Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

storm.

cause, and assisted her in bearing up against the

No wonder, that, in the rudeness and uncultivation of her country, she felt grateful for any refined attentions.

A lovelier being never graced the earth. Over any other people, or in any other age, her reign would have been prosperous and happy.

Her beauty would have rallied a host of armed men around her. Her youth would have been a safeguard, and her innocence a protection. Her accomplishments would have led to the cultivation of the social arts.

Under her gentle sway, all hearts would have loved the silken cords' which bound them in allegiance. The blessings of peace would have given to poetry a new inspiration, and her bards, secure in the sweetness of their songs, would have cherished the myrtle, and sheathed the sword.

• In war, she would have been the mountain storm; in peace, the gale of spring.' But this was not for her. It was her fate to see her glories fade away like the dews of morning, and to learn, by sad experience, that the most brilliant qualities, and unparalleled beauty are no defence against envy, hatred, and malice.' Like the unhealthful vapors which rise from the lowlands, and steal over a landscape,

lately all sunshine and flowers, so, sorrow after sorrow clouded the heart of Mary. Every attempt for her relief proved unsuccessful ; and those gallant men who risked their fortunes for her, had only the melancholy opportunity of completing the sacrifice, by offering up their lives in her cause.

Her character is, at this day, amply vindicated, thanks to the truth-loving Robertson, and the philosophic Chalmers. Her beauty still warms the canvas, and her memory lives in song. The following lines from Moore, almost seem to have been intended for her :

Who saw her form in youthful prime,

Ne'er thought that pale decay
Would steal before the steps of time,

And waste its bloom away, Mary.'

As streams that run o'er golden mines

With modest murmurs glide,
Nor seem to know the wealth that shines

Within their gentle tidem

So veiled beneath a simple guise,

Her radiant genius shone,
And that which charmed all other eyes,

Seemed worthless in her own.

Though many a gifted mind we meet,

Though fairest forms we see,
To live with these is far less sweet

Than to remember thee, Mary.

THE

DECREE IN CHANCERY.

It was a sad day in the village of S****, when the master arrived with the Decree in Chancery. To the inhabitants, it seemed a sentence of banishment, for its consequences were poverty and exile.

In a beautiful part of the County of D****, they had founded their settlement at an early period, and had attained the poetic happiness of health, peace, and competence.'

Arrived to venerable age, and fortified by its long experience, they sat down with a complete knowledge of the heart, to counsel and watch over their children and kinsmen.

It was their comfort to see themselves renewing in their posterity and to watch the glow of their own happy youth rekindling in that of their sons. By rectitude of principle, and force of example, the young men were greatly influenced, and greatly moved.

The mothers, with minds accustomed to early cares, and exercised by early necessities, possessed

a deep sense of religion, and manners plain, but winning. From such, precepts and example came with double force; to use the well known expression, • The sons were all brave, and the daughters virtuous.' Until then, the village of S**** had never tasted sorrow.

It was a sensation that too often follows error to have been frequent or common with them. Good order reigned in every dwelling; affection presided in every breast. Theirs was a constellation of virtues, warming, and lighting, and blessing all around them. Indeed, to the merest observer, the situation of the village would have given a presentiment of the character of the inhabitants. Both had gathered softness from age, and richness from cultivation. In both was to be discovered the union of striking features—a blending together, in one harmonious effect, the relative and various beauties of all.

At the foot of a gentle rise of land, and in the valley beneath the hills, which receded into boldness of form, and ruggedness of outline, stood their peaceful hamlets. They were completely sheltered from the cold north winds that came raging from the mountains, and as it were, safe from all the storms that made shipwreck of the world. A beautiful

« AnteriorContinua »