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air. I cannot express the regret I felt upon beholding I thought I had but a very confused idea of the person the fairest and most beautiful part of the creation thus of the goddess herself, for her raiment was so full of light thrown into shade.
and lustre that I could scarcely take a steady view of her. I thought I perceived that the fine arts began to lan- I observed, however, that her complexion was rather too guish, the paintings that made their appearance at the glowing, and the motions of her eye too piercing and fiery time were neither boldly sketched, nor so brightly for perfect feminine beauty. Her beauty, I thought, was coloured, as those I was wont to survey ; they were chiefly too raised, and had too much glory in it, to be entirely confined to still life. I observed, however, that the ex- attractive. I was very much astonished to observe that tinction of love affected poetry still more than painting. whoever she glanced her eye upon, immediately fell under It no longer regaled the mind with descriptions of beauty; the influence of the passion over which she presided. It or softened it with tender distress. Its enchantment was was a very singular sight, to see a whole assembly, one entirely dissolved; that enchantment that will carry us after another, falling into love; and I was much enterfrom world to world without moving from our seat, will tained in observing the change it occasioned in the looks raise a visionary creation around us, will make us to re- of each of them, according to their different temper and joice when there is nothing to rejoice in, and tremble constitution. Some appeared wild and piercing, others when there is nothing to alarm us. These interesting dejected and melancholy. The features of several glowed situations, which awaken the attention, and enchain the with admiration, whilst others looked down with a timid mind in solemn suspense, till it breaks forth into agony and bashful respect. A trait of affectation was plainly to or rapture, now no longer existed in nature, and were no be discerned in all of them, as might well be expected longer described by the poet; he wrote rather from me- from a passion the rery first effect of which is to make mory than feeling, for the breath of inspiration had one lose the possession of one's self. Several ladies in ceased.
particular, seemingly careless and gay, were whispering Upon this occasion I was not at all suprised at the de- to those who stood next them, and assuming airs of parcline of eloquence. I have often thought love the nurse of ticular vivacity, whilst you might easily see their countesensibility, and that, if it were not cherished by this pas- nance was chequered with anxiety, lest they should chance sion, it would grow cold, and give way to a selfish indif- not to please those upon whom they had fixed their ference. My conjecture was now abundantly confirmed; affections. The greater part of the fair sex, howerer, I for though I saw many discourses, composed at this time, observed, smiled with an ineffable sweetness, nor could that were well argued, elegant, and correct, they all any thing appear more lovely than their features, upon wanted those essential touches that give language its which there was imprinted a tender reserve, mingled power of persuading.
with modest complacency and desire. I imagined that One thing a good deal surprised me, and that was to after the goddess had thoroughly surveyed the assembly, observe that even the profound parts of learning were less and they had seated themselves into some degree of comattended to than ever. I was well aware that few apply posure, she thus addressed them :themselves closely to study, but with the hope of some- * Ye children of men, ye abound in the gifts of Proritimes displaying their acquisitions to the public; and I dence, and many are the favours heaven has bestowed had imagined fame was a sufficient recompense for any upon you. The earth teems with bounty, pouring forth toil human nature could sustain; but I was surprised to the necessaries of life and the refinements of luxury. find that, in all great and noble undertakings, the desire The sea refreshes you with its breeze, and carries you to of appearing respectable in the eyes of a beloved object distant shores upon its bosom; it links nation to nation was of more consequence than the general admiration of in the bonds of mutual advantage, and transfers to every mankind.
climate the blessings of all. To the sun you are indebted These I thought were not the only melancholy conse- for the splendour of the day, and the grateful return of quences that flowed from the departure of love. It may season; it is he who guides you as you wander through be sufficient, however, to observe in general, that human the trackless wilderness of space, lights up the beauties nature was becalmed, and all its finest emotions frozen of nature around you, and makes her break forth into ! into a torpid insensibility. The situation of mankind was fruitfulness and joy. But, know that these, though detruly pitiable. Strangers to the delicate pleasures of the lightful, are not the pleasures of the heart. They will heart, every thing around them looked cheerless and not heal the wounds of fortune; they will not enchant barren. Calamity left them nothing to hope, and pro- solitude, or suspend the feeling of pain. Know that I sperity gave them nothing to enjoy.
