Imatges de pÓgina


above them, we say, “ Lord, it is good she just clapped both hands together, as to be here !” How fair the wife, the hus- if she'd been shot, and fell right forward band, the absent mother, the gray-haired on the floor in a faint!” father, the manly son, the bright-eyed What could this be? There was a daughter! Seen in the actual present, quick, intense whirl of thoughts in Mary's all have some fault, some flaw; but ab- mind, and then came one of those awful sent, we see them in their permanent moments when the powers of life seem to and better selves. Of our distant home make a dead pause and all things stand we remember not one dark day, not one and then all seemed to fail under servile care, nothing but the echo of its her, and the life to sink down, down, holy hymns and the radiance of its bright down, till nothing was but one dim, vague, est days, - of our father, not one hasty miserable consciousness. word, but only the fulness of his manly Mrs. Scudder and Miss Prissy were vigor and noble tenderness, — of our sitting, talking earnestly, on the foot of mother, nothing of mortal weakness, but the bed, when the door opened noiselessa glorified form of love, - of our broth- ly, and Mary glided to them like a spirit, er, not one teasing, provoking word of - no color in cheek or lip,- her blue brotherly freedom, but the proud beauty eyes wide with calm horror; and laying of his noblest hours, - of our sister, our her little hand, with a nervous grasp, on child, only what is fairest and sweetest. Miss Prissy's arm, she said,

This is to life the true ideal, the calm Tell me,- what is it?- is it?- is glass, wherein looking, we shall see, thathe — dead ?whatever defects cling to us, they are The two women looked at each other, not, after all, permanent, and that we are and then Mrs. Scudder opened her arms. tending to something nobler than we yet “My daughter!” are;- it is “the earnest of our inherit- 6 Oh! mother! mother!” ance until the redemption of the pur- Then fell that long, hopeless silence, chased possession.” In the resurrection broken only by hysteric sobs from Miss we shall see our friends forever as we Prissy, and answering ones from the see them in these clairvoyant hours. mother; but she lay still and quiet, her

We are writing thus on and on, linking blue eyes wide and clear, making an inimage and thought and feeling, and lin- articulate moan. gering over every flower, and listening to “ Oh! are they sure ! — can it be ? every bird, because just before us there is he dead?” at last she gasped. lies a dark valley, and we shrink and “My child, it is true; all we can say tremble to enter it.

is, "Be still, and know that I am God!'" But it must come, and why do we de- “I shall try to be still, mother,” said lay?

Mary, with a piteous, hopeless voice, like

the bleat of a dying lamb; “ but I did Towards evening, one afternoon in the not think he could die! I never thought latter part of June, Mary returned from of that !- I never thought of it! – Oh! one of these lonely walks by the sea, and mother! mother! mother! oh! what shall entered the kitchen. It was still in its I do?" calm and sober cleanness; - the tall clock They laid her on her mother's bed, ticked with a startling distinctness. From the first and last resting-place of broken the half-closed door of her mother's bed- hearts,- and the mother sat down by her room, which stood ajar, she heard the in silence. Miss Prissy stole away into chipper of Miss Prissy's voice. She stayed the Doctor's study, and told him all that her light footsteps, and the words that fell had happened. on her ear were these :

" It's the same to her," said Miss Pris“Miss Marvyn fainted dead away ;- sy, with womanly reserve, “as if he'd she stood it till he came to that; but then been an own brother."

“What was his spiritual state ? " said pathos beyond what he dreamed in his the Doctor, musingly.

intellectual hours; it uprose even as a Miss Prissy looked blank, and answered strong angel, whose brow is solemnly mournfully,

calm, and whose wings shed healing dews " I don't know."

of paradise. The Doctor entered the room where Mary was lying with closed eyes. Those few moments seemed to have done the

