« PreviousContinue »
all shall, we trust, one day attain--when " Their sky was all glory; but a cloud sailed into
mind and matter shall no longer strive to
little lower it; there was lightning in its bosom, and it broke." gether, and we become only -BERNARD.
than the angels.”
Philip Armytage lived this life, as near We have seen the blind girl as a child, a as man can do on earth. He brought the young maiden, a woman in the pride of her treasures of his lofty intellect to brighten loveliness ; let us now behold her as a wife, his home; he did not relinquish his profesno longer the idol of a lover's dream, but sion, but he adorned it with the refinements the sharer of his life-the joy, the comfort of a gifted mind. He had none of the vaof her husband's home. We would fain garies of the poet; he did not consider that describe her, but the words float from our genius must necessarily be eccentric, and no pen, and glide away into poesy-into that one would have thought that the clearsweetest picture of
that ever headed, sensible man, whose courteous and dawned on poet's brain. Stella was- winning manners were the ornament of the
intellectual society which he collected round "A creature not too bright and good For human nature's daily food;
him, in bis well-ordered home, or the gen. For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
tle, affectionate husband, who read and Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles !" talked cheerfully to his wife, during the
long winter evenings, was the same high “A being breathing thoughtful breath;
souled poet, whose brilliant imagination A traveller betwixt life and death;
made his writings worshipped by some, and A perfect woman, nobly planned,
wondered at by others. To warn, to comfort, and command;
When the long, pleasant, summer days And yet a spirit, still and bright, And something of an angel light.”
came again, Philip and Stella took " the
wings of the dove," and fled away for a After this, what can we say but that time to a home far down in the country, Philip Armytage had, in truth“ an angel the same where Stella's mournful childhood in the house."
Rare, very rare, are such had been spent, and which was now left in this world ; but we have known some, half desolate in the absence of its present and others, doubtless, have done the same owner, Edmund Brandreth. The happy Alas! that while they were walking with wife of Philip Armytage trod, with her husus we knew them not, until they had spread band by her side, all those forest walks their invisible wings and flown to heaven! where the lonely blind girl had once wan
The home of Philip Armytage was one in dered, and the contrast made her, if possiwhich the world may see that poesy can ble, happier still. Life was to the young hallow daily life, and that the glorious light pair an enchanted dream of such deep joy of genius is not incompatible with the sub- that their hearts trembled under the burdued, delicious glow of the domestic fire- den, like flowers heavy with much dew. side. A man of talent is like a beacon set Young, rich, with minds gifted to behold on a hill, exposed to every wind of heaven, and enjoy, to the full, all that was beautiand to the gaze of innumerable eyes, eager- ful, and hearts that seemed as one in close ly watching lest its light should be extin- and loving union ; what had they more to guished. If it flutter or wave for a mo- desire ? Sometimes a light shadow of fear ment, like any other common fire, up rises would flit over them—a sort of vague doubt the cry of a hundred voices, and a hundred that as night comes after day, so grief ever hands are lifted to quench the unworthy follows happiness. But then love chased beacon. God help the man of genius! he the dim phantom away with its angel wings. walks through a road that is full
of snares, It had been a long season of drought, so more, and deeper, for him than for men of that the very grass was parched in the mealess exalted minds and less sensitive na-dows, the birds became almost mute and tures; and all these set up a rejoicing fled to the deepest shades of the vast forest. shout if he only stumble. Yet it is not very grateful now was the thick wood, impossible to tread the path in safety; whose verdant recesses formed the only remany strive thus to walk, and all honor to lief from this insupportable heat. Every those whose life proves that men may glory evening Stella and her husband took their at once in a lofty intellect and a blameless pleasant ramble together, from twilight and pure heart. Such an one approaches until the stars came out: the young wife nearest to that ideal of humanity-which added to every beautiful sight and sound
by her deep sense of enjoyment, while wondered where you were --if you were Philip's noble mind invested all things with safe ; and dreading no danger for myself, I a halo of poesy, so that to walk with him felt a shuddering fear lest harm should was to walk with a magician, who unveiled come to you. Now I have you with me, the inner life of nature.
my own husband.” One evening they went out together as “For ever--for ever," cried Philip, usual, but did not pass beyond the lawn, stooping over her with intense love,“ my for twilight brought with it the tokens of a Stella, my—" coming storm. Dark, vapor-fringed cumuli As he spoke, a dazzling, blinding flash rose up o'er the bed of the departing orb, enveloped them in one sheet of lurid flame; shutting out all the lovely purple and gold then came a burst of thunder, so long and of a September sunset, and growing thicker loud, that it seemed as if the heavens were and blacker, until they reached mid hea- falling. But the husband and wife heard ven, covering the pale moon, that in her it not. They both lay insensible, Philip's feeble age followed quickly after the fading arm still clasping his beloved.
