PENITENCE: A TALE.
In the heart of the fair and fertile county of Kent, not without reason
called the garden of England, stands the village of Mayburn; and if the
rapid and gigantic changes of the last twelve years have not invaded its
peace, and disturbed its whereabouts, it is as lovely a spot as any one,
weary of the busy world's din, heartlessness, and misery, could wish to
make a refuge and a sanctuary of holy and ennobling thoughts.
Swerving a little from the great highway to Dover, it nestles down in a
warm and narrow valley, shut in by wooded slopes and cultivated uplands.
On the surrounding level of its fields the hop, the grape of Kent, grows
luxuriantly; and a stream, bright as the face of childhood, with a voice
as silvery sweet, with a course as wayward and pleasant, winds through and
about the separate and mingled beauties of the scene. Mayburn
possesses all the characteristics of an English village of the best class.
Its group of white dwellings, their well thatched roofs streaked with
moss; their latticed windows glistening in the sunlight, and gay with
flowering plants; their strips of garden neatly trimmed and productive,
present to the stranger's eye something which satisfies and delights.
Its one inn, with its pendent sign standing apart between two old sentinel
trees, and swinging lazily and audibly to the wind, seems to invite one
into its snug recesses, thereto forget one's cares in the truly English
comforts it affords. Its old chard, with its low square tower, whose
dim dial plate thrusts its admonitory face through the clustering ivy,
stands on a neighbouring eminence, a holy and necessary feature of the
place. Beneath, where "the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,"
lies the green grave-yard, rife with solemn lessons of mortality, and
which the hand of vulgar taste has not dared to desecrate. Within a
rood's length, under the shadow and protection of the church, is the
anciently endowed school-house, whence issues the daily hum of embryo
scholars labouring at the irksome task, or the sharp authoritative voice
of the schoolmaster, which for a moment subdues the murmur, as a lap of
thunder seems to silence the audacious chidings of the sea.
Contiguous, dropped as it were by chance in a sheltering dell, the
rectorage lifts its pointed and fantastic gables, its turret chimneys and
broad bay windows. Its sharp angles, shady corners, and pendent
eaves, with the swallows twittering about them; its tasteful grounds,
where the wildness of nature is chastened, not checked, and all its
comfortable and becoming appliances, make it a most comfortable and
picturesque abode, in perfect keeping with the whole scene. A little
way from the village, seated on the stream, is an old mill, which to look
upon from a short distance, when the motion of its wheel flings off its
spray to sparkle in the sun, is a precious morsel for the painter.
Here and there may be discerned a few residences of the gentry looking
down from the wooded hills, or glancing from quiet nooks in remote corners
of the valley. Then there are scattered farms, and romantic
wood-paths, and branching bowery lanes, which lead to rural haunts as
pleasant as our imaginations. Such is the picture of Mayburn, as we
beheld it some twelve years ago; and such is the principal scene of our
In the spring of the year 1816, the curiosity of the good
people of Mayburn was excited by the circumstance of a strange lady
appearing among them, accompanied by a female of matronly deportment and
maturer years. The lady, who was young and eminently beautiful,
wandered for two or three days about the village and its vicinity,
evidently taking a pleasurable interest in all she saw. At length
she took a small unoccupied cottage which stood apart, surrounded by a
still healthy looking garden, in a retiring nook of the village. In
a few days simple but elegant furniture was brought from a neighbouring
town, and the strange lady, with her elder companion, and an interesting
boy of three or four years of age, were duly installed in their new
residence. On the following Sunday the strange lady, with her little
household, appeared at church. Every eye was upon her; but any eye,
however quickened by curiosity, envy, or prejudice, could see nothing in
that beautiful, serene, and melancholy face, but what awakened sympathy
and respect. To this feeling we must attribute the silence, the kind
but enquiring looks of the rustics of Mayburn, as the strange lady and her
solitary family left God's house on the evening of her first Sabbath
In a few days the lady was discovered to be a foreigner, but
of what land remained to be known. She appeared to understand our
tongue but very imperfectly; but the lisping, broken, and gentle idiom in
which she expressed her wants, and her frank, liberal, and modest
demeanour had charm which could not be withstood, so that she gained the
tacit affections of her neighbours before she was prepared to receive or
appreciate them. By degrees she insinuated herself into the good
graces of the inhabitants of Mayburn, individually and collectively.
She would take daily rounds among the people she had adopted; pause at one
door to converse in her pleasing hesitating way, with some housewife,
patting the while the rosy cheeks of wondering children; enter another,
where the aspic, of poverty seemed to invite her and drop her heart-giving
mite into the palm of its needy and grateful occupant, hurrying away from
the sound of blessings called down upon her head.