only am mistress of the soul. To me it belongs to imI observed that they were now as desirous of bringing part agony and rapture. Hope and despair, terror and back the agency of love as they had been before to exclude delight, walk in my train. My power extends over time it. At length, I imagined that Jupiter was touched with itself, as well as over all sublunary beings. It can tum compassion at their unhappy situation, and appointed a ages into moments, and moments into ages. Lament not day in which love was to revisit the abodes of men. An the dispensations of Providence, amongst which the beimmense number of people, of all orders and ranks, and stowment of my influence is one.
He who feels it may of every age and condition, assembled themselves, as you not be happy; but he who is a stranger to it must be may suppose, to behold the descent of the goddess, and to miserable. hail her approach. The heavens, I thought, glowed as she descended, and so many beautiful streaks of light glanced along the surface of the sky that they divided it
KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE. into separate tracts, brightened up every cloud within it, Books without the knowledge of life are useless ; for and turned the whole into an aerial landscape. The birds what should books teach but the art of living ? To study at the same time leaping among the branches, and warb- manners, however, only in coffee-houses, is more than ling their sprightliest notes, filled the air with a confused equally imperfect. The minds of men who acquire no melody of sounds that was inexpressibly delightful. solid learning, and only exist on the daily forage that Every thing looked brighter than before, every thing they pick up by running about, and snatching what drops smelled sweeter, and seemed to offer up fresh incense to from their neighbours as ignorant as themsslves, will the goddess. The face of nature was changed, and the never ferment into any knowledge valuable or durable ; creation seemed to grow new again. My heart glowed but like the light wines we drink in hot countries, please with delight. I rejoiced in the renovation of nature, and for the moment though incapable of keeping. In the was revived through my inmost powers. There thrilled study of mankind, much will be found to swim as froth, through me a delightful sensation of freshness and no- and much must sink as feculence, before the wine can velty, similar to what a happy spirit may be supposed to have its effect, and become that noblest liquor, which refeel when first he enters a new state of existence, and opens joices the heart and gives vigour to the imagination.-Dr his eyes on immortality.
home about the expiry of that time. The resolution THE DIAMOND RING.
was no sooner formed than executed; for Colonel EDWARD MANSFIELD was the son of a wealthy Manchester was prompt and decisive in every thing. Emily, accommerchant. Of a prepossessing manner and appearance, panied by a female attendant, was put on board the first and cheerful disposition, he was a very general favourite. ship bound for England, and, consigned to the especial His age, at the time of our story, might be about twenty care of the captain, was quickly on her way to her nativo or twenty-one.
land. His father intended him to become a merchant, and, On the bitterness of the parting between the lovers we with this view, was training him up in his own counting- need not enlarge. Suffice it to say, that according to uso house.
and wont in such cases, they swore eternal fealty to each For a long while, young Mansfield was all that his fa- other, and, with bursting hearts, “tore themselves asunther could wish him, steady and attentive to business, and der. But they did not do so without interchanging anexhibiting a great deal of general talent. But a melan- ticipations of a happy future. Edward told Emily that choly and most unexpected change gradually took place. he expected he should soon have his discharge. Tha; Having formed an acquaintance with a set of loose, reck- he would then return to England, and endeavour by good less, young fellows, he contracted habits of intemperance conduct to regain his father's favour. That succeeiling in and extravagance, spent his nights, and often his days, this, as he had no doubt he should, he would soon be in in the tavern, and, finally, entirely lost his father's con- such a position as should enable him to come openly for. fidence, and, of course, regard.
ward as a claimant for her hand. And, in the sanguineAs is not unusual in such cases, young Mansfield made ness of their affections, the lovers did not doubt the realizarepeated promises of amendment, but as often broke them. tion, in due time, of their delightful anticipations. The natural consequences of such courses followed. He In the afternoon of the day on which Emily sailed for became more and more reckless and intemperate, until England, Colonel 's lady met him at the door, as he at length, in a fit of desperation, he enlisted in the —th returned from parade, with the inquiry, whether he kney regiment of foot, which was soon after ordered to Gib- what had become of the diamond ring?' raltar.
