« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
could only seek the love of one who would not LIEUTENANT HJALMAR'S LETTER.
scorn to be a peasant's daughter. 6 BELOVED ANNETTE - For the first, the “ Was it not well for us both, Annette, that last time, permit me to call you go — my be that confidence was interrupted ? Subsequent loved. Yes, even now, are you truly, deeply events proved how unnecessary it was beloved. But I write, not to ask you to return proved how loath you were to be a peasant's my love, not to ask you to be my own - ny daughter — how loath you would be to be the wife. That I can never do. Yet it may con- wife of a peasant's son. When I heard that sole you to know, that one heart has beat you, too, were a peasant's daughter, I for you alone with emotions such as those joiced, for I thought our parents were equals. which now almost overpower my reason and But I soon found — pardon me, still too dear muy purpose. Annette, I love you, passionately Annette, it is with pain to myself I write the love you ; but I love others also. * I love and words — I found you denied, were ashamed reverence the parents who watched over my of your own parents, despised your own childhood, who made my boyhood happy, who mother! And I had hoped – blinded as I toiled hard to supply me with the means of was by love -- that you would honor, love, improvement and advancement in my youth, respect mine, even as I do myself. who rejoice now with honest pride over the “Now, then, still beloved girl, it only reprospects of my manhood. These parents, mains for me to bid you an everlasting fareAnnette, are humble, hard-working, but in- well. I have promised myself never volundependent peasants. Education and circum- tarily to see you again ; but I can promise stances have raised me above them in the you to think of you often, to pray for your world's estimation, but not in my own; yet I good, and to desire, truly and fervently, that also feel they have made a distinction between you may make another man happier than, I us; I feel — perhaps I should blush to say it am now at last persuaded, you could have that good, estimable, worthy of love as she made me.
HJALMAR." is, I could not choose for my wife a woman so plain, so unaccomplished, as is my own The lead had sunk deep, very deep; its mother. I own this ; yet I truly honor and weight was well-nigh insupportable in the love my mother; and never would I marry heart of the poor silvered spuon. The furnace the most refined, the most charming of women, was ready. who could not do so likewise. How often Hjalmur received two lines in return for his have I gazed on you, Annette, when this long letter. They were these : thought has been in my mind, when I have been asking myself, could she despise my homely, “Only by one word you wrong me.
That humble parents ? Would she feel ashamed of word is despised.' I have not despised my her husband's being a peasant's son? Ah, mother.'
Anna." Annette, if such were your disposition, all your beauty, all your charms, even that sweet sim- “ Anna?” said Hjalmar to himself, as, in plicity which at tiines at times only — was spite of all his resolutions, he kissed the bilapparent, and had so much fascination for let; “ her name is Annette." me - all, all would be vain! Yes, so have I been thinking, when you have raised those pretty eyes, and I have seen that you felt the Two more years have passed. Two years can earnestness of my regards, and were perplexed bring a good many changes these two as by it. And when you have looked up so, I well as any others. One or two of the have forgotten all but my love. Again we changes we shall now mention. The first is hare met; and some proof of vanity, love of the a military one. The successor of sainted world, of its opinions and fashions, awoke my Weinberg, as captain of a land-regiment, is sluinbering, fears. At last love became too now a sainted somebody else to another mournstrong for silence, but not too strong for fear. ing widow ; and his official place is supplied I then resolved to trust in your sincerity, to by Lieutenant Hjalınar, who has for some two speak to
or three months been in possession of the fide in the integrity of your nature, when, as Kapten's Boställe”* in the same northern I hoped, you should reveal to me something district. In Sweden, there is a sort of standof your own heart in return. The moment for ing militia kept up, the soldiers and officers such confidence offered itself at one time when of which have land and houses for their pay I was most off my guard. You know, how- they unite the offices of farmers and 801ever, how it was interrupted ; but you never diers. The navy also is supplied in the same knew till now my motive in seeking it. It
way; and the men, who are liable at any was not to declare my love; not to solicit time to be called on to serve in it, have their yours ; not to ask you to be my wife ; but to let you know what my wife must be to let
* Boställe that is, the house and land allotted you know that I was a peasant's son, and by government.
