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teen pence, or, at most, two shillings a-visit.”
"But Dr. Snell keeps his carriage, and has built a fine house," I timidly rejoined.
And poor Rosa, without thinking she was doing | speak of making a fortune, when only paid thirany harm, felt particularly proud in announcing to her most intimate friend that her young mistress had got a lover; her intimate friend announced it to the whole town; and the whole town, anxious to ascertain the truth of the report, offered their congratulations to my father and mother wherever they went. They both positively denied it, but nobody believed them; and of
my mother began to have serious suspicions the state of the case, when the same story was repeated to her by my grandmother, who had heard it from Rosa, whilst they were knitting and chatting together during my mother's absence in her Gesellschaft.
She was very thoughtful for several days, but I only imagined she shared in my anxiety as to my appearance at our first winter ball. I had more than a dozen times admired my clear, white muslin dress, and the roses for my hair, and thought the time would never arrive for Ulmer to tell me how well I looked in them; when, the evening before this important assembly, as I sat working a pair of slippers as a new-year's gift for my brother, my mother suddenly broke silence by asking me if any young man had yet offered to escort me to the ball?
"Yes, mother," I replied, "Ulmer is coming
to fetch me."
in the country, has married a rich wife, and is "Yes, my dear, because he is the first operator old enough to be Ulmer's father. But a young student is another affair, and the sooner you forget him the better.”
My dear kind mother, do not say so," I rewe are both very plied, bursting into tears; young, let us at least hope.”
"No, Lisa," she said, taking my hand tenderly in hers, "I would comfort you if I could, but there is no hope. Your father has a rich friend to whom he has long promised you, and he will never hear of any one else for your husband. But do not cry, dearest Lisa, I too had a first love, whom I was obliged by family reasons to give up-and yet you see-I have been very happy with your father.”
I looked at my poor mother, and in spite of her faded cheek and lustreless eye, I felt, for the first time, that she had once had young feelings like my own. But they had been crushed; and the broken heart, which had been capable of the tenderest sympathies and the most devoted attachment, had been left to learn, by habit, to suphallowed by a unity of sentiment or one of port with meekness a conventional marriage, un
Her eyes were full of tears. Though her long attention to the petty cares of her household, without even the occasional refreshment of any and her feelings, she could not assist to sacrifice nobler pursuit, had deadened both her thoughts her daughter as she had been sacrificed without self-reproach. Yet she knew it must be done, and she succeeded at length in persuading me of the folly of attempting to resist my father's will. I sent my brother to Ulmer, to tell him what had passed; to forbid his coming to escort me to the ball, or dancing with me on the following evening. Few women who have ceased to dance think of going to a ball in my native town, and mothers rarely accompany their daughters to such assemblies, to which a partner's escort, or that of a male relative, is sufficient. My father went with me that night; but still Ulmer found means once unobserved to approach me, and to exchange a few hurried words. It was for the last
I learnt, a month afterwards, that instead of pursuing the medical profession, he had been suddenly invited to join a relative, who had a large cotton manufactory in the neighbourhood of Naples. I have heard once since, that he has grown suddenly rich; but it was only when it was too late for any change of his fortunes to in
Such was the termination of my first love!
BY GEORGE GILFILLAN, AUTHOr of a “gallERY OF LITERARY PORTRAITS."