• What diamond ring, Jess?' said her husband in Young Mansfield's father was perfectly aware of the reply. step his son had taken, and had been repeatedly impor- Why, your mother's, my dear. The ring she left to tuned by friends to purchase his discharge, but this he Emily, but which Emily has always insisted on my wear. peremptorily refused to do, saying that his son's conduct ing. "I left it on the mantle-piece in the parlour yester. had been so very bad that he had determined he should day, and forgot it till to-day. It is now gone.' be allowed to feel the full weight of its consequences. He Very odd,' replied the Colonel, “but I know nothing had, in truth, resolved that Edward should be left to the about it. I never saw it.' experiences of a year or two's service in the army, which, * Well, James,' said his lady, 'there has been no one he hoped, would bring him to his senses, and render him but ourselves in that room since, excepting Mansfield, and a wiser if not a better man. He had also determined, I must say, I strongly suspect he has taken it.' that if his son should then show symptoms of amend- • What! do you think so?' exclaimed the Colonel, ment, he would not only purchase his discharge, but re- fiercely, and at once imbibing the suspicions of his instate him in the counting-house.
wife. We shall have that looked into directly.' Act. In the mean time, Edward, as mentioned, had gone to ing with his usual promptitude, the Colonel 'sent inGibraltar with his regiment, where the improvement in stantly for a serjeant, and having stated the circumstance his conduct, which his father rather hoped than expected, to him, desired him to go to Mansfield's room and search did, in time, really take place. Humble as Edward's po- bis knapsack for the missing ring. The serjeant did so, sition was, he had the good sense to endeavour to make Mansfield being at the moment absent, and carefully the most of it, and soon became distinguished as one of turned out article after article, till he came to a small the cleanest and smartest soldiers in the regiment. This leathern bag or purse, in which were some coins. This circumstance, added to his superior education and man- he drew open, and emptied its contents on tlże table, ners, recommended him to the special favour of his Colo- amongst which out tumbled the diamond ring. The susnel, who appointed him, what is called in military phrase, picions, then, of the Colonel's lady had been well founded. his orderly. The duties of this appointment, which in Mansfield's guilt was clear. He was instantly put under cludes a sort of personal attendance on the Colonel--to arrest, on the following day tried by a court-martial, and receive and execute his commissions necessarily brought sentenced to receive five hundred lashes. The day of Edward much about that officer's residence, and, conse- punishment came. The regiment was turned out. The quently, in frequent contact with the various members of unfortunate young man was tied up to the halberts, and his family. Amongst the latter was Emily the the full measure of his sentence mercilessly inflicted. Colonel's only child, a beautiful girl of between seventeen Mansfield, through all this trying scene, maintained the and eighteen years of age.
utmost composure of manner, and bore the terrible inflicGreat, however, as was the disparity, as regarded pre- tion, to which he had been doomed, without wincingsent position, between the Colonel's orderly and his without allowing the slightest expression of pain to escape daughter, it formed no hinderance to the springing up of him. an ardent attachment between them. An attachment it
On being taken down, he was conveyed to the hospital, was, however, which they had to conceal with a trembling where, in despite of very efficient medical attendance, he, and watchful anxiety; for the Colonel was a proud and in a few days after, fevered and died. A result of the stern man, and the slightest suspicion on his part, of its excessive severity of his punishment, aggravated by disexistence, would have brought down his direst vengeance tress of mind. on the heads of the lovers,-on Mansfield for his pre
Shortly after Mansfield's death, the Colonel's lady sumption-on his daughter for her undutifulness in dis- casually mentioned the circumstance, in a letter to her regarding the dignity of his position.
sister in England, with whom her daughter, Emily, was In the mean time, months passed away, and the lovers then residing. On her aunt, who read the letter aloud, continued to feast in secret on their love, which grew coming to the account of Mansfield's death, his crime, stronger by indulgence, until at length their existence, and punishment, the poor girl sprung from her seat, and their very souls, became intertwined.
