Puslapio vaizdai

to him in the intervals of the delicious them both into the immediate Presmusic, in some recess where the roses ence. and jasmines and heliotropes made the “ This is my friend Professor Gridair heavy with sweetness, and the crim- ley, Mrs. Ketchum, whom I have the son curtains drooped in heavy folds honor of introducing to you, – a very that half hid their forms from the curi- distinguished scholar, as I have no ous eyes all round them. Her heart doubt you are well aware. And this is would swell like Genevieve's as he told my friend Mr. Gifted Hopkins, a young her in simple phrase that she was his poet of distinction, whose fame will life, his love, his all, — for in some two reach you by and by, if it has not come or three words like these he meant to to your ears already." put his appeal, and not in fine poet- The two gentlemen went through the ical phrases : that would do for Gifted usual forms, the poet a little crushed Hopkins and rhyming tomtits of that by the Presence, but doing his best. feather.

While the lady was making polite Full of his purpose, involving the speeches to them, Myrtle Hazard came plans of his whole life, implying, as he forward. She was greatly delighted to saw clearly, a brilliant future or a dis- meet her old friend, and even looked astrous disappointment, with a great un- upon the young poet with a degree of exploded mine of consequences under pleasure she would hardly have exhis feet, and the spark ready to fall into pected to receive from his company. it, he walked about the gilded saloon They both brought with them so many with a smile upon his lips so perfectly reminiscences of familiar scenes and natural and pleasant, that one would events, that it was like going back for have said he was as vacant of any aim, the moment to Oxbow Village. But except a sort of superficial good-natured Myrtle did not belong to herself that disposition to be amused, as the blank- evening, and had no opportunity to enest-eyed simpleton who had tied him- ter into conversation just then with eiself up in a white cravat and come to ther of them. There was to be dancing bore and be bored.

by and by, and the younger people Yet under this pleasant smile his were getting impatient that it should mind was so busy with its thoughts that begin. At last the music sounded the he had forgotten all about the guests well-known summons, and the floors befrom Oxbow Village who, as Myrtle gan to ring to the tread of the dancers. had told him, were to come this even- As usual on such occasions there were ing. His eye was all at once caught a large number of non-combatants, who by a familiar figure, and he recognized stood as spectators around those who Master Byles Gridley, accompanied by were engaged in the campaign of the Mr. Gifted Hopkins, at the door of the evening. Mr. Byles Gridley looked on saloon. He stepped forward at once gravely, thinking of the minuets and the to meet and to present them.

gavots of his younger days. Mr. Gifted Mr. Gridley in evening costume made Hopkins, who had never acquired the an eminently dignified and respectable desirable accomplishment of dercing, appearance. There was an unusual look gazed with dazzled 22a admiring eyes of benignity upon his firmly moulded at the wonderful evolutions of the gracefeatures, and an air of ease which rather ful performers. The music stirred him surprised Mr. Bradshaw, who did not a good deal; he had also been introknow all the social experiences which duced to one or two young persons as had formed a part of the old Master's Mr. Hopkins, the poet, and he began to history. The greeting between them feel a kind of excitement, such as was was courteous, but somewhat formal, often the prelude of a lyric burst from as Mr. Bradshaw was acting as one his pen. Others might have wealth and of the masters of ceremony. He nod- beauty, he thought to himself, but what ded to Gifted in an easy way, and led were these to the gift of genius? In


fifty years the wealth of these people with him presented, as he had heard would have passed into other hands. was the way with great people when In fifty years all these beauties would going about the country. But this was be dead, or wrinkled and double-wrin- only a suggestion, and by no means a kled great-grandmothers. And when serious thought, for that would have they were all gone and forgotten, the implied infatuation. name of Hopkins would be still fresh Gifted Hopkins was quite right in in the world's memory. Inspiring believing that he attracted many eyes. thought! A smile of triumph rose to At last those of Myrtle Hazard were his lips; he felt that the village boy called to him, and she perceived that an who could look forward to fame as his accident was making him unenviably inheritance was richer than all the mil- conspicuous. The bow of his rather lionnaires, and that the words he should large white neck-tic had slid round and set in verse would have a lustre in the got beneath his left ear. A not very world's memory to which the whiteness good-natured or well-bred young fellow of pearls was cloudy, and the sparkle of had pointed out the subject of this diamonds dull.

