Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

gas-lights had taken up their office for the night. The blind man's staff went tap-tap by the wayside, the duke's chariot rattled upon the pavement, and the beggar's benediction died away amidst the hum of the many noises. There is nothing here like the galaxy of shops of the Palais Royal, whose cafés tempt you with sumptuous refreshments, and richest gems glitter in all the hues of India and Peru; where superb frocks recommend themselves in the most seductive attitudes, the little shoe, silk stocking, and graceful garter, lurking behind, upon legs natural as life. But sometimes a shop flashes upon your view, of surpassing richness and beauty. Here is one all window, like a face all eyes, exhibiting shawls from the precious pastures of Cashmere; their labels gold and azure, burnished with the gas, a part of the decoration. Here too are stores of French novelties, and fashions; mantillas, mantillettes, mouseline unie et brochet; and miliners and mantuamakers seeking reputation under French names ; transformed like Roderick Random's faithful Strap, who became on his . continental travels “Monsieur D’Estrappe.' Mrs. Duke is ‘Madame le Duc,' and · Madame de Trottville' was once Mrs. Trotter. The rest are lodging-houses, without fashionable notoriety.

In Paris, a great man may live in a little poking alley, and be a great man nevertheless. I have visited many a member of the Institute au 4me, in a chamber ten feet by eight. A street in America is a substitute for merit. Who in Girard-street, at eight hundred dollars, presumes to associate with the front on Chesnut, at twelve hundred! Here is a clear, undisputed gentility of four hundred dollars per annum! London is even more nice in this respect. To lodge east of Regent-street, would spoil the best blood of England. When you step into your carriage, put out your head and say loudly and distinctly, • Drive to St. James' Place,' or Grosvenor, Portland, and Belgrave squares. It will inspire the coachman and lookers-on with an exalted opinion of your respectability : for after all, coachmen are but men.

'I have now shown you Regent-street in its prettiest varieties. A pity it is such streets are not to be expected from the radical and levelling spirit of a republic.'

Why you are the most impudent god I was ever acquainted with! You must be hen-pecked by your new bride, to disunite from republicanism any kind of refinement. You, who at Athens passed the morning in listening to Pericles in the Senate, strolled after dinner with Phidias to the Parthenon, went to a new piece of Sophocles in the evening, and to complete the day, supped at midnight with Aspasia.

We now rëentered the Quadrant. Sancta Veronica! what infinite girls ! Not more leaves fall upon the plains of the Apallachian, nipped by the first frosts. Why they count of these same London Cyprians eighty thousand !

Eighty thousand! And why think you this extravagant ?- you who have ten thousand at New-York? The half of ours, too, are driven to this dishonor by extreme poverty, and yours

Mercury, which of those stars is your mother ?

* She at the side of Merope, who is a little dimmer than the rest, being the only one of the seven sisters who espoused a mortal.'

Here the Cyllenian god, his feathered cap in his hand, took a civil leave, and mounting astride of a moonbeam, resumed his station at the side of Britannia, upon the East India House. .. Good night!

[blocks in formation]

The summer day has closed, the sun is set.
Well have they done their office, those bright hours,
The latest of whose train goes softly out
In the red west. The green blade of the ground
Has risen, and herds have cropped it; the young twig
Has spread its plaited tissues to the sun ;
Flowers of the garden and the waste bave blown
And withered; seeds have fallen upon the soil
From bursting cells, and in their graves await
Their resurrection. Insects from the pools
Have filled the air awhile with humming wings,
That now are still forever ; painted moths
Have wandered the blue sky, and died again;
The mother-bird hath broken, for her brood,
Their prison-shells, or shoved them from the nest,
Plumed for their earliest flight. In bright alcoves,
In woodland cottages with barky walls,
In noisome cells of the tumultuous town,
Mothers have clasped with joy the new-born babe.
Graves by the lonely forest, by the shore
of rivers and of ocean, by the ways
of the thronged city, have been hollowed out
And filled and closed. This day hath parted friends,
That ne'er before were parted; it hath knit
New friendships; it hath seen the maiden plight
Her faith and trust her peace to him who long
Had wooed, and it hath heard, from lips which late
Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word
That told the wedded one her peace was flown.

