Page images
PDF
EPUB

that any nation might be glad to call them its sons. ing to custom, to act as his journeyman; and the PROF. WILSON BEFORE HIS CLASS. The entire Danish nation may be termed an edu- | genteel carriage of the little Conova soon procured cated one, for the law compels parents to send their children to school at the proper age, and if the parents are too poor to pay for their education, the

state itself does that.

him the affection of the chief cook and all the scullions of the house, so that, the day's work being ended, Canova did not stir from the pantry, where he executed in crumbs of bread or in plaster, grotesque Living, on the whole, is cheap in Copenhagen- figures and caricatures, which delighted the valets, house-rent being one of the heaviest items. It is and, in return, they fed him in the style of my lord. customary to live in flats, or on separate stories of One day there was an entertainment at the counlarge houses, in the same fashion as at Paris and try house. Conova was in the kitchen, playing with Edinburgh. At Copenhagen, you usually enter from the scullions, when they suddenly heard a cry of desthe street through a large gateway, and find your-pair from the pantry, and saw the head cook coming self in a common yard, with two or more large out in alarm, throwing up his cap, striking his breast houses, each having a common staircase, and a self- and tearing his hair. After the first moments of ascontained and separate family-dwelling of several tonishment, they crowded around him in a huddle. rooms on each landing. We have resided in this "I am lost," he cried, "I am lost, I am lost! My manner at all the cities above named, and like the magnificent master-piece!-my palace which I had system very much. The Danish people are exceed- built for the dinner! See in what a condition ingly kind and hospitable to any foreigner who so it is!" journs among them, and we shall ever gratefully remember the very numerous unsought kindnesses bestowed on our unworthy self. This is a marked and amiable trait in their character, and is almost as universal as their love of their little country, and their readiness to sacrifice, without a murmur, all "What is to be done?" demanded the cook; they possess in its service, even to life itself, as they" here is the dinner-hour. I have not time to make another. I am lost! My lord expects to have for the desert something remarkable! He will turn me away."

And with a pathetic gesture, he showed an edifice of pastry, which he had just drawn from the oven. Alas! it was burnt, covered with ashes, and half demolished. There was a general cry of surprise mingled with that of grief.

have often done.

During these lamentations, Conova walked round the diminished palace, and considered it with attention.

THE FIRST STATUE OF CANOVA.

THERE are, doubtless, few of our readers who

have not heard mentioned with honor the name of the great Canova, that skilful sculptor of modern times, whose admirable statues have almost taken rank among the master-pieces which Grecian antiquity has transmitted to us. Canova, like many other great men, owed his rise solely to himself. Diligent labor was the only source of his fortune, and the first attempts of his infancy presaged the success of his mature age. Canova was an Italian, the son of a mason. All the education which he received from his father consisted in learning the business of his trade. As soon as his strength permitted, he learned to handle the trowel and hammer, to mix the plaster and to place the gravel-occupations which he discharged with sufficient zeal and activity to be soon able to serve as the journeyman, or rather the companion, of his father, notwithstanding his youth. But in the frequent intervals of repose which his weakness rendered indispensable, he amused himself by observing the different objects which he saw about him, with sketching them roughly with brick, or even with modelling their forms in the plaster cement which he Lad just mized. These constant exercises, practised with as much perseverance as intelligence, soon rendered him familiar with the practice of drawing, and of sculpture in relief. But his youthful talent was unknown to all, even to his father, who only con- They had no cause to repent of this decision. We cerned himself with his greater or less skill in pass-have seen that Canova knew how to profit by the ing the plaster to the sieve, and in pouring enough lessons of his masters, whom he soon excelled. water into the trough. Nevertheless, in the midst of his celebrity, he was A whimsical event suddenly occurred to reveal it pleased in remembering the adventure of the lion of to all the world. butter, and said he was very sorry that it had melted. 'I hope," he added, "that my later statues will be more solid, otherwise my reputation runs a great risk."

66

His father had been summoned to make some repairs in the country house of a rich lord of the neighbourhood. He had taken his son with him, accord

66

Is this for eating ?" he inquired.
"Oh no! my little one," answered the cook, "it is
only to look at."

66

Ah, well, all is safe. I promise you something better in an hour from now. Hand me that lump of

butter."

The cook, astonished, but already half-persuaded by his boldness, gave him all he wanted; and of this lump of butter Canova made a superb lion, which he sprinkled with meal, mounted on a pedestal of rich architecture, and before the appointed hour exhibited his finished work to the wondering spectators The cook embraced him with tears in his eyes, called him his preserver, and hastened to place upon the table the extemporaneous masterpiece of the young mason. There was a cry of admiration from the guests. Never had they seen, said they, so remarkable a piece of sculpture. They demanded the author of it. Doubtless, one of my people," answered my lord, with a satisfied air; and he asked the cook.

