; and he exhibited his vehement nature, which found vent in the strongest ex
while upon her closely pressed lips lay the question, Art thou then so old? She opened her lips, like one ill with fever, like one parched with thirst, panting to drink. Her eyes beamed with a joyous brightness, as she said to herself: Thou art beautiful. Thou art able to judge of thyself as impartially as thou wouldest a stranger. But what means this silly infatuation?
Clodwig often reproached himself for the firm confidence that he had entertained dur- She took the long tresses of her hair in ing his whole life, that the Idea would, of both hands, and held them crossed under itself, become realized; and he now saw, her chin; she was terrified as she now perwhen it was too late, that one must plunge ceived, for the first time, how strong a likeheadlong into the current of coöperating in-ness she bore to the bust of Medusa in the fluences. As soon as he went again among men, and especially when he entered the court-circle, he was always gentle and indulgent. He was full of admiration of his wife's talents, and if at any time he moder-ple him under my feet!
"Yes, I will be Medusa! He shall be shattered, turned into stone, annihilated! He shall kneel to me, and then I will tram
She raised her foot, but immediately covered her face with both hands, while tears flowed from her eyes.
ately criticized and set forth her superficial. and external mode of looking at things, she was for an instant inwardly disturbed; but when she looked upon the noble, refined form of the old man, all frowardness vanished. She was happy to see herself, and to make the world see, how she could cherish a great and good man. She knew that she would be watched; and the world should never have occasion to remark invidiously upon her conduct.
pressions, only when dwelling upon matters of universal interest. Bella recognized in this only a justifiable excitement, for Clodwig's active life had been passed in a petty, crippled period, and wasted in the trifling affairs of a liliputian Principality, while he himself was fitted for grander and more universal affairs.
All at once there had now entered this peaceful circle a man who disposed of her, her husband, and the whole house, without effort and with irresistible power; and she had been opposed to him at first, had expressed that opposition to Clodwig, and had zealously labored against his becoming established in the neighborhood. But as Clodwig had brought into prominent notice, with an enthusiastic kindness of heart, the sterling traits of this man's character, had even drawn him towards herself against her will, she resigned herself to the pleasure of this enlivening intercourse.
Thus stood Bella before the portrait to which she still delayed to put the finishing touch, inwardly chafing, and thoroughly vexed with herself. She, the mature in experience, to be the subject of such a girlish infatuation! girlish infatuation," she called it, and yet she could not free herself from it. Was it because her self-love was wounded; was it because, for the first time, she had stretched out her hand and it was not taken?
Her large eyes sparkled, and whoever had beheld her now would have seen the Medusa-look.
She left the studio with all speed, and went to her dressing-room. She stood there before the large mirror, and let down her luxuriant hair, staring into the mirror, VOL. XIII. 534
"Forgive, forgive my pride, my madness!" was the cry uttered within her. Fierce irritation and passionate emotion, pride and humility, contended together within her breast, and it seemed as if the chill of that morning serenade had been all at once removed, and the heart had unfolded itself, as some long-closed calyx unfolds its petals. A longing sprang up within her— a longing for home, as in some wayward child who has run away from its parents into the woods -a longing for some place of shelter and rest, -a home: where is it? where?
She yearned for a soul to which she could lay open all her own soul.
Forgive me! forgive!" was echoed and re-echoed within her. At first it was directed to Clodwig, and now to Eric. Forgive forgive my pride! But thou canst not know how proud I have been: and I sacrificed to thee more than a thousand others, more than the whole world, can even conceive and comprehend."
She shuddered at being alone, rang for her dressing-maid, and made an elaborate toilet.
"Tell me how old I am. Do you not know?" she suddenly asked.
The dressing-maid was startled at the question, and not returning an immediate answer, Bella continued:
"I have never been young."
"O my gracious lady, you are still young, and you never looked better than you do
"Do you think so?" said Bella, throwing back her head, for a voice within her said: Why shouldest thou not be also young for once? Thou art! Thou art what thou