Madame Santerre, for such was the superscription of the few
letters she received, was understood to be the widow of a French officer
who fell in the wars of the Peninsula; but why she chose to estrange
herself from her own country and seek seclusion in an English village,
could not be ascertained. That she had some deep-seated cause for
sorrow was evident to all who observed to her. She was habitually
thoughtful, and absorbed in some feeling too great or too sacred to be
breathed in the ear of the common world. She was sometimes, by the
few considerate and respectable people privileged to visit her, surprised
in her tears; but the loss of a brave and beloved husband, and anxiety for
the welfare of an orphan child, was deemed to be a sufficient reason for
the solitary indulgence of her grief. Her time seemed almost
exclusively devoted to her household duties, the education of her son, and
frequent visits to the sick and indigent of the village. In these
last good offices she was guided and often accompanied by the venerable
rector. He seemed to be the only one who possessed her confidence,
and if her secret was confided to him (for she had a secret) it was kept
inviolate, for not a word was dropped which pointed to the truth, till a
combination of unexpected circumstances unravelled the mystery, and
brought to the heart of the fair foreigner a joy for which she was
Ten years had elapsed since she took up her abode in the
village of Mayburn, with whose unsophisticated sons and daughters she had
become an established favourite. Curiosity had subsided; her son was
grown up into an intelligent youth: and she, though still beautiful, had a
somewhat paler cheek and a more matronly deportment. Her venerable
and pious pastor was gathered to the grave, and one much younger succeeded
him; but every one soon found cause to rejoice in so worthy a successor.
He was a man yet on the sunny side of forty years, of a commanding figure,
grave, benevolent, and intellectual countenance, and a voice singularly
impressive. In his duties, both in and out of the church he was as
assiduous, earnest, and charitable. Wherever there was an error to
be rectified, a soul to be instructed, a mind to be consoled, there for
the pure love of God and man was the rector to be found. His
exhortations were characterized by a simple and natural eloquence, which
appealed at once to the understanding, riveting the attention and gently
opening the heart for the reception of those pure and sublime truths it
was his sacred office to expound. He was a scholar, and a man of
considerable scientific knowledge; and the rectorage became the resort of
similarly constituted minds. The good and the great were often his
guests, and save that, nor wife nor child hallowed his household by their
loving and delightful presence, his home might be deemed one of all but
perfect happiness. To his duty as a gospel teacher every other
pursuit, as being of secondary importance, was properly subservient; but
he nevertheless enjoyed the world as a rational and responsible being for
whom Providence had abundantly provided, and to whom had been entrusted
the means of dispensing blessings to others. To his equals he was
courteous, communicative, and hospitable; to the poor, kind, considerate,
and parental in his generosity: but his hospitality was neither
ostentatious nor unwisely lavish, nor his religion austere or affected.
He was all that could be desired of a man in so onerous a situation; he
felt its full importance, performed his duties in a meek spirit, and was
in consequence revered and beloved by his flock and all who knew him.
Such was the unexaggerated character of the Rev. Edward
Morland, the new rector of Mayburn. To such a man Madame Santerre
could not remain long unknown. The fact of her being a foreign lady,
respectable in station, and popular because of her many charitable acts,
could not fail to lead to such an event. It was, however, brought
about much sooner than she expected, in a singular manner, and with
results that gave a new and interesting aspect to her hitherto solitary
and mysterious existence. Proceeding to the church, one beautiful
spring morning, she took her accustomed seat near and in front of the
pulpit. The solemn service, the sweet and voluble tones of the
organ, the harmonious and reverberated chant of the choir, the hallowed
and venerable features of the place, altogether prepared the mind for deep
and serious impressions, and this morning Madame Santerre felt unusually
disposed to the indulgence of tender feelings; in spite of herself a few
tears, stirred by recollections of the past, trickled from her pensive
eyes and fell on her folded hands, and a melancholy serenity of thought
In a few minutes the rector entered the pulpit, and as he
uplifted his face after a brief but silent prayer, Madame Santerre was
struck with its resemblance to one she had looked upon long ago, and which
still haunted her daily memories and nightly dreams. Could it be that her
long cherished hopes were about to be realized? Could it be that face,
that tongue, just reading a fervent passage from the divine book, which
had beguiled her youth and embittered half her life? No! his grave and
earnest countenance, pale with holy musings; his sacred office; his
position in the church, all forbade it. She dismissed the thought. The
good rector had given his text and entered considerably into his discourse
before the attention of Madame Santerre became fixed on the subject. By a
natural digression he commenced a description of the horrors of war. He
pictured the dazzling and imposing pageantry of armies proceeding to and
gathering on the scene of action, the din and awful collision in the
onset, the subsequent carnage and confusion, the exulting shouts of the
victorious, and panic of the defeated; the gradual subsidence of the clash
of arms and the thunder of the cannon; the following comparative and
mournful silence, broken only by the groans of the dying, and the stealthy
stops and compressed curses of the prowling plunderer, who under the
shadow of the night, and with the horrid licence of his trade, stalked
among the fallen to quench the remaining sparks of life, and insult the
stiffening corpse by rifling it of raiment, or of those little mementos of
affection which a wife, lover, sister, or parent, bedewed with their
tears, and consigned to its keeping in the last parting and bitter hour. He went on to describe a town in a state of siege; the alternate attack
and stratagem of the besieger; the terror, physical suffering and resolute
defence of the besieged; the final entrance of the foe; the tide of
reckless and merciless soldiery rolling in, and sweeping all before it.