66

He blushed, stammered, and ended by confessing what had happened. All the company wished to see the young journeyman, and overwhelmed Canova with praises. It was decided at once that the master of the household should take charge of him, and have him go through studies suitable to his preco

cious talent.

BY ANGUS B. REACH, FORMERLY HIS PUPIL.

NOW turn to him as he appeared in the classroom-into which he strode with such speed as to make the ragged tails of his academic gown fly behind him like so many streamers and carrying a bundle of tattered papers, backs of letters, and all sorts of miscellaneous papers which af forded an inch of writing room for a memorandum.

The main mass of papers, however, were so venerably dingy, and so jagged about the edges, that they betokened long and hard service, many of them, probably, dating from the era at which the professor had drawn up the notes for the lectures of his first session.

This bunch of papers-after bowing to his class, a courtesy always returned-the professor placed upon his desk, and spread them out before him, as if searching for an idea amid the scores of scraps and memorandums-and occasionally referring to the documents of yore. During this scrutiny, his class who adored him, would maintain the most respectful silence, not a cough or the scrape of a shoe breaking the stillness.

If baffled for a few minutes, he would get fidgetty, and his fingers wander fitfully amongst the papers— then suddenly appearing to remember something, he would dive both his hands into his trousers' pockets, as if searching for something, almost always muttering, but in accents perfectly audible to the furthest end of the room

[merged small][ocr errors]

A sudden flash of the bright blue eye, a sudden upstanding of the stately figure, and a putting aside of the puzzling papers, assured the class that he had caught the clue that an idea had fired that great brain, and out came a spontaneous rush of notebooks, and in a second of time at least two hundred pencils had been sharpened. After such an indication, a burst of poetic eloquence was always expected, and the students were seldom disappointed. The Professor would draw himself up, pass his hand a moment over his forehead, and then fold his arms—a moment of silence, and then that voice, sonorous and modulated so as to suit every changing sentiment, would begin in soft, sweet tones to eliminate the subject, and then, as he warmed up, his language would become fluent, decked with fanciful illustrations and apt quotations, the eloquence growing with every sentence into a still more exalted tone; the flashes of his genius taking with every passage a still brighter hue, until, having at length reached the climax of his subject, his voice, ringing as it was, would be lost in the cheering and acclamations of the students, whose note-books had long since fallen under their desks; while overcome, and no wonder, with his great intellectual exertion, the Professor would sink back in his chair, and wipe the perspiration from his brow.

Contributed to the Illustrated New York Journal.

very rarely overlooks a misfortune, for which nature committing an impertinence. He was not in the alone is answerable. But stay, I am wrong to say least bashful or timid. Simply, his own noble self

BLANCHE HENDRICKSON. that the fair sex do not overlook dwarfishness in a respect taught him to respect others in propor

BY WILLIAM NORTH

"There were giants in those days." THE HE grand misfortune of John Lyman, was, that he was too small.

Not that a casual observer would have found any fault with his stature, which was little short of six

are

feet; but that circumstances, of which men slaves, had rendered the ordinary height of mortals a comparative misfortune to our friend.

Another foot, nay even an additional span and his happiness might have been perfect. As it was, a stern and pitiless Destiny made John Lyman but an overgrown dwarf, a miserable extra-sixed honumculus, a huge and most deplorable manikin.

man; the fact is, the cruel charmers are but too apt tion.
(when tall enough themselves) to overlook it alto-
He pondered long on a suitable way of commenc-
gether, not only in the abstract, but in the concrete. ing the campaign, and for a long time his invention
Like the rest of us great and small, poor John suggested nothing that his judgment approved. At
Lyman, Colonel of volunteer horse, and gratuitous length he adopted his first and least original idea,
contributor to the poetical columns of the "Bocker- as being, after all, the easiest, and most appro-
mag Knickerzine," owner of half a block in Broad-priate.
way, patron of the arts, and friend of the needy, had "I am afraid, madam," said John, politely, "that
so great a heart and so high an opinion of himself crowd you."
(as he well might for nearly all the women he met

I

fell in love with him) that he lived to the age of
seven and twenty years in happy ignorance of his
corporeal littleness.

"O no, sir," replied the young lady; and she
busied herself in removing from her side a port-
folio, and placing it at her feet. In so doing, she
threw back her veil, and when she again turned her
One day, he started from Philadelphia for New face to Lyman, he beheld its beauty unclouded by a
York in the cars.
medium of woven shadows.

And yet King Richard Cœur de Lion, that valiant crusader, Lord Byron the poet, Don Juan, who swam the Hellespont, Napoleon Bonaparte, the conqueror of Europe, and many other great ones I could mention, were all shorter men than John Lyman, whose brevity was his curse.

