« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
maniac. Could she have endured to The physician shook his head ; at share her griefs with another, she length, after a pause, “I will not dewould doubtless have escaped this last ceive you,” he observed ; “ It is far numbing blow; but with that moody from unlikely that your niece, consiwaywardness, which is by no means dering that youth and a good constiuncommon with people of imagina- tution are in her favour, will recover tive temperament, she shrunk from from this attack ; but the shock ske sympathy, even when offered by those has received has struck so home to most dear to her ; and kept the her imagination, that though the body thoughts and feelings that were wear. may rally, I have little hope of the ing her away, fast locked within the mind.” sanctuary of her own bosom. For “ God's will be done,” faltered Mr. six days, during which her disorder Griffyths ; “ but it is a hard trial
, raged with uncommon violence, she to see those go before me who should rarely slept, took little or no suste- have followed the old man to his nance, and was incessantly starting up grave—and so young, so happy, so from her pillow, raving in the most affectionate as they were !—it seems impassioned terms about Charles. but yesterday that they were both Sometimes she would imagine herself children together; and now one is walking home with him from the dead, and the other must know me turnpike, and put question after ques- no more-indeed, indeed, it is a sore tion to him about the way in which he trial, and more almost than I can spent bis time in London ; then burst- bear ;” and so saying, the poor, ing into a wild shriek, bid them close childless father, unable to wrestle with all the doors and windows, for a his grief, rose hastily, and quitted the strange bell was tolling in her ear. room. Anon, she would cry out that a phan Just as the physician had predicted
, tom was standing by her side ; that the more violent symptoms of Fanny's it fixed its dead, stony eyes continually disorder gradually abated, and towards upon her ; breathed a fire into her night she sank into a long, quiet, and, brain, and shrivelled up her skin by to all appearance, a refreshing slum. its touch. At other times fierce-sus- ber. Her aunt, who kept a constant picions would beset her. She was de- vigil by her side, entertained a confi. ceived—basely and treacherously de. dent hope that when she woke it would ceived. Charles had arrived; she be to consciousness; but it was not so; knew he had ; but they purposely she woke indeed, and no longer a rag, kept him from her sight; and when- ing maniac, but what perhaps was still ever this idea crossed her fancy, her worse, as being more hopeless, a silent red, dilated eye would glow like hot sullen imbecile! There was one sin. steel ; her whole frame quiver with gularity attending this new phase of passion ; and it was with the greatest her malady, which showed how deeply difficulty that those in attendance upon her love for Charles was ingrained, as her could prevent her leaping from it were, into her very nature. Every the bed, and forcing her way out of day at noon, though previously to that the house.
hour she remained in a state of perfect On the seventh day of her malady, apathy, not seeming to recognise any as her aunt and Mr. Griffyths were one by look, speech, or gesture, she reading the prayers for the sick in would start into something like actiher chamber, the physician came in vity; a dim, transient twilight gleam to pay his usual visit, and having ex- of recollection would come over her: amined his patient, who lay perfectly and she would hasten up stairs to her motionless, with her eyes half-closed, chamber; dress herself with marked and one hand pressed upon her heart, care in white comely attire ; make the said, “The disorder is approaching best of her way to the turnpike, ac a crisis, and fo::r-and-twenty hours companied by her nurse, who followed from this time will decide for life or unobserved at a distance; wait at the death.
gate till the coach came up ; inquire “ Surely she will recover!" ex- if Charles was among the number of claimed dirs Davis, while the tears the passengers ; and then depart with streaming down her wan cheeks show a vacant smile on her countenance, ed that she was prepared for the muttering as she turned away
, whe worst.
will come to-morrow!" On her re
turs, she would relapse into her usual traveller on the road-was seen hastenstate of lethargy, moving mechani- ing across Carricksawthy. At the cally about the lawn, with leaden pace, commencement of the fifth year her bowed head, and arms hanging idly last remaining relative died; and now by her side, or standing at the door, there remained only her old nurse, to and indulging in a low feeble laugh whose care her aunt had, in her last whenever she saw Mr. Griffyths ap- moments, consigned her. Yet Fanny proach the cottage. The physician appeared wholly unconscious of Mrs. urged the expediency of her removal Davis's death ; made no inquiries after to a private asylum at Carmarthen, her; and even watched the funeral where he said she would receive every procession move away from the cottage attention that her case demanded ; bút 'without testifying the slightest emotion Mrs. Davis shrunk from the idea of But this state of mind was at length consigning her to the mercy of stran- to have an end. It is a still autumn gers, especially when she was inform- evening, so still that the dry yellow ed that recovery was by no means leaf hangs unstirred upon the ash; probable.