CHAPTER XXI. work of years,—so pale, and faded, and sunken she looked; nothing but the pain- The next day broke calm and fair. ful flutter of the eyelids and lips showed The robins sang remorselessly in the that she yet breathed. At a sign from apple-tree, and were answered by bobo Mrs. Scudder, he kneeled by the bed, link, oriole, and a whole tribe of igno and began to pray,—“ Lord, thou hast rant little bits of feathered happiness been our dwelling-place in all genera- that danced among the leaves. Golden tions,"— prayer deep, mournful, upheav- and glorious unclosed those purple eyeing like the swell of the ocean, surging lids of the East, and regally came up the upward, under the pressure of mighty sun; and the treacherous sea broke into sorrows, towards an Almighty heart. ten thousand smiles, laughing and dan

The truly good are of one language in cing with every ripple, as unconsciously prayer. Whatever lines or angles of as if no form dear to human hearts had thought may separate them in other hours, gone down beneath it. Oh! treacherwhen they pray in extremity, all good ous, deceiving beauty of outward things ! men pray alike. The Emperor Charles beauty, wherein throbs not one answering V. and Martin Luther, two great gener- nerve to human pain! als of opposite faiths, breathed out their Mary rose early and was about her dying struggle in the self-same words. morning work. Her education was that

There be many tongues and many lan- of the soldier, who must know himself no guages of men,- but the language of pray- more, whom no personal pain must swerve er is one by itself, in all and above all. It from the slightest minutiæ of duty. So is the inspiration of that Spirit that is er- she was there, at her usual hour, dressed er working with our spirit, and constantly with the same cool neatness, her brown lifting us higher than we know, and, by hair parted in satin bands, and only the our wants, by our woes, by our tears, by colorless cheek and lip differing from the our yearnings, by our poverty, urging us, Mary of yesterday. with mightier and mightier force, against How strange this external habit of livthose chains of sin which keep us from ing! One thinks how to stick in a pin, our God. We speak not of things con- and how to tie a string,- one busies one's ventionally called prayers,— vain mutter- self with folding robes, and putting away ings of unawakened spirits talking drow- napkins, the day after some stroke that sily in sleep,— but of such prayers as has cut the inner life in two, with the come when flesh and heart fail, in mighty heart's blood dropping quietly at every straits ; then he who prays is a prophet, step. and a Mightier than he speaks in him; Yet it is better so! Happy those whom for the “ Spirit helpeth our infirmities ; stern principle or long habit or hard for we know not what we should pray for necessity calls from the darkened room, as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh the languid trance of pain, in which the intercession for us, with groanings which wearied heart longs to indulge, and cannot be uttered.”

gives this trite prose of common life, at So the voice of supplication, upheav- which our weak and wearied appetites so ing from that great heart, so childlike in revolt! Mary never thought of such a its humility, rose with a wisdom and a thing as self-indulgence ; - this daughter



of the Puritans had ber seed within her running towards her and cocking an exAërial in her delicacy, as the blue-eyed pectant eye to her little hand, whenever flax-flower with which they sowed their she appeared. All came at once flying tofields, she had yet its strong fibre, which wards her, — speckled, white, and gleamy no stroke of the flail could break; bruis- with hues between of tawny orange-gold, ing and hackling only made it fitter for — the cocks, magnificent with the bladeuses of homely utility. Mary, therefore, like waving of their tails, — and, as they opened the kitchen-door at dawn, and, chattered and cackled and pressed and after standing one moment to breathe crowded about her, pecking the corn, the freshness, began spreading the cloth even where it lodged in the edge of her for an early breakfast. Mrs. Scudder, little shoes, she said, “Poor things, I am the mean while, was kneading the bread glad they enjoy it!” — and even this one that had been set to rise over-night; and little act of love to the ignorant fellowthe oven was crackling and roaring with ship below her carried away some of the a large-throated, honest garrulousness. choking pain which seemed all the while

But, ever and anon, as the mother suffocating her heart. Then, climbing inworked, she followed the motions of her to the hay, she sought the nest and filled child anxiously.