[ocr errors]

There was but one seat vacant, and that was by the side of a lady. John Lyman took possession of it. As he did so, the lady who had been looking out of the window, turned her face towards him, and revcaled, through the mist-like medium of a black lace veil, a complexion of dazzling fairness, and two eyes of a depth, softness and brilliancy which no veil could utterly subdue.

In appearance, he was worthy to stand as a model for a statue of a Greek God. To use a pet phrase of the French novelists, his form had all the strength without any of the ruggedness of the Farnese Hercules, his head was splendidly beautiful. It was that of a poet and a hero. Dark waves of hair parted on a forehead like a tower of ivory, beneath which flashed eyes blue as the deep central ocean, full of life, hope, fiery enthusiasm and immense The Colonel took his seat with a thrill of forebodimmeasurable love. Every movement he made ex-ing anticipation. He had become deeply interested pressed power and energy; every word he uttered in his companion at first glance, the more so, that was instinct with a passionate will. I never saw her veiled features added the zest of curiosity to him really angry but once. It was at a bar-room in the charm of the first impression. a western city. A big bullying fellow annoyed him. Her age appeared to be under twenty. Her For a long time John disdained to overhear the im-figure was superbly developed, as the light folds of pertenance. At length, the man laid his hand on my a soft lilac shawl abundantly testified. She wore a friend's arm. John turned round without speaking, simple straw bonnet, from beneath which escaped seized the fellow with the grasp of an engine, and some curls of shining yellow hair. As she looked literally hurled him against the opposite wall of the perseveringly out of the window, Lyman, for the room. This so disconcerted the rowdy; that mutter- first half-hour of their journey, was thrown back ing vague menaces, he shrunk quietly away; and entirely on the resources of his own imaginations so, happily, the adventure ended.

and reflections.

But John Lyman, athlete as he was, magnificent as he looked in his Colonel's uniform, when, as a young man, he rode at the head of an embryo regiment of cavalry against the Mexicans, in the late war; John Lyman, the brave, the handsome, the soldier-parentage?"

like, was after all too small a man for his destiny, too short a person for the long sufferings in store for him.

"Or a third-rate actress ?"

"Or a second-rate dancer?""

"Or, possibly, a school-teacher ""
"Or, say a music-mistress ?"
And, again,-

“Was she engaged to any one?"
"Was she in love?"

He put many questions to himself.

"Was she married?"

"Was she a sewing-girl?"

"Or a young lady of comparatively wealthy sation.

The aspect of that sunny brow, and those soft gray eyes, filled the young colonel with infinite pleasure. He saw, moreover, that he had overrated the years of his travelling companion. She seemed scarcely seventeen. Nothing could rival the exquisite purity of her skin, the rosy freshness of her lips.

"Sweet rosebud of beauty!" thought John Lyman involuntarily, giving way to the "vein poetic."

How men overrate themselves in every respect, even in the mere quality of longitude. Daily we To all these questions, which, under such circumsee thoughtless and inconsiderate individuals rang-stances, are very natural to young men of ardent ing some inches on either side of the six feet pro- temperaments and active fancies, there was, of verbially assigned to that portion of earth which course, no answer. All was conjecture; and with sooner or later we all occupy in fee simple, who conjectures the Colonel continued to amuse his strut about in utter unconsciousness of the littleness mind, till he finally subsided into one very decided which may prove their ruin. Each of these indi- longing to get a glimpse of the features of his mysviduals holds up his head proudly, and looks down terious beauty, without the obstruction of a veil. with secret pride and pity on some yet smaller specimen of the genus homo, who has the irreparable misfortune to fall short by a few inches of the average standard of man, or what is still more exasperating, of woman—of woman who forgives every fault, but

But it would not do to let the conversation drop. Slight as was the commencement, it was still a breaking of the ice; and John was too cunning to let a renewal of the frost give him all his trouble over again. So he made a bold dash into a subject which, if successful, was sure to prove fertile.

To effect this object, he resolved to commence a conversation. The difficulty was how to begin it.

John Lyman was a gentleman; and of the most refined delicacy in his ideas of what was due to the dignity of the fair sex. He abhorred the notion of

"You are fond of music, to judge by the size of that portfolio ?" said the Colonel.

"It does not contain music, but drawings," replied the young lady, blushing.

66

'Ah! you draw!-so do I. It is the most delightful of amusements."

"With me it is more than an amusement; it is an occupation."

"You are an artist then?" said Lyman, becoming every moment more deeply interested in the conver

"I hope to become one."

"Would you allow me to see some of your sketches?"

“Was she capable of loving ?" The drawings were very slight-the first develop"Was he the sort of man she would be likely to ments of art. Yet to him they appeared to indicate fall in love with?"

a wonderful talent; and he expressed his admiration in terms, which made their owner blush with delight.

