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Heaven, I am sure, will bless so good a son as you have been to me. You will have that consolation, my son, which visits too few sons, perhaps : you will be able to look back upon your conduct, not without pain only, but with a sacred joy. And think hereafter of the peace of mind you give me, now that I am about to die, in the thought that I am leaving your sister to your love and care. So long as you live, she will find you both father and brother to her.” She paused for a moment. “I have long felt that I could meet death with composure; but I did not know, I did not know, till now that the hour is come, how hard a thing it would be to leave my children.”
The hue of death was now fast spreading over his mother's face. He stooped forward to catch the sound of her breathing. It grew quick and faint. “My mother!” She opened her eyes, for the last time, upon him; a faint flush passed over her cheek; there was the serenity of an angel in her look; her hand just pressed his. It was all over.
His spirit had endured to its utmost. It sank down from its unearthly height; and, with his face upon his mother's pillow, he wept like a child. He arose with a softened grief, and, stepping into an adjoining chamber, spoke to his aunt. “It is past," said he. “Is my sister asleep? Well, be it so: let her have rest: she needs it.” He then went to his own chamber, and shut himself in.
It is an impression, of which we cannot rid ourselves if we would, when sitting by the body of a friend, that he has still a consciousness of our presence; that, though he no longer has a concern in the common things of the world, love and thought are still there. The face which we had been familiar with so long, when it was all life and motion, seems only in a state of rest. We know not how to make it real to ourselves that in the body before us there is not a something still alive.
Arthur was in such a state of mind as he sat alone in the room by his mother, the day after her death. It was as if her soul was holding communion with spirits in paradise, though it still abode in the body that lay before him. He felt as if sanctified by the presence of one to whom the other world had been opened, -as if under the love and protection of one made holy. The religious reflections which his mother had early taught him gave him strength: a spiritual composure stole over him, and he found himself prepared to perform the last offices to the dead.
When the hour came, Arthur rose with a firm step and fixed eye, though his face was tremulous with the struggle within him. He went to his sister, and took her arm within his. The bell struck. Its heavy, undulating sound rolled forward like a sea. He felt a beating through his frame, which shook him so that he reeled. It was but a momentary weakness. He moved on, pass ing those who surrounded him as if they had been shadows. While he followed the slow hearse, there was a vacancy in his eye, as it rested on the coffin, which showed him hardly conscious of what was before him. His spirit was with his mother's. As he reached the grave, he shrunk back, and turned pale; but, dropping his head upon his breast, and covering his face, he stood motionless as a statue till the service was over.
It was a gloomy and chilly evening when he returned home. As he entered the house from which his mother had gone forever, a sense of dreary emptiness oppressed him, as if his abode had been deserted by every living thing. He walked into his mother's chamber. The naked bedstead, and the chair in which she used to sit, were all that were left in the room. As he threw himself back into the chair, he groaned in the bitterness of his spirit. A feeling of forlornness came over him, which was not to be relieved by tears. She, whom he watched over in her dying hour, and whom he had talked to as she lay before him in death, as if she could hear and answer him, had gone from him. Nothing was left for the senses to fasten fondly on, and time bad not yet taught him to think of her only as a spirit. But time and holy endeavors brought this consolation; and the little of life that a wasting disease left him was passed by him, when alone, in thoughtful tranquillity; and among his friends he appeared with that gentle cheerfulness which, before his mother's death, had been a part of his nature.
RICHARD HENRY WILDE, 1789---1847.
This accomplished scholar and poet was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 24th of September, 1789. When he was seven years old, his father, who had been a hardware-merchant, came to Baltimore to better his fortunes. By the mismanagement of a partner in Dublin, he lost nearly all the property he left behind, and died poor in 1802. The following year the widowed mother romoved to Augusta, Georgia, and there opened a small shop to gain her living, her son Richard aiding her during the day, and pursuing his studies at night He early directed his attention to the law, and, in 1809, was admitted to the bar. He rose rapidly in his profession, and was soon elected Attorney-General of the State.
In 1815, when just past the legal age, he was chosen representative to Copgress, and served but one term. He was again a member of that body from 1828 to 1835. He then went to Europe, passing most of his time, when abroad, in Italy, in the pursuit of his favorite study, Italian literature. On his return home, be published, in 1812, Conjectures and Researches concerning the Love, Madaes, and Imprisonment of Torquato Tasso, in two volumes. In 1844, he removed to New Orleans, and here acquired the highest rank as a civilian. In the spring of 1847, he was appointed Professor of Constitutional Law in the University of Louisiana. His lectures had been partially prepared, but were Dever delivered, his useful career being cut short by death on the 10th of September, 1847. His son, William Cummings Wilde, Esq., of New Orleans, is soon to publish the life and works of his father, in which will be his longest poem, Haperia, which he left in manuscript.
JOHN RANDOLPH AND DANIEL WEBSTER.
Among the legislators of that day, but not of them, in the fearful and solitary sublimity of genius, stood a gentleman from Virginia, whom it was superfluous to designate. Whose speeches were universally read? Whose satire was universally feared ? Upon whose accents did this habitually listless and unlistening house hang, so frequently, with rapt attention? Whose fame was identified with that body for so long a period? Who was a more dexterous debater, a riper scholar, better versed in the politics of our own country, or deeper read in the history of others ? Above all, who was more thoroughly imbued with the idiom of the English language—more completely master of its strength, and beauty, and delicacy, or more capable of breathing thoughts of fame in words of magic and tones of silver ?