seizing her aunt convulsively by the arm, uttered a piercWhile matters stood thus, Colonel at the urgent ing shriek, exclaiming, at the same time, in tones of the entreaties of some near relatives in England, resolved on wildest despair, that it was she
who had given the ring to sending Emily home, to complete her education, expect- Mansfield, as a parting token of love and affection. Such ing that he himself should follow in about twelve was, indeed, the truth, and the unfortunate young man, months, as the
regiment, he believed, would be ordered rather than betray the secret of her love, which he knew
would have exposed her to the deepest wrath of a stern on a reef of rocks and went to pieces, only fifty men out and unforgiving father, and, perhaps, have subjected her eight hundred being saved, to which number, however, conduct to offensive remark, had borne the stigma of the widow's darling son did not belong. Then we have crime, and the pains of its punishment, silently and un- the gloomy news of William's death reaching Sunnyside flinchingly. When charged with the theft, he did not the pension settled on his mother as the reward of his deny it. He said nothing. When under the biting lash gallantry—a letter from William himself, written shortly he gave no hint of his innocence. When dying, he still before his death, full of high spirits and warm affection kept his secret, and finally carried it with him to the -and the thought, as again and again she perused it, that grave.
tore the widow's heart: the hand that wrote these lincs is cold. But deeper trials awaited her : “this was the first
blow only ; ere the new moon was visible, the widow kner LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SCOTTISH LIFE.
that she was altogether childless. We are next told with We regard the publication in a cheap form, of Professor what beautiful and christian composure she bore her sørWilson's Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life, as no rows : and—but we shall let Professor Wilson tell the resmall boon to the reading portion of the community. mainder. The older and costlier editions we are aware may be found "Such was the account of her, her sorrows, and her rein every town and village library ; that we notice at pre- signation, which I received on the first visit I paid to a sent will, we feel assured, like Bunyan's Pilgrim's Pro- family near Castle-Holm, after the final consummation gress, ere long have a place on the shelf of every cottage of her grief. Well known to me had all the dear bors in the kingdom. The work, as its name indicates, has been; their father and mine had been labourers in the especial claims on Scotsmen, which they will not be slow same vineyard; and as I had always been a welcome visito admit. “This is true popularity,' remarked the poet ter, when a boy, at the Manse of Castle-Holm, so had I Gray, on seeing a well-thumbed copy of Thomson's Sca- been, when a man, at Sunnyside. Last time I had been sons in a blacksmith's shop. The Lights and Shadows there, it was during the holidays, and I had accompa:ried of Scottish Life have not exactly reached as yet this the three boys on their fishing excursions to the lochs in point of popularity: we venture to predict that they will the moor; and in the evenings pursued with them their do so. They are well worthy of it. We know few tales, or humble and useful studies. So I could not leave Castlescenes, as perhaps they should rather be called, better Holm without visiting Sunnyside, although my heart misfitted to improve the heart and strengthen its best affec- gave me, and I wished I could have delayed it till antions. A warm religious spirit pervades the most of other summer. I sent word that I was coming to see her, them, which more than compensates for certain other and I found her sitting in that well-known little parlour qualities in which, it must be admitted, they are deficient. where I had partaken the pleasure of so many merry If there be the absence of intricate and well-woven plot, evenings, with those whose laughter was now extinguishkindling as he advances the interest of the reader, and ed. We sat for a while together speaking of ordinary to. keeping his curiosity keenly alive till he comes to the pics, and then utterly silent. But the restraint she had close of the narrative, there is the presence of things more imposed upon herself she either thought unnecessary ang useful hy far, and, as many will think, more entertaining longer, or felt it to be impossible; and rising up, went to and delightful. Every page is replete with sentiments a little desk, from which she brought forth three miniahouourable to humanity, sentiments on the side of piety, tures, and laid them down upon the table before us, truth, and virtue. There is a life-like reality in the in- saying, ' Behold the faces of my three dead boys! So cidents brought before us. There are displays of the bright, breathing, and alive did they appear, that for a best aff:ctions of the heart, which at once excite our moment I felt impelled to speak to them, and to whisper sympathy and admiration. There is much, very much, their names. She beheld my emotion, and said unto ine, to make the reader believe that Wilson is a being to Oh! could you believe that they are all dead! Does not be loved as well as admired; that he is a man of large that smile on Willy's face seem as if it were inmortal! and glowing affections, as well as high genius. There Do not Edward's sparkling eyes look so bright as if the is much, very much, that does honour to his heart as