her little basket with eggs, warm, trans" Mary, my dear,” she said, “ the eygslucent, pinky-white in their freshness. are giving out; hadn't you better run to She felt, for a moment, the customary the barn and get a few ? "

animation in surveying her new treasMost mothers are instinctive philoso- ures; but suddenly, like a vision rising phers. No treatise on the laws of ner- before her, came a remembrance of once vous fluids could have taught Mrs. Scud- when she and James were children toder a better rôle for this morning, than gether and had been seeking eggs just her tender gravity, and her constant ex- there. He flashed before her eyes, the pedients to break and ripple, by chang- bright boy with the long black lashes, the ing employments, that deep, deadly un- dimpled cheeks, the merry eyes, just as der-current of thoughts which she feared he stood and threw the hay over her might undermine her child's life.

when they tumbled and laughed togethMary went into the barn, stopped a er, - and she sat down with a sick faintmoment, and took out a handful of corn ness, and then turned and walked wearito throw to her hens, who had a habit of ly in.

[To be continued.)




(Continued.] CHAPTER III.

ness of the Pincian, and forming the chief feature of the Piazza. Various landings

and dividing walls break up their monotDirectly above the Piazza di Spagna ony; and a red granite obelisk, found in and opposite to the Via di Condotti, rise the gardens of Sallust, crowns the upper the double towers of the Trinità de' Monti. terrace in front of the church. All day The ascent to them is over one hundred long, these steps are flooded with sunand thirty-five steps, planned with con- shine, in which, stretched at length, or siderable skill, so as to mask the steep- gathered in picturesque groups, inodels of every age and both sexes bask away the right angles and clothed in long stockings, hours when they are free from employs comes shuffling along on his knees and ment in the studios. Here, in a rusty old hands, which are protected by clogs. As coat and long white beard and hair, is the it approaches, it turns suddenly ip from Padre Eterno, so called from his con- its quadrupedal position, takes off its hat, stantly standing as model for the First shows a broad, stout, legless torso, with Person of the Trinity in religious pic- a vigorous chest and a ruddy face, as of tures. Here is the ferocious bandit, with a person who has come half-way up from his thick black beard and conical hat, below the steps through a trap-door, and now off duty, and sitting with his legs with a smile whose breadth is equalled wide apart, munching in alternate bites only by the cunning which lurks round an onion, which he holds in one hand, the corners of the eyes, says, in the blandand a lump of bread, which he holds in est and most patronizing tones, with a the other. Here is the contadina, who rising inflection, “ Buon giorno, Signore ! is always praying at a shrine with upcast Oggi fa bel tempo,” or fa cattivo tempo," eyes, or lifting to the Virgin the little as the case may be. This is no less a child, among whose dark curls, now lying person than Beppo, King of the Begtangled in her lap, she is on a vigorous gars, and permanent bore of the Scale hunt for the animal whose name denotes di Spagna. He is better known to travlove. Here is the invariable pilgrim, ellers than the Belvedere Torso of Herwith his scallop-shell, who has been jour- cules at the Vatican, and has all the neying to St. Peter's and reposing by the advantage over that wonderful work, of way near aqueducts or broken columns having an admirable head and a good so long that the memory of man runneth digestion. Hans Christian Andersen has not to the contrary, and who is now fast celebrated him in “ The Improvvisatore,” asleep on his back, with his hat pulled and unfairly attributed to him an infaover his eyes. When the forestieri come mous character and life; but this account along, the little ones run up and thrust is purely fictitious, and is neither vero nor out their hands for baiocchi; and so pretty ben trovato. Beppo, like other distinare they, with their large, black, lustrous guished personages, is not without a hiseyes, and their quaint, gay dresses, that tory. The Romans say of him, “Era un new comers always find something in Signore in paese suo," — " He was a gentheir pockets for them. Sometimes a tleman in his own country,” — and this group of artists, passing by, will pause

belief is borne out by a certain courtesy and steadily examine one of these mod- and style in his bearing which would not els, turn him about, pose him, point out shame the first gentleman in the land. his defects and excellences, give him a He was undoubtedly of a good family baiocco, and pass on. It is, in fact, the in the provinces, and came to Rome, model's exchange.*

while yet young, to seek his fortune. His All this is on the lower steps, close to crippled condition cut him off from any the Piazza di Spagna; but as one ascends active employment, and he adopted the to the last platform, before reaching the profession of a mendicant, as being the upper piazza in front of the Trinità de' most lucrative and requiring the least exMonti, a curious squat figure, with two ertion. Remembering Belisarius, he probwithered and crumpled legs, spread out at ably thought it not beneath his own dig

nity to ask for an obolus. Should he be * During this last winter, the government above doing what a general had done ? have prohibited the models, for I know not