slight misfortune to one or two others He raised his eyes, which had been of not much better taste or breeding, cast down in reflection, to look upon and thus the unusual attention the these less favored children of Fortune, youthful poet was receiving explained to whom she had given nothing but itself. Myrtle no sooner saw the little perishable inheritances. Two or three accident of which her rural friend was pairs of eyes, he observed, were fast- the victim, than she left her place in ened upon him. His mouth perhaps the dance with a simple courage which betrayed a little self-consciousness, but did her credit. “I want to speak to he tried to show his features in an as- you a minute," she said. “Come into pect of dignified self-possession. There this alcove." seemed to be remarks and questionings And the courageous young lady not going on, which he supposed to be only told Gifted what had happened something like the following:

to him, but found a pin somehow, as Which is it? Which is it? — Why, women always do on a pinch, and had that one, there, that young fellow, him in presentable condition again aldon't you see? — What young fellow most before the bewildered young man are you two looking at? Who is he? knew what was the matter. On reflecWhat is he? — Why, that is Hopkins, tion it occurred to him, as it has to the poet.

Hopkins, the poet! Let me other provincial young persons going see him! Let me see him ! — Hopkins ? to great cities, that he might perhaps What! Gifted Hopkins ? etc., etc. have been hasty in thinking himself an

Gifted Hopkins did not hear these object of general curiosity as yet. There words except in fancy, but he did un- had hardly been time for his name to questionably find a considerable num- have become very widely known. Still, ber of eyes concentrated upon him, the feeling had been pleasant for the which he very naturally interpreted as moment, and had given him an idea of an evidence that he had already begun what the rapture would be, when, wherto enjoy a foretaste of the fame of which ever he went, the monster digit (to hint he should hereafter have his full allow- a classical phrase) of the collective adance. Some seemed to be glancing miring public would be lifted to point furtively, some appeared as if they him out, and the whisper would pass wished to speak, and all the time the from one to another, “ That's him ! number of those looking at him seemed That's Hopkins!" to be increasing. A visicn came through Mr. Murray Bradshaw had been his fancy of himself as standing on a watching the opportunity for carrying platform, and having persons who wished

out his intentions, with his pleasant to look upon him and shake hands smile covering up all that was passing

in his mind, and Master Byles Gridley, thought she heard an unconscious echo looking equally unconcerned, had been through his lips of an admiration which watching him. The young man's time he only shared with all around him. came at last. Some were at the supper- But in him he made it seem discrimitable, some were promenading, some nating, deliberate, not blind, but very were talking, when he managed to get real. This it was which had led him Myrtle a little apart from the rest, and to trust her with his ambitions and his led her towards one of the recesses in plans, - they might be delusions, but the apartment, where two chairs were he could never keep them from her, and invitingly placed. Her cheeks were she was the one woman in the world to flushed, her eyes were sparkling, — the whom he thought he could safely give influences to which he had trusted had his confidence. not been thrown away upon her. He The dread moment was close at hand. had no idea of letting his purpose be Myrtle was listening with an instinctseen until he was fully ready. It re- ive premonition of what was coming, quired all his self-mastery to avoid be- - ten thousand mothers and grandtraying himself by look or tone, but he mothers and great-grandmothers, and was so natural that Myrtle was thrown so on, had passed through it all in prewholly off her guard. He meant to ceding generations until time reached make her pleased with herself to begin backwards to the sturdy savage who with, and that not by point-blank flat- asked no questions of any kind, but tery, of which she had had more than knocked down the great primeval enough of late, but rather by sugges- grandmother of all, and carried her off tion and inference, so that she should to his hole in the rock, or into the tree find herself feeling happy without know- where he had made his nest. Why ing how. It would be easy to glide from should not the coming question anthat to the impression she had pro- nounce itself by stirring in the pulses duced upon him, and get the two feel- and thrilling in the nerves of the deings more or less mingled in her mind. scendant of all these grandmothers ? And so the simple confession he meant She was leaning imperceptibly toto make would at length evolve itself wards him, drawn by the mere blind logically, and hold by a natural con- elemental force, as the plummet was nection to the first agreeable train of attracted to the side of Schehallion. thought which he had called up. Not Her lips were parted, and she breathed the way, certainly, that most young men a little faster than so healthy a girl would arrange their great trial scene; ought to breathe in a state of repose. but Murray Bradshaw was a lawyer in The steady nerves of William Murray love as much as in business, and con- Bradshaw felt unwonted thrills and sidered himself as pleading a cause be- tremors tingling through them, as he fore a jury of Myrtle Hazard's conflict- came nearer and nearer the few simple ing motives.