Farewell to the sweet sunshine! One glad day
Is added now to childhood's merry days,
And one calm day to those of quiet age.
Still the fleet hours run on; and as I lean
Amid the thickening darkness, lamps are lit,
By those who watch the dead, and those who twine
Flowers for the bride. The mother from the eyes
Of her sick infant shades the painful light,
And sadly listens to his quick-drawn breath.

Oh thou great Movement of the Universe,
Or Change, or Flight of Time, for ye are one!
That bearest, silently, this visible scene
Into night's shadow and the streaming rays
Of starlight, whither art thou bearing me?
I feel the mighty current sweep me on,
Yet know not whither. Man foretells afar
The courses of the stars; the very hour
He knows, when they shall darken or grow bright:
Yet doth the eclipse of sorrow and of death
Come unforewarned. Who next of those I love

Shall pass from lise, or sadder yet, shall fall
From virtue? Strife with foes, or bitterer strife
With friends, or shame and general scorn of men –
Which who can bear ? - or the fierce rack of pain,
Lie they within my path? Or shall the years
Push me, with soft and inoffensive pace,
into the stilly twilight of my age ?
Or do the portals of another life
Even now, while I am glorying in my strength,
impend around me? Oh! beyond that bourne,
In ihe vast cycle of being which begins
At that dread threshholdt, with what fairer forms
Shall the great law of change and progress clothe
Its workings ? Gently -- so have good men taught
Gently, and without grief, the old shall glide
Into the new; the eternal flow of things,
Like a bright river of the fields of heaven,
Shall journey onward in perpetual peace.

[blocks in formation]

The family of Caroussis, a Sciote, was among the first that fled to the mountains, on the arrival at Scio of the Ottoman fleet, with the forces destined to massacre, burn, and pillage all within their reach. Caroussis conducted his family and some of his relatives to a cave, which afterward received an accession of others, until the whole number of families amounted to more than a score.

Here they lay concealed, in the greatest terror; neither daring to move nor speak, for a long time, as they constantly heard the echo of the distant noise of destruction. In a few days, all their provisions were exhausted; yet the incessant roar of cannon and musketry told them that the work of death was still going onward. At night, some of them ventured to go abroad and collect grass and fruit, and even grain, from the neighboring fields. Had their flight been in winter, they would have soon perished. From the mountains they beheld the smoke and flames of their dwellings; and they lost all hope of peaceful life, while the sons of Agar were allowed by the christian world to proceed in their unjust assaults upon their country. They could neither sleep by night nor by day. The sounds of lamentation and slaughter were ever in their ears, and their hearts were rent continually.

About twenty days passed in this manner, when at length the Moslems began to hunt the Christians who had taken refuge in the mountains. They employed blood-hounds for the purpose. The inmates of the cave where Caroussis had concealed his family, began to fear lest the Mussulmen should discover them. One day they heard the discharge of fire-arms near at hand; and soon after some of their companions came rushing into the cave, reporting the advance of a gang of Osmanlies. The next moment a blood-hound entered, and announced by his howls the presence of the refugees. Guns were fired through the shrubbery, in front of the cavern, until the wounded victims began to scream, and rush out. As they came forth, some of them could not see, having so long been deprived of the cheerful day.' The Turks killed the most of them as fast as they emerged to light; a few only were spared as slaves. Caroussis was shot dead immediately, but his children and his wife, together with her brother, who was retained for his great beauty, were led away captive. They fell to the lot of a Turk from Asia, who kept them on the island of Scio.

