ePub 版

the grape treatment, so I followed that in their brigand-looking bonnets; and advice scrupulously. From Lyons, I drank hot rum-punch out of little tumagain rushed away to Geneva, where I , blers. O! corpo di Bacco ! Howheard the great reformer, M. D'Aubigné, beit, they were gentlemen, and never preach-all to strengthen my own re- borrowed anything--probably because form—the gist of which I communicat- they thought I bad nothing to lended to my aunt; played billiards with and so I shook their wash-leather gloves À charining fellow in fawn-colored kindly at parting. gloves—who, I regretted to learn after- Well! in the pursuit of health and wards, was a bag-man commis. for the reform I went on. I think I was at enle of mill-stones at a trifling sacri- Milan and Turin, and afterwards I was fice of half a rouleau of louis ; then I at Genoa. I am quite sure of Genoa, wandered over lakes, and clambered up for I saw there the Chevalier Wikoff, mountains-ever so many (donkeys and ever so high up in a strongly construct. snow-shoes included) of both-when, ed castle with iron-barred windows, getting a little blasé with Switz in mid- for giving chloroform to one Brown, winter. I implored a delightful Britisher her majesty's consul, or some one else, -Lord Frank Bruton, by card and peer. I don't recollect who. Age epithet--to take a place with me in a Then, again, my remembrance is very return veturino over Mount Saint Ber- vivid about giving a modest little suppe nard into Lombardy. He did take the to seven or eight prime donne, with the place-conversed agreeably about his contralto and demi-basso of Carlo Felice estates down in Sussex, and planned a opera-house, in my rooms at the Albergo little party to meet me there the follow. Europa; and bless the exuberance of ing summer. But, in the mean while, spirits of those warblers, they inspectone afternoon he got out for a “ regular ed my wardrobe, costumed themselves tramp, you see," near the Devil's in an immense quautity of my elegant Bridge-so as to get a better view white lace chokers—from pretty girl of that torrent – and, so help me at Boivin's—and absolutely walked off several strong men, that was the last I with them after selling me a box apiece saw of his lordship, together with a for their benefits in Trovatore—which greasy billet de banque for five hundred never came off—in advance of the play. francs, which he aristocratically be bills. Very pleasant people I thought guiled me of until he could get his them next morning. * confounded heavy drafts cashed by I didn't find the cold tramontana winds those rascally banking fellows at of Genoa at all conducive to my health, Milan or Genoa."

so I embarked one day in a steamer I rested all night at the hostelry on top bound for southern Italy. I had an of Bernard, and even induced an amia- original idea, at first, of going in a felucble old monk to send a big old dog, with ca over to the island of Corsica, in a bottle of kirsch strapped round his company with a full-plumed American neck, in pursuit of his lost lordship; general, of the six hundred and fortieth but the search proved fruitless. The next regiment of New York State Fencibles, morning, however, I learned from some who told ine there were the finest black travelers, that a person answering to the horses there, the grandest scenery and description of my friend had been seen the most picturesque robbers to be seen taking his breakfast at Aldernach, and anywhere. I gave up the project, how. had hired a conveyance to take him ever, when the padrone of the craft said down to the lake. This information the signore must sleep on bales of salt relieved my anxiety on account of his fish and soap-boxes in the hold-the Jordship's health and safety, and so I latter material being an unknown chem. continued my journey alone.

ical to the padrone. The general had At Lago Maggiore I fell in with some more pluck, and, after waiting for a wind capital fellows-officers of the Sardini- for three weeks, finally caught a gale an army. They seemed to be stationed which blew him over to Port Mahon, there solely to intercept and make love where I presume he is at this present to French femmes de chambres and rich writing. old maids; all of them had been wound. On board the steamer, I staid on ed at the battle of Novara ; they fought deck all one night to catch the first duels with broadswords every Sunday glimpse of Mount Vesuvius, as we apmorning; wore crimson cocks’-feathers proached Naples. But it rained tho volcano out, and I never saw the first slowly descended from my piano on the puff of smoke the wbole time I staid in first floor. Getting into my barouche, its vicinity. In fact, I should have my painful position fashed upon me, doubted the existence of that mountain for I was not upon intimate terms with entirely, had I not been assured by a the fat young Neapolitan Rothschild ; I lovely fellow-passenger, a dancing won- had not letters of credit or any other der of San Carlos--so she stated—wbo negotiable property by which I could sat with me under an umbrella-mine- communicate with my aunt, and, in short, and assured me the mountain was con- I felt very desolate and uncomfortable. stantly burning, and illuminated the When my body-guard of beggars surcity always on days of festa. When rounded me with their usual plaintive we went on shore, in return for that valu. griefs, and displayed their bones and able volcanic information, the dancer sores, I whacked the wretch with the pirouetted off with my umbrella, and seven stumps of thumbs on one hand, that was the last I saw of the pair. until he shook his natural fist at me with