"Break, break, break,
THE subject of the following sketch seems a the Donnes, Withers, and Quarleses, of the signal example of the intimate relation which seventeenth century. What is peculiar to himself sometimes exists between original genius, and a is a certain carol, light in air and tone, but proshrinking, sensitive, and morbid nature. We found in burden. Hence his little lyrics such as see in all his writings the struggle of a strong in- " Oriana," "Mariana at the Moated Grange," the tellect to "turn and wind the fiery Pegasus," of" Talking Oak," the "May Queen”—are among a most capricious, volatile, and dream-driven ima- his most original and striking productions. They gination. Tennyson is a curious combination tell tales of deep tragedy, or they convey lessons of impulse, strength, and delicacy approaching | of wide significance, or they paint vivid and comto weakness. Could we conceive, not an Eolian plete pictures, in a few lively touches, and by a harp, but a grand piano, played on by the swift few airy words, as if caught in dropping from the fingers of the blast, it would give us some image sky. By sobs of sound, by half hints of meaning, of the sweet, subtle, tender, powerful, and change- by light, hurrying strokes on the ruddy chords ful movements of his verse, in which are wedded of the heart, by a ringing of changes on certain artificial elegance, artistic skill, and wild, impe- words and phrases, he sways us as if with the tuous impulse. It is the voice and lute of Ariel; united powers of music and poetry. Our readers but heard not in a solitary and enchanted is- | will, in illustration of this, remember his nameland, but in a modern drawing-room, with beau- less little song, beginning tiful women bending round, and moss-roses breathing, in their faint fragrance, through the half-opened windows. Here, indeed, lies the paradox of our author's genius. He is haunted, on the one hand, by images of ideal and colossal grandeur, coming upon him from the isle of the Syrens, the caves of the Kraken, the heights of Ida, the solemn cycles of Cathay, the riches of the Arabian heaven; but, on the other hand, his fancy loves, better than is manly or beseeming, the tricksy elegancies of artificial life-the "white sofas" of his study-the trim walks of his garden-the luxuries of female dress-and all the tiny comforts and beauties which nestle round an English parlour. From the sublime to the snug, and vice versa, is with him but a single step. This moment toying on the carpet with his cat, he is the next soaring with a roe over the valley of diamonds. We may liken him to the sea-shell which, sitting complacently and undistinguished amid the commonplace ornaments of the mantelpiece, has only to be lifted to give forth from its smooth ear the far-rugged boom of the ocean breakers. In this union of feminine feebleness and
imaginative strength, he much resembles John Keats, who at one time could hew out the vast figure of the dethroned Saturn, "quiet as a stone,' with the force of a Michael Angelo, and, again, with all the gusto of a milliner, describe the undressing of his heroine in the "Eve of St. Agnes." Indeed, although we have ascribed, and we think justly, original genius to Tennyson, there is much in his mind, too, of the imitative and the composite. He adds the occasional langour, the luxury of descriptive beauty, the feminine tone, the tender melancholy, the grand aspirations, perpetually checked and chilled by the access of morbid weakness, and the mannerisms of style which distinguish Keats, to much of the simplicity and the philosophic tone of Wordsworth, the peculiar rhythm and obscurity of Coleridge, and a portion of the quaintness and allegorizing tendency which were common with
On thy cold gray crags, O sea!” which is a mood of his own mind, faithfully rendered into sweet and simple verse. It is in composition no more complicated or elaborate than a house built by a child, but melts you, as that house would, were you to see it after the dear infant's death. But than this he has higher moods, and nobler, though still imperfect aspirations. In his " Two Voices," he approaches the question of all ages-Whence Evil? And if he, no more than other speculators, unties, he casts a soft and mellow light around this Gordian knot. This poem is no fancy piece, but manifestly a transcript from his own personal experience. He has sunk into one of those melancholy moods incident to his order of mind, and has become “ the sun," and of all the sun shines upon―espeaweary of slides in at that dark hour a still small voice: how cially of his own miserable idiosyncracy. There different from that which thrilled on Elijah's ear in the caves of Horeb! It is the voice of that awful lady whom De Quincey calls Mater tenebrathe only remedy for human woes. rum, our lady of darkness. It hints at suicide as
"Thou art so full of misery,
Were it not better not to be ?"
And then there follows an eager and uneasy interlocution between the "dark and barren voice," and the soul of the writer, half spurning, and half holding parley with its suggestions. Seldom, truly, since the speech by which Despair in Spenser enforces the same sad argument, did misanthropy breathe a more withering blight over humanity and human hopes; seldom did unfortunate, by a shorter and readier road reach the conclusion, "there is one remedy for all," than in the utterances of this voice. Death in it looks lovely; nay, the one lovely thing in the universe. Again and again the poet is ready to yield to the desire of his own heart, thus seconded by the mystic voice, and, in the words of one who
tion that has been repressed, of an intellect that has wrestled with doubt, difficulty, and disease.
often listened to the same accents to "lie down | a heart that has been disappointed, of an ambilike a tired child, and weep away this life of care." But again and again the better element of his nature resists the temptation, and beats back the melancholy voice. At length, raising himself from his lethargy, he rises, looks forth it is the Sabbath morn, and, as he sees the peaceful multitudes moving on to the house of God, and as, like the Anciente Mariner, he "blesses them unaware," straightway the spell is broken, the "dull and bitter voice is gone," and, hark!