On reaching New York, the fair artist gave the young Colonel her address. But he scarcely heard it, so much was he amazed at a discovery which he then made.

The young lady placed her portfolio on Lyman's knees, and assisted him to turn over the drawings. As she did so, one of her curls slightly fluttered against his cheek. Lyman trembled, with a mysterious agitation.

On his companion rising to leave the car, he perceived that she was taller by a head than the tallest of her fellow-travellers! and that he himself was barely on a level with her shoulder!

We leave to the imagination of our readers the effect of this astounding discovery upon the mind of the fascinated young man.

In a state of utter amazement, he followed her with suddenly bursting into tears, made her way distract-Why have the Fates cursed me by a sight of an his eyes, till her figure disappeared, not in the crowd edly from the room. ideal, which, by mere exaggeration, becomes an-for that was impossible-but at the angle of a wall. The Colonel heedless of the stares of astonish- impossibility. Oh, yes! it is impossible. It is so Then and not till then he pursued the retreating shape.ment lavished on him by the bystanders, followed ridiculous to have a giantess for a wife-to feel one's In vain; she was nowhere to be seen; and as for the her rapidly into a small private room, simply fur-self in domestic life a dwarf-to look up to the address, he had forgotten it, or rather never remem-nished with a carpet, two or three chairs, and a sofa, woman one loves. It can never, never be !—and yet bered it. So the adventure was at an end, and the very suggestive of an old theatrical property. she is very beautiful!" Colonel betook himself to a subterranean establish- The tall young lady had thrown herself upon the ment, where, in a private box of six feet square, pro-sofa; and burying her face in her hands, wept contected from the gaze of outsiders by a holland blind, vulsively. he devoted himself to broiled oysters and sentimental reflection.

66

Now, tell me your history," said Lyman, as he tremblingly relinquished the soft hand he had hitherto held, and tried to steel his heart against temptation,

Neither let the colder or less impulsive reader condemn as unnatural the swift progress of such ideas and sentiments as I describe. Not only in the present instance, but in numerous others, I have known the movement of the passions to be equally electric and sudden. The meagreness of verbal description makes that appear abrupt which is in reality the infinite velocity of intensified thought. There is perhaps no love in its highest phase that is not "love at first sight," and for this simple reason—

"Do not mind me-let me give way-you are a friend of former days; at least, you knew me under other auspices-I am very, very unhappy! I am alone, desolate, without a friend to counsel, or a heart to confide in-" Indeed, her words soon expressed what her abrupt gesture had revealed. “And how,” said John, still retaining her beauti-Love is the perception of a certain mysterious harful white hand in his own, which was fully its equal in size, "how is it that I -?" "Find me thus degraded -?" "Oh, no!" exclaimed the colonel, "not "Let me speak out! There is no expression of my sense of the miserable position I occupy, that can make its conviction more painful than it is. I say degraded, I mean it, I feel it. I know I am a monster

mony between two natures which we call sympathy, and to insist that time is requisite to develop this accord, is as wise as to demand the same conditions for two harmonizing notes in music. But perhaps I am arguing with a shadow. Those who have indeed loved need not my demonstration, and those who have not, can by no possibility comprehend their force. As the German song says—

""

"A monster! exclaimed the Colonel," when you are the most beautiful woman probably on this continent."

Nearly a year elapsed, and John Lyman had almost forgotten his sudden fancy for the pretty girl in the car, when one day he chanced to pass that very remarkable institution, the New York Pantheon.

There was a greater crowd before the door than usual, and the musicians in the balcony were playing Yankee Doodle" with an extra degree of vigor. A new cartoon had been added to the external and gratuitous part of the show, representing a lady about as tall as a full-grown giraffe, in very flat color. Your sign-painter carefully avoids any attempt to imitate the roundness of nature; and for an obvious reason. Were his work to betray the least trace of accuracy, half the world would be satisfied with the portrait, without ever allowing their curiosity to lead them into the extravagance of paying to see the original

As for John Lyman, he scarcely gave the huge chef d'œuvre of Daubini a glance. His attention was however arrested by a new poster, printed in peagreen and vermilion, to this purport

[ocr errors]

-

THE TALLEST WOMAN IN CREATION!

A

BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIANTESS'.
NINE FEET HIGH!!!

AND ONLY FIFTEEN YEARS OF AGE!!!!

WEIGHS

TWO THOUSAND POUNDS!!!!!

EATS
TWELVE POUNDS OF MEAT DAILY!!!!!

MEASURES
FOUR FEET ACROSS THE SHOULDERS, ETC., ETC.

He paid his money, was checked and counterchecked, and at length found himself in the presence of not "the tallest woman in creation, nine feet high," &c.-but-to his horror-of the lovely young artist of the railway car!

