ePub 版


I was struck with the pathetic earnestuess of his tone, and the little anger that I had felt died away; we walked home together, and never had I seen him exert himself so much

to appear agreeable, he was more animated than I had ever beheld him; and I could not help saying, "It is well, Simours, that you did not turn your artillery against the heart of Nina, for she could not have resisted you."

"Do you think so," cried he, in a tone of pleasure; and then pausing-"She is a good girl," continued he, "and is much better disposed of than she would have been with either of us."

In fact, in a few days Nina and her lover were united, and Simours and myself continued as good, or rather better friends than


Simours bowed, and his antagonist went away directly; Simours and myself also retired in a few minutes.


"This is an unpleasant business," said I, " and I when we had left the coffee-house; wish it could have been avoided, but now there is no possibility of refusing to give this puppy satisfaction, and unluckily he is an excellent swordsman; you will want a friend, and I shall accompany you of course."

"Simours had passed his arm through mine, and I was both hurt and surprised to perceive that he trembled; it was too dark for me to perceive his face, but his emotion No. XXVIII. Vol. V.-N. S.

could, I thought, proceed only from fear, and
I felt an involuntary sentiment of contempt
for him.

"Do you not think," cried he, hesitating, "that it might be possible to accommodate the matter?"

One evening we were together at a coffeehouse, when a gentleman entered, who was well known for his talent of gasconading; he began to relate a very marvellous story, which Simours listened with a look of arch incredulity, that did not escape his attention; though a vain boaster, he was not deficiented home; he walked with me into my apartin courage. You look as if you doubted|ment, and for a short time he strove to converse with an appearance of ease; presently, my veracity, Sir," said he, to Simours. "Not at all, Sir," replied my friend; "I have however, he bade me good night; he held out no doubts, I assure you."

I spoke with marked emphasis; Simours made no reply, and in a few minutes we reach



Simours' marked, though perhaps unconscious emphasis, offended him.-" Hark'ec, Sir," cried he, "it is my wa to chastise impertinence; I shall be glad to see you at six to-morrow morning, at the bottom of the meadow in which you was walking when I met you to-day—you understand me."

his hand as he spoke :-" God bless you, dear
De Versenay," cried he, as I gave him mine,
which he pressed with fervour; the tone of
his voice, and the look which accompanied
this action, subdued me, and I felt for him at
that moment a sensation which I know not
how to describe.

"I do not see how you can," replied I-" I did not intend to offend him," replied he."That may be," cried I; "but you certainly did offend him, and the manner in which he let you know you had done so, was such as uo man who did not wish to be branded for a coward, could pass over with calmness."

He was silent for a few moments, and he then burst into a phillipic against duelling.

"All that you have said," cried I, interrupting him, "is very just; but men who live in the world cannot act in direct opposition to its laws; all that can be done, is to be as careful as possible not to get into scrapes of this nature; but if a man is unhappily entangled in one, he must act with spirit or submit to be despised."

"Poor fellow," thought I, when he had
retired, "it is not his fault that he is deficient
in personal courage, which after all is merely
constitutional, and how many good and ami-
able qualities does he possess to counterba-
lance this one defect." I now began to con-
sider whether it was possible to accommodate
matters; but the more I reflected the less
likelihood I saw of it. I did not undress, but
threw myself for an hour in my cloaths on my
bed, and at half after five I tapped at Si-
mours' door; I found that he had also passed
the night without undressing. He said he
was ready, and we set out for the meadow.
In spite of all the pains that Simours took

[ocr errors]

to preserve an appearance of composure, his terror was apparent, and I began to fear that his cowardice would expose him to some opprobrious usage from his antagonist, which would cover him with everlasting odium. Duval (for that was his name) was already on the ground; he advanced to meet us, and I whispered to Simours, " For God's sake recollect yourself."

It was precisely six o'clock." Good morning, gentlemen," said Duval; "I have waited for you for some time;" he spoke in rather a rude tone, and I replied with asperity :-"That was unnecessary, Sir, for we are punctual."

precaution to bring a carriage with him, and
he and his second assisted me to convey Si-
when we
mours, who was still insensible, to it;
had placed him in it I opened his shirt collar
to give him air; but what became of me when
a glance at the loveliest bosom in the world
convinced me that Simours, my dear Simours,
was a woman!

