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Verily, it is a difficult thing for me to stop, when I once begin to write about myself. But I will make an effort, and if possible change my discourse from myself to the pretty creature who was walking before me.
She had reached Leonard-street, when I observed her suddenly start, hasten forward for a step or two, and then stop, bewilderingly, for a moment. A deep but suddenly-subdued emotion shook her frame, and she moved on again at her former pace. I looked beyond her, and in the person of young Charles W— who with beaming eyes and hasty
, steps was approaching, I discovered the cause of her agitation. “Rosalie!' Charles !' in deep, low, quivering tones, were all the words that escaped from the lips of the lovers, while he turned and received the arm that was placed confidingly in his.
' Both were young, and one was beautiful : And both were young
yet not alike in youth.' No loud expressions of pleasure escaped them - no gay laugh fell from the soft lips of the maiden --- no exulting tone betrayed the proud and happy consciousness of reciprocated love, on the part of the youth; but as, in passing them, my eye rested for a moment on their faces, the brief glance told me more than a thousand words could have expressed. Well and most truly hath that most excellent judge of the human heart, Sir Walter Raleigh, written:
'Passions are likened best to floods and streams
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb;
The bottom is but shallow whence they come:
They are but poor in that which makes a lover.' There is in the knowledge of the deep-and abiding love which a young and pure heart yields to the object of its first idolatry, a full satisfaction, a perfect contentment, that seeks not, admits not, sympathy or participation from the world around. The admiration which the object of one's affection excites in others, can add nothing to the intensity of his own feelings toward her; the approbation of friends, the applause of strangers, can neither elevate or heighten the character of the impression she makes upon his heart. With a selfishness of devotion that will admit of no communion, he offers up his homage in secret and alone. His love, like that of Camöens, cannot live in the crowd — cannot exist in the midst of the multitude. Like him, he would have it
- shrined within his breast,
BY-THE-WAY, there is a great deal of love-making going on in the streets of this good city. I have a keen eye for the detection of the * grand passion, and I can easily discover it under any of the thou
' sand guises it assumes. Lovers, of all others, are the most apt to forget those two important particulars, time and place; and I have caught, during my walks in Broadway, and on the Battery, words, and tones, and
expressions, that were uttered for other ears than mine. It was only a few evenings since, I overheard young GŁthe most extravagant, dissipated, good-for-nothing fortune-hunter in the city, declaring, in answer to some reproach from one of the rich Misses Diggs, that a cottage, blest with her presence, was all that he could ask for in this world; that the most common necessaries of life, shared with her, would be more welcome to him than all the luxuries the wealth of the Indies could purchase! In the earnestness and heat of the moment, he spoke so loud that he had more auditors than even his victim and myself, and a half-suppressed titter that pervaded the crowd in front and rear, only at length served to recall him to himself.
I was much amused, during my walk down to the Battery on a Sunday afternoon, a few weeks since, by an instance of street love-making in the lower walks of life. The parties were evidently fellow-servants in some family about town— probably the chamber-maid and headwaiter. They had been to Hoboken, and I suppose had concluded to finish their holy-day by a walk upon the Battery. They were walking slowly along, hand-in-hand, swinging them thus united, as you, dear reader
, have seen two loving school-boys, during their truant rambles. John had most likely asked Susan to marry him next Sunday; to which Susan, with proper maidenly reluctance, answered:
• O no! not so soon.' • Oy
O yes!' earnestly responded John. 'O no!' saintly answered Susan.
O yes !' again repeated John.
'Ono!' was the reply. 'O! yes,' O! no,' 'Oyes, O! no,' —and thus unmindful of every thing around them, the world forgetting but not • by the world forgot they dawdled down the street, repeating the foregoing words, the articulation of them at each step becoming more and more indistinct, until it dwindled into a gentle sigh, on the part of Miss Susan, and into a most unqualified grunt, with the loving John.
