Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

unasserting silence.” When he comes to speak of the head and front of the system of his favorite, Victor Cousin, (viz., his ideas of God and inspiration,) mark with what a "three-man-beetle” he "fillips” the upper parts of that voluble Eclecticist. The veil of a clear philosophical style will hardly conceal the horror which he feels, when it becomes his duty to show historically how the vulgar atheism has been taught politeness, and clothed in flowing robes, by a mighty group of assiduous Egoists. But with all this, the wonder is that he should not have forsaken these polluted ruins, where the bittern and the obscene owl are his fellow-watchers in the unmitigated night.

His philosophical tendencies, however, and free charity, are too strong to allow him to confound the abuse of his favorite pursuit with its legitimate use; and hence, though for want of a knowledge of that “second temple, whose glory shall be greater than the glory of the first,” he lingers in the deserted building of the old philosophy, yet it is with no attachment to the ugly sights and discordant sounds of that unpeopled place. We augur that if he pleases, he is intellectually already prepared, by much tribulation of thought, and many puttings away of old and cherished notions, to receive new garments, and step once for all into the safe portals of a better edifice.

If we have not analyzed his work more reverently, it is because we have found nothing worthy of note in the multifarious philosophies which he has come to bury, and not to praise. They contain, as we before observed, many common recognitions of those initial principles which it needs no philosophy to discover, and in so far as this they are ordinary records and journals of plain truth. But as philosophies, they exclude love from life, the laws of order from intelligence, the multiformity of sense and nature from sensation, the principles of organization from physiology, real dynamics from the doctrine of body, Revelation from the category of fact, and God from all things. They deprive man of his Father, his home, and his destiny. In truth, had we nothing better in the world than these philosophies, human wickedness, anger, and desperation, would now be at their fiercest pitch.

LINES,

ON OBSERVING THE CROSS WHICH SURMOUNTS THE SPIRE OF GRACE CHURCH, FAINTLY AP

PLARING THROUGH A DISPERSING FOG,

Oh! emblem of our hallowed faith,

But now, a glorious symbol shines
That crowns yon sacred spire,

Of Christianity,
Shine thro' the mist, and prompt our hearts Allusive to the great event
To pray for Heavenly fire.

Which sealed man's destiny.
So, shall no mental clouds obscure

If, free from doubt, within our hearts The true—the holy cross,

We can the cross descry, While heavenly visions we discern

Before its pure and holy light Nor deem the world a loss.

Shall hell's dark shadows fly. The transverse wood by man devised,

No more the fatal mists of sin For malefactors' doom,

Our souls shall overspread; No ignominious title bears,

Our great Satanic foe shall fee
Since Jesus left the tomb.

Aghast with trembling dread,
Where'er the glorious sign appears,

Mayolight and grace he given,-
And there the blessed Gospel sound,

To call our souls to heaven.
New York, June 1st,

TIE BED ROSE;

A TALE OF THE WAR IN LA VENDEE.

FROM THE FRENCH OF A. DUMAS.

(Concladed.) Thus Blanche and Marceau passed the first days of their sojourn at Nantes, until the time appointed for his sister's marriage was near at hand.Among the presents which he had ordered for her, he selected a valuable set of jewels, which he offered to Blanche. The latter gazed at it for a moment with the natural delight of a young maiden, but then closed and locked the casket. “Jewels do not suit with my condition,” she said, sadly, while my father is perhaps flying from village to village, begging a morsel of bread to support life-seeking a cavern for a hiding-place-while I myself am outlawed. No! it is by simplicity of apparel that I must evade scrutiny. Remember, I might be recognised.” Marceau urged her, and she at last consented to accept an artificial red rose.

As at this time all the churches were closed, it was necessary that the marriage ceremony should be performed in the council-house. The ceremony was short and sad; the young maidens missed the altar, decorated with wreaths and flowers—the canopy over the head of the youthful pair, beneath which they were accustomed to receive the blessing of the priest, who said to them, “Go, my children, and be happy."

At the entrance of the council-house a deputation of boatmen welcomed the young pair. Marceau's rank had procured this testimony of respect to his sister. One of these men, whose exterior seemed not unknown to the general, held two nosegays; the one he gave to the bride, the other he reached to Blanche, upon whom he gazed sharply and steadfastly. “ Tinguy! where is my father ?" she cried, turning pale.

" In Saint-Florent," replied the boatman. “ Take these flowers," he added, in an under tone,“ they contain a letter. Long live the king and the good cause!” Blanche would have detained him to question him farther, but he had disappeared. Marceau recognised his guide, and admired not less the devotion, than the dexterity and boldness of the boor. It was with a beating heart that Blanche read the letter. The Vendeans had suffered defeat after defeat; the population of some of the neighboring villages had emigrated, to escape from desolation and hunger. The rest of the letter contained expressions of gratitude to Marceau, for Tinguy had informed the Marquis of the rescue of his daughter, and of her present situation. Blanche was sad; this letter led her back to the horrors of war; she no longer supported herself as usual upon Marceau's arm; she spoke with a deeper, softer expression.