In fact, an idea occurred to me, that it might be possible for me to extricate my poor little friend, by taking the affair upon my self." You are mistaken, Sir," cried he, taking out his watch, “ it is considerably past || the time."-" Your watch is wrong," replied I.-"That cannot be," said he; "for I set it myself."-" How, Sir," cried I, with pretended indignation, "do you dare to insinuate that I speak falsely? I insist upon satisfaction."—" You shall have it," said he, coolly, "when I have done with this young gentleman." As that was precisely what I wished to prevent, I pretended to be transported beyond all bounds, and stepping up to him, I gave him a box on the ear, at the same time saying, "Defend yourself."

You may be sure he did not wait to be desired a second time, and our swords were out in a twinkling, when Simonrs threw him. self between us.

"Hold!" cried he, "what would you do? remember, De Versenay, that I have a prior claim to redress. I insist upon your waiting the issue of our encounter. Come on, Sir," cried be, to Duval, and drawing his sword, he threw himself in an attitude of defence. Though I was exceedingly pleased with the spirit which he shewed, yet as I thought it was only assumed, I was very unwilling to let them proceed; but my little timorous friend now appeared a very Mars, and he insisted so vehemently on his right of precedence, that I sheathed my sword.

The second pass, Simours was run through the body; I flew to support him, and he fainted in my arms. Duval had taken the

No, my friends, it is not possible for me to give you an idea of my feelings at that moment; the cowardice which had provoked my anger was now naturally accounted for, and yet to prevent danger to my life, she had risked her own: she loved me; yes, it was plain that a sentiment more tender than friendship, must have impelled her to act so contrary to the natural timidity of her sex; these reflections were only momentary. She opened her eyes, and by an instinct of natural modesty, she closed her shirt which I had left unfastened."Ah!" said she, in a faint voice, you know my secret!"


"Would to Heaven," exclaimed I, passionately, "that I had known it sooner!— Why, oh! why were you thus rash?"

She could not reply, for she had again fainted, and the wound bled so profusely, that I was terrified lest she should expire before I could get assistance.

I directed the coachman to the house of an eminent surgeon, who lived near the meadow; he was fortunately at home; I hastily told him the sex of the supposed Chevalier, and besought him to tell me whether the wound was dangerous.

"Not at all," cried be, after he had examined it; "it is a mere scratch, and I have no doubt that it will be well in a few dressings."

She now opened her eyes, and perceiving her situation, she made an effort to free herself from the hauds of the surgeon, who was busy about the wound.

I advanced, and begged her to submit to have it dressed; at the sight of me her lovely face was crimsoned, but she made no opposition, and I retired while the operation was performing.

As soon as it was over she sent for me."I am impatient" said she, "to account for the disguise you have seen me in, and to

[blocks in formation]

"I am," said she, "the last branch of a noble and affluent family; my parents died while I was yet very young, and I was left under the guardianship of a distant relation, the Chevalier Florival: this man, who was nearly old enough to be my grandfather, destiued my hand for himself; and as soon as I had arrived at an age to be married, he told me so; it was in vain that I pleaded my aversion to him, he was incapable of love, and the possession of my person and my fortune was fully sufficient to satisfy his desires; and that, he told me frankly, he was determined to have. You may believe that I was not disposed to acquiesce in a measure which would render me miserable for life; but it was some time before I could determine how to disappoint him; I had been brought up in seclusion, and I had no friends to whom I could|| apply; I might indeed have taken refuge in a convent, but to say the truth, I wanted to see a little of the world; in short, after considering and reconsidering, I was of opinion that by assuming a male habit, I should effectually prevent the possibility of my guardian discovering me, and that I should also have an opportunity, which I otherwise could not, of seeing the world; to be brief, I made my escape, and my mother's diamonds, which I had in my possession, amply supplied me with the means to live for some considerable time; I must own that at first I found myself very awkward, and I regretted my petticoats

assure you that I have not worn it from any unworthy motive."

"Of that," cried I, "I am assured; but do positive misery that must have attended my not talk now, it may hurt you." union with the Chevalier, and which was the cause of my acquiring your friendship." As she spoke the last words she blushed.