At Naples, I took a banqueting hall rage. in a grand hotel of Princes on the I stopped a moment to exhibit myChiaja. It was a saloon as big as a self to the handsome fat woman of the barn, and dark as pitch, until it was Café Europa, and swallow some peachlighted by eight wax candles, which I pit prussic acid of absinthe—for my noticed the waiters extinguished, and health-when I said boldly, “Go to the touched off new ones every time I went Consul Americano." Turning sharp out of the room. I had, besides, a car- off from the Strada Toledo, we drove riage all to myself; fourteen beggars, down a narrow split in the housesfrom four months old up to four score, vicos they call these alleys—and on tho in constant pay, like a diseased body- coachee stopping, I looked straight up guard ; two rival punchmen under my in the air at a blue ribbon of sky, and, balcony while shaving, a fellow who almost out of sight, I saw the red-barred pottered about in a bowl and howled, shield and the American eagle, with and I was next-door neighbor to His claws clutched as if in the last collapse of Eccellenza Ex-President Van Buren. colera Asiatica, beneath a window. I Waiters, however, were incensed at my descended in the midst of a small amdistinguished compatriot, because, they bulatory market of jackasses and greens

, said, he dato'd them solamente due car- -chiefly of the cabbage and radish lini il giorno.

I, of necessity, was genus—and, entering a sombre portforced to make good the losses of these cochère with a dark, well-like court-yard varlets roundly.

where the view was obscured by washed In the course of a week, a short puffy clothes, I halted.

who wheezed the sweetest Italian Communing with myself, I said Accent through the medium of the Te- " Now you are here, Mr. Veese, what desco idiom, presented me with a slip of are you going to say to the consul ? paper two yards long. He said, “ zat ze You know consuls are always associated zecetario of Albergo mush like monish, in your mind with two dollars apiece as vas kostomary wis voyageurs." I for viséeing passports; besides, they said “Si,” but on going to see, I dis- are as poor as church-rats, and what covered that there was but part of a brings you here? But will you starve rouleau of those dear little jaunets of Monsieur Henri in your present precari, Naps left in my exchequer—not quite ous health, when wholesome food and half the amount of that long roll of car- delicate wines are essential to you ?" Jini items so kindly furnished me by the This train of reasoning decided me, and inan with the sweet Italian accent. My I went up ever so many dirty stone first impulse was to go down on my steps, until I pulled the bell attached to knees to the ex-president, and negotiate the consul's precincts. I was shown a loan; but I changed my mind, and through the ante-room to the bureau, asked for the American minister. where I found myself in the presence.

"He lif, signor, at Cavi, tree hours by ze It was that of Consul Hammet. He rail-way." This expedition was at once was by no means a Mahomedan, as nipped in the bud; but I bore up and got his name might seem to indicate, but a a direction to the consul's. It struck me large cheerful old American, who had at the time, that the sweet Italian tongue been appointed by some of the antebecame a trifle harsh and doubtful, as I diluvians. General Washington, Patrick


[ocr errors]


Henry, or Mrs. Madison, I forget stick, and stout shoes. He proceeded to which. He wore a pair of short white punch consul in the shirt, spoke ill of trowsers, the upper button somewbere the countıy, the police, the beggars, in the region of his umbilicus, and a and the feas, and finally declared his loose shirt without any buttons at all. intention of going away in the first vapor Copsul said, “ Humph!" I said, “ Fine bound to Sicily. paintings these around the walls." At the sound of his voice I gave one * Humph! you want to buy any ?" I jump, seized him by the back of the immediately bought five Madonnas

five' Madonnas neck, and evinced my joy by choking della Seggiola, at twelve dollars apiece, him in a friendly manner. “ Why. and, if the consul hasn't sold 'themDick, my old boy, don't you know me? they are there yet, Fact is, I forgot to I never was so glad to see a fellow in pay for them.

my life.” Dick let fall the club he had Consul," I began again, “the truth raised to demolish me with, at the first is, I am in want of a little money, and outbreak of my joy, and hugged me to being a stranger in Naples I came to his bosom. seek your advice and a-"

do you know that youth ?" exWhere's your letter of credit ?" says claimed Hammet, as he again became he, shaking himself down into his trow. uneasy in his nether integuments.

“ Know him !" cried Dick, "ay! “ I haven't any, sir, I thought". licked him many a time at school.