well | mists of death could never have overshadowed them! and as his head. We do not recollect anything finer than think-oh! think, that ever Henry's golden hair should the remark he is said to have made to his students when, have been draggled in the brine, and filled full, full, I on the occasion of his wife's death, he came into the class- doubt not, of the soiling sand! I put the senseless images room with a bundle of essays in his hand, and thus apolo- one by one to my lips, and kissed their foreheads-for gized for not having read them : * The truth is, gentlemen, dearly had I loved these three brothers; and then I shut I could not see to read them in the dark valley of the them up and removed them to another part of the room. shadow of death.' None but a man of genius could have I wished to speak, but I could not; and, looking on the made such a speech, so intensely, we had almost said face of her who was before me, I knew that her grief would painfully beautiful. We detect the spirit that prompted find utterance, and that not until she had unburdened her it on almost every line of the Lights and Shadows.' | heart could it be restored to repose. They would tell We would not like to meet the man who could read with you, sir, that I bear my trials well; but it is not so. a dry eye stories like Blind Allan, Lilias Griere, the Many, many unresigned and ungrateful tears has my God Elder's Death-bed, and, indeed, we might name nearly all to forgive in me, a poor, weak, and repining vorm. Alin the volume. The Minister's Widow' is an especial most every day, almost erery night, do I weep before favourite with us. We hare first the sickness and death these silent and beautiful phantoms; and when I wipe of the christian pastor : then the departure of the widow away the breath and mist of tears from their faces, there with her three sons, William, Edward, and Harry, from are they smiling continually upon me! Oh! death is a the parish manse to the pleasant cottage at Sunnyside : shocking thought, when it is linked in love with creatures their visits to their father's grave along with their so young as these! More insupportable is gushing tenmother : their choice of professions in the army and navy: derness than even dry despair; and, methinks, I could the return of Harry, the dashing young midshipman, for even bear to live without them, and never to see them one short week to his mother's fireside : the death of all more, if I could only cease to pity them ! But that can the three, with scarce an interval between the events; for never be. It is for them I weep, not for myself. If they were William was shot dead in an instant while leading the to be restored to life, would I not lie down with thankful. | forlorn hope in storming an Indian fort: Edward ? ness into the grave? William and Edward were struck found deal at Talavera with the colours of his regiment down, and died, as they thought, in glory and /triumph. tied round his body ;' and the ship of which poor Harry Death to them was merciful. But who can knove, although was wort to talk so proudly, was drifted by a hurricano they may try to dream of it in horror, what the youngest
of them, my sweet Harry, suffered, throug & that long * Edinburgh: BLACKWOOD & Sons. New Edition. dark howling night of snow, when the ship was going to
picces on the rocks!' That last dismal thought held her for
SUPPERS IN STOCKHOLM. a while silent; and some tears stood in drops on her eyelashes, but seemed again to be absorbed. Her heart ap
(FBOX TIIE SWEDISH OF FREDERICA BREMER.) peared unable to cling to the horrors of the shipwreck, DEAR AMELIA,—You inquire how I employ myself while although it coveted them; and her thoughts reverted to the imperial diet waves his strife-proclaiming banners, other objects. “I walk often into the rooms where they while the prudent and imprudent heads of the metropoused to sleep, and look on their beds till I think I see lis are all thrust together, and the uninitiated are eagerly their faces lying with shat eyes on their pillows. Early expecting the common weal of the empire to escape from in the morning, do I often think I hear them singing-1 the stupendous impulse in the new-fashioned council of Faken from troubled unrest, as if the knock of their spor- Minerva. You ask what I am doing during this time! tive hands were at my door summoning me to rise. “All Ah, my love, I sup and yawn! The day before yesterday their stated hours of study and of play—when they went I was at a supper; yesterday I was at a supper; to-day I to school and returned from it-when they came into am to be at a supper; and if I live until to-morrow, tomeals—when they said their prayers—when they went morrow also I shall be at a supper. leaping at night to bed as lightsomely, after all the day's A supper! I hear you ciclaim, what is there so awful fatigue, as if they had just risen. Oh, sir, at all these in it ? Amelia, thou happy daughter of the country, retimes, and many, and many a time besides these, do I main by thy needle-work and thy flowers, let the pure air think of them whom you loved !' While thus she kept caress thy cheeks, sing thy simple songs, close the day in indulging the passion of her grief, she observed the tears peace and joy, consume thy frugal supper, go to rest at I could no longer conceal; and the sight of my sorrow nine o'clock, and feel thankful you are preserved from the seemed to give, for a time, a loftier character to hers, life and suppers of the metropolis. as if my weakness made her aware of her own, and she But if you would