"No," replied she," the surgeon says I am in no danger; and, indeed, I believe my fainting proceeded principally from my fright, which I may now," continued she, smiling,|| "acknowledge was very great."

"Talk not of friendship," cried I, throwing myself on my knees, and seizing her hand— "the sentiment which I feel for you is a thousand times more tender; condescend then, dear Simours (for I knew not what else to call her), to accept a heart which is entirely devoted to you, and give me a right to free you for ever from this odious guardian who would have sacrificed you."

oftener than once; but I was soon reconciled to a change of habit which preserved me from

"Softly," said she," my fortune is entirely in his power, and—”

"Do not speak of fortune," cried I, interrupting her; "mine, though small, is sufficient for our happiness. Ah! Heaven knows that fortune has no share in the wish I feel to call you mine."

"I do believe you, De Versenay," cried she, with a smile of pleasure; "but in a few months this man's power will be at an end; until then I must seek a respectable asylum, for you may suppose that I shall not again resume my dis guise, and as soon as I am mistress of my for. tune, that and the hand of Celestine D'Alembert shall be yours."

In fact, five months afterwards my Celestine gave herself to me; and from that day to the present, I may truly say that I have been blest with one of the best of wives. Duval left Paris, as I believe, for America, and we have never since heard of him; to him, however, I owed the happiness of knowing how dear I was to my Celestine. And now, my friends, do you not agree with me, that the felicity which I at present enjoy may be said to spring, in a great measure, from my giving Duval a box on the ear.



We now proceed to a tree whose elegance, majestic height, as from its wide spreading must often have been admired; not indige- shade forming masses of a deep brown on nous, but completely naturalized, and forming nature's verdant carpet. If we were inclined an ornamental variety in our lawns and plea- to go back to sacred authority for notices of sure grounds; not indeed so much from its this elegant evergreen, we might produce a


only a small hill before us all covered with number of passages with which we have no doubt our fair readers are well acquainted, snow, at the bottom whereof the high cedar 'particularly in the Songs of the royal Psalmist, trees were standing: and though this hill hath who makes many allusions to the wide spread-in former ages been quite covered over with ing branches of the

trees, yet they are since so decreased, that I
could tell no more than twenty-four."-But
Maundrell, our own countryman, who visited
that mountain in the year 1696, informs us that
"having gone for three hours across the plain,
I arrived at the foot of Libanus; and from
thence continually ascending, not without
great fatigue, came in four hours and a half
to a small village called Eden, and in two
hours and half more, to the cedars. These
noble trees grow amongst the snow, near the
highest part of Libanus; and are as remark-
able as well for their own age and largeness as
for those frequent allusions made to them in
the word of God. Here are some of them very
old, and of a prodigious bulk, and others
younger of a smaller size. Of the former I
could reckon up only sixteen; and the latter
are very numerous. I measured one of the
largest, and found it twelve yards and six
inches in girt, and yet sound, and thirty seven

From this we may very justly conclude that
Shakespeare had seen this tree, and therefore
that it must have been introduced into Eng-
land before his time; now, indeed, there are
more of the cedars of Lebanon in this country
than on their native soil, where their scarcity
may in some measure have proceeded from
the devastation produced by Solomon's four-yards in the spread of the boughs. At about
score thousand hewers employed in cutting five or six yards from the ground it was divid-
the timber for the Temple at Jerusalem: for ed into five limbs, each of which was equal to
as our own immortal poet expressess it in his
a great tree."
Henry VI." Thus yields the cedar to the axe's


He, indeed, was more correct in his allusions than our own Paradisaical poet, who seems not to have strictly attended to the figure of this tree, when he describes it as affording in


"Insuperable height of loftiest shade." Shakespeare, however, has noticed it more accurately where, in his Henry VIII. he says, "He shall flourish, and like a mountain cedar reach his branches to all the plains about him."