Madame Santerre's heart beat violently, and a sickening sense
of mental bewilderment came over her; but she kept her eyes riveted on the
He proceeded to complete his description. He spoke of God's
temples being entered and wantonly desecrated; of the pavement of the
streets slippery with gore; of the terrible glare of fired houses lighting
the mass of men, transformed for a time into devils incarnate, to their
noisy and beastly orgies; of the sanctuaries of home being invaded, and
wives and daughters being openly and shamelessly violated in the compelled
presence of husbands and fathers; of every species of outrage being
committed which force could accomplish, or cruel and lawless passion
suggest. He concluded by condemning, in forcible, eloquent, and convincing
language, all warfare as deplorable, iniquitous, and altogether
unchristian, of incalculable mischief to man, and eminently sinful in the
sight of God. He would rejoice to see the civilized nations lay down the
sword and take up the olive branch, and by their united influence
annihilate, then and for ever, so destructive, so universal a calamity. It
was indeed a glowing and truthful picture the pastor drew, and, as if
overpowered by the vividness of his own description, he paused from excess
of emotion, bowed his face in his hands and was silent.
Madame Santerre had fainted and fallen from her seat, and,
amid the surprise of the rector, the temporary confusion of all, and the
tears of many, she was borne out of the church and conveyed home. This was
but the re-awakening of her secret sorrows to enhance the sudden joy, and
the long and tranquil happiness which were yet in store for her.
On the morning following a Sabbath so eventful to Madam
Santerre, she beheld from her window the rector passing through the
wicket-gate of her garden, in his approach to the cottage. With an
indescribable feeling she met him at the door, and ushered him into her
neat parlour. "I call, as in duty bound," said he, "being witness of your
indisposition at church, yesterday, to offer such assistance and
consolation as I can give, to alleviate, if possible, your distresses, let
them arise from what causes they may." Madame Santerre replied, that "his
discourse relative to the miseries of war had merely awakened certain
painful recollections, which had for a moment overpowered her; but assured
him that she was now quite well." They now sat down, and, to set the lady
more at ease, the rector conversed in French, which he spoke gracefully
and fluently. He entered upon general topics with an acuteness of remark,
and a propriety of language, which at once interested and charmed. When he
spoke upon serious subjects with an earnest but subdued voice, Madame
Santerre listened to him with the most profound attention, hanging upon
the tones in which he delivered his sentiments with a fondness which
surprised her, they were so unaccountably familiar to her ear: and as she
stealthily scrutinized the face of the speaker, its features and
expression answered to the strange fancy her memory had conjured up. As,
however, he never alluded in the slightest degree to times and
circumstances of which she wished to hear, and on which half of her past
life had depended, she again dismissed her newly formed hopes, with the
conclusion that human faces and voices might be so alike as to deceive an
anxious and sensitive imagination like her own. In half-an-hour the good
pastor took his leave, pleased with his new friend, and the feeling was
He called again and again upon Madame Santerre, every time
showing new proofs of his regard, and the interest he took in her welfare. He undertook to superintend the education of her son, and according to her
express wish, to prepare him for college or some respectable profession. He now lengthened his frequent evening visits, and beguiled the hours so
pleasantly and profitably with her and her little household, that his
unexpected absence was felt as a disappointment. Gradually a warm and
serious sentiment, which she strove in vain to control, arose in the
breast of Madame Santerre. The feeling could not be mistaken—she had felt
it before; and though less passionate and romantic than in her youthful
days, she knew that it was love—love for her pastor, Edward Morland. The
discovery gave her infinite pain; but she locked up the secret in her
heart, although she yearned to expend its treasury of affections upon one
so worthy to receive them, and patiently waited the unfolding of events.
Six months passed away in this delightful intercourse but
nothing had transpired, nothing had fallen from the lips of the rector to
fan the fair widow's unfortunate but virtuous passion. He was respectful
as ever, frank, ardent, and disinterested in his friendship for her, but
nothing more. At length, however, when Madame Santerre sat one evening in
company with her faithful domestic, plying her needle in silence, and
brooding over the melancholy events of her past life, the rector made his
customary call. He did not enter the apartment with his old cheerful
smile, but with a mild reserved air, saying "Madame Santerre, can we be
alone? I have something to communicate." The domestic withdrew.
After a brief embarrassing silence, he said "Victorine,"—he
paused. This was the first time he had addressed her thus familiarly, and
it had the effect of bringing the warm blood into her face, to which a
deadly paleness instantly succeeded. "Victorine," he resumed, "I come to
speak to you on a subject which lies very near my heart, and which I have
well considered. It rests with you whether it be favourable or not to my
future happiness. Since the simple event which led to our first
acquaintance, I have had numberless opportunities of judging of your
general temper, prudence, and virtue. The mental scrutiny has resulted to
your credit and my own satisfaction. I know you are amiable and discreet;
I know you are intelligent and yet beautiful; I believe you are pious and
above worldly reproach; I take your word that you are of good family, and
though delicacy forbade enquiring into your youthful history, I doubt not
it was equally pure with