learn something of the pleasures of had become conscious of the character of her vain lamen- the great and fine world, then follow me, in imagination, tations. · Yet, why should I so bitterly weep? Pain had for a few minutes, and you shall be initiated into the not troubled them- passion had not disturbed them-vice mysteries of suppers. had not polluted them. May I not say, “ My children are We must first adorn ourselves with flowers! Having in heaven with their father and ought I not, therefore, been invited eight days ago to take part in the feast of to dry up all these foolish tears now and for evermore p' pleasure, in order to greet it properly, we must call up Composure was suddenly shed over her countenance, like our sweetest smiles. The clock strikes eight; we leave gentle sunlight over à cheerless day, and she looked the mirror with a parting glance, step into the carriage around the room as if searching for some pleasant objects standing ready for us, which hurries us along the street that eluded her sight. See,' said she, yonder are all at a rattling pace, to the house whose long row of wintheir books, arranged just as Henry arranged them on dows stream with light. Not a word of fallen locks, his unespected visit. Alas! too many of them are about crumple dresses, and a thousand other little travelling the troubles and battles of the sea! But it matters not mishaps. One must be able to forget trisles. With all now. You are looking at that drawing. It was done by expedition the ornaments are put in order, and the pleahimself-that is the ship he was so proud of, sailing in sant smile, which was forgotten when descending the sunshine and a pleasant breeze. Another ship, indeed, steps, is again assumed. The doors of the saloon are as she scon after, when she lay upon the reef! But as opened, and we glide in. Is that the simoom or sirocco for the books, I take them out of their places and dust that is rising from the mass of light and human beings, them, and return them to their places every week. I and floating toward us? One or other it certainly is, and used to read to my boys, sitting round my knees, out of you already feel a universal relaxation and paralysis inmany of these books, before they could read themselves, vading all your intellectual faculties. tut now I never peruse them, for their cheerful stories The first salutations over, we seat ourselves for a quiet are not for me. But there is one book I do read, and rest! If no earthquake happen, we shall not rise again in without it I should long ago have been dead. The more a hurry. Closely wedged together, the ladies sit side by the heart suffers, the more does it understand that book. side, paying each other compliments and courtesies, and Nerer do I read a single chapter, without feeling assured peaking out their mouths as if sucking candied sugar. of something more awful in our nature than I felt before. The eyes sparkle, the heads shake, the feathers ware, My cwn heart misgives me; my own soul betrays me ; all here and there the silk dresses rustle. The greeting, my comforts desert me in a panic; but never yet once did questioning, and answering over, the murmur and hum I read one whole page of the New Testament that I did become weaker, like a dying storm-the murmur ceases not know that the eye of God is on all his creatures, and -it begins again-it dies--and all is still. on me like the rest, though my husband and all my sons The card table is set in order, tea is handed round, and are dead, and I may have many years yet to live alone on prints and drawings are exhibited. Some play and are the earth. After this we walked out into the little ave- silent, some puff and drink, others observe and yawn. It nue, now dark with the deep rich shadows of summer is warm and sultry. The time passes slowly. The heat beauty. We looked at that beauty, and spoke of the sur- in the apartment increases, curled locks are straightened, passing brightness of the weather during all June, and ad- noses become red, the ears burn, the eyes water, one beFancing July. It is not in nature always to be sad ; and comes uneasy, moves back and forward, blows and torthe remembrance of all her melancholy and even miserable ments one's self. confessions was now like an uncertain echo, as I beheld Conversation is now attempted. A few lively ideas, a placid smile on her face, a smile of such perfect resigna- like the water from a bubbling fountain, might animate tion, that it might not falsely be called a smile of joy. our wearied senses, but alas! ideas have vanished from Ve stood at the little white gate; and with a gentle our heads like the pomade from our locks, and we are Foice, that perfectly accorded with that expression, she hardly so lively or clever as to speak sensibly of the state bade God bless me; and then with composed steps, and of the weather. You compel yourself, however, to speak now and then turning up, as she walked along, the massy of something, and receive for an answer a pretty yes, or flower-branches of the laburnum, as, bent with their load no, or indeed, or just som-just as much as to say, goodof beauty, they trailed npon the ground, she disappeared ness! give yourself no trouble ! into that retirement, which, notwithstanding all I had But see, a gentleman with his hat in his hand apseen and heard, I could not but think deserved almost to proaches you, without doubt for a little lively chat. What be called happy, in a world which even the most thought- said he to you, you smiled so sweetly? Something courless know is a world of sorrow.'