“ Dammit,” cries Hammet, “no let- But bow's your health, Harry, and where ter of credit ?"

are you going ?" It was painful to hear an old gentle- He's going to the devil," suggested man, of his time of life, objurgate in consul, " as fast as four horses and the that profane manner, but I thought I opera-girls can drag him ? He came would try a new tack and give him some

here to borrow money. insight into the respectability of my “ Yes !” said I, “ Dick, I'm as clean family connections, and, perhaps, by as a whistle. Have you any ?" that means induce him to relieve my Dick pulled out a square little book, necessities; so I went on modestly, and, unfolding a bluish-tinted letter, ** You see, my dear sir, my grandfather pointed out to me that the individual fought in the Revolution"

wbo signed that document priéd all bis " Humph !” broke in consul, shaking correspondents, in all parts of the habit. himself nearly out of his trowsers, able globe, to honor bis drafts to the did my aunt, and if your grandmother tune of the £. s. d. hereunto appendhad fought in the Revolution, I can't do ed. “ Humph!" said consul, “there's anything for you."

a pair of you.” Consul was good and While I was considering what other kind-hearted, but he was poor, so we and more cogent arguments I could use, shook him cordially by the hand the door opened, and in walked a tall, -not omitting the little attention of graceful figure, with a pair of buge red dollars for passports, and went our moustachios, a slouched hat, a thick way.



[ocr errors]



E knew it would rain, for all the mora,

A spirit, on slender ropes of mist,
Was lowering its golden buckets down

Into the vapory amethyst
Of marshes and swamps and dismal fens-

Scooping the dew that lay in the flowers,
Dipping the jewels out of the sea,

To sprinkle them over the land in showers !
We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed

The white of their leaves—the amber grain
Shrunk in the wind and the lightning now

Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain !


UR fathers of old-pagans though white pall of apparent death? A slight

they were looked upon nature as angle in the position of our globe ; for it children do who love to read in their is well known that, instead of standing mother's eye the sweet affection that in the same upright position as the sun, dwells there forever; and to them there it is somewhat inclined towards the cenwas no event in the wide creation more tre of its magnificent universe. Hence the wonderful and more adorable than the light of the sun cannot always illumine change of the seasons. Now, alas! our the same half of the earth from pole to glance crosses the ocean, and dwells in pole, but now shines with full splendor the vast spaces of the universe ; but our upon the north pole, leaving the souththoughts have lost the childlike simpli- ern half buried in night, and now city of earlier days, and the mind that turns its glorious face towards the south. labors no longer to solve riddles full of It is this change of light and heat which, sweetness and blessings, but to “know in a single word, gives our eartb its life. good and evil, even as the gods," has Thus we see that the seasons are the gained knowledge and lost faith. Not magnificent effect of an insignificant 80 our fathers. They lived with na- cause, the rich source of all organic ture, and felt every throb of their great life, and the very condition of our own mother's pulse; they honored her acts existence. Upon a slight angle of the and loved her features. Revering her axis of the earth rests the whole varied powers as 60 many emblems of the beauty of spring and summer, of autumn Most High, every outward change re- and winter, the unfolding of countless called to their minds, at once and with flowers, and the ripeving of life-giving irresistible force, similar changes in their fruits, the welcome of birds and their own life, and their duties and their joys farewell

, and all the ever changing colwent ever hand in hand with the duties ors of the bright carpet that covers the and joys of nature. How few among globe. And as man is lord of creation, us, on the other hand, watch still, with and yet dependent, in his bodily existsimple, faithful wonder, the marvelous ence, on the very dust from which he changes that the seasons work in the was created, the seasons may well be world around us! Thousands, we fear, said, in their influence on plants and

aware of the charms of animals, to be the cause even of man's spring, and boast that they know not well-being, in fact, of all true life upon the “rigor of winter.” To them, all the earth. year is but one busy scene of city Feebly and faintly this has been felt, turmoil or study's unbroken silence from days of old, by all nations and Still, wo are taught that change is the races, and every age has seen endeav. very soul of nature, that it is the source ors to give this consciousness an ontof her eternal youth.

