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The messengers had encountered sufficient difficulty in the former search to almost despair in the present, which seemed to require a greater deviation from the ordinary moral organization of human beings than the other had from the physical organization. Yet they departed with a determination to fulfil the new requirement of the sovereign if such a lady as was designated should happen to exist. They naturally visited all the boarding-schools of the metropolis, as more likely places than any other, for finding the object of their search ; not omitting the various watering-places where more mature womanhood disports its loveliness during the heats of summer; for that happened to constitute the period of the year when the search was in progress. As rumor apprised the female world of the object of the messengers, they were greeted every where with an amiability that no imagination could exceed by delighted and hopeful expectants; who, however maintained the required degree of amiability only while they were hopeful. This was just what the messengers had feared, and they all returned to court, sad, slow and successless, as the month verged toward its close.
The last day arrived. Brightly shone forth the sun, making sadder by contrast the appearance of the returning messengers. The King, surrounded by all his great officers, was seated on his throne, to hear what was already known informally, the failure of the second experiment. Despondency was visible on every face, despite the forced efforts of obsequious loyalty to counterfeit delight. The life of the unfortunate prime minister was fast tending to an abrupt termination, when again a tardy messenger announced, in breathless haste, that he had found a lady who could preserve good humor and kind feelings under the severest disappointments. The King could scarcely restrain his indignation. He insisted that the sentence had been in effect pronounced, and that the minister should no longer be respited. Still a moment's reflection sufficed to assuage his rising impatience. Even the most absolute princes must not disregard the deeply-rooted feelings of their subjects; and he saw, in the general dejection, that he must omit no form of apparent lenity and justice. He accordingly granted another month's postponement, with the promise of pardon and marriage, as heretofore, if a lady could be found who never cried
This requirement was deemed more difficult of accomplishment than either of the others, and the messengers could scarcely be induced to attempt the search; but so great was the sympathy for the unfortunate old counsellor, that they at length resolved to find a dry-eyed lady, if one inhabited the kingdom. Fame soon promulged what the King was seeking, and not a tear was shed in Tuscora by any female, young or old, during the whole month. But this availed not. They all had been accustomed to cry when they were vexed or perplexed ; and the messengers returned to court dispirited and sullen.
The King received them in all the pomp of royalty as usual. He had heard the failure of their mission, and attended now only to give due solemnity to to the sequel. Right pleased was the royal misogamist in the perverse contemplation of living hereafter in undisturbed celibacy, while even his enemies — if kings have enemies — could not reproach him therewith, after the great efforts that he had taken to procure
a consort. But in the midst of these secret felicitations, again a tardy messenger rushed into the presence chamber, and prostrating himself before the throne, announced that he had found a lady who never cried.
This time, however, the month was clearly ended, and no one presumed to question the justice of Alphonso when he declared that execution could no longer be delayed against Pokefunatus, nor his own royal person be farther disturbed in seeking for a partner to share his throne. The unfortunate old man, who had been brought from a distant fortress, and who, surrounded by the king's guards, was in an anteroom of the palace, was therefore summoned into the presence that he might be sentenced personally by the king; for such is the custom of the realm when a great officer of Tuscora is to be decapitated. Not long was the fatal summons uttered before a distant door was thrown open, and through it was seen to issue, in slow and measured pace, a gloomy procession of armed men, with the prisoner in their midst. Confinement and sorrow, even more than lengthened years, had whitened his head and emaciated his body. Pale and manifestly feeble, yet with a dignity which conscious rectitude can under such circumstances alone supply, he advanced toward his offended master, leaning for support, and evidently with no stinted pressure, on the arm of his youngest but most devoted daughter, the lovely Adeline. Engrossed wholly by the sorrows of her father, she knew not that her beauty was attracting the admiring gaze of king and courtiers. Still, no tear dimmed the radiance of her eyes, and when she addressed some words of consolation to her venerable parent the sounds were so soft and melodious that the king felt that he could listen to them for ages with increasing delight. Female loveliness had never before touched his heart, and he exclaimed, almost involuntarily : Who is this heavenly vision ?