the Sawthy lapses with the gentlest So passed a year, at the end of which murmur over its shrunken bed; the Charles's father, weighed down by quiet sheep are pastoring on the comgriefs and infirmities, followed his son mon; and there, upon that little grassy to the grave. No one was now left but mound which fronts the bridge and Mrs. Davis, whose whole time was de- draws warmth and cheerfulness from voted, with unrelaxing attention, to her the golden sumlight, sit two female niece. It was a melancholy haunt that figures, the younger of whom, appacottage now, where all had once been rently from sheer exhaustion, is reclin30 cheerful—still more melancholy the ing her head on her companion's spectacle of that vacant countenance shoulder. Can that wasted, spectral once so expressive-once so radiant form, whose dim eye and sunken counwith youth, and health, and beauty. tenance speak_of fast approaching But comfort yet remained for the old mortality, be Fanny? Yes, it was ady; she felt that she was fulfilling a indeed that once lovely girl who had sacred duty; and this enabled her to crawled forth for her usual walk; but struggle with her lot, and even to bear it not as in earlier and happier days to with resignation. In pursuance of the feed imagination on the imposing paphysician's advice, she made repeated geantry of this, nature's choicest seaefforts to recall Fanny to reason, by son, for alas the chambers of her mind appealing to her old tastes and feelings; still continue darkened ! Yet more the songs that Charles most loved to than once during the last week, a hear were played to her, in the hope feeble ray of intelligence had glimmer. that they might bring back some frag- ed in upon her brain; something like ment, however imperfect, of recollec. consciousness had revived; and on this tion; his favourite books were thrown day in particular, the symptoms had in her way; his name continually re- assumed so cheering an aspect, that peated in her hearing ; but all was her nurse had purposely prolonged their unavailing; the dark fixed cloud still walk, in the hope that the balmy, brooded over her mind.
healthful evening air might tend to aid Four long, monotonous years had the languid efforts of nature. As they now rolled away, and daily during this sat together on the sunny hillock, period, whether the season was cold suddenly the bells of Llangadock struck or sultry, wet or dry, the poor girl up a loud and merry peal, for there had was seen at the wonted hour to repeat been a wedding in the morning, and her visit to the turnpike gate ; make this in a secluded Welsh village is the same inquiry ; receive the same always an affair of infinite rejoicing. reply ; and then return ome, ex- Fanny started at the sound ; raised claiming, “ He will come to-morrow!” her head gently ; and said, while a No one thought of interrupting her ; faint smile stole over her countenance, she was regarded by all with the “ Nurse, what are those bells ringing tenderest and most respectful feelings for ?". of sympathy; and many a sigh was “ Fanny, dearest Fanny,” exclaimed heaved, and many a bright eye grew her astonished and delighted attendant, dim, as the White Lady—such was the her eyes filling with tears," thank name by which she was known to every Heaven, you know me again !"
“How distinctly we hear the music, that awaited it. Seldom she spoke, murse! I thought at first they were or made allusions to those who had tolling for - but no, no; these are not gone before her ; and never, even the sounds I have heard so often of late when fevered with pain, suffered a in dreams. I suppose it is the evening complaint to escape her lips; for a chimes they are ringing."
light from heaven had shone in upon “ No; it is a wedding peal, Fanny.” her spirit, strengthening and purifying,
“A wedding ? Oh God !-Let us and exalting it, while the material return home, nurse ; it is cold, very frame was hourly verging to decay. cold ; getting late too; my aunt will But was the past forgotten ? Not say we have been out too long."