The most disagreeable of the loving or lover species (if they can be so called,) are those who love for the world — those whom vanity or interest, or both, have drawn together, and have induced to form a matrimonial engagement, founded on no other consideration than that great one to some minds of. What will folks think? These people, as soon as the arrangement is complete, take one another by the arm and sally forth into Broadway. They keep their faces close together — they engage in interesting conversation in the street — they look tenderly at one another in church — they hold each other's hand at the Theatre, and they nauseate all decent people with an overweening and ostentatious display of fondness in all places, and on all occasions. I abominate such people. They quarrel after marriage, and the chances are ten to one that, like poor old Sir Peter Teazle, they will find that before their friends have done wishing them joy, they are the most miserable dogs alive.
Nothing is more curious, than the manner in which traits of character display themselves at every step in the walks of life. I have been sometimes surprised to find how firmly my estimate and opinion of a man has been fixed from what at first sight would appear to be the
most trivial circumstance. Oftentimes, the most simple incident does more to develope a man's natural qualities - the lightest act, the slightest impulse, to show the real character of his heart -than the observation of a long and intimate acquaintance. I noticed a little occurrence yester, day, which led me to form conclusions with regard to a man whom I had never before seen, that I would wager all my wordly goods are correct.
A little yellow cur-dog was sitting on his latter end,' on the doorsill of a house in Broadway, whining and begging most piteously for admission. I felt sorry for the poor little fellow, for the sun was beating down upon him with a heat perfectly scorching; but as there were many people passing at the time, and as I did not like to be seen walking up the steps of a strange house, I moved on. A fat, middle-aged man, with a broad, good-natured face, who had been walking by my side, also cast a pitying look upon the dog. After passing the house a rod or two, I observed him stop, hesitate for a moment, and then, with a determined air, turn round, walk back, mount the steps, open the door, let in the dog, and then move hastily along down the street. Now, there's a man that, without further knowledge, I would make my executor, or the guardian of my children: nay, I would even consent to have him espouse my widow, and become a step father to them: indeed, I would at least I think I would - lend him my horse to drive, of a hot day.
SUNDAY, JUNE 19. This was indeed a Sabbath morning — a Lord's day. After a night of incessant rain, the sun broke forth with great power and splendor. It would have been insupportable, had not a breeze, soft and fresh as the very breath of Spring, spread over the city, with its first rays. I went to church. The preacher is popular, and is much followed by the crowd. I like him, and was instructed and improved by his sermon; but it was one better adapted to a rainy or an unpleasant morning than such an one as this. In the conclusion of his discourse, after depicting this world as a world of sin, and misery, and tears, he besought us to bear meekly and unmurmuringly its ills, and, by fixing our eyes steadily upon that · better land which God hath given to his people for an inheritance, to gain strength to bear whatever of trial might await us in our pilgrimage here. As he finished his sentence, I turned my eyes for a moment on the congregation. There were old age, and manhood, and youth, happily blended together. There were matronly beauty, girlish loveliness, the innocence of childhood; there were the stately graces of manhood's prime, and the subdued yet noble dignity of declining years; yet there was nothing of misery, or sorrow, or tears. The bright sun shone cheeringly through the open windows the song of an uncaged bird rose clear and sweet from a neighboring tree -- and while I listened to its joyful notes, I ceased to hear the voice of the preacher. "Can this be the world of sin, and misery, and sorrow, and death ?? I asked — 'can this be that dark valley' the preacher has described ? My thoughts strayed far away from the speaker and his sermon. I was thinking how much there was of good, even here; that I was thankful an abiding place was granted to me
even on this footstool, and that I would make my pilgrimage on it (if pilgrimage it should be called,) with joy and gladness.
At this moment, the organ was touched. A tune, as familiar to my ears as one of the old songs that lulled my childhood, swelled through the church; and when the words of that beautiful old psalm,
were breathed forth by the congregation, I was filled with emotions of indescribable sweetness. Years had passed (to my shame I confess it) since I had heard either the words or the tune.