"A second voice is at his ear,
and it gives him a hidden and humble hope, which spreads a quiet heaven within his soul. Now he can go forth into the fields, and
"Wonder at the bounteous hours, The slow result of winter showers, You scarce can see the grass for flowers." All nature calls upon him to rejoice, and to the eye of his heart, at least, the riddle is read. Nay, we put it to every heart if this do not, more than many elaborate argumentations, touch the core of the difficulty. "Look up," said Leigh Hunt to Carlyle, when he had been taking the darker side of the question, and they had both come out under the brilliance of a starry night, "look up, and find your answer there!" And although the reply failed to convince the party addressed, who, looking aloft at the sparkling azure, after a pause, rejoined, with a deep sigh, and in tones we can well imagine, so melancholy and far withdrawn, "Oh! it's a sad sight;" yet, apart from the divine discoveries, it was the true and only answer. The beauty, whether of Tennyson's fields-where we "scarce can see the grass for flowers," or of Leigh Hunt's skies, "whose unwithered countenance is young as on creation's day," and where we find an infinite answer to our petty cavils-is enough to soothe, if not to satisfy, to teach us the perfect patience of expectancy, if not the full assurance of faith.
Tennyson, in some of his poems as well as this, reveals in himself a current of thought tending towards very deep and dark subjects. This springs partly from the metaphysical bias of his intellect, and partly from the morbid emotions of his heart. And yet he seems generally to toy and trifle with such tremendous themes, to touch them lightly and hurriedly, as one might hot iron, at once eager and reluctant to intermeddle with them. Nevertheless, there is a perilous stuff about his heart, and upon his verse lies a "melancholy compounded of many simples." He is not the poet of hope, or of action, or of passion, but of sentiment, of pensive and prying curiosity, or of simple stationary wonder, in view of the great sights and mysteries of Nature and man. He has never thrown himself amid the heats and hubbub of society, but remained alone, musing with a quiet but observant eye upon the tempestuous pageant which is sweeping past him, and concerning himself little with the political or religious controversies of his age. There are, too, in some of his writings, mild and subdued vestiges of a wounded spirit, of
In Locksley Hall, for instance, he tells a tale of unfortunate passion with a gusto and depth of feeling, which (unless we misconstrue the mark of the branding iron) betray more than a fictitious interest in the theme. It is a poem breathing the spirit, and not much inferior to Byron's "Dream," in all but that clear concentration of misery which bends over it like a bare and burning heaven over a bare and burning desert. Locksley Hall, again, is turbid and obscure in language, wild and distracted in feeling.
The wind is down, but the sea still runs high. You see in it the passion pawing like a lion who has newly missed his prey, not fixed as yet in a marble form of still and hopeless disappointment. The lover, after a season of absence, returns to the scene of his early education and hapless love, where of yore he
"Wandered, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of time."
A feeling, cognate with, and yet more imperious than those his high aspirations, springs up in his mind. It arises in spring like the crest of a singing bird. It is the feeling of love for Amy his cousin, sole daughter of her father's house and heart. The feeling is mutual, and the current of their true love flows smoothly on, till interrupted by the interference of relatives. Thus far he remembers calmly; but here recollection strikes the fierce chord of disappointment, and he bursts impetuously forth
“O, my cousin, shallow-hearted. O, my Amy, mine no
"Old and formal, suited to her petty part; With her little hoard of maxims, preaching down a daughter's heart."
But himself, alas! what is to become of him? Live he must-suicide is too base a back door out of existence for his brave spirit. But what to do with this bitter boon of being? There follow some wild and half-insane stanzas expressive of the ambitions and uncertainties of his soul. It is the Cyclops mad with blindness, and groping at the sides of his cave. He will hate and despise all women, or, at least, all British maidens. He will return to the orient land, whose " larger constellations" saw a father die. He will, in his despair, take some savage woman who shall rear his dusky race. But no-the despair is momentary-he may not mate with a squalid savage; he will rather revive old intellectual ambitions, and renew old aspirations, for he feels within him that the "crescent promise of his spirit has
not set." It is resolved-but, ere he goes, let
Now, for me, the woods may wither; now, for me, the
out the sentiments of millions of thankful hearts. We feel in it what a noble thing was the Arabian mind-like the Arabian soil, "all the Sun's" like the Arabian climate, fervid, golden-like the Arabian horse, light, elegant, etherial, swift as the wind. "O, for the golden prime of good Haroun Alras-chid!" O for one look -- though it were the last of that Persian maid, whom the poet has painted in words vivid as colours, pal
Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath
Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain, or hail, or fire,
For a mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go."
