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invited through the newspapers. My experience about these receptions and levees is that they are the most tiresome things one can well conceive of, though exceedingly proper, nay, praiseworthy in themselves. The recep-' tions are stiff from their very nature; being as it were obligatory on the part of the President, and have yet this inconvenience, that they present you constantly with new faces, and that the company is seldom numerous enough to admit of an agreeable chat without being observed or noted by a reporter. The case is different with the levees, which are always jammed after the fashion of the crushroom at the London Opera House. One cannot, of course, call this society; as well might you consider the people in the streets your company: but the custom is laudable, and the idea which introduced it in perfect unison with the simplicity of our government. Once every month, if not oftener, the President opens his house, (which is in fact the people's house,) to all who wish to pay their respects to him. He receives them, not as their chief magistrate, but as a gentleman receives his invited guests, who, on that occasion, are his equals and must be treated with cordial civility. Considering that everybody goes, and that there is no master of ceremonies appointed to preserve order and decorum among the visiters, the scene at the levee of an American President is a source of just pride to every citizen. I have never noticed any glaring impropriety such as one doea notice occasionally at European courts, where none arc invited who have not been regularly presented; and as to the eagerness with which, according to foreign criticism, "the universal mob at a President's levee" attack the refreshments, it has been vastly exceeded by the telect mob of Frenchmen and Englishmen in their rush to the supper-room at the Tuileries. I doubt whether any European sovereign would be personally safe in throwing his palace open to a mixed multitude, and there is certainly no city in Europe the entire population of which would, under such circumstances, conduct themselves with such distinguished propriety as the people of Washington.
And here I think it is proper that I should notice some of the agreeable things in and ibout the federal city, which atone really in a great measure for its foibles. One of them is the unpretending, generous hospitality which the people extend, without scarcely an exception, to respectable strangers from all parts of the Union. There are no "vulgar upstarts" about Washington, there is no "codfish aristocracy," as Mr. Bennett has baptized it, no irritating and offensive exclusiveness on the part of self-constituted " upper classes." The
very poverty of the people of Washington protects them from the vulgar pride of wealth and the vices of n society merely based on fortune. There is none of the crudeness and arrogance of a fast-growing place, though of course none of the vigour and energy which accompany the movements of such communities.
Washington, moreover, is delightful from the absence of all inquisitive neighbours, no matter in what part of the town you happen to reside. Neighbours, in a city, arc always troublesome; they are a sort of forced acquaintance which every one tries to get rid of as best he can, without giving offence or rendering himself obnoxious to their censure; their very sympathy is distressing, and even in prosperity little better than an annoyance. The people of Washington are not much troubled with such affectionate incumbrances, and a sudden transition from Boston, for instance, to the federal city, must really produce a very lively sensation of individual and social independence.
Again, Washington has no mob, though in lieu thereof a mixed population of free blacks and slaves, constituting by far the worst body of servants in the United States. I do not remember having conversed with a Washingtonian who did not complain of his " domestics." As the evil is generally felt, I wonder they do not propose some adequate means of effecting a cure. At all events, the absence of a mob is a pretty good offset against the absence of good servants, and adds certainly much to the security of property in the District, the whole of which is guarded by about sixteen watchmen and an auxiliary guard, of which I never saw but the captain.—Perhaps the rest are militia!
Among the other good things in Washington, I must not forget to mention a very important one in all cities and all times; I would here allude to the absence of all provincial feeling, and the presence of a high-toned comprehensive patriotism which embraces the whole Union. This is the more gratifying when contrasted with the state pride of the inhabitants of other cities, which but too often degenerates into a sentiment almost antagonistical to Americanism. To whatever extent partisan feelings in politics may be carried in Washington, a genuine imperishable love of the Union, of the whole country, is a characteristic quality of its inhabitants. One cannot but be convinced that here, after all, beats the national heart! With all the vexations of mind and body to which strangers are exposed in the federal city, few will leave it without grateful remembrances, and an attachment to its very soil, which will make a return to it an object of gratification and delight
"GIVE ME BACK MY LETTERS."
BY MISS E. BOGAET.
Give back thy letters?—Take them—there,
They're hollow as the empty air,
I prized them only while I deemed
Thy heart was in each line;
I bowed at falsehood's shrine.