Philip light. A heavy stillness succeeded—a dark- Armytage woke to consciousness, and found ness that might be felt, oppressing both Stella still lying motionless. Her eyes mind and body with a dull weight. were fixed and open; her features white
“Let us go in,” said Stella, as she lean- and livid, while her arm still twined round ed wearily upon her husband's
arm ; see,
his neck, as cold and heavy as stone. the storm is coming nearer; and look ! uttered one cry of agonized despair, and there is a flash."
then a desperate calmness came over him. “ It is only summer lightning,” Philip He felt her heart; a faint pulse was still answered.
“But come, dear, we will go beating there. He lifted her hand; it did within doors, and watch it from the win- not fall down again, but remained stifty dow, it is so beautiful.”
extended She was not dead, but remained They went in, and stood watching the in a trance if possible more fearful still than storm. Stella felt no fear, for her husband death. was beside her. She rested her head on All that night, the next day, and throughhis shoulder, and felt his arm encircle her, out another horrible night, did Philip hang and thus they looked on the gathering over his insensible wife. No skill could clouds, and the brilliant flashes of sheet wake her from her terrible repose ; she lay lightning that momently illumined the immovable, breathing faintly, but a tinge whole heaven, and made the dark woods as of life was on her marble-like face, and the bright and distinct as in broad daylight. glare of her open eyes was fearful to behold. Even when the heavy drops began to fall, Philip tried to close them, but the eyelids and a low rumbling of thunder was heard shrank back again from the dilated pupils. in the distance, they did not turn away, for He covered them with a veil, for he could the minds of both were of too high an or- not bear to see the horrible expression they der to experience that weak sorrow which gave to the beautiful face he loved so makes the feeble shrink from that grandest much. and most beautiful sight-a thunder-storm When the second day was at its meriat night.
dian, Philip thought he saw her breast “You are not afraid, my dearest ?” heave, a faint hue dyed her white lips--asked the husband.
they moved; and with a wild cry he clasped “No, Philip," answered Stella. “I his wife in his arms, and strove to reanilike to watch a storm coming on. I feel a mate those pale lips with kisses. kind of awful delight, as though I were “Philip," she murmured faintly, “I drawn nearer to heaven, and heard the thought I was dead.”. voice of God in the thunder.
I have no
" You are living-here in my arms, my fear, except that I would ever have those I beloved—my heart's treasure,” cried the love beside me as now."
husband, almost weeping with joy. Philip pressed his wife nearer to him with “Ah, I remember the storm ; it is all a smile. “Now you are quite safe, love." over now. It is night; but why have you Yes, with
you. I remember the first put out the lamp? I cannot see you, storm I ever watched, after my sight was love." restored. It was here at this very window. Philip shuddered at her words, for the I was foolish, my Philip, I know, but I room was flooded with the golden light of could not turn my thoughts from you. Il noon. He looked at Stella's eyes; their
expression revealed the awful truth; the it pleased her ; he no longer shrank from lightning had struck her, and she was once the pleasant sunshine, because she could more hopelessly blind.
behold it no more ; but spent whole days in guiding her steps through the forest, describing everything he saw with the elo
quence of love.
remember once when you said,
'I will be your eyes, dearest ?!" Stella oné “Go not away—yet ah, dark shades I see
(6 and now you are Obscure thy brow—thou goest! but give thy day whispered to him ;
so, my Philip! you make me see with your Must it be so ?- Then go-I follow thee;
eyes. Yes! unto death unto the Silent Land." FREDERIKA BREMER,
Philip, groaned, “ Hush, hush, I cannot
bear it. 2) Stella awoke from that thunder-stricken
look at me; I am not sad; trance unto darkness that no human power indeed, Philip, you do not know how happy could henceforth sweep away—those sweet I am. If I were now, as I once waseyes were now blind for ever. Meekly, as lonely, helpless, with no one to love mebecame her nature, did she bow beneath I might indeed lament; but with you, my the stroke, but Philip writhed under it in husband, ever with me, giving up all for insupportable agony. Stella's health slowly me, with the knowledge that my infirmity recovered, and she rose up from her bed of only proves how strong is your love, how sickness, and once more wandered about can I murmur? My own Philip; you are the house, pale, pensive, but still calm. the light of my eyes; there is no darkness Then burst forth her husband's wild despair. for me when you are by.” His frantic words sometimes reached almost And Philip could only press her to his to imprecations. He wished that the ter- heart, and weep. rible lightning flash had struck him dead, But though when her husband was by, rather than that he should live to see this Stella appeared contented and cheerful, and wreck of his happiness. His whole nature indeed was so, yet there were times when seemed changed; the gentle, upright, pious- she felt bitterly the deprivation of all those hearted Philip Armytage was all but a ma- pleasures which had become so dear to her. niac in his wild despair.