TWO YEARS AFTER.
allotted dwellings on the coasts. A captain's evening meal; the large logs crackled and boställe, or farm-house, is an object of no sparkled on the open hearth, their bluxe small ambition to an under-officer. A man 80 danced in the many windows, and through young as Hjalmar still was, might account the open door revealed an inviting scene to himself peculiarly fortunate in attaining such the wet and weary pedestrian, who came a' snug position. We shall look in at hiin slowly over the soft grass that lay between now, and see what he is about in the Kapten's the house and lake. In this region, during boställe. He is, at this present writing, sit- summer-time, the words spoken of a better ting in the porch before his door, after dinner, land may apply: " There is no night there." engaged — notwithstanding his many virtues, The light is not like that of the sun, nor yet we must confess it - in smoking. But no of the moon : it is something between both man is perfect. Kapten Hjalmar's eyes are a light of poetry and dreaminess. But this Bo intently fixed on the vacant seat of the evening a torrent of rain drew the mountain porch opposite to him, that one might im- mists into the pretty vale, and the unusual agine he is meditating the practicability of gloom without rendered the interior of the having a vis-à-vis in his delightful occupation; red wooden-house more distinct, lighted up as but men do look so unioteresting when they it was by the blazing logs on the elevated are pussing smoke in each other's faces — and brick hearth, while it concealed the person of the Swedes do so with such polite compla- the spy who, with the top of his stick pressed cency - that I own I would rather see the hard on his lips, stood seemingly breathless other seat of that pretty porch occupied by at the porch. some one who would prohibit the practice He saw the kitchen was occupied only by altogether. Whether the solitary Kapten two women — an old and a young one. The knows what passes in his observer's thoughts first was preparing the supper; the girl was or not, he appears to act somewhat in ac- sitting at the spinning-wheel an implement cordance with those thoughts; he rises, which, banished from other lands, finds refugo throws away the half-smoked cigar, as if re- and employment in almost every Swedish solving never to smoke another: the move- home; the small hands and little foot were ment is so energetic, that he must be taking quite busily at work; but the pleasant humn a resolution ; and he goes into his house, calls stopped, and, looking towards the old woman the active young woman who, with her hus- as she bent over the hearth, the spinner reband, furing its sole establishment -- and tell- plied to what had been said : " Yes, mother, ing her he is going northward to hunt, and it was hard, very hard at first, for you see i will not be back for some days, slings a knap- was not used to it; I had forgotten all the sack over his shoulder, takes his stick in his old ways, and I had learned a heap of things, hand, and sets out towards the distant moun- and a great many habits, that were just of no tains, whose heads rise above the dark fore- use up here ; and then, ack! yes, moth' : ground of forest lying between them and knows one must think sometimes ; and perhim.
haps I was a little dull, and seemed not quite Captain Hjalmar is by no means a flighty as if I were at home here — but that gues or inconsiderate person; he said he was going better now.” to hunt: a horse is not required for that in “My heart's child!" said the mother, Sweden, but a gun or dogs usually are, and “thou hast always been good and kind, and Hjalmar has neither. In fact, a letter, which clever too ; and, going or staying, thou shalt the Stockholm post brought him two hours have thy mother's blessing." previously, appeared to be more a necessary But, mother, now that Anders is married, accompaniment to his hunting expedition than thou wilt not live here longer I think. Thou either of these ; it was a mere lengthy scrawl wilt come with me, mother, where I can do from a brother-officer, who sent himn the gos- more than I can do here ; I will work for thee isip of the capital to amuse his solitude. A then, and thou shalt rest." Swede seldom thinks of riding except for a Ah, child dear, I thank thee - heartily half-hour's gallop, just to tire a horse, and do I thank thee; but see now, my girl, how bring him in again. It answered the captain's this is : - - Your suinted father brought ine purpuse to go on foot, rather than to take his here when we first married ; he was a good gig; but it was a tedious walk, more especially man to me, and a good father tuo. He died as, towards the close of the following day, a hero, dear, and was buried not so very far off, torrent of rain commenced. Evening had in the parish church-yard. Now, if our drawn on when he emerged from the gloom Lord so please, I will die here too, and will of the monotonous fir-forest, close to the banks be buried with him, where he lies in our of a pretty lake, On the opposite side stood church-yard -- and so will I therefore live out .& confortable-looking red wooden house, at my days here also," the back and one side of which were seen all " Then I will stay here too, mother -- stay the evidences of a talerably thșiving farm. till God takes you to heaven," said the girl, The fire had been just kindled to dress the and bent her head on the spindle, pressing
her cheek on its soft burden, perhaps to wipe The girl bent down her head; a tear fell off a tear.