The low, faint sigh; the tear “My child—my dearest child—what stealing its way down the wasted shall I say? Can you bear to hear the cheek; the touching scriptural pas truth? Yes, it must be told—I can sage, “ I shall go to him, but he will conceal it no longer.”
not return to me," whispered in “ Nurse," replied Fanny, with solemn the intervals of suffering, and in the earnestness, “ I can bear to hear any long, silent watches of the night ; all thing—nothing can touch me now. this told that thoughts of earth still My aunt is dead? Is it not so? mingled with those of heaven in " It is too true."
Fanny's mind. On the evening of “And Mr. Griffyths, my more than her death, feeling herself a little father—his father ?"
stronger than usual, she had requested “ He too is dead."
to be raised up in bed ; and sat, “ Dead—all dead—and I am left propped with pillows, near the open alone! Well, it will not be for long — window, looking out upon the landscape let us come home, nurse; I feel ex- beneath her. She saw the commonhausted-my strength is not what it the bridge the distant road-scenes used to be."
how dear to memory !-and gazed on They walked slowly on to the cot. them with all the yearning fondness tage, and when they reached it, Fanny of one who feels that they are beheld instantly sought that bed from which for the last time. While thus she she was doomed never again to rise. sat, with her hands folded on her During the few days that remained to breast, and her lips feebly moving in her of existence, nothing could exceed prayer, a sharp sudden spasm struck the sweet and patient gentleness of to her heart, and a film came across her nature. There was
more her sight. “ Nurse, " she said, sullenness—no more irritability—she “where are you ? – It is getting knew that she was dying ; one by one dark—the sun has long set-dearest she felt life's finest ligaments giving Charles !” and uttering that loved way; and seemed anxious only to fit her name, she died. The child of many soul for the great and solemn change sorrows was at rest.
OF THE EARLIER ENGLISH MORAL SONGS AND POEMS.
No. 1. We regard it as a sacred and sublime in this indeed identified, that they both truth, that among the various forms in involve the predominance of spirit over which human energy can influence the sense, of the sympathetic over the selminds of others, the poetical faculty fish emotions. It will not follow that contains in itself the best security that the life of the poet is as moral as his it will be nobly and beneficently em- lay, or that his works are unstained by ployed. Bestowed doubtless like error or blemish ; for the man and the every similar gift, not a play. writer will still be subject to the law thing or ornament, not as a snare or of humanity. But the poet, so far as seduction, but as an instrument for he is a poet, and in those creations in purifying and exalting our spiritual which he chiefly appears a poet, in being, it seems distinguished from direct proportion to his genius, will disother powers by a peculiar incapa- play the truest susceptibility for those bility of being diverted from its pro- feelings and convictions by which the per end, or degraded to an unworthy soul of man is distinguished as a moral use. Genius or talent in other shapes spirit. may but imperfectly reach the deeper In obeying the high vocation to seated sensibilities of the heart and which the poet is impelled, it is not conscience, or may with comparative necessary that he should prominently indifference be exerted for good or put forward the moral purposes which evil
, for happiness or missery. Music, inseparably attend him. In seeking sculpture, painting-powerful always no doubt to excite devout or religious to confer exterior polish-may fail to feelings, the very nature of his task, affect the internal structure of the the noblest and most arduous that mind, and even though not termi- poetry can attempt, implies that its nating in the outward senses, may object should openly appear. But it yet linger in a superficial region of is otherwise in the general prosecutaste and enjoyment, not directly lead- tion of that scheme of moral melioraing to the inner sanctuaries of the tion which is next in importance. The soul. Courage and conduct, whether poet here has leave to deal with all military or political, oral or written the feelings of our frame, provided he eloquence, philosophical subtilty, all can so move them as to advance his of them agents of mighty force to great design of rendering the hearts of control the destinies and change the his hearers more obedient to the sway character of mankind, have been se- of sympathy and imagination. It is verally displayed in their brightest his duty to enlarge and strengthen excellence, in subserviency to de. his influence by choosing a field signs of cruelty, corruption, or of interest the most wide and attracfalsehood. But the power of poetry tive that will permit him to labour in its' essence implies a combination for the final objects of his art. The of moral and intellectual qualities, largest combination of literary pleathat cannot co-exist in perfection with sure and moral culture seems an undepravity of heart or perversity of pur- failing characteristic of poetry in its pose. A facility for uniting melodious most influential form, and therefore, in numbers to pointed diction or dazzling its highest perfection, as a means of fancies may
