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Three. Tsing Vu!— The mcK'u is at the full, Embosomed in the stars; As thou art in my soul, 'Mid alt thy tender thoughts!— I am the Mandarin of Peekeena, (Who knows not me? so famed for handsome lookf l f) Deep read in all the laws Of Tsomi and Confucius.' And fourscore officers in robes of state, Surround my throne, with axes and bamboos :— (Hast thou any hateful foes? whisper their names to me !) My palace fronts the Temple of the Sun, The richest palace In all Peekeena.— Heart of hearts, Little-slippered queen: Who never walked alone: Lore lies tl
Four. Tsing Vu I— The moon is at the full, Round as a harvest moon :— It was a sickle once, Like those the reapers use. What time it was a sicklo in the belt Of Darkness, Heaven's Reaper, then we met:— The boatmen plied their oars— My heart outsailed their speed:
I saw thee for a moment, when thy fan Was blown away—^ I would not leave thee so?) And night by night I sail, but meet thee—never more— Not there, but thrice a day, thy sedan chair. And wish I was the slave that carries thee' Heart of hearts, Little-slippered love: Who was not born to walk: Perfectest!
up in amber dishes, fit for Gods!
The full moon has always been a season of rejoicing among the people of China; then the lover may sing ditties under his lady's window, and the lady may hear, and answer him, either by a wave of her hand or scarf, or the more favourable go-between of voice, and no scandal follow it The servant is then on an equality with his master, the maid with her mistress. The streets are full of processions at night, generally of the lower order of citizens; bands, with gongs, drums, and a shrill flute much used in the Chinese army, parade the public squares, and let off brilliant and many-coloured fireworks, before the pagodas and statues of the reigning monarch. The Saturnalia of the ancient Romans were but faint shadows of the moonshine nights of China.
■ " Her lids are whiter than the fringed folds
Pu-re-ne is the Goddeas of Chastity; her conch is spread in the everlasting winters of Far-ne-yea, "the whitest land in Paradise," as It is called by the Chinese poets. Pu-re-ne sleeps for ever on a couch of snows, guarded by a vestal train, whose only arms are long spears of ice,— the Icicles that drip from the month of the cavern of Death. Pu-re-ne rests for ever in a kind of half sleep, dreaming of Youth, only once beheld by her, from the towers of her palace, a beautiful man-boy playing in the garden of Childhood. Growing enamoured of him, the Gods, to preserve her chastity, removed him to the bleak lands of Old Age, and threw her into an everlasting sleep: and wisely, too, adds the satirical Po-pe, for even the Gods themselves could not have prevented her from accomplishing her desires, had they left in her natural wakefulness.
■ "Deep read in all the laws
Tsomi was one of the earliest kings of China; the foun
der of the line of Tsoome, which laid the foundations of Kan-tune, the tenth dynasty from the demi gods of Paradise. The laws of Tsomi being framed in an honest, simple age, are honest and simple, just to all: those of Confucius are more abstract, (Po-pe says, indeed, that many are bodily abstracted from the Cham statues of Lower Tartary.) Confucius being, like many a later philosopher, a little muddy and transcendental at times, is a great favourite with the celestial lawyers, who, with their more (?) civilised brethren, are fond of litigation, and a long bill of costs.
4 "The Feast of Lanterns will be held to-night."
The Feast of Lanterns is one of the most fantastic in all the calendar. At dusk, or early sunset, a single lantern is lit in the tallest pagoda in the city, and run up to Its eastern cupola, where it is swung by a priest, while a multitude in the sacred enclosure surrounding the teuple
Vihaunt a hymn, dedicated to that purpose in the ritual;
%n odd, meaningless jargon, full of uncouth interjections,
"Pointless in all save exclamation points I"
This done, a smaller lantern is lit thereat, by the priest, and lowered to the multitude below, who use it to kindle the sea-fowl candles in their own lanterns; when this ceremony—a prelude to what follows—is performed, the procession begins to march to the bath, where all must be purified by the virginity of the waters. When the ablution is over, and the moon has arisen, the procession begins its last march, tramping through the principal street of the city. (By-the-by, our militia heroes must hare heard of this, or learned it by intuition,—as they do everything else !—for they always disgrace themselves in 'the same public manner.) Pom-pom balls, sugar-plums, comfits, and all kind of confectionary, are thrown from the windows on the populace, as in tho Italian carnivals; and a scene of merriment ensues mocking description. Songs are sung, jests bandied about, and fun runs riot on the moonshine nights of China.