What would any lawyer words with which he was to make do in a jury case, but begin by giving Myrtle Hazard the mistress of his desthe twelve honest men and true to un- tiny. His tones were becoming lower derstand, in the first place, that their and more serious ; there were slight intelligence and virtue were conceded breaks once or twice in the conversaby all, and that he himself had perfect tion ; Myrtle had cast down her eyes. confidence in them, and leave them to “ There is but one word more to shape their verdict in accordance with add,” he murmured softly, as he bent these propositions and his own side of towards her — the case ?

A grave voice interrupted him. “ExMyrtle had, perhaps, never so seri- cuse me, Mr. Bradshaw,” said Master ously inclined her ear to the pleasing Byles Gridley, “I wish to present a accents of the young pleader. He flat- young gentleman to my friend here. I tered her with so much tact, that she promised to show him the most charmNO. 119.



ing young person I have the honor to vain. The hidden attraction which be acquainted with, and I must redeem drew Clement to the young girl with my pledge. Miss Hazard, I have the whom he had passed into the Valley pleasure of introducing to your ac- of the Shadow of Death overmasquaintance my distinguished young tered all other feelings, and he gave friend, Mr. Clement Lindsay.”

himself up to the fascination of her Once more, for the third time, these presence. two young persons stood face to face. The inward rage of Murray BradMyrtle was no longer liable to those shaw at being interrupted just at the nervous seizures which any sudden im- moment when he was, as he thought, pression was liable to produce when about to cry checkmate and finish the she was in her half-hysteric state of first great game he had ever played, mind and body. She turned to the may well be imagined. But it could new-comer, who found himself unex- not be helped. Myrtle had exercised pectedly submitted to a test which he the customary privilege of young ladies would never have risked of his own at parties, and had turned from talking will. He must go through it, cruel as it with one to talking with another, — that was, with the easy self-command which was all. Fortunately for him the young belongs to a gentleman in the most man who had been introduced at such trying social exigencies. He addressed a most critical moment was not one her, therefore, in the usual terms of from whom he need apprehend any courtesy, and then turned and greeted serious interference. He felt grateful Mr. Bradshaw, whom he had never met beyond measure to pretty Susan Posey, since their coming together at Oxbow who, as he had good reason for believVillage. Myrtle was conscious, the in- ing, retained her hold upon her early stant she looked upon Clement Lind- lover, and was looking forward with say, of the existence of some peculiar bashful interest to the time when she relation between them ; but what, she should become Mrs. Lindsay. It was could not tell. Whatever it was, it better to put up quietly with his disbroke the charm that had been weav- appointment; and, if he could get no ing between her and Murray Bradshaw. favorable opportunity that evening to He was not foolish enough to make a resume his conversation at the interscene. What fault could he find with esting point where he left it off, he Clement Lindsay, who had only done would call the next day and bring matas any gentleman would do with a lady ters to a conclusion. to whom he had just been introduced, He called accordingly, the next — addressed a few polite words to her ? morning, but was disappointed in not After saying those words, Clement had seeing Myrtle. She had hardly slept turned very courteously to him, and they that night, and was suffering from a had spoken with each other. But bad headache, which last reason was Murray Bradshaw could not help see

her excuse for not seeing company. ing that Myrtle had transferred her He called again, the following day, attention, at least for the moment, from and learned that Miss Hazard had just him to the new-comer. He folded his left the city, and gone on a visit to Oxarms and waited, — but he waited in bow Village.

