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festoons, of a stuff that had been magnificent in its time, but which now brooded over the girl like a cloud, making a night in that one corner, while else where it was beginning to be day. The morning light, however, soon stole into the aperture at the foot of the bed betwixt those faded curtains. Finding the new guest there with a bloom on the cheeks like the morning's own, and a gentle stir of departing slumber in her limbs, as when an early breeze moves the foliage, the dawn kissed her brow. It was the caress which a dewy maiden-such as the dawn is immortally-gives to her sleeping sister, partly from the impulse of irresistible fondness, and partly as a pretty hint that it is time now to unclose her eyes.
“At the touch of those lips of light Phæbe quietly awoke, and for a moment did not recognize where she was, nor how those heavy curtains chanced to be festooned around her. Nothing indeed was absolutely plain to her, except that it was now early morning, and that, whatever might happen next, it was proper first of all to get up and say her prayers. She was the more inclined to devotion from the grim aspect of the chamber and its furniture, especially the tall stiff chairs ; one of which stood close to her bedside, and looked as if some old-fashioned personage had been sitting there all night, and had vanished only just in season to escape discovery.
“When Phæbe was quite dressed, she peeped out of the window, and saw a rose-bush in the garden. Being a very tall one, and of luxuriant growth, it had been propped up against the side of the house, and was literally covered with a rare and very beautiful species of white rose. A large portion of them, as the girl afterward discovered, had blight or mildew at their hearts; but viewed at a fair distance, the whole rose-bush looked as if it had been brought from Eden that very summer, together with the mold in which it grew. The truth was, nevertheless, that it had been planted by Alice Pyncheon-she was Phæbe’s great-greatgrand-aunt—in soil which, reckoning only its cultivation as a garden-plat, was now unctuous with nearly two hundred years of v getable decay. Growing as they did, however, out of the old earth, the flowers still sent a fresh and sweet incense up to their Creator ; nor could it have been the less pure and acceptable because Phæbe's young breath mingled with it, as the fragrance floated past the window. Hastening down the creaking and carpetless staircase, she found her way into the garden, gathered some of the most perfect of the roses, and brought them to her chamber.
“Little Phæbe was one of those persons who possess, as their exclusive patrimony, the gift of practical arrangement. It is a kind of natural magic that enables these favored ones to bring out the hidden capabilities of things around them ; and particu larly to give a look of comfort and habitableness to any place which, for however brief a period, may happen to be their home. A wild hut of underbrush, tossed together by wayfarers through the primitive forest, would acquire the home aspect by one night's lodging of such a woman, and would retain it long after her quiet figure had disappeared into the surrounding shade. No less a portion of such homely witchcraft was requisite to reclaim, as it were, Phæbe’s waste, cheerless, dusky chamber, which had been untenanted so long, except by spiders, and mice, and rats, and ghosts, that it was all overgrown with the desolation which watches to obliterate every trace of men's happier homes. What was precisely Phæbe's process we find it impossible to say. She appeared to have no preliminary design, but gave a touch here and another there ; brought some articles of furniture to light and dragged others into the shadow ; looped up or let down a window-curtain ; and in the course of half an hour had fully succeeded in throwing a kindly and hospitable smile over the apartment.
“There was still another peculiarity of this inscrutable charm. The bedchamber, no doubt, was a chamber of very great and varied experience as a scene of human life. Here had come the bridegroom with his bride ; new immortals had here drawn their earliest breath; and here the old had died. But whether it were the white roses, or whatever the subtile influence might be, a person of delicate instinct would have known at once that it was now a maiden's bedchamber, and had been purified of all former evil and sorrow by her sweet breath and happy thoughts.”
There is a touch of Gæthe’s “ Margaret,” the Margaret of “ Faust,” in the last paragraph. But “Phæbe” is a truly original conception. To quote her thousand prettinesses of thought and action, would be to copy half the volume. Suffice it that she stays with her good old cross cousin ; and that, under her auspices, the shop flourishes, and the tottering mansion loses half its gloom.
P.S. I have just received an American reprint of Mr. Haw. thorne's earliest volumes, “ Twice Told Tales,” two or three of which are as fine as his larger efforts—one especially, in which a story is told by a succession of unspoken sounds as clearly as it could have been by pictures. It is one of Messrs. Ticknor, Reed and Field's beautiful editions, and the preface and portrait are most interesting. Nothing can exceed the modesty of that preface, and I am told that Mr. Hawthorne is astonished at his own reputation, and thinks himself the most over-rated man in America. Then that portrait-what a head ! and he is said to be of the height and build of Daniel Webster. So much the better. It is well that a fine intellect should be fitly lodged ; harmony is among the rarest.
Mr. Hawthorne is engaged on another tale, and on a work for young people, which, from such a man, will probably prove quite as acceptable to children of a larger growth as to those for whom it is ostensibly written.
ANDREW MARVELL's very name suggests the idea of incorruptible patriotism. The well-known story of his refusing a court bribe by calling his servant to prove that he had dined three times upon a shoulder of mutton, although probably apocryphal, serves to prove the notion universally entertained of the uncompromising member for Hull; unassailable as Robespierre bimself to all money temptations, and strong enough to have resisted the subtler temptations of power. His learning too is generally acknowledged. He shared with Milton the high and honorable office of Latin Secretary to the Lord Protector; was the champion of the great poet's living reputation; the supporter of free principles against all assailants, and is praised even by Swift, not addicted to over-praise, for the keen wit and fiery eloquence of his polemical tracts, nay, the Dean paid him the still more unequivocal compliment of imitating his style pretty closely.
As a poet, he is little known, except to the professed and unwearied reader of old folios. And yet his poems possess many of the finest elements of popularity: a rich profusion of fancy which almost dazzles the mind as bright colors dazzle the eye ; an earnestness and heartiness which do not always, do not often belong to these flowery fancies, but which when found in their company add to them inexpressible vitality and savor; and a frequent felicity of phrase, which, when once read, fixes itself in the memory and will not be forgotten.
Mixed with these dazzling qualities is much carelessness and a prodigality of conceits which the stern Roundhead ought to have left with other frippery to his old enemies, the Cavaliers. But it was the vice of the age-all ages have their favorite literary
sins-and we must not blame Marvell too severely for falling into an error to which the very exuberance of his nature rendered him peculiarly prone. His mind was a bright garden, such a garden as he has described so finely, and that a few gaudy weeds should mingle with the healthier plants does but serve to prove the fertility of the soil.
Where the remote Bermudas ride
What should we do but sing His praise
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks
He gave us this eternal spring,
· He hangs in shades the orange bright
He makes the figs our mouths to meet;
With cedars, chosen by His Hand,
He cast, of which we rather boast,