teous ? No. Something witty ? No. Something stupid, We take leave of this volume, earnestly advising our then ? No. Why, certainly, it was something? Yes, somereaders to supply themselves with a copy of it, now that thing, yet absolutely nothing. The poor fellow was someit can be had at so cheap a rate.
what drowsy, had lost at play, and, besides, had stood
under the influence of the supper sirocco; what then could opportunity that offers itself. One is now satisfied, nay, you expect him to say, but ''Tis horribly warm here.' more than satisfied, yet one eats on with undiminished
To arouse your almost sleeping faculties, you look zeal. At length the dessert appears. The mothers, around the numerous assemblage, hoping to find some- being satisfied, convey what remains from the plates to thing worth notice, something attractive, but in vain, all their reticules and kerchiefs, probably to give to the chilis uniformity. High ton and fashion have so trained and dren who have been left at home, whilst the daughters, adorned the circle-have so banished all diversity of displaying a like degree of stupidity, read the devices
, figure and originality-that you can observe no differ- and exercise their wit in explaining the charades inscribed ence but that which is slightly seen in ress or that on the confections. which kind nature, the foe of dejected uniformity, ever Supper time, like every thing else, hath an end. The takes care to preserve between the nose, mouth, and eyes money of our entertainers rests in our stomachs in the of different individuals; excepting these you can find no shape of roast veal, turtle soup, and wines. With this other.
burden we return to the saloon, where pour l'honneur, we Ices and confections are handed round. You feel a stand a while and talk about nothing. At last we take slight stir in the room and in your senses. Each one leave, and return home, wearied both in body and soul. thrusts his tea-spoon into his mouth, and enjoys his cus- | About one or two we retire to bed, with overloaded tard in silence. From the side apartments you hear the stomachs, empty heads and hearts, which retain no other name of the trump cards as the players cast them on the recollections of the by-past hours than such as refer to table. The company in the saloon get into motion, one the crabbedness and headaches of the following day. turns himself, another rises, sets his saucer on the table, Meanwhile, our host and hostess wander about the stands, and takes breath. The piano is struck up. Good! apartment, among the expiring lights, wishing each other The magic tones of music will surely put the demon joy of the entertainment, and comfort themselves, on the weariness to flight. A half-bashful half-confident lover score of expense, with the reflection that it has been very is hrought forward to play. He assures you he cannot, splendid, and given great satisfaction and pleasure. Selfyet he takes his place at the instrument. He blushes, deceived and short-sighted mortals ! wait a little. Soon sighs, trembles, yet strikes the patient keys aptly enough, shall your grateful guests fully repay you, with suppers and commences a song. Now, 'tis finished, and nothing in return, for the languor and weariness which yours has serious has happened.