She longed to behold that beautiful world But Stella seemed to have gained all the which had been revealed to her sight, only firmness which he had lost. Patient, un- to be shut out again for ever; and more repining, she was to him like a guardian than all did she yearn to look once more angel, soothing and cheering him, as if he upon the face of her husband, to watch it had been the stricken one, and she the con- kindling into genius, until it became, to soler. He would take her away, to try all her at least, as the face of an angel. She that metropolitan skill could effect, and to knew, by the tones of his voice, when it amuse her, as he thought, with every enjoy- wore that look, and then her heart sank to ment that London could furnish. But think that she must see it no more for ever. Stella knew it was hopeless, and though At times, too, when in her darkness she she submitted, to please her husband, still was attiring herself, or arranging her long it was not long before her health failed in auburn hair, a natural sigh would escape the close air of the city, and Philip bore her at the memory of the days in which her her again to her native home.
first discovered that she was There the soft spring breezes once more beautiful ; and a throb of pleasure came to brought faint roses to the cheek of the blind her heart at the thought that she was wife, and hope, almost joy, stole back again thereby more worthy of the long absent, but to her heart, for she knew that heart would well-beloved one. Then, too, Stella would soon throb with the pulses of a mother's turn from the past to the dim future, and love. Again life became sweet to her, and sometimes even weep that she would never a little of her cheerfulness communicated behold the face of her child-that the blind itself to Philip's melancholy spirit. In his mother would not trace, in its opening wife's presence
he grew more calm, and for beauty, a likeness to the features more dear her sake he returned to those pursuits to her. And then, with these mother which, in the first burst of wild agony, he thoughts, came memories of her own lost had vowed to relinquish for ever. He read parent, in solemn sweetness leading Lur to her, as of old; he wrote poetry, because from earth to heaven.
Thus the time wore on ; Philip's anguish seen the sun of hope set ere noon, who was lulled by happy hopes for the future, would keep the poor mourning ones from and Stella's brow wore a holy calmness. their rest! Thus let us think of thee, O One day, an aged woman, who had nursed Death! gentle unlooser of life's burden, her in her infancy, shook her head as she who foldest thy calm, still arms round the looked mournfully on the changing cheek weary frame, and leavest the immortal and transparent hands; she knew well that spirit to rise rejoicing unto God. the mysteries of the coming birth alone For months after the death of Stella, the kept away the dread phantom, whose sha- world was a blank to Philip Armytage. dow already hung over the blind mother. His noble mind was a wreck, and if at times
The hour of trial came ; it brought a glimpses of reason and intellect came, like moment's joy, and then the gloom of des- wandering meteors through the ruins, they pair. In a few days, the faint wailing cry only showed more plainly the mournful desoof the young spirit which had entered this lation around. One soft woman's voice, and world of care was hushed; and silently, gentle woman's hand had power over him in slowly, the mother was following her babe his wildest moods, they were those of Mrs. to heaven. No earthly power could save Lyle. Many thought that his brain bad her, and Philip knew it. As still and never recovered from the fearful lightning speechless as her whose life was ebbing stroke, so that any great sorrow was sure to away on his bosom, the husband waited for overthrow reason for ever. But the love death to take his treasure from his arms. which had suffered so much, and then been
Stella lay in the heavy slumber which a riven by death, was cause sufficient. Rarely temporary delirium had left behind. She do men love to such intensity, but when did not even know on whose anguish-riven they do it is a fearful thing. bosom her head rested. Once only she After a long season, Philip's mind awoke spoke like one dreaming.
from its sleep. With declining health “ I see her, there, there, with white gar- came restored reason. He lost that delaments. Mother, I am coming ; only let sion, which had constantly haunted him, in me bid him farewell.” And her lips closed, which he fancied that the lost one was ever murmuring Philip's name.
present by his side. It might have been a An hour before death her senses returned. dream or not; God only knows. If the She bade Philip kiss her, then whispered departed become ministering spirits, as may faintly
be, what office would be sweeter to that “I'am content, my husband, my beloved ! blessed angel than to watch over and soothe You will come too, soon, oh! soon. There the bewildered mind of him whom she had is no darkness there."
so fondly loved on earth? Calmly, with a She felt for his hand, laid it on her heart, kind of mournful joy, did Philip Armytage and spoke no more. Death stole over that see the world glide from him. Its pleagentle one, not with gloom and sorrow, but sures were like shadows to him now. He with the peaceful shadows of a child's rosy lived near the fatal yet beloved home whose sleep.