on her cheek; it was kissed away. “ God's peace !” said a rather husky voice, “We will never talk of this again, Anna entering the door, with a salutation not yet never. Come, love, let us go out; see quite out of fashion among the countryfulk of how charmingly beautiful it is out there!" Sweden.
Anna tied the peasant girl's siinple handThe old woman looked up to return it, and kerchief over her head, and drew on her utter the customary word to the guest ; “ Be gloves. Llow pretty she looked with the soft welcome.' But the young one uttered a black silk resting at the sides of her fair face low cry, sprang forward, and Hjalmar's arms the bright glossy hair fulded buck so caught her to his breast. There were no smoothly beneath it! questions asked, no explanations given ; the " Where are your curls, Anna?" Iljalmar kiss he pressed on her forchead told her all asked, as they went out. “ This pretty hair - she was beloved, forgiven, happy. To find used to be all curls." her there was enough for him.
“ Curls would ill become Jacris' daughAnd wet, dripping wet, ran in Anders and ter,” she replied, with something between a his red-cheeked bride from their out-of-door smile and a sigh. employinents, shaking their clothes, laughing, “But you must wear them again, dearest ; and complaining.
I used to like these pretty curls so much! “ But who have we here? Good-evening, And a Kaptenska, you know, need not be good-evening; be welcome. But - now well! quite a peasant-girl.” The grave, earnest is it not our new Kapten from Björkdal ?" Mjalmar looked so smiling and so happy when
• Kapten!” said Anna, opening her eyes he said this ! But Anna blushed deeply, and looking at Ijalmar.
It was the first time that their marriage had “ Yes, and neighbur also, my beloved,” he been ever alluded to. The blush was underreplied.
stood. " Do you know, Anna, what was the Anders stared amazingly at hearing the first thought that came into my head this new Kapten apply the last word to his sister ; inorning? Well, I must confess it. I thought he pulled his whiskers, lovked odd, and ejacu- how droll it was that I had never yet asked lated that all-signifying Swedish word“ Jasă!” you to be my wife ; that you had never conand then sat down to supper.
sented ; and it would be curious to be marThere is a good deal of room in a peasant- ried without all that! I do not believe I ever farmer's wooden house ; but Anna slept that yet asked if you loved me; I am sure you night by her inother's side, and - the new never yet told me you did." Kapten from Bjorkdal' slept well and soundly Smiles dimpled her cheek, as, glancing for an in her neat little chamber. When he left it instant up to his face, she asked in reply: at an early hour next morning, he found her " Wis it necessary, Hjalmar ?" in the kitchen preparing the coffee; Anders Then Hjalınar told his companion how that and his active wile had already been two letter froin Stockholm, which he had carried hours abroad without that customary morn- with him from his boställe, had contained, ing-cup.
among other gossip, a story of pretty Mamzell • How early thou art out!” she said ; Miller, who, after a serious illness, had disap“mother would have taken thee in coffee just peared from the capital, and never returned now.”
for the space of nearly two years, although the “ Thou wilt give it to me thyself, my An- good Accountants persisted in saying, she had nette, and then we will walk out together.' only gone to see some friends in Norrland,
“My name is Anna, Iljalmar ; I was bap- and would return at the end of that time. tized by that name; and now I am here And Anna told Hjalmar how, in that fearagain, I am also Anna again.”