Within sight of the beautiful and picturesque Susquehanna, about half way between Harrisburg and Northumberland, stands a neatly elegant mansion. The taste of the owner is displayed by his haying placed his dwelling on a slight eminence, from which the wide-spread and transparent river may be seen, at a point where the high projecting cliffs have evidently been rent asunder by repeated torrents, though at, a short distance they present to the traveller the idea that he is gazing upon a calm and beautiful lake, protected by precipitous and towering rocks.
In a handsomely, furnished chamber in this house, a lovely fair girl stood at a window that commanded the view to which we have referred. She was perfectly motionless, resting her right arm against the side of the "window-frame, and pressing her polished forehead against the back of a small white hand, whilst the other that held a cambric handkerchief, rested on the sill. She might, to a casual observer, have been thought to be engrossed by a contemplation of the rich scenery before her—for, though late in the season, the trees were not yet stripped of their manycoloured mantles, but were glittering in the sun with all the varied hues of declining autumn,—but on a more minute inspection, it would have been found that her beautiful deep blue eyes, clear and transparent as the waters on which she appeared to look, were in reality gazing on vacancy, whilst the rich and glossy ringlets, like spun gold, having dropped over
character not to be shaken by the little bursts of passion that too frequently govern the actions of the young and beautiful. How long she had stood as we have attempted to describe her, we will not pretend to say; but she at length seemed to make an effort to rouse herself, and raising her fine eyes to heaven, she said, as if ejaculating unconsciously, "It will soon be over! One painful effort more, and then I shall only have to pray for resignation. But oh! Henry, what is the fate that is in store for you?"
"And what but the happiest fate can be in store for him?" asked a voice that made the young apostrophizer start, and looking round, she saw her friend Caroline Fraser, who had entered the chamber just as her last words were uttered. "My dear Angelica," continued the gay young girl in a joking tone, "what on earth made you express so pathetic a query about the fate of Henry Longridgc? What but the most enviable fate can be in store for one for whom fortune has treasured up her richest gifts?" Angelica was silent, but turning from the window she sank upon a chair as if scarcely able to support herself. "Had I not seen Harry a few minutes ago," proceeded the visiter, "I should have been alarmed at your agitation; but I have just had a hearty laugh with him about the party of last evening, and hastened to continue the merriment with you. Now do pray tell me what evil you can possibly anticipate for one who is young, rich, talented, and destined to be tho husband of the handsomest girl in the state?" Angelioa only shook her head. "Well, if the last pro
her face as it bent forward, had caught some position is too much for your modesty to assent
of the tears, in which her handkerchief was already steeped, and held tho shining treasure, as jewels befitting so exquisite a setting. It might be seen too, that both the hand that supported the Madonna-shaped head, and that which grasped the handkerchief, were clasped in a manner indicative of strong emotion, and that her bosom frequently swelled, as if the heart that was encased in it was ready to burst its bonds. That this excess of agitation had been called forth by no common cause was evident, for it was impossible to look at the lovely face without discovering traits of mind far exceeding the beauty even of its exquisite lineaments, and that the small and finely formed mouth bespoke an energy of
to, tell me if he isn't young?"
"Certainly," answered Angelica, in a tone that suited so self-evident a question.
"And as talented as handsome?"
"And about to become the husband of Angelica Melville?"
"Oh no, no!" oried the young girl, starting in agony from her seat, and pacing the room in agitation; "never! never!" The interrogator sat for a few moments silent, and appeared to be struggling with some strong emotion, of which even a nice discriminator would have found it difficult to determine the nature, whether that of pleasure or pain, but which was unnoticed by Angelica, who still paced the room in great agitation. At length, as if a sudden thought had occurred to her, Caroline said, with a sort of forced smile, "Oh, lovers' quarrels are soon made up, and this must be a trifling one indeed, for Harry appeared to be perfectly unconscious of it. I'm astonished, Angelica, that you will allow yourself to be thus overcome, because some little caprice or whim has taken possession of your mind."