The "Thousand-and-one Nights" is one enchantment-more powerful than the lamp of Alladin, or the Open Sesame of Ali Baba. The author, were he one--not many-is a magician-a genii
And thus the ballad closes, leaving, however, with us the inevitable impression that the unfortunate lover is not done with Locksley Hall nor its bitter memories, that Doubting Castle is not down, nor giant Despair dead-that the calls of the curlews around it will still resound in his ears, and the pale face of its Amy, still unutterably beloved, will come back upon his dreams— that the iron has entered into his soul-and that his life and his misery are henceforth commen-human surate and the same.
greater than Scott, than Cervantes, equal to Shakespere himself. What poetry, passion, pathos, beauty of sentiment, elegance of costume, ingenuity of contrivance, wit, humour, farce, interest, variety, tact in transition, sunniness of spirit, dream-like wealth of imagination, incidental but precious light cast upon customs, manners, history, religion-everything, in short, that can amuse or amaze, instruct or delight, the spirit! Like the Pilgrim's Progress— devoured by boys, it is a devout study for bearded men.
Among the more remarkable of Tennyson's poems, besides those already mentioned, are "The Tennyson has expressed, especially, the moonPoet," "Dora," "Recollections of the Arabian light voluptuousness of tone and spirit which Nights, Enone," "The Lotos Eaters," "Ulys- breathes around those delicious productions, as ses, “Godiva ;" and "The Vision of Sin." well as the lavish magnificence of dress and deThe Poet" was written when the author was coration, of furniture and architecture, which young, and when the high ideal of his art was were worthy of the witch element, the sunny clijust dawning upon his mind. It is needless to mate, and the early enchanted era, where and say that his view of the powers and influences of when they were written, But we doubt if he poetry is different with what prevails with many mates adequately with that more potent and in our era. Poetry is, with him, no glittering terrible magic which haunts their higher regions, foil to be wielded gaily on gala days. It is, or as in the sublime picture of the Prince's daughter ought to be, a sharp two-edged sword. It is not fighting with the Enchanter in mid air, or in the a baton in the hand of coarse authority-it is a mysterious grandeur which follows all the Advenmagic rod. It is not a morning flush in the sky tures of Aboulfaouris. With this, too, indeed, he of youth, that shall fade in the sun of science-it must have sympathy; for it is evident that he is a consuming and imperishable fire. It is not a abundantly fulfils Coleridge's test of a genuine mere amusement for young love-sick men and lover of the Arabian Nights. "Do you admire," women-it is as serious as death, and longer said the author of Kubla Khan to Hazlitt, "the than life. It is tuned philosophy-winged science Thousand-and-one Nights?" No; was the an-fact on fire-" truth springing from earth"-swer. high thought-voluntarily moving harmonious numbers. His "Poet" is "dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, the love of love," and his words "shake the world."
The author, when he wrote "The Poet," was fresh from school, and from Shelley, his early idol. Ere writing "Dora" he had become conversant with the severer charms of Wordsworth; and that poem contains in it not one figure or flower is bare, literal, and pathetic as the book of Ruth. Its poetry is that which lies in all natural life, which, like a deep quiet pool, has only to be disturbed in the slightest degree to send up in dance those bells and bubbles which give it instantly ideal beauty and interest, and lo! the pool becomes a poem!
His "Recollections of the Arabian Nights" is a poem of that species which connects itself perpetually, in feeling and memory, with the original work, whose quintessence it collects. It speaks
"That's because you don't dream.” But surely, since the "noticeable man, with large grey eyes," awoke in death from his long lifedream, no poet has arisen of whom the word were more true than of Tennyson, whether in reproach or commendation, asleep or awake" Behold this dreamer cometh."