However this may be, he certainly bewhat reason, from gathering upon these steps;

came a mendicant, after changing his and they now congregate at the corner of the Via Sistina and Capo le Case, near the Pizzi

name, — and, steadily pursuing this procherin, from which they supply themselves

fession for more than a quarter of a cenwith groceries.

tury, by dint of his fair words, his bland

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smiles, and his constant “Fa buon tempo” profession, who are soliciting, with small and “Fa cattivo tempo,which, together success, the various passers by, as a king with his withered legs, were his sole stock smiles down upon his subjects. The donin starting, he has finally amassed a very key being brought, he shuffles on to its respectable little fortune. He is now

crupper and makes a joyous and triumphabout fifty-five years of age, has a wife ant passage down through the streets of and several children; and a few years the city to his home. The bland business ago, on the marriage of a daughter to a smile is gone. The wheedling subservery respectable tradesman, he was able viency of the day is over. The cunning to give her what was considered in Rome eye opens largely. He is calm, dignified, a more than respectable dowry. The and self-possessed. He mentions no more other day, a friend of mine met a trades- the state of the weather. What's Hecuman of his acquaintance running up the ba to him, at this free moment of his reSpanish steps.

turn? It is the large style in which all Dove andate in una tanta affretta ?” this is done that convinces me that Bephe inquired.

po was a “Signore in paese suo.” He has “ Al Banchiere mio."

a bank, and so has Sir Francis Baring. Al Banchiere? Ma quale Banchiere What of that? He is a gentleman still. sta in su le scale ?

The robber knights and barons demanded “Ma Beppo," was the grave answer. toll of those who passed their castles, with Ho bisogna di sessanta scudi, e lui mele violence and threats, and at the bloody presterà senza difficoltà."

point of their swords. Whoso passes BepDa vero?” said my friend.

po's castle is prayed in courtesy to leave Eh sicuro, come gli pare,” said the a remembrance, and receives the blandother, as he went on to his banker. * est bow and thanks in return. Shall we,

Beppo hires his bank — which is the then, say, the former are nobles and genupper platform of the steps — of the gov- tlemen, the other is a miserable begernment, at a small rent per annum; gar? Is it worse to ask than to seize? and woe to any poor devil of his pro- Is it meaner to thank than to threaten ? fession who dares to invade his prem- If he who is supported by the public is a ises! Hither, every fair day, at about beggar, our kings are beggars, our pennoon, he comes mounted on his don

sions are charity. Did not the Princess key and accompanied by his valet, a lit- Royal hold out her hand, the other day, tle boy, who, though not lame exactly, to the House of Commons ? and does any wears a couple of crutches as a sort of one think the worse of her for it? We livery,- and as soon as twilight begins are all, in measure, beggars ; but Bepto thicken and the sun is gone, he closes po, in the large style of kings and robhis bank, (it is purely a bank of deposit,) ber-barons, asks for his baiocco, and, like crawls up the steps, mounts a stone post, the merchant-princes, keeps his bank. I and there majestically waits for his valet see dukes and guardie nobili, in shining to bring the donkey. But he no more helmets, spurs, and gigantic boots, ride solicits deposits. His day is done ; his daily through the streets on horseback, bank is closed; and from his post he and hurry to their palaces; but Beppo, looks around, with a patronizing superi- erectly mounted on his donkey in his ority, upon the poorer members of his short-jacket, (for he disdains the tailored

• * Where are you going in such haste ?" skirts of a fashionable coat, though at “ To my banker."

times over his broad shoulders a great “ To your banker? But what banker is

blue cloak is grandly thrown, after the there above the steps ?"

manner of the ancient emperors,) is far Only Beppo. I want sixty scudi, and he can lend them to me without difficulty."

more impressive, far more princely, as he ** Really?"

slowly and majestically moves at night* Of course."

fall towards his august abode. The shad

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