During the ceremony a stranger was ushered into the hall, who wished to impart information of the greatest moment to the general. Marceau did not at once perceive him, but he suddenly felt Blanche's arm tremble within his own ; he looked up, and the two found themselves in the presence of Delmar. The representative approached them slowly, with his eyes fastened upon Blanche, and a smile upon his lips. A cold sweat stood upon

Marceau's brow. “Citizen," said Delmar, addressing Blanche," you have a brother ?” She stammered a few unintelligible words, and was upon the point of throwing herself into Marceau's arms. The representative continued—“If my memory and your resemblance do not deceive me, I breakfasted with him at Chollet. How is it, that since that time I have not seen him in the ranks of the republican armies ?”

Blanche felt her strength fail her. Delmar's piercing glance followed the visible progress

of her embarrassinent, and she was about to sink beneath it, when the representative's eyes turned from her, and were directed toward Marceau. But it was now Delmar's turn to tremble. The general had laid his hand upon his sword, and strained its hilt with a convulsive grasp.

The representative's face at once resumed its ordinary expression; he seemed to have forgotten all that he had just said, took Marceau by the arm, and led him to the recess of a window. Here he discoursed with him for some moments upon the present condition of La Vendee, and told him, incidentally, that he had come to Nantes to advise with Carrier respecting the adoption of severer measures against the enemies of the republic. He mentioned, also, that his friend Dumas had been recalled to Paris. Then, after having spoken a few indifferent words, coldly took his leave, and, with a bow and a smile that froze the blood in her veins, passed the seat upon which Blanche had dropped almost in a swoon.

Two hours after Marceau received an order to set out without delay for the

army of the east, and to take command of his brigade again. This sudden and unexpected summons overwhelmed him with astonishment. He feared that it had some connexion with the scene which had just passed in the council-house, for his furlough did not expire until the lapse of fourteen days. He hurried to Delmar to demand an explanation of the matter, but the latter had, immediately upon his arrival, left the city with Carrier.

He was compelled to obey. If he delayed, he was lost; for at that time the generals were obliged to render unconditional obedience to the orders of the representatives appointed by the convention. Marceau was with Blanche when he received the summons. Overwhelmed by this unexpected blow, he had not the courage to inform her of his departure, since he must leave her alone, and without a protector, in a city where the blood of the suspected daily flowed in streams. She remarked his anxiety; and overcoming her timidity, approached him with the trembling glance of a maiden who loves, and who feels that she has the right to share in his cares. Marceau showed her the order which he had just received. Blanche had scarcely glanced at it when she was aware of the danger to which her protector would expose himself if he did not obey. Her heart sank within her, yet still she retained sufficient composure to exhort him to start upon his journey.-Marceau gazed upon her sadly._" And you, too, Blanche,” he said, “command me to leave you! And yet," he added, as if speaking to himself, “ what right had I to expect the contrary? Fool! when I thought of this journey, I imagined that it would cost her tears!" He walked back and forth with hurried steps. Tears !-why tears ? Am I not indifferent to her ?" As he turned again, he stood in front of Blanche. Large drops coursed down the maiden's cheeks, and a sigh broke from her bosom. Marceau felt that his eyes were wet also. Oh, pardon me !" he said “pardon me, Blanche !—but I am unhappy, and unhappiness renders the heart distrustful. In your presence, my life seemed to be a part of your own; how shall I-how can I separate my days from yours? I had forgotten every thing-I believed in the eternity of these joyful hours. Oh, unhappy fate! I dreamed, and now I awake! Blanche !” he continued, with a calmer yet constrained voice" the war which we are carrying on

is frightful and murderous; it is possible that we may never meet again.” With these words he grasped the hand of the sobbing maiden.—" Promise me that, if I fall— I have always had a presentiment that my life would be a short one-promise me that my memory shall abide with you, if it be only in dreams; and I, Blanche, promise you, that if between life and death time is left me to utter a name—a single name—that name shall be yours.” Tears stifled her voice, but in her eyes there shone a thousand promises, more warm, more tender than Marceau had ventured to hope. With one hand she pressed the offered right-hand of her protector, who had dropped upon his knee before her ; with the other she pointed to the rose that decorated her hair—“For ever! for ever!” she stammered, and sunk swooning in his arms.

Marceau's cries summoned his mother and sisters into the apartment. He thought that Blanche was dead. Love exaggerates every thing—both fear and hope. The soldier was suddenly transformed to a child. Blanche opened her eyes, and blushed when she beheld Marceau at her feet, and saw herself surrounded by his family. “You go,” she said, “ to fight against my father, perhaps! Oh, spare him if he should fall into your hands !-remember that his death will be mine also. What can you ask for more ?" she continued, in a softer tone.—“I think of my father only after thinking of you!" And now, collecting all her courage, she urged Marceau to hasten his. departure. He himself saw the necessity of this step, and no longer withstood her remonstrances, coupled as they were with those of his mother. The necessary orders were given, and in an hour he had received the farewells of Blanche and his family.