cost them. Another, of real ability, is now produced; unassuming There, Amelia, you have a short sketch of city suppers, and steady, conscious of his powers. 'Tis a song from and, with few exceptions, of all the suppers of the metroFrithiof, by the tone. The music and poetry are beauti- polis. They are a crowd of drowsy sisters, whom their ful. The voice of the singer is steady and agreeable, but mother idleness, and foster-mother fashion, lead about its effect is lost in the over-crowded apartment. The curtseying from house to house. A thousand times have last note expires; whence this silence, this immobility in they been called intolerable, but no one dares to banish the company? Is it pleasure-transport-ecstacy? Let them, because idleness and fashion are potent dames, ill-suppressed yawns and sleepy eyes answer the question. who know what respect is due to them, and whom no one The singer has sung to the walls. The supper sirocco has can despise without suffering merited punishment. Dare paralyzed every sensation.
even to smile at their hooped petticoats, and you are in Still dimmer burn the lights—the heat is more oppres- danger of being called foolish and impudent. sive-the atmosphere more sultry. The company feel a If you say that November spleen has cast a slight shade dead silence stealing over them; they compel themselves over my description of city suppers, I do not entirely to be sprightly; they speak of fashions, dinners, and de- deny it; but in the chief features it is perfectly correct, putations to the imperial diet, &c., &c. They strive to and no caricature. I cannot conceive how so many expel heaviness, they exaggerate, they lie, they scandai- rational mortals can meet together merely to be wearied. ize, being compelled, in the anguish of their spirit, to say Were the genius of pleasure to put out a proclamation to something And they wish themselves far away. his admirers, how they might best enjoy themselves, it The hours pass heavily, the minutes rack and stretch would, I think, certainly convey the following notice :themselves, and one feels the necessity of doing the same. Friends of pleasure, serenity, and joy, old and young
Once more the drawings are admired, taken into the ye who would enjoy the few short hours, the fleeting mohand and turned upside down. We still speak, saying 'ments of life-Flee! Flee from suppers!' Would you wish yes instead of no, and no instead of yes. You suppress a to banish the dark spirit of dulness during the long winyawn, though in danger of choaking. You feel the lan- ter evenings, then hear my recipe. Collect your relagour intolerable, still you simper and smile as pleasantly tions, acquaintances, and friends, but not too many of as possible.
them, for the supper sirocco originates in crowds and From eight to nine, from nine to ten, from ten to heat. Be few, then, but cheerful. Light up the lamps eleven, from eleven to twelve, have we sat, quietly and of your apartments, but, still earlier, those of rationality patiently, in this little hell of heat and courtesy. Our and joyfulness in your own heart and head. Let the strength is at an end, midnight is struck, and now we flame of joy burn for every one. Once more.
Be moshould certainly faint or die outright, but the doors of the dest, be kind, and if you can, be witty. Dance, play, and dining-room are opened, and the savoury smells of the sing, but do all so that it may increase enjoyment. Begin dishes operate on our nerves like Eau de Cologne. A nothing in dulness, end nothing in dulness. Weave the voice calls, 'supper is served,' and we are delivered. wreath of innocent enjoyment with light fingers, and let
The company hastily arise en masse. We move in each one, unassumingly, contribute his flower to it. You pairs, or one after another, into the dining-room, where should prize the pleasure of conversation. Let the fire an enormous table—a second land of Canaan-furnished of your ideas circulate freely. Throw out, now and then, with all the gifts of superfluity, presents itself to the those sparks of wit which give light but do not burn. Let wearied and dessert-worn travellers. We spread our thought respond to thought, feeling to feeling, smile to selves around the table; we crowd together, each one smile, like melodious echoes, or, rather, like the mild and seeking a place; one will not sit beside this one, another beautiful tones which the gentlest touch evokes from the beside that one. At last all are seated, and eating com- chords of the full-tuned harp. mences with the greatest earnestness and expedition; all But the well-regulated spirit does not neglect the maconversation ceases, nothing is heard but the noise of terial, the soul does not neglect the body. administer, knives and forks during the whole meal. One course is therefore, to the refreshment of the body, but let this be served after another. One eats, and eats, and eats. One light, and it will also be a pleasure. When one sits down feels a despairing desire to excuse one's self, by any kind with a determined air to eat, and handle his knife and of action, for the unmerciful listlessness and languor to fork, it is thea a labour. “We eat to live, we do not live which one has been subjected, and thus seizes on the only to eat,' said a philosopher. And if you would hare en