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discovery of America by Chris- would seem as if there was still a third

topher Columbus is the greatest entered among his observations of luevent of all secular history. Besides nar eclipses at Hayti and Jamaica. the potato, the turkey, and maize, which these verses the great discoverer sailed. it introduced at once for the nourish. But Humboldt, who has illustrated the ment and comfort of the Old World, enterprise with all that classical or this discovery opened the door to in- mediæval literature affords, * does not fluences infinite in extent and benefi- hesitate to declare his conviction, that cence. Measure them, describe them, the discovery of a new continent was picture them, you cannot. While this more completely foreshadowed in the continent was unknown, imagination simple geographical statement of the invested it with proverbial magnifi- Greek Strabo, who, after a long life of cence. It was the Orient. When af- travel, sat down in the eighty-fourth terwards it took its place in geogra- year of his age, during the reign of phy, imagination found another field Augustus, to write the geography of in trying to portray its future history. the world, including its cosmography. If the Golden Age is before, and not in this work, where are gathered the behind, as is now happily the prevail- results of ancient study and experience, ing faith, then indeed must America the venerable author, after alluding to share at least, if it does not monopo- the possibility of passing direct from lize, the promised good.

Spain to India, and explaining that the Before the voyage of Columbus in inhabited world is that which we in1492, nothing of America was really habit and know, thus lifts the curtain : known. A few scraps from antiquity, “There may be in the same temperate a few rumors from the ocean, and a few zone two and indeed more inhabited speculations from science, were all that lands, especially nearest the parallel of the inspired navigator found to guide Thinæ or Athens, prolonged into the him. Foremost among all these were Atlantic Ocean.” † This was the voice the well-known verses of the Spaniard of ancient science. Seneca, in the chorus of his “Medea,” Before the voyage of Columbus, which for generations had been the fin- Pulci, the Italian poet, in his Morgante ger-point to an undiscovered world.

Maggiore, sometimes called the last “ Venient annis sæcula seris

of the romances and the earliest of the Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum

Italian epics, reveals an undiscovered Laxet, et ingens pateat tellus,

world beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Tethysque novos detegat orbes ; Nec sit terris ultima Thule.” *

“Know that this theory is false ; his bark “In tardy years the epoch will come

The daring mariner shall urge far o'er

The western wave, a smooth and letel plain, in which the ocean will unloose the

Albeit the carth is fashioned like a wheel. bonds of nature, and the great earth Man was in ancient days of

grosser mould, will stretch out, and the sea will dis

And Hercules might blush to learn how far

Beyond the limits he had vainly set close new worlds; nor will Thule be

The dullest sea-boat soon shall wing her way. the most remote on the globe.”

" Men shall descry another hemisphere, Two, if not more, different copies of Since to one common centre all things tend ; these verses are extant in the hand

So earth, by curious mystery divine

Well balanced, hangs amid the starry spheres.' writing of Columbus, – precious auto- At our Antipodes are cities, states, graphs; one in the sketch of his work And throngéd empires, re'er divined of yore. on the Prophecies, another in a letter * Humboldt, Examen critique de la Géographie, addressed to Queen Isabella; and it

Tome I. pp. 101, 162. See also Humboldt, Kosmos,

Vol. II. pp. 516, 556, 557, 645.
Seneca, Medea, Act II. v. 371.

| Strabo, Lib. I. p. 65; Lib. II. p. 118.

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