gloom was now brightened by infant smiles
and gay young voices, the children of EdLet us pause for a moment to think of mund Brandreth. These loved to gather DeathDeath, as he comes in the midst of round the knees of the pale, but ever-gentle life, and youth, and love, when the world mourner, and hear him talk of her who was is yet sweet, and the journey has been too gone-of her darkened childhood, her happy short for the limbs to grow weary. Yet, youth, her sweetness, and her suffering ; even so; blessed are they who never know and then they would listen with him to the the burden and heat of the day! To murmuring of the trees in the old churchthem the Dread Presence comes as a white-yard, the more fanciful of them thinking it winged angel, ere they have time to invest was her voice whispering to them in the still him with shadows that are alone the crea- evening twilight. But when the solitary tion of man's fearful heart. He comes one had kissed them all, and bade them smiling, to waft them from earth's pleasures good night, he would stretch his arms out to those which are eternal. It is better to in the darkness and cry with a low yearndepart while love's roses are blooming than ing voiceto linger until they fade. Therefore, My Stella, my beloved, let me come to blessed are the young who die beloved and thee.” loving still ! And for those, few in years, And at length the longing prayer was but many in sorrows, who have already heard.
From Bentley's Miscellany.
FROM THE FRENCH OF M. DE LAMARTINE. - BY C. COCKS.
Whilst Paris, France, and the leaders and divided by a deep dimple, gave to the armies of factions, were preparing to tear lower part of her visage a character of manthe republic to pieces, the shadow of a ly resolution, which contrasted with the mighty spirit was hovering over the soul of perfectly feminine grace of the rest of her a young girl, and about to disconcert both countenance. Her cheeks, glowing with men and events by placing the arm and the youth, possessed the firm fulness of health. life of a woman across the path of the des- The least emotion would cause her to blush tiny of the revolution.
or turn pale. Her broad, though someIn a lonely by-street of the city of Caen, what thin chest, was a bust for a sculptor. then the centre of the Girondist insurrec- Her skin was white. Her arms were strong tion, may still be seen an old, grey, weather- and muscular, her hands long, and her finbeaten house, at the end of a court-yard. gers tapering. Her costume, conformable There, in the beginning of 1793, lived a to her limited means and the solitude in grand-niece of our great tragic poet, Pierre which she lived, was of sober simplicity. Corneille. Poets and heroes are of the She trusted to nature, and disdained every
There is no other difference artifice and caprice of fashion in her dress. between them than that of conception and Persons who knew her in her youth, deachievement; the latter realize the concep-scribe her as being uniformly dressed in a tions of the former ; but the thought is the dark-colored robe, cut like a riding-habit,
Women are naturally as enthusias- and wearing a grey felt hat, turned up at tic as the former, and as courageous as the the edge, and ornamented with black riblatter. Poetry, heroism, and love, are of bons, as was then the mode among women the same family.
of her condition. The sound of her voice, This house belonged to a poor, aged, in- that living echo which sums up all the deep firm, and childless widow, named Madame feelings of the soul in a vibration of the de Bretteville. She had had with her, for air, left a deep and tender impression on a few years, a young relation, whom she the ears of those whom she addressed. had brought up for the support of her old They would speak of the sound of that age, and to enliven her solitude. This voice ten years after they had heard it, as damsel was then in her twenty-fourth year. a strange music indelibly impressed on their Her stature, though tall, did not exceed memory. that of the generality of the fine graceful This
named Charlotte women of Normandy. Her complexion Corday-d'Armont. Although of noble expartook of the ardor of the south, and the traction, she was born in a cottage in the rosy hue of the women of the north. Her village of Ligneries, not far from Argentan. hair, which seemed dark, when tied round Her father, François de Corday-d'Armont, her head, or opening in two waves on her was one of those provincial gentilshommes brow, had a golden tinge at the extremity whom their poverty almost confounded with of the tresses. Her eyes, large and extend the peasantry, Occupied with agricultural ing to the temples, were blue when she was pursuits, he beguiled his leisure with polilost in reflection, but changed to black tical and literary studies, then much difwhen she became animated; they were
class of the popushaded by long eye-lashes, darker than her lation. hair, and adding depth to the soul which It was the time when the Girondists were beamed in her eye. Her nose united with contending, with glorious courage and proher forchead by an imperceptible curve ; digious eloquence, against their enemies in and her Grecian mouth and lips had a wav- the Convention. The Jacobins, so it was ering, indefinable expression between ten- believed, wanted to snatch the republic derness and severity. Her prominent chin, out of the hands of the Girondist party, Lamartine's next volume of the History of the Gi- chy. In place of those great men, who
*This graphic accounı will appear in M. de only to plunge France into a bloody anarrondists, which is not yet published.
seemed to be defending at the breach the