ful illness, the first she had ever had, the con• Ah! that name stands here," he said, sent of her foster-parents had been given to drawing out her two-line billet, which he her returning for some time to her old and had received more than two years before. real home; but only on condition that when • How often have I read these words, Anna!" she came back to thein
- if she chose to come - and he traced with his fingers the line, back - she should have no parents but them“I have not despised my mother" — " and selves ; she must have no more scenes with each time I reproached myself with having " the mother from Norrland.” caused them to be written, and each timne al- They loved Annette truly and fondly; they most repented of the promise I had made, could not hear to think of finally parting with never voluntarily to see thee again. Yet Ther: but the truth was, that the house of the would have kept that promise if I had not worthy couple had latterly witnessed more learned, only two days since, that thou wert exciteinent and commotion than suited with no longer with the Accountant Miller. Hope their unromantic and steady-going, lives. whispered the truth, and I came to seek thee They attributed all this, from beginning to here."
end, to the mother from Norrland; for they fancied the lieutenant had broken off with active, jocund bride. Then the poor girl their Annette in consequence of Kaptenska thought she might realize her hope, and get Weinberg's intermeddling. Anna, believing her inother to remove with her. This, howthat Hjalmar's letter was confidential, had ever, the mother had refused ; and the alternever spoken of him more. To put an end to native then lay between her own mother and all this, they agreed that she should visit the her Norrland home, and Papa and Mamma old home, quite convinced that she would not Miller and Stockholm. remain there so long as she now thought. “ And you had decided to be your own They thought it as well for her to be out of mother's, my Anna, just as I came in to ask Stockholm, and freed from the unpleasantness you to be mine.' of meeting Hjalmar at that time; and, in the “ Not to ask me, I think,” the girl anfirm belief that she would find the Norrland swered smiling. new-settler's house and life quite insupport- “ Well, to make you so." able to her, they extended their liberality, and The result of the morning's walk, and of a agreed that she might remain there, if she very long talk that took place on one of the wished, even for the space of two years; pro- many felled trees of the forest, was, first, that vided that, at the end of that term, her decis- the consent and blessing of Gumman Jacris ion should be finally made, and she should was to be demanded on their return to the choose, for once and forever, whose she house ; next, that Anna should, as soon as would be. She told him, moreover, how hard possible, repair to Stockholm, accompanied by she had found it at first to reconcile herself her mother, and there surrender herself to Mr. to family manners and modes of life ; how and Mrs. Accountant Miller, who must judge drearily her time had passed ; how irksome her as seemed to them riglit. If that judgher duty was. But how Anders, the good, ment were favorable, which the girl felt sure rough brother, who was the good-natured tor- it would be, she should remain under their ment of her childhood, and the dread of her protection until they surrendered her again to fine-lady life — Anders, who had called her the her husband. Anders and his wife should silvered spoon, had been the one who con- meet them on their return at the Kapten's trived, without rubbing off the silvering, to boställe, and after spending some days with get the lead out of her very heart. He them, to celebrate the marriage, conduct the smoothed her way; he considered her in all old woman back to the home where her husthings; he submitted without affectation to band died, and where she also, if it pleased her superiority, where she was superior, and her Lord, would die. yet made her feel herself of use to him at the This plan was executed with a degree of time when he was really of use to her. He despatch and precision quite creditable to such wanted to learn all that she knew or liked, a slow-moving country as Sweden. Gumman and he ended in making her desirous to learn Jacris gave her consent and blessing; and what he knew and liked better. In the end, that very evening the ceremony of betrothal Anna's natural good sense found out all this ; took place. Hjalmar thought it best it should the whole family became happier, for the good be so, although there was some difficulty in Norrland mother was happy when her beau- getting a couple of rings for the occasion : this tiful child, who had been so dreadfully was managed, however, by the help of the old grand," seemed to be less awkward and out principle — where there is a will there is a of her element at home ; and when Anna way; and the day after, the young captain found that, from delicacy to her, the brother walked back to his boställe, and returned with she had considered so rude, uncouth, almost the strong, but sufficiently comfortible caruncivilized, had actually put off for a whole riage, in which he made his journeys. Travyear the consummation of the wedded blessed- elling in Sweden is perhaps at all times pleasness he contemplated with a good, round- anter to natives than to foreigners ; at all faced, active, thorough-going girl of the neigh- events, few of our readers have made a pleasborhood, all her childhood's love for him anter journey in the far north than was made returned ; and when love came to her aid, by Kapten Hjalmar, his betrothed, and the duty grew light.