An ever even ward expression. Far away, on the temperature, an unbroken spring would Syrian coast, where first, in southern be the cessation of life-the ruin and end regions, a change of seasons is clearly of the whole world. Even paradise could perceived, in those mysterious counbut in the poet's fancy possess an ever- tries which border upon the land of the lasting spring; for spring would at once fearful battle between the hot breath of cease to be what it is--the transition from Typhon and the life-giving Nile-there winter to summer-the resurrection of history shows us the earliest efforts nature from silent death to the fulloess made to represent in festive symbols of a rich and beauteous life. Change the varying changes of the year. There alone can permanently please the heart storms, mild to the son of the north, of man, and that change only which is but fierce and futal to the native, break Aver repeated so as to bear witness of with incomprehensible power the ever eternity. Our longing for spring itself youthful beauty of the year, coming no rasts not more upon an innate desire for one knows whence, and sweeping over change than upon our firin faith in the flowers and fruits no one knows whither. better days that are sure to come. Then the poet comes and sings of Ado

What, then, is the cause of the moment- nis, the lovely youth, the favorite of his ous changes which now deck our earth in Astarte, the fair image of summer, and, brightest colors, and now cover it with the alas ! the wintry boar falls upon him

[ocr errors]




and tears him with brutal force. All ground and lament the unhappy mother, the land mourns his death, and his who long seeks mournfully for her lost daughters, unable to bear the unspeak- Cora. At last she finds the poor child. able grief, fill the air without ceasing Hades is forced to surrender its prey; with theit maddening “Ai li nu!” Woo as Persephone, the germinating, she is us! How they sigh and sob, how breaks her chains and once more glides they search in vain for the lost friend, joyfully over field and meadow. But how they weep oceans of tears for their he, who has once tasted the food of the lost master ! But they despair not; lower gods, is bound by their laws, and they still hope that the spring. when her time is past, Persephone is like beauty of the year will rise again seen no more for the other half of the from the grave' of winter.

So they year. plant leeks and other quickly sprouting

More toilgome, though more pleasing herbs in little Adonis-gardens that are also in its results, is the labor of the carried about in their arms, and, in- vine-dresser. If even sowing and bardeed, these plants hardly assume the vesting are not performed without a green livery of spring, when Adonis hard struggle with the dark powers, the himself is in full life again. On the day life of the vine is still more constantly of the solstice they celebrate his resur- threatened by their sullen warfare. rection, and, as a short while before Greater, therefore, is the triumph, and nothing but frightful howling and wild louder, nay, boundless, the joy, when lamentations were heard in the land, so the rosy buds first appear, when the now unmeasured joy and jubilees sound vine is loaded with fragrant blossoms, on all sides. Men and women are seen and when, at last, the golden liquid is running through the streets, wearing ripe in its transparent home. When garlands of flowers and crying, “Our roses and violets shine amid dark leaves Ådonis lives! Adonis is returned to to greet the conqueror, spring, tho us !" Soon the land, far and near, is great Dionysian festivals gather around covered with crocuses and lilies, with their altars exulting crowds of worsbipthe narcissus and tulip adorning the The beauteous son of Zeus, even bright green carpet. The winter sleep Bacchus himself, pursued by the giants of the lord of the sun is forgotten, like of summer heat and wintry frost, rises a short, unpleasant dream, and with it triumphantly from a short overthrow, the sorrow of his spouse, the earth. and soon the swelling buds, in their

Sweet and lovely is the climate of rosy garments, pierce, as with horns, Greece, but it calls upon man to labor for their dark grave, and, announcing new his support. The great festivals of the joy and now happiness, pass, with song year are here, therefore, festivals of and dance, through the wide world. labor also, and each is adorned with When the grapes are gathered, the scenes from actual life. The powers lesser Dionysian feasts bring, in au. of nature are worshiped in mystery tumo, a calm, cheerful retrospect, and and a marvelous, monstrous drama early in spring the new wine is drunk is enacted before the eye of the wonder- for the first time. ing multitude ; for, however man may Only in Greece, however, could the labor, without the mysterious aid of the seasons be thus brought into har. heavenly powers, no blessing can be mony with the labors peculiar to each obtained. "Labor is the mystic drama's change. As we approach nearer to the beautiful theme, but the begioning and poles, the year is seen more and more the end is an ever hidden act of grace to be divided only into two great ex. of the gods. The tiny seed-grain, tremos, of life during summer and death tho daughter of our mother earth, is during winter, until, in broad contrast carried off by the master of the lower with the Syrian coast, a short respite world to secret nuptials. The fair from fatal frosts interrupts, for a while daughter of Ceres, herself the goddess only, the melancholy reign of winter. of corn and harvest, is chosen as the Few, therefore, are here the traces of emblem of life-sustaining grain, and festive meetings at different seasons. grim Pluto bears her in his arms to his All the German nations know but a dark realm, as the seed is intrusted to single one. High up in the north, the dark ground under the glebo. Fast- whore winter is master, and almost the ing and weeping, her fair votaries, the only season of the year-where the vives of free-born Athenians, sit on the children of man count their years by

VOL. IX.-24

« 上一頁繼續 »