Marceau followed the same road over which he had journeyed with Blanche on their way to Nantes. Every spot recalled to his recollection some part of her narrative, and the dangers which threatened her, but which he had not heeded while he was near her, seemed much more imminent, now that he was absent from her. Every word of Delmar's sounded in his ears again, and every moment he was upon the point of turning his horse's head and spurring back to Nantes. He was obliged to exert the whole strength of his reason, in order to contend against the ardent desire which he felt to see her once more.

Had Marceau been able to attend to anything except his own thoughts, he would have perceived a horseman at a distance, who advanced toward him, stopping for a moment, as if to convince himself that he was not mistaken, and then spurred his horse to a gallop to meet him ;-he would have recognised General Dumas, as the latter had recognised him. The two friends sprang from their horses, and fell in each others' arms. At the same moment, a man covered with sweat, with tattered garments and bleeding face, swings himself over the hedge, and sliding down the declivity to the road-side, falls breathless at the feet of the two generals, exclaiming, “Imprisoned !" It was Tinguy.

“Imprisoned ? who ? Blanche ?” cried Marceau. The peasant made a sign of assent, for the poor wretch was unable to utter a word. He had run a distance of five leagues over fields, hedges, heaths; perhaps he could have accomplished one or two leagues more; but he had overtaken him, and he fell exhausted to the ground.

Marceau gazed at him with open mouth and fixed eyes. “Imprisoned ! Blanche imprisoned !" he repeated again and again, while his friend was busied in pouring some wine into the peasant's mouth.

“ Blanche imprisoned! It was for this, then, that I was removed, Alexander !” he exclaimed, taking his friend by the hand; “I must return to Nantes ; you must accompany me; for, my life, my future happiness, my fortune, all are

there!" He gnashed his teeth, his whole frame was agitated convulsively. “Let him who has ventured to lay hands on Blanche, tremble! Know that I love her with the whole strength of my soul; it is impossible for me to live without her; I will save her or die. Whither have they carried her ?" Tinguy, to whom this question was directed, had by this time somewhat recovered his consciousness; yet it was with difficulty that he could reply to this repeated interrogatory : "To the prison Bouffay!"

Scarcely had he uttered these words, when the two friends gave their horses the spur, and rode at a gallop towards Nantes.

There was not a moment to be lost. They repaired at once to Carrier's dwelling. Marceau dismounted, took his pistols from the holsters, concealed them beneath his coat, and rushed towards the chamber of the man who held the fate of Blanche in his hands. His friend followed him with more calmness, yet resolved to defend him if he should need his aid; and to venture his life in his behalf with the same indifference with which he would have risked it upon the field of battle. But the deputy was too well aware of the abhorrence in which he was held not to be distrustful; neither entreaties nor threats could induce him to admit the two generals to his presence. Marceau left the house with more coolness than his friend had expected of him. Within a few moments he seemed to have formed a new plan ; he requested General Dumas to repair at once to the post-house, and wait for him with a carriage and horses at the door of the prison Bouffay.

Marceau's name and rank procured him entrance into the prison, and he directed the jailor to lead him to the dungeon in which Blanche was confined. The man hesitated for a moment; but when Marceau repeated his command with more emphasis, the turnkey obeyed, and by a sign directed him to follow him. “She is not alone," said the latter, as he opened the low door of a cell, the darkness of which filled Marceau with horror ; "but she will soon be relieved of her companion, for his day has come." With these words he locked the door upon Marceau, having first requested him to make his visit as short as possible, as this favor might be considered a breach of duty, and expose him to punishment.

Blinded by the sudden darkness, Marceau groped about him like a man in a dream; in vain he endeavored to utter the name of Blanche. Suddenly he heard a cry, and the young maiden threw herself into his arms; her eyes, accustomed to the gloom of the dungeon, had at once recognised hiin. Ah! you have not forsaken me, then !" she exclaimed. | dragged me hither ; I saw Tinguy in the crowd that followed me; I called your name, and he disappeared. I had no hope of seeing you again; but you are now here, and you will take me hence.”

Marceau stood confused and silent for a moment; and then said, with a faltering voice: “Yes; with the sacrifice of my life, would I gladly tear you at once from this place; but—"

“Ah," interrupted Blanche, "feel these damp walls, this musty straw; you, a general, can you not—"

“ Blanche, I can indeed knock at that door, shoot down the jailor when he opens it, lead you into the court-yard, let you breathe the fresh air, and die in defending you ; but when I am dead, Blanche, they would drag you back into this dungeon, and no one in the world will be able to rescue

!

• They

you."

“But can you, then ?"
“Perhaps so."
" Soon ?"
so I ask but two days. But first answer me a question upon which your

« AnteriorContinuar »