When last they rung in my ears, I was a child, sitting in a country church, by the side of my mother, with her hand clasped in mine. A young sister lay asleep, with her rosy cheek resting on my lap; an elder brother sat beyond her, with his large blue eyes fixed reverently upon the face of our good old dominie. My brother is now an old man I am stricken in years — and my mother and sister
As I came out of the church, I strolled for a moment into the graveyard that surrounds it
. It is a strange taste, that for wandering among tomb-stones, and reading the inscriptions thereon. Yet in a calm, beautiful day like this, there is a peculiar pleasure to me in thus visiting what the obituary writers call the home of all living.'
I had some thoughts of indulging here in a few reflections on grave. yards, saying something about the deep repose,' dreamless sleep,' etc., but I believe all these things have been said and repeated often enough already. I will therefore pass on to what I have in particular to say.
Almost the first slab I approached, was one which told of the death and burial of my old and venerable friend, Christopher Columbus Smith. In a moment, the old man stood before me, as I had last seen him. There were the tall, spare figure, the snowy locks, the old-fashioned coat, the silver knee-buckles, the white stockings, and withal, the goldheaded cane with which my old friend, a bachelor of eighty, supported his slightly tottering steps
C. C. Smith was, and had been all his life, a character as marked, peculiar, and distinct from all others of the human race as if he had been of a different species. I will not attempt to depict his peculiarities, or write his history, but will leave them to be developed in such extracts as I shall now, and occasionally in future numbers, make from papers which have come into my hands, through the kindness of a young lady to whom, during the latter part of his life, he was much attached, and whose kind and benevolent attentions did much to soothe the declining years of the old man. The papers are all addressed to the young lady above alluded to, and consist, for the most part, of a rambling history of portions of his life, interspersed with reflections. Many of them have been destroyed, but from those still in my possession I have selected the following for the commenceVOL. VIII.
ment of the extracts, because there are in them some allusions to his birth and parentage. I shall introduce them here under the head of
REMNANTS OF THE REMAINS
OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS SMITH.
'I am a very foolish, fond old man,
• You will pardon me, therefore, if what I am now about to write should be hereafter considered rather as an evidence of the imbecility of my old age, or the weakness and incoherency of second childhood, than, as I intend it, a manifestation of the regard I entertain for one who, amid the thronging occupations and pleasures of youth, has still found time to bestow a kind thought and a kind word on a desolate octogenarian. The cheerless pilgrimage I long since entered upon, is about drawing to a close; but a little more of life's path remains for my weary feet to press. Sublunary affections have ceased to operate upon me; the siren song of earthly hope has long been hushed, and worldly rewards or worldly praise are looked for by me no more. What I shall here write, will therefore have, in your eyes at least, the merit of sincerity and disinterestedness. To convince you that I deserve this much at your hands, I will, at the expense of a foolish vanity, which, old as I am, still clings to me, recount a few of the incidents of my
early life. There is a lesson to be learned from them, lady, which, although it will not be directly beneficial to you, may, should these lines by chance fall into the hands of any of the youth of the rising generation, by improving some one of them, add perhaps to your own happiness.
• There is a positive pleasure to me in recurring to the past, abounding though it be in folly and regrets, which, independent of the motive I have before mentioned, would amply repay me for the labor of the task I have undertaken. As we progress in years
, and see hope after bope, anticipation after anticipation, fading and dying away; the warm impulses and the glorious aspirations of our youth yielding to the selfish and mercenary cares of maturer years; the beautiful romance of our young life giving place to the stern realities which mark our meridian and declining course, we for a time cling fondly to the recollections and feelings of our early days; but the stirring excitement, the absorbing occupations, which accompany us in our career, at length drive them from our minds and hearts, and it is not until we have reached an age when we cease to look with pleasure to the future, that we begin to turn our eyes upon the past, and to find in it a subject for our thoughts and contemplations.
* This is indeed now almost my only enjoyment. I have lived long, and I have lived in vain. My gray hairs are unhonored — old
age is without dignity, and without wisdom. The phantom for which I labored in my youth, has passed away. The false medium through which, during a long life, I have viewed the world, has at length been removed, and I am now left with the mortifying conviction, that I have formed a wrong estimate of myself, and wasted the strength which was given me for great and noble purposes in the pursuit of shadows.
• But self-condemnation is now useless, and I will not therefore, by