Gumian, whom they both now called mother. So had she gone on in her Norrland home They journeyed all the way to Stockholm for nearly two years, But a hope had luin, together. Anna returned to the charge of as yet unextinguished, at her heart. Mr. her fuster-parents, only to be transmitted to Accountant Miller wrote, asking, in words, that of her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Ac for her decision only, but evidently with a countant Miller were more satisfied to part longing desire for her return. To go back to with her when she exchanged them for Kapthe Millers would be to go back to Stockholm ; ten Hjalınar, than they would have been had and Stockholin was still the land of hope to she left them for Gumman Jacris : there was her. She resolved not to leave her mother; less of jealousy in the case, and the whole but at her entreaty Anders fulfilled his mat- affair excited å degree of sentiment, which rimonial engigement, and brought home his drew forth the tears of the excellent pair.
They acted well by their adopted child, and a whole year's occupation in preparing more, gave her a better dower than either she or her since poor Annette had never learned the art husband expected.
of weaving. The Accountant had given all
the silver. Anders' wife brought a piece from When Kapten and Kaptenska Hjalmar her own loom, for the especial use of that arrived at their neat and comfortable boställe, dreadfully beautiful” kitchen. But the they found all in order for their reception, jewel of all the bridal-presents was that offered under the busy and anxious cares of Anders by Anders himself. “ See, dear thou — that and his cheerful, laughing wife. Kaptenska is, I should say, Fru Kaptenska — see,” he ran eagerly through the rooms, delighted with said. them, and everything in them. But the “ Fru Kaptenska!" cried the happy bride, kitchen was, in the estimation of the brother laughing, and clapping her rough but goodand sister-in-law, the charm of the whole hearted brother. " But what is this, Anders ? house. This sight was reserved for the last; - no, really! a wooden spoon! Ah, good and, decorated as it was with flowers and brother, is there lead in the handle ?"! green boughs, it looked really attractive. Nay, little sister ; nay, my dear Anna, Anna was allowed to fly through the other it is not silvered. It is like thyself — a true, apartments as she pleased, alone, when the common, beautiful, wooden spoon.' rest could not keep pace with her ; but in the Thanks, kind good brother. Thanks, Ankitchen the whole party must congregate, ders. Trust me, it shall never be silvered ; it although the preparations for a great supper shall ever remain just what it is, and what it rather disarranged the elegance of its aspect. appears to be nothing more, and nothing Every one uttered exclamations of admiration, less.” and every one presented the usual bridal-gifts, “And my wooden spoon," said her husband, to increase the household stures of the new as his arm encircled the speaker, “ is as prebeginners. Mrs. Accountant Miller had sent cious to ine as any silver one, for it is most some house-linen, but promised herself still lexcellent of its kind.”
From Hogg's Instructor.
HOW A TRUE POET IS MADE. The bird, when ripe, will soar and sing ;
The bard, when grief matures his mind,
Thoughts fit to teach his Adam-kind ;
Hath stared him sternly in the face,
That scorches with a fierce embrace
Are said in Eastern tales to do ;
Our spirits must be bound, ere, true
Ambitious art of minstrel's meed
To gauge the depths of human need ;
Our anadems we wear, for they
A spiritual suffering night and day ; A sense to see, a touch to feel,
Sorrows they have no skill to heal. Yet grief, yet pain, may visit all,
Though few possess the poet's power Po bid soft strains of music fall,
That soothe man's dark and moody hour ;
We may not pity him who hath
From trial and from pain thou 'st taken,
By which their influence may be shaken -
By beauty's fingers on thy brow
The circle where fame's torches glow-
To God — whose book thy harp beside
As soar beyond all human pride
Its vigorous influence loses, nor the place
That fostered once a haught and hardy race, Its temper casts, the sweet and the sublime Shedding for the decrepitude of time.
But 't is the men degenerate, and disgrace
Their nobler fathers, their great deeds deface, And crouch and grovel where their sires would
That on Themistocles and Scipio shined ;
Of power, the daring hand, the aspiring mind.