• Sire,' said the tardy messenger, she is the lady who never cries ! I found her with her father in the distant fortress of Clontorf, or I should have been able to return in time to save her father's life.'
Sire,' said the other tardy messenger, falling on his knees suppliantly, she is the young lady who is always amiable! The distance that I had to travel in returning from the prison, which she inhabited night and day with her father, occasioned my unfortunate tardiness. : Sire,' said the remaining tardy messenger, she is the lady whose voice is always low! I had heard of her by fame; but resolving to trust no evidence but my own senses, in a matter which concerned your majesty, I went in person to Clontorf; and though I journeyed with the utmost expedition, I unhappily failed in returning sufficiently early to save the noble prisoner from death.'
• And who shall take his life ? exclaimed Alphonso; the father of so much sense and loveliness must not be lost to our kingdom!'
All the prejudices of the king against marriage were dissipated, for he found that they had originated in erroneous prepossessions. Instead of sentencing his ancient counsellor he forthwith restored him to favor; and as for the beautiful Adeline, she soon became queen of Tuscora. Alphonso the Beautiful and Adeline the Good long reigned the happiest monarchs of the age in which they flourished, and their descendants still occupy the throne of the same ancient kingdom. Even to this remote day a decree exists, which was promulged by Alphonso on the
morning of his marriage, that whenever intellectual, moral and corporeal excellence combine in the same woman, no man shall withstand her influence, under the penalty, on disobedience to the decree, of universal contempt.
Bleak and bare and blear November,
Art thou here?
In the year :
All the twelve months in the year.
On the ground:
Mutter, mutter, 'Summer 's gone !'
O'er us breaks,
As he wakes :
Fall before him as he wakes.
Clouds o'erdarken all the heavens,
Brimmed with rain ;
On the pane :
Drumming, drumming, on the pane!
By the door the willow boweth,
As in prayer,
Sighing sair :
Quake and quiver, sighing sair.
All along :
Down their margins, all along.
Drunk with rain;
As in pain :
Moan and shudder, as in pain.
Arch' thy shadows, evermore !
When I was but a simple boy,
Rambledom; in four Chapters.
LIBERAL OFFER FOR A PORTRAIT.
We must not judge of the appreciation in which the Fine Arts are held by the ignorant estimate of the backwoodsman, nor by the assumptions of fashionables' who, for fashion's sake, lounge in the Art Union, International, Dusseldorf Gallery, or collection of the Old Masters' in the city of New-York. There is much ignorance, more contempt and prejudice, and not a little affectation among the “intelligent' republicans of the United States on the subject of Fine Arts, and especially the art of painting. But the expansion of a juster general taste is rapid, and if it were not, there are plenty among us who can rightly value and enjoy a Guido Reni, a Carlo Dolce, a Caracci, or a Rembrandt, as well as the most exquisite European connoisseur. But such was not the taste of the person making the offer at the head of this chapter.
Ten years ago this very autumn, I started from Whitehall, at the head waters of Lake Champlain, in company with a New-York artist named W — , to hunt, fish, and sketch, on the shores of Horicon. Climbing those mountains west of Whitehall, we descended their tor. tuous slope to South Bay,' across which we were canoed, and commenced our march over the Dresden Mountains, from the barren scalps of which, Horicon lies visible to the naked eye, a mirror in which the heavens glass themselves with a beauty, a glory and a mystery. But I must describe this Dresden in brief. It is a mixture of various rocks, huge and unshapely, interspersed with the pine, the spruce and the hemlock, and among which the rushing torrents, especially in the snow-melting season, bellow to the thundering clouds. It is a vast den of rattle-snakes, bears and mosquitoes; roadless, except as one greases his pantaloons and slides down planes, with no snubbing posts save the bottom of a hill, and no guide but a firm trust in Providence. It is a town of lumbermen; rude, frank, but altogether pagan in their consideration