The few Christians who now inhabit the neighbourhood of that almost sacred mount, endeavour with a most religious strictness to preserve the few remaining trees, some of which may even have been in existence in Solomon's time, or may at least be the first generation descended from them, for their longevity is proved by a well attested fact, that in the discovery of the Temple of Apollo, at Utica, near Carthage, cedar timber was found in good preservation which must have been two thousand years old. That some of the scriptural cedars are now, or at least were in existence little more than a century ago, may be well imagined from the observations of two travellers of good repute. in 1575, Ranwolf, a German, tells us :-"We found ourselves upon the highest part of the mountain, and saw nothing higher" (which by the bye is something like a German bull) "but

Of those which are now so frequent in
England, it is impossible to say that they are
actually the descendants of those on mount
Lebanon, although the seed was certainly
first brought from the Levant; because that
and if
cedars have been found in other places;
we are to believe Belon,the same species of tree
has been found indigenous on the mountains
of Taurus and Amaurus. However this may
be, whoever has once seen this tree must easi
ly recognise it again, as it has such a peculiar
appearance that no other can possibly be mis-
taken for it, except perhaps the larch, though
even there, there is a difference easily descern-
ible. This outward similarity, as well as their
sexual agreement, has fully justified Linneus
in classing them both with the firs and pines,
which, together with the larch, form the genus
of Pinus Cedrus. This tree we must therefore
designate as being in the class of MONECIA
MONADELPHIA, aud in the natural order
of Conifere. Like the specimen in the

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


foregoing lecture, it also has the male and || female flowers separate, though on the same plant in generic character the male flowers are disposed in racemes, and the calyx consists merely of the scales of the opening bud; they have no corolla; the stamen has many filaments connected into an upright column at the bottom, though divided at top; whilst the anthers are arid and naked: the female calyx has the strobile subovate, and consisting of two flowered scales, oblong, permanent, rigid and imbricate; there is no female corolla; and the pistil has a very small germ, the style is awl-shaped, and the stigma simple. The female floweret has no pericarp, the strobile serving that purpose, having before been the calyx. In essential character the male calyx is four leaved, the female strobile two flowered; the corolla in both is wanting; the male is marked by the number of its filaments in the stamen, with naked anthers, and the female by having only one pistil. These remarks also apply in a great measure to the whole genus, of which there are no less than twentyone species. It is to be hoped that the culti vation of this elegant tree will become more prevalent in England, as well as in other parts of the United Kingdom, as there is no doubt of its being both ornamental and useful when planted even on the most barren and bleakest mountains, where, in fact, perhaps few other trees will grow so well; this, although a native of a more southern climate,

being only found there in the coldest parts, particularly on Mount Lebanon, amidst snows that are almost eternal. The experiment too has been fairly tried here, that this species of the cedar will thrive better on a meagre strong soil, than if planted in a rich loamy earth, a fact which every one must be aware of that has ever seen those elegant specimens that surround the gothic towers of Warwick Castle. And though at first we were indebted to the countries bordering on the Levant for the seeds, yet now so completely is it naturalized, that we are certain of a never-failing supply from our own trees, which have also the singular property of producing the ripest cones in the severest winters! That the cedar of Lebanon may become highly useful as timber, we have no doubt, though perhaps we do not give implicit credit to all the various properties it is said to possess; these have been described to be, the power of resisting putrefaction, of destroying noxious insects, of continuing sound for several thousand years, of yielding an oil extremely efficacious in preserving books and writings, &c. nay, it is said to purify the air by i's effluvia, and to inspire worshippers with solemn awe when applied to the wainscotting of churches and chapels! We will not presume to expatiate on the benefits which might result from this latter application, but we think enough has been said to recommend it to the patronage of our female botanists.


(Continued from Vol. IV. Page 183.)

NOTHING Could have been more fortunate for the scheme of St. Hypolite than the hasty departure of Aldonga; his surprise and emotion at the discovery of his friend's real name, would have betrayed him to eyes so penetrating as hers; to the aged and otherwise occupied Bertolini this agitation seemed to arise solely from esteem for his family; and without waiting for an inquiry he proceeded to inform Francois of all he could wish to know. Deep was the interest which the young Francois || took in his narrative; it accorded strictly with that of Lorenzo, except that the events


[ocr errors]

and characters were more freely detailed, and the names of places and persons no longer concealed. He learned with painful pleasure that the father of his friend had indeed been the object of his mother's first attachment; the likeness of face and figure which had caused her such emotion had not been the mere creation of fancy. Lorenzo was the son of that Solerno so dear and so unfortunate; and doubly precious would he now be in the light of her son-in-law,

"Happiness must never come unalloyed!" observed Count Bertolini after a pause.


« 上一頁繼續 »