"Forgive me, my dear madam," John began.
But the sobbing girl stopped him by seizing one
of his hands in her own, and pressing it in a manner
which, to John Lyman, said as plainly as words
could say.

[ocr errors]

"I do not know."

"I will tell you. I have had reason to inform self on the subject. From two to five inches above Whilst the Colonel was reading this placard in an five feet. Now, I am exactly one foot taller than the abstracted manner, one of the decoy-sight-seers con-highest average of men. As to my own sex, they nected with the establishment, had contrived to push are to me as pigmies I am a monster!-worse still, our friend towards the door of the New York Pan- necessity has made me an exhibited monster. You theon, and, on the spur of the moment, John resolved wonder I could resolve on such a course? Hear, to see the elephant." then, my history."

The young giantess looked for an instant earnestly at the face of the speaker, turned pale, then red, and

"Now tell me your story," said Lyman.

66

'Oh, what is beauty-even granting it for argu-
ment's sake-what is beauty, when one is
"A little taller than one's fellows."

19

"My name," said the tall girl, "is Blanche Hendrickson. I shall be nineteen years of age to-morrow. My parents, who were both very tall,

"A little taller! Do you know what is the great-lived quietly on their farm, till a few years ago, est average height of man?"

66

Perhaps five feet and some seven to ten inches, according to climate and race," replicd the soldier promptly.

"And of women?"

It is an ancient story,
And yet for ever new."

when my father had a paralytic stroke, and removed to Philadelphia. There, his ill health consumed all our substance, and my mother died, soon after our arrival, of the cholera. My father himself died a few weeks before I met you in the car. The reason I had adopted painting as a profession, was that it my-enabled me to work at home and alone, for of all things I dreaded the staring admiration of strangers. When I came to New York, I found it impossible to get on, from my inability to go about in search of employment, without constantly being followed and annoyed. I fell almost into distress, and knew not how to meet a long accumulating board-bill, when the owner of this place sought me out, and made me propositions. I had no choice-even the resource of domestic service was closed against meand I am here.

"My dear young friend, before you proceed," said Lyman, with deep emotion, "let me assure you that you have a friend who will serve you to his utmost; that you may dismiss from your mind all care for the future of a pecuniary nature; and that you will have the opportunity afforded you of cultivating your taste for art, and thereby realising indepondence."

Her beautiful head, with its regular features, large mild grey eyes, pure color, and shining ringlets, was entirely visible above the heads of a group of men, who at the moment surrounded her, although several

"My dear Miss Hendrickson!" said the Colonel, who was a man of singular rapidity in his impulsive decisions, "your case is so peculiar, that I shall insist on your adopting me as a brother, and allowing The tall young lady, at this expression of simple me, in the first place, to secure you an annuity and manly generosity, again burst into tears and sufficient for your wants, which to a rich man like of these curious persons had the advantage of the sobbed upon the shoulder of the Colonel, whose heart myself, is a trifle. In the next place-excuse my Colonel in point of stature. throbbed tumultuously; whilst, not to disguise any-freedom, I must as your brother"-the Colonel's Lyman waited till only one or two visitors were near her. He then approached, and said quietly—thing from the indulgent reader, he too shed tears of voice faultered" make it my business to introduce sympathy for his unfortunate protegée. to you some gentlemen of my acquaintance, in the hope that you may find amongst them a suitable husband.

.

"Madam, I hope you are well. Do you remember me?"

Blanche Hendrickson fixed her eyes upon the

But the Colonel also wept selfishly or wrathfully, and the burden of his thoughts ran thus-"Why am I not seven feet high, or she of ordinary stature?

Colonel's face with a vague anguish. But she, too, had her reflections. Never till that moment had she so deeply felt the curse of her greatness.

A suitable husband—that is a giant, a monster like herself And this man before her, whose first glance in the railway car had made him the idol of her dreams, who in her eyes was already a DemiGod. She must not even dare to dream of pleasing him-she who could have knelt down and kissed his fect; she who had a heart so full of love, and for the first time felt it beat in sympathy with another's!

The position was sublimely embarrassing. Between two noble natures a difference of twelve inches became an abyss without bottom, from which arose the incense of a passion without remedy, and without hope.

The next day Blanche was comfortably installed in handsome apartments, where every attention was paid to her, and the possibility of annoyance from impertinent curiosity carefully guarded against. Every day the Colonel came to the door in his carriage, and drove out with her into the country, where they walked and talked comparatively unobserved, whilst, to save her the unpleasantness of entering stores, he himself bought all, and more than she could possibly require for the purposes of her toilette and

her art.

Now, if John Lyman had one vice or rather virtue in excess, it was pride, and “by pride the angels

fell."