In "Enone," we find him up on the heights of Ida, with the large foot-prints of gods and goddesses still upon its sward, and the citadel and town of Troy, as yet unfallen, as yet unassailed, visible from its summit. Here the poet sees a vision of his own-a vision which, recorded in verse, forms a high third with Wordsworth's 'Laodamia" and Keats's "Hyperion," in the classical style. Less austere and magnificent than the poem of Keats, which seems not so much a torso of earthly art as a splinter fallen from some other exploded world-less chaste, polished, and spiritual, than Laodamia, that Elgin marble set in Elysian light, it surpasses both in picturesque
distinctness and pathetic power. The story is essentially that of" Locksley Hall," but the scene is not the flat and sandy moorland of Lincolnshire, but the green gorges and lawns of Ida. The deceived lover is none, daughter of a River God. She has been deceived by Paris, and her plaint is the poem. Melancholy, her song as that of a disappointed woman-melodious, as that of an aggrieved goddess. It is to Ida, her mother mountain, that she breathes her sorrow. She tells her of her lover's matchless beauty-of her yielding up her heart to him-of the Deities descending to receive the golden apple from his hands of his deciding it to Venus, upon the promise of the "fairest and most loving wife in Greece "of his abandonment of Enone, and of her despair. Again and again, in her agony, she eries for Death; but the grim shadow, too busy in hewing down the happy, will not turn aside at her miserable bidding. Her despair at last becomes fury; her tears begin to burn; she will arise; she will leave her dreadful solitude
"I will rise, and go
Down into Troy, and, ere the stars come forth, Talk with the wild Cassandra; for she says A fire dances before her, and a sound Rings ever in her ears of armed men. What this may be I know not; but I know That, wheresoe'er I am, by night and day All earth and air seems only burning fire." And fancy follows Enone to Ilium, and sees the two beautiful broken-hearted maidens meeting, like two melancholy flames, upon one funeral pile, mingling their hot tears, exchanging their sad stories, and joining, in desperate exultation, at the prospect of the ruin which is already darkening, like a tempest, round the towers and temples of Troy. It is pleasant to find from such productions that, after all, the poetry of Greece is not dead-that the oaks of Delphos and Dodona have not shed all their oracular leaves-that the lightnings in Jove's hand are still warm-and the snows of Olympus are yet clear and bright, shining over the waste of years-that Mercury's feet are winged still-and still is Apollo's hair unshorn-that the Mythology of Homer, long dead to belief, is still alive to the airy purposes of poetry-that, though the "dreadful Infant's hand" hath smitten down the gods upon the capitol, it has left them the freedom of the Parnassian Hill; and that a Wordsworth, or a Tennyson, may even now, by inclining the ear of imagination, hear the River God plunging in Scamander-Enone wailing upon Ida---Old Triton blowing his wreathed horn; for never was a truth more certain than that
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." We had intended to say something of his "Lotoseaters," but are afraid to break in upon its charmed rest to disturb its sleepy spell-to venture on that land "in which it seemed always afternoon" —or to stir its melancholy, mild-eyed inhabitants. We will pass it by, treading so softly that the "blind mole may not hear a footfall." We must beware of slumbering, and we could hardly but be dull on the enchanted ground.
of luxurious repose, and seems, to apply his own words, a perfect poem in "perfect rest," "Ulysses" is the incarnation of restlessness and insatiable activity. Sick of Ithaca, Argus, Telemachus, and (sub rosa) of Penelope too, the old muchenduring Mariner King, is again panting for untried dangers and undiscovered lands. "My purpose holds,
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die." Tennyson, with his fine artistic instinct, saw that the idea of Ulysses at rest was an incongruous thought, and has chosen rather to picture him journeying ever onwards toward Infinity or Death
"It may be that the gulphs will wash us downIt may be, we shall reach the happy isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we know." And with breathless interest, and a feeling approaching the sublime, we watch the grey-headed Monarch stepping, with his few aged followers, into the bark, which is to be their home till death, and stretching away toward Eternity. And every heart and imagination cry out after him-" Go, and return no more."
"Godiva" is an old story newly told-a delicate business delicately handled-the final and illuminated version of an ancient and world-famous tradition. Its beauty is, that, like its heroine, it is "clothed on with chastity." It represses the imagination as gently and effectually as her naked virtue did the eye. We hold our breath, and shut every window of our fancy, till the great ride be over. And in this trial and triumph of female resolution and virtue, the poet would have us believe that Nature herself sympathised—that the light was bashful, and the sun ashamed, and the wind hushed, till the great pilgrimage was past-and that, when it ended, a sigh of satisfaction, wide as the circle of earth and heaven, proclaimed Godiva's victory.
The “Vision of Sin" strikes, we think, upon a stronger, though darker, chord than any of his other poems. There are in it impenetrable obscurities, but, like jet black ornaments, some may think them dearer for their darkness. You cannot, says Hazlitt, make "an allegory go on all fours." A vision must be hazy-a ghost should surely be a shadow. Enough, if there be a meaning in the mystery, an oracle speaking through the gloom. The dream is that of a youth, who is seen riding to the gate of a palace, from which "Came a child of Sin,
And took him by the curls, and led him in." He is lost straightway in mad and wicked revel, tempestuously yet musically described. Meanwhile, unheeded by the revellers, a "vapour, (the mist of darkness!) heavy, hueless, formless, cold," is floating slowly on toward the palace. At length it touches the gate, and the dream changes, and such a change!
A grey and gap-toothed man, as lean as Death,
While the "Lotos-eaters" breathes the very spirit | And lighted there, he utters his bitter and blasted