"Did yon ever know me to be actuated by such motives?" asked Angelica, raising her beautiful eyes with a look of inquiry to the face of her friend.
"Never!" returned the other with animation; "but this only makes me wonder the more at your present conduct."
"What I said arose from no whim or caprice, dear Caroline," said Angelica, whilst the tears that had before filled her eyes began to roll down her pale cheeks; "Harry Longridge will never be my husband." Again the same indefinable expression appeared im Caroline's countenance—again she was silent for ;ome minutes, and when she spoke it was with a tremulous voice. "Only a few days have elapsed, Angelica," she said, "since you told me you expected to be married in about two months."
"That is very true," replied the weeping girl in a mournful tone.
"How then am I to aocount for the change'.' Harry I know to be the same man he was when you seemed to have so much pleasure in the thought of becoming his wife."
"He is the same, but not the same that I then thought him."
"I suppose you have discovered some little defect of temper, or some trifling foible, that you were not before aware of, and which is irreconcilable with the ideas of perfection you have ever made your own standard. But tell me, Angelica, do you think such a discovery sufficient to release you from so solemn an engagement."
"The discovery of a mere defect, certainly not," returned Angelica.
"And is not that the most that can be laid to Harry's charge?" Angelica sat pale and silent, whilst her countenance betrayed signs of the most painful emotion; and Caroline, who herself began to appear considerably agitated, proceeded: "Angelica, I have Bo constantly made you my example and guide, as one of the most faultless of beings, that to think you otherwise now would be to shake my confidence in virtue itself. I entreat you, therefore, as you would guard me from so direful an evil, tell me at once what has worked this revolution in your feelings?"
Angelica seemed to hesitate for some time, and to be undergoing a distressing internal oonflict; but at last,' raising her clear blue eyes, which were beaming with a soul of angelic purity, she said, with an evident and painful effort, "Next to the agony of finding those we love unworthy of our affection, is the pain of exposing their faults to others; but you have a right, dear Caroline, to claim my confidence, and you shall have it; and that the rather, as I know that the interest you have ever felt in Harry, on his own account as well as mine, will induce you to screen his faults, as long as he will himself allow them to be hidden. It is unnecessary for me to tell you how long we have known and loved each other, for the circumstance of his having been left when a mere boy to father's guardianship threw us almost constantly together; but it was not till after his first return from college that I was aware how infinitely dear he was to my heart. Yet even then I felt some alarm for his future character, when he talked to me of the sort of companions with whom he associated at college,—one in particular, who seemed to be, his favourite, and whom he always described as one of the most open-hearted beings that ever existed. I frequently expressed my fears to Harry that such associates would draw him into bad habits, and injure the purity of the character that we had all hitherto so much delighted in; but he only laughed at my fears, and told me to recollect that Dr. Rawley, who was admitted by all to be a pattern for everything that is noble, generous, and upright, had graduated at the same college, and that it was necessary for a young man to see something of the world to prevent his becoming a mere humdrum. Though silenced, I was not, however, convinced, and I snw him take leave, on his return to college, with an anxiety that I was unwilling to pain him by expressing, but yet could ill conceal."
"That is just like you," interrupted Caroline; "you carry your scrupulosity to such an extreme, that I believe you would scarcely, if you had your own way, allow a young man the liberty of laughing, lest he should do so rather too loud or too long."
"On his next visit to us," oontinucd Angelica, without appearing to notice the remark of her friend, "I had frequently the pain of seeing him return from Harrisburg, Liverpool, and other places, in a state that proved but too plainly the way he had spent his time when there; and inexpressibly alarmed at the growing evil, I remonstrated with him with all the energy that affection could prompt, and had the satisfaction of hearing him acknowledge his error, and promise to correct it. In consequence of this frank avowal, and the voluntary promise that followed it, and which I really believe was at the time perfectly sincere, I saw him again leave us with composure and confidence; nay, I even went so far as to think that his reclaiming himself, after having trodden on the very brink of vice, would, in one so young and wealthy, give additional dignity to his character, by proving the resolution of which he was capable. But, alas! his next return soon showed how vain had been all my expectations, and since that time you have yourself seen enough of him to judge how far he has forgotten his good resolutions and promises."