Nor may I pass over in silence a representative from New Hampshire, who has almost obliterated all memory of that distinction by the superior fame he has attained as a Senator from Massachusetts. Though then but in the bud of his political life, and hardly conscious, perhaps, of his own extraordinary powers, he gave promise of the greatness he has achieved. The same vigor of thought; the same force of expression; the short sentences; the calm, cold, collected manner; the air of solemn dignity; the deep, sepulchral, unimpassioned voice; all have been developed only, not changed, even to the intense bitterness of his frigid irony. The piercing coldness of his sarcasms was indeed peculiar to him; they seemed to be emanations from the spirit of the icy ocean. Nothing could be at once so novel and so powerful; it was frozen mercury becoming as caustic as redhot iron.
1 « Wilde's theory about Tasso is, that Tasso was devotedly attached to the Prineess Leonora of Ferrara, who seems to have requited his affection, but that the difference in their rank made it necessary for him, by foigning madness, to conceal their attachment; that it was most ignominiously betrayed by a heartless friend, who possessed himself of the secret by means of false keys; and that the subrequent severity of the Duke Alphonso had its origin in his knowledge of the love of the princess. The volume does equal honor to the gen and the impartiality of the author. How we could wish that more of our countrymen, whom circumstances enable to reside abroad, would devote their time and wealth to such honorable labors as have engaged the leisure of Mr. Wilde !"Democratic Review, February, 1812.
MY LIFE IS LIKE THE SUMMER ROSE.
My life is like the summer rose
That opens to the morning sky,
Is scatter'd on the ground to die.
That trembles in the moon's pale ray;
Restless, and soon to pass away :
Have left on Tampa's desert strand;
Their track will vanish from the sand:
TO THE MOCKING-BIRD.
Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe?
Pursue thy fellows still with jest and gibe.
Thou untaught satirist of Nature's school;
Arch-mocker and mad Abbot of Misrule!
Thou pour'st a soft, sweet, pensive, solemn strain,
Like to the melancholy JACQUES complain,
And sighing for thy motley coat again.
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, 1789—1851.
JAXES FETIMORE COOPER, the celebrated American novelist, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, in the year 1789. His father, William Cooper, an English emigrant, who had settled there many years before, had purchased a large quantity of land on the borders of Lake Otsego, New York, and thither Cooper was removed in his infancy, and there passed his childhood,-in a region that was then an almost unbroken wilderness. At the age of thirteen, he entered Yale College, bat left it in three years, and became a midshipman in the United States Navy, in which he continued for six years, making himself, unconsciously, master of that knowledge and imagery which he afterwards employed to so much advantage in his romances of the sea. In 1811, having resigned his post as midshipman, he married Miss Delancey, sister of Rev. Dr. Delancey, with whom, after a brief residence in Westchester County, the scene of one of his finest fictions, be removed to Cooperstown, where, with the exception of his occasional absences in Europe, he passed the greater part of his life, and where he died on the 14th of September, 1851.
Before his removal to Cooperstown, he had written and published a novel of English life, called Precaution, which met with but little favor, But The Spy, which followed in 1821, at once established his fame, and was soon republished in England and on the Continent. It had its faults, indeed,- defects in plot, and occasional blemishes in the composition; but it was a work of original genius, and was widely read and admired. The Pioneers, which appeared in 1823, not only sustained but advanced his reputation; and each succeeding volume of the Leather-Stocking Tales, The Prairie, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Deerslayer, was read with increasing interest. Shortly after the success of The Pioneers had made Mr. Cooper the first novelist of the country, he achieved a triumph on the sea as signal as that he had already won upon the land. His romance of The Pilot, followed at intervals by The Red Rover, The Water- Witch, The Two Admirals, Wing and Wing, &c., placed him at the head of nautical novelists, where he still stands, perhaps, without a rival.'
In the year 1826, Mr. Cooper went to Europe, where his fame had preceded him, and where, while advancing his own reputation by new fictions, he defended
1 Read articles on his writings in “North American Review,” xxiii. 150, Ivii. 139, xlix. 432; “ American Quarterly," lvii. 407. In the “ Bibliotheca Americana," by 0. A. Roorbach, is a list of all his works, amounting to forty volumes.
The following, I believe, is a complete list of his novels, with the dates of their publication > Precaution, 1821.
The Heidenmaner, 1832. Wyandotte, 1843. The Spy, 1821.
The Headsman, 1833.
Afloat and Ashore, 1844. The Pioneers, 1823.
The Monikins, 1835.
Miles Wallingford, 1844. The Pilot, 1823.
Homeward Bound, 1838. The Chainbearer, 1845. Lionel Lincoln, 1825.
Home as Found, 1838. Satanstoe, 1845. Last of the Mohicans,
The Pathfinder, 1840.
The Red Skins, 1846. Red Rover, 1827.
Mercedes of Castile, 1840. The Crater, 1847. The Prairie, 1827.
The Deerslayer, 1841. Jack Tier, 1848. Travelling Bachelor, 1828, The Two Admirals, 1842. Oak Openings, 1848. Wept of Wish-ton-Wish, 1829. Wing and Wing, 1842. The Sea Lions, 1849. The Water-Witch, 1830.
Ned Myers, 1843.
The Ways of the Hour, 1850. The Bravo, 1831.