In a few months, the terrible vengeance of Canaris, the Greek brulottier, was wreaked upon the Capitan Pacha, and three thousand of his murderous assistants, who all perished in the explosion of the flagship, and the confusion of the awful scene that ensued. Then indeed was the fury of the Turks vented in retaliation, without mercy, upon the remaining inhabitants within their reach! The brother of the wife of Caroussis was killed by his master, in revenge for his slaughtered countrymen. She, with her children, was sold for seven dollars, to a Turk from Crete, who removed them from Scio to Colophon, where he owned a magnificent seat. The mother was obliged to perform the most menial services, while the children were circumcised, and educated in the tenets of the Mohammedan religion. The mother, however, would not intermit her efforts, in secret, to confirm her children in their attachment to the christian faith ; and in this way did all the Sciote matrons persevere in their endeavors to save their offspring from the pollution of Mohammedanism. They exhibited the noblest virtues in their deep distress, and so effectually educated their children in the love of truth, that they preferred death to the relinquishment of their belief in Christianity.

But they had still severer trials to undergo. Their master one day took Amurat, the youngest boy, and binding him to a cypress tree, beat him so barbarously, that his spine was injured irremediably. From that time forward, his brain was much affected, so that occasionally he exhibited symptoms of insanity. After this cruel deed, the mother watched every opportunity to escape. One rainy day, when she was sent, with a horse, to perform her accustomed labor, she placed her children upon the animal's back, and led him, as fast as she was able, toward the sea-shore, where all arrived safely in about two hours. They found a vessel moored near by, from Tinos, bound to Syra. The party was taken on board, and safely transported to Santorini, whither they were pursued by the Turk, who arrived a short time after, and encountered them sitting on a rock by the shore. He went in tears to the mother, and offered her two thousand piastres for her children, whom he had so long endeavored to convert to Islamism, and whom he had anticipated were destined to become defenders of the Mohammedan faith. But she refused; and her son immediately drew a loaded pistol, and threatened to shoot him, if he did not instantly depart, adding: “We are on the soil of Greece, and here at least we shall defend our rights!' The Turk returned to Colophon, in the greatest sorrow for the loss of his captives. Arrived at Syra, Amurat was adopted by Captain Alexandros, who christened him after himself; and on his third voyage to America, brought him to Boston; where subsequently, owing to his weakness of intellect, he became involved in trouble, and was finally taken back to Greece, where he now survives, with his mother, a living monument of Turkish barbarity

[blocks in formation]

A GLORIOUS tree is the old gray oak,
He has stood for a thousand years,

Has stood and frowned

On the woods around,
Like a king among his peers:
As round their king they stand, so now,

When the flowers their pale leaves fold,
The tall trees round him stand, arrayed
In their robes of purple and gold.

He has stood like a tower

Through sun and shower,
And dared ihe winds to battle;

Has heard the hail,

As from plates of mail,
From his old limbs shaken, rattle :
Has tossed them about, and shorn the tops

(When the storm hath roused his might)
of the forest-trees, as a strong man doth

The heads of his foes in fight.
The autumn sun looks kindly down,
But the frost is on the lea,

And sprinkles the horn

Of the owl, at morn,
As she hies to the old oak-tree.

Not a leaf is stirred,

Not a sound is heard
But the thump of the thresher's flail,

The low wind's sigh,

Or the distant cry
Of the hound on the fox's trail.
The forester, he has whistling plunged,
With his axe, in the deep wood's gloom,

That shrouds the hill,
Where, few and chill,
The sunbeams straggling come;
His brawny arm he has bared, and laid
His axe at the root of the tree,

The old gray oak,

And, with lusty stroke,
He wields it merrily :

With lusty stroke,

And the old gray oak,
Through the folds of his gorgeous vest,

You may see him shake,

And the night-owl break
From her perch in his leafy crest.
She will come but to find him gone from where

He stood at the break of day:
Like a cloud that peals as it melts to air,

He has passed, with a crash, away!
Though the spring in bloom and the frost in gold
No more his limbs attire,

On the stormy wave

He shall float, and brave
The blast and the battle-fire !
Shall spread his white wings to the wind,
And thunder on the deep,

As he thundered when

His bough was green,
On the high and stormy steep!

October, 1840.

« AnteriorContinuar »