"Nay, you must not apply to me," said Caroline, "to aid you in the course you have adopted; for you know, Angelica, I have often told you I thought you much too rigid in your notions of what the conduct of a young man of fortune ought to be. It is unreasonable to expect one so independent as he is, to deny himself occasional recreations."
"Innocent reereation," returned Angelica, "no one would be more ready to allow than myself; but the taste must be depraved, and the heart corrupt, that can only find pleasure in vicious excess. I urged my father, on the strength of his former authority, to remonstrate with him; but he insisted that any interference on his part would only alarm his pride, as implying that he was still looked upon as a boy, and that if anything was to be done, it must be by myself alone. It would be impossible for me to say how often I expostulated, how many times he acknowledged his fault and promised reformation, how frequently I forgave and again hoped, and how repeatedly, alas, I was disappointed. Finding, however, at last, that I was determined to withdraw the faith I had plighted to him, he begged me to give him one more trial, promising in a muoh more solemn manner than he had ever before. done, to abstain totally from everything of intoxicating nature, and I once more trusted him. After this he for some time became much more domestic in his habits. He ceased to make the frequent excuses of business that he had hitherto done when I wished him to be with me; and you yourself, Caroline, often remarked that Harry had become a more devoted lover than ever. The hopes that were thus excited were soon after this greatly confirmed by his showing me one day, after one of his visits to Harrisburg, the badge of a temperance pledge, which he said he had been induced to take for the sake of making me more secure and happy. After expressing my satisfaction, I took that opportunity of making a solemn declaration in his presence, that if I ever knew him to deviate from the total absti
nence which the pledge enjoined, I would from that moment consider myself released from all my promisee to him, and nothing should ever induce me to renew them."
"And so, I suppose," interrupted Caroline, "if he happened to take an accidental glass of wine with a friend, you would think that a sufficient reason for your breaking off your engagement?"
"I would," replied Angelica, in a gentle, but firm tone. "He, by that act, however simple and innocent in itself, could not fail to destroy my confidence in him; for after breaking a promise so solemnly given both to me and his fellow-men, how could I ever trust him more?" "But a glass of wine would not intoxicate him," observed Caroline.
"True; but his promise was to abstain totally from all kinds of intoxicating liquors, and the abstinence must be total, if there is to be any confidence in the reformation. He who once encroaches upon his pledge is almost sure to be lost. It is now twelve months since Harry and I made V> each other those solemn vows. His habits had become regular, and his spirits equaUund his handsome face, that usjid so often to be flushed with,jticious excitement, became animated by that soul-breatbiog gaiety that is indicative of a well-regulated mind, and which adds so much additional beauty to the finest features. As soon as he saw that he had restored my confidence, he began to urge me to fix a period for our marriage; and it was determined that it should take place on the anniversary of the day on which we had made our respective vows. I have within the last month received an anonymous letter, advising me not to make myself too sure of his reformation; but as I have a contempt for all such communications, I threw it into the fire as unworthy of notice. This morning, however, he came to me with such evident marks of having !h debauch, that I needed little proof of his having broken his pledge; but, as if to remove doubt and uncertainty at once' from mymi»*ftne testimony of his breath was indjttftffable evidence of his guilt. Nothing now.remains for me," continued the young girl, in a tone that bespoke the agony of her heart, "but to be faithful to my vow; and from this moment all engagements are at an end between us."
"It is strange," exclaimed Caroline, whose countenance bore an expression so extraordinary as to make her friend fix her eyes upon her face, as if to penetrate into the mind to which that face was generally an index,—" It is very strange that after you had come to such a determination, Harry should have been so gay and cheerful as he was just now when I met him."