He loved Blanche for her sweet, gentle, noble disposition; he burned with admiration for her lovely face, her polished shoulders so dazzlingly white, her feet and hands so small, in proportion, and her :movements so dignified and graceful-so like a born empress of mortality! But his infernal pride conquered even passion One step further, and he knew that all escape would be impossible. He knew that she loved him. He read the dreamy voluptuous sadness of her eyes, over which the white eyelids drooped so languidly, with unerring penetration. He knew that he had but to breathe the word "love," and that all the dreamy eyes, the polished shoulders, the queenlike shape, aye and the queenlike soul, would be his-his to possess without reserve, as freely, as generously given, as he had freely and generously given his brotherly assistance to poor Blanche herself.

But he recoiled from the thought of seduction from nobility of principle; and, alas! recoiled yet more strongly from the idea of a love involving so humiliating a contrast as his fancy suggested, in flights, which it is neither neccssary nor desirable to follow. As for marriage, he dared not face the ridicule inseparable from the idea-and yet he loved, loved deeply, passionately, irresistibly. But John was mad, and pride was his keeper.

Often, whilst seated by the side of Blanche, when her excessive tallness became less conspicuous, he forgot for an instant the chasm that divided them; and was on the verge of wildly clasping her fresh young beauty to his broad honest breast, and lavishing untold kisses upon lips which seemed expressly created for kissing!-suddenly, the recollection of her stature would rush back upon his heart like a stream of ice-water, and the revulsion of feeling produced a languid sense of despairing grief, which is scarcely conceivable to those who have not them

At length he felt that he must yield or die. Each
day he grew paler and more haggard in appearance,
whilst his strong frame grew gaunt, and his fingers
looked long and thin as an old man's.

selves in someway occupied a position parallel to a "bruiser," one of the "fancy," a prize-fighter, in
Lyman's.
short, and imagined that he was on the look-out for
big men, to prove the strength of that athletic
frame of his! It was a weary task that, giant-
hunting.

man

Nevertheless, an occasional seven-foot Blanche, whose youth and innocence sustained turned up; and John never failed to make his acher, though herself consumed with love for her quaintance, and drink with him at bars, and otherhandsome benefactor, did not understand the condi- wise conciliate his friendship. But they were, for tion of her friend s mind. She dimly comprehended the most part, huge, ignorant, good-natured clowns, that she could never be happy-that is, his wife; no more fitted to charm the delicate and intelligent but she imagined that her misfortune rather in- Blanche Hendrickson, than a statue of the Indian fluenced the young colonel's taste and feelings, than god, Bramah, with three heads, or a Greek centaur. his conventional instincts. She did not know that At length, on the banks of the Mississippi, Lyman her love was returned, much less that it was recog-fell in with a young man, scarcely two-and-twenty nized by Lyman. She imagined that her secret was years of age, who seemed to be the very object of her own, and she wept, when alone in bed, many a his search. He had more than the required seven long hour, over the almost utter hopelessness of her feet; his figure was well-proportioned, if somewhat position. slender; dark curling hair, a face glowing with In such large physical natures, the passions often health, black fiery eyes, and an innocent naïvetè in take an unusual developement. Blanche suffered his gestures and language, at once captivated the terribly. A slow fever consumed her life. She colonel's favor. He had been tolerably well edupoured out her soul in verse; and it was the acci-cated at St. Louis, and had been engaged in various dental discovery of one of these effusions that com- enterprises. But his tastes were literary, and when pletely opened the eyes of Lyman to the spiri- he found in Lyman a man of superior attainments tual relations established between himself and his and communicative mind, he at once formed an enprotegée. thusiastic friendship for the accomplished stranger. Many days did not elapse before the young giant had confessed to Lyman that to visit New York was the great object of his ambition, but that the means were wanting. The Colonel instantly offered to supply them; nor was it many weeks before Walter Long, whose name curiously harmonized with his height, found himself established in the Empire City, introduced to the editors of the best papers and magazines, and making his way as rapidly as could be expected along that stony causeway, which some call "literature," some the "press," and a few of us, who have the insanity to set up as poets and martyrs, by a name which can be more gracefully expressed in Italian than English-the Inferno.

One day, the Colonel determinately put the question to himself: "Shall I, or shall I not, marry Blanche

Hendrickson?"

After a brief but terrible struggle, pride and
vanity—or, if you like it better, wisdom and pru-
dence-gained the victory over passion. But far
nobler and more generous was the motive which
dictated the next resolution of John Lyman.

Unable to wed Blanche himself, he determined to
sacrifice his own feelings utterly, and to find her, if
possible, a husband whose own loftiness of stature
might raise him above ridicule, and present a con-
sistent appearance to the world.
No sooner
was the idea conceived, than the
Colonel, with the enthusiasm of a martyr, hastened
to put it into execution. He pleaded inevitable
business, took an affectionately fraternal farewell of
the heart broken Blanche, and at once commenced
his voyage of discovery.