Ah, life's illusions are so sweet,
An age in them is told!
Which pass, and leave us, old.
Like rose leaves scattered on the wine.
The poisoned draught to hide. So did each written page of thine
Conceal deception's tide.
Then take thy letters back again,
And read them if thou wilt, And let them shame the treacherous pen,
Which love's false fiibric built.
Take back the memory of the past I
I have abolished all—
That thou may'st it recall.
I cast it from me, and am free,
For now, I know thee not! Unmasked, I find thou art not he,
Whom I hod ne'er forgot.
The semblance only thou dost wear,
The intellectual face,
It must have found its place.
And thou dost ask thy letters, now,
The missives of thy art!
And lightness in my heart.
Take back—take back thy written words!
They have no power for me!
A lasting memory.
THE RIVAL SONGSTERS.
BY MISS E. A. STARR.
Ah! plume thy crest, my pretty bird,
And shake thy happy wings,
That o'er thee empty swings;
Of thine own tropic clime,
Of the bright year's flowery prime.
Perchance thy mate, in yonder vine,
Awaits thy charmed note,
In wooing dalliance float.
And from my hand you flutter,
To a thought too sweet to utter.
Yet which of all thy rapturous strains
Can over tell for me,
In a gush of melody?
The strong delight, the human joy,
Thy tones can ne'er express;
Would break with happiness.
The summer leaves will bring to thee,
Dear wish, a happy nest,
Which triumphs in my breast;
To a charm I cannot speak,
And mantling'on my cheek.
Other vines may bud and thickets bloom,
By the spring dews gently wet,
Of all the season yet;
With love's entrancing art.
Which is warbling at my heart.
BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
Fru. many dreamy summer days,
Full many wakeful summer nights, Fair Rosalie had walked the ways
Wherein young Love delights.
Love took her by the willing hand—
And oft she kissed the smiling boy— He led her through his native land, The innocent fields of Joy.
As oft the evening tryste was set,
In cedarn grottoes far apart. That young and lovely maiden met The Minstrel of her heart.
Then Time, like some celestial barque,
With viewless sails and noiseless oars,
And once he sang enchanted words,
Learned music from his voice.
He sang to her of charmed realms,
Of streams and lakes discerned by chance,
Of vales, of purple mountains far,
With flowers below and stars above, And of all homelier things that are Made beautiful by Love;
Of rural days, when harvest sheaves
Along the heated uplands glow,
He sang how evil evermore
Keeps ambush near our holiest ground, But how an angel guards the door Wherever Love is round.
Even while he sang new flowers had bloomed,
New stars looked through the river mist,
And with those flowers he crowned her there,
Oh, moon and stars, oh leaves and flowers,
Ye heard thnir plighted accents then— And heard within those sacred bowers The tramp of armed men!
Her father spake: his angry word
The youth returned in keener heat; But when replied the old man's sword, The youth lay at his feet. ?OL. VI. 3
And as a dreamer breathless, weak,
From some im measured turret thrown,
They raised her in her drowning swoon,
And placed her on a palfrey white; A statue, paler than the moon,
They bore her through the night.
Loud rang the many horses' hoofs.
Like forging hammers, fast and full; To her they seemed to tread on woofs Of deep and noiseless wool.
And like a fated bridal flower,
From some betrothed bosom blown. They bore her to her prison tower, And left her there alone.
And when the cool auroral air
Had won her tangled dreams apart, She found the blossoms in her hair— Their memory in her heart.
She rose and paced the chamber dim,
And watched the dying moon and stars, Until the sun's broad burning rim
Blazed through the lattice bars.
About her face the warm light stole.
There streamed no morning sun.
The day went by; and o'er the vale
She saw the rising river mist; And like a bride, subdued and pale, Arrayed her for the tryste,
In nuptial robes, long wrought by stealth.
With opals looped, pearl-broidered hems:
The stars came out, and by degrees
She hoard her name, and knew the call:
At once the noiseless doors swung wide; She passed the shadowy stair and hall— And One was at her side.
One, whose dear voice had charmed her long,
And wooed her spirit to delight, With airs of wild unwritten song, On many a summer night.
They passed the village hand-in-hand!
They gazed upon the minster towors,