be compatible with insen- human improvement. The poet, as a sibility to 'virtue or enslavement to pleasing and potent teacher of truth vice: and poets even of a high order and goodness, will not in this view may be allured to dally too fondly convey his lessons best by assuming with those affections which, though the rod of the schoolmaster, or the laudable within their limits, are vicious gown of the sage. His secret will be in excess. But the higher a poet rises to preserve a seeming community of in the scale of his art, the more closely thoughts and passions with the rest of must his tendencies and conceptions his race: to borrow his themes and conform to that standard of human topics from objects and events the excellence in which the purer and most alluring to their minds : and more heavenly faculties attain a right- in so doing to lead them insensibly ful ascendency. Virtue and poetry are to new perceptions and higher emá
tions, the result of that wonder-work. land, has poetry performed her allotted ing skill which, by an endless variety function as a teacher of virtue and and succession of golden links, can wisdom. The names of Chaucer and connect the meanest things of earth Spencer, Shakspeare and Milton, Pope and human life with the sublimest and Goldsmith, Thomson and Cow. essences of heaven and immortality. per, Crabbe and Wordsworth, afford The father of poetry was justly de- a proud and instantaneous proof of the scribed by a poet and moralist as one. assertion. In different forms and de. • Qui, quid sit rectum, quid turpe, quid modes of society and character, those
grees, and with reference to various utile, quid non, Planius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore mighty masters have delivered the dicit."
precepts of moral government with a
truth and energy expressive of that “Whose pictured page, with living forms national spirit which they have helped impressed,
to form, and their noble poems, as the In warm imagination's colours dressed, faithful record of what nature is and The right, and fair, and good, will better ought to be, will forever exert a beneteach
ficial sway over the minds of men, Than all that Crantor and Chrysippus even when the language in which they preach."
sung may have been numbered with The great narrative and dramatic the dead. poems which genius has produced, It were an infinite task to traverse seem to tell the world of nothing but the whole range of usefulness and its own business and interests, and yet beauty which would be opened up by under every image and incident there a consideration of our great poets in lurks an unsuspected lesson in moral this aspect of their character. But we advancement more clear and cogent propose at present to gather from the than any that the porch or the cloister field of English poetry, and to weave could inculcate.
into a very humble wreath, some The Music is permitted even to as- flowerets of a lowlier kind, which may sume a garb the most dissimilar to delight by their hues and fragrance
, that of the professed instructress, and while they help to reveal the virtues in the disguise of gaiety and mer- of the generous soil and kindly sky to riment, may still discharge her ap- which they owe their birth. pointed duties. Not inconsiderable is Scattered through our miscellaneous her praise, when in exercising a mas- English poetry, especially of an earlier tery over the light and sportive emo- date, there is a number of smaller tions, she moulds them impercep- and chiefly irregular moral
poems, tibly into forms of purity and love. varying merit and popularity, which liness. As a religious messenger, deserve consideration as intent on conveying peace and truth class. We rather think that they have to a rude people, may outwardly no precise parallel in the literature of conform to their language and cus- other countries, and they eminently toms, the better to win and change reflect some peculiarities of the. Eng: them to his wishes, so may moral wis- lish mind. They spring from that dom adopt the mask of ‘mirth, and serious and sober character
, that seli
. teach the gay to diversify their levi- dependent and contemplative disposities within permitted bounds, and to tion, which turns the eye inwards as temper in all things their hilarity with often as without, and which claims innocence.
kindred with noble qualities, the love Yet an honorable and appropriate of rural nature and of domestic quiet. purpose is also served by poetry of a The compositions we refer to are often cast more directly moral and reflective. bedewed with sweet sprinklings of The danger is, that a formally didactic fancy, and have almost always a purity poem may repel the disciple by con- of diction which time and change have tinued calls on his attention, and in failed to render obsolete. They are general it seems true that poems, avow- not always distinguished by poeti
. edly moral, in order to please, must be cal merit
, but they generally present either confined within a short com- some characteristic feature that gives pass, or blended with a large mix- them an interest. Sometimes they are ture of incident or description. the effusions of simple minds, grateful
In no country better than in Eng- for the slender talent of poetry