"Are there any tall men in your town?" he en-
quired of the landlord, barkeeper, or waiters, at every
town he arrived at.

"Guess there are!"
"A few, I reckon."
"One or two, sir."

"Piles of 'em!"

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

Nevertheless, Walter suffered less than many from literary trials and disappointments. His modesty and candor predisposed in his favor many a hardened old editor, while his gigantic figure saved him at least from being passed over without attention, or forgotten when once known. Also the Colonel had introduced him to Blanche Hendrickson, and Walter was in the vortex of all the doubts, fears. and glowing illusions of a first and serious passion. Blanche could not fail to appreciate his good quali ties, and admire his talent. Neither could she fail to feel a certain degree of sympathy with a young man afflicted, like herself, with a peculiarity so troublesome and so incurable.

"It is all right," said the wise Colonel. " Of course, they will love one another; they are young, handsome, well-matched—I have done my duty as a And John Lyman, after amply providing for man." the wants of his protéges, started for Europe by the

"Have you nothing bigger to show than that!" Liverpool steamer. said John Lyman contemptuously.

"Well, surely," said more than one of the men thus questioned, "you are the sort of a man to lick a tolerably big 'un. Hows'ever, there's Joe Baggs ain't no chicken either." &c.

Poor John! they took him for a "fighting man,"

He travelled through France and Italy, and visited Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. From time to time he received letters from Blanche and Walter. An unsatisfactory gloom seemed to pervade the writings of both. Blanche spoke more of his progress in literature than of Walter himself. Walter spoke

much of Blanche, but without arriving at any confession such as the Colonel expected. After eighteen monthis absence, his affairs compelled Lyman to

return to America.

On arriving in New York, the Colonel's first visit

was to Walter.

The young giant was seated at a table covered by a confused pile of papers. His eyes were sunken, his features were pale and thin, and his expression one of sombre desperation.

BELLS.

TH

HE history of bells, in some form or other, goes
back to a very remote antiquity, and com-
menced, doubtless, when the sonorous quality of

metals was first known; and when in addition, it
was found out that a hollow shape was more capa-

a

ble of vibration, and consequently of giving forth sound than any other. Bells were known to the Jews, for a tinkling instrument is spoken of in the days of Moses, and small bells were afterwards attached to the priestly robes. The Greek, Roman, and other nations, used them in religious ceremonies, as they did for facilitating the duties of the household, and for the general purposes of life. Strabo, the historian, states, that the responses of the oracle in the vocal woods of Dodona were partly nel. "Where is it? Why does she give you let- gratitude of the Romans, upon a certain occasion, to conveyed by bells, and a monument erected by the Porsenna, was decorated with pinnacles, surmounted by bells; and towards the end of the fourth cen“To Colonel John Lyman-to be opened after my tury, Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, introduced them the death!' When did she give you this?" first into the Christian Church, for the calling together of people of worship, and from thence they

"From Blanche."

"A letter from Blanche !" exclaimed the Colo

ters for me?"

Here it is."

This was the origin, no doubt, of that peculiar has characterised it as being the country for scientaste and fashion for bell-ringing in England which the resources of the art had been undreamt of, a tific and musical ringing beyond all others. Hitherto sounds being all that was attempted. In an old mere mechanical order and a regular succession of work on the "Art of Bell-ringing" (dated 1688), we have laid down, according to the true principles of harmony, every possible change of diatonic sound gradually spread their uses abroad in all the churches from two bells up to twelve, many passages of which of the Western Empire, and were finally adopted by the Greek Church, though the people of the East are only to be found in the compositions of so:ne have a dislike to bells; and when the mosque sup- are totally new, perhaps irreconcilable; but Beeeccentric, but very great musicians. As a rule, they “I love you; I die! Nature afflicted me with planted the Christian Church in Constantinople, thoven and Spohr have taught us, that the impossibells were disused, the sound being, to this day, able in music must no longer exist. Thus, in the arrangement of natural sounds without the intervention of any semi-tone, flat or sharp, on twelve bells, can be produced the immense number of fortyseven thousand nine hundred millions sixteen thousand changes!

her curse! Think with kindness of, Yours, eternally,

"6

BLANCHE."

horror and an abomination to a true Moslem. Con

He welcomed the Colonel cordially, but with the

feeblest of smiles.

"I am glad you have returned," he said gloomily. "Why so, Walter ?"

"I have a letter for you."

66 From whom?"

[ocr errors]

"Yesterday."

"She was then alive?"

"Yes, but confined to her bed."

The Colonel tore open the letter unscrupulously, and read almost at a glance the brief contents

Poor Blanche!

The Colonel flew rather than ran towards the house in which Blanche Hendrickson lived. He ascended the stairs, three at a stride, and in another instant was at the bed-side of his beloved. When

she saw him Blanche half rose, and involuntarily stretched out her arms. John Lyman folded her to his heart. They told all their love; with a thousand kisses they repaid themselves for their long sufferings. But it was too late. That night Blanche burst a blood vessel in the lungs, and died in the

arms of her lover.

Towards evening of the next day, a sombre figure ascended like a spectre the stairs of Walter's abode. There was a confused crowding and talking in the room as the pallid stranger entered. A dead body was propped up in an arm chair, and a small double barreled pistol was lying on the floor. Walter had committed suicide.

"Behold your work!" said a voice.
But it was a voice which caused no air to vibrate.

It was the voice of John Lyman's conscience.

A

SONNET TO ALEXANDER SMITHI.
NAME is sounded o'er the breathless world,
And fame's broad banner is again unfurled,
To float in triumph o'er a poet's head,
Mighty as those who slumber with the dead;
Mighty as those, who in the olden time
Struck the loud lyre, and built the deathless rhyme,
Unheralded and unannounced, he came,
And all the earth grew brighter for his fame.
So on a sudden, from black clouds of night,
The sun bursts forth. flooding the air with light.
All hail to thee, young hard. of promise rare!
All hail to thee. whose brows already wear
Bays bright and deathless! In all Scotia's past
There's not a name loftier than thine, tho' last.
JOHN C. MILLS.

sidering how discordantly they must have been rung
at those early periods, this is not to be wondered at.
Indeed, we have a furtive hint of this dislike to
bells, conveyed without comment, as if the quaint
but enthusiastic writer told the incident of a stern
sense of truth and duty, which would otherwise
have willingly been passed over. In the "Clavis
Campanalogia," we read that "the city of Bor-
deaux was deprived of its bells for rebellion, and
when it was offered to have them restored, the peo-
ple refused it, after having tasted the ease and con-
veniency of being freed from the constant din and
jangling of bells." We can imagine how the
writer must have pitied the lack of skill among
them!

When the Greek Church, therefore, succumbed to the religion of the Prophet, their bells were dcstroyed, save such as existed in remote situations, as at Mount Athos for instance, from whence the sound could never reach the ears of the irate infidel.

The sizes of bells, as the art of casting advanced, were considerably increased in the sixth century. In 610, Clothaire II., Emperor of France,, while besieging the city of Sens (Champaigne), is said to have been so dreadfully alarmed at the sound of the great bells of St. Stephen's Church, that he and his forces retreated in dismay, and abandoned the siege.

In England, bel's became generally adopted with the extension of parish churches, and hence was necessitated that graceful addition to the religious edifice, the tower or belfry, these being built to the utmost height that the funds of the church or the skill of the architect could carry them; and it became an element of religious zeal among the devout, as to who could bequeath the largest gifts for the

erection of these buildings, their zeal receiving every possible encouragement from the Romish Church, as in effect it does from the Protestant Church at this day. The Abbot of Croyland (Turketul), in the tenth century, one of the oldest ecclesiastical estab lishments in England, bestowed upon his abbey a great bell, which he named " Guthlac ;" and Egel

ric, his successor, added to this six more bells, which he also denominated Pega, Beda, Tatwin, Turketul, Betelem, and Bartholomew. These bells were so admirably proportioned, that they were in tune with Guthlac ;" and Ingulphus, a monkish writer, says there was not at that time such a well-tuned peal of of them, that "they made a wonderful harmony, and bells in all England."

[ocr errors]

became in England of very general use at a very
that bells, as associated with churches,
It appears
early time. In one of the excerpts of Egbert (one
of the last of the Saxon kings in 750), he com-
mands that the priest shall, at the proper hours,
have the bells summoning people to church sounded,
and thus to the religious sentiment they assisted to
contribute a harmony of sound and of order, by
marking the divisions of time, which sentiment we
cling to as to one of the dearest and most suggestive

of our old associations.

tion of bells. The early Egyptians are stated to Most of the old classic writers have made menhave used a bell, but one of such singular nature and construction as cannot very well be coinprehended, much less described. It was of wood, and beaten with a hammer of the same material. The sound must have been of a most mournful and even lugubrious nature, if we remember the little vibration there is in this substance.

Bells were baptized with much pomp and reverence. One can scarcely doubt but that the brave old Abbey of Croyland witnessed more than one impressive ceremonial on the dedication of its joyous and musical bells. We have authentic records of their baptism since that time. In the pages of the chronicler Weever, the bells of the priory in Dunmoy (in Essex) were baptized by the names of St. Michael, St. John, the Virgin Mary, the Holy Trinity, &c. In the year 1816, the great bell of Nôtre Dame was baptized by the name of the Duc d'Angouleme. Scarcely a dozen years had passed, however, when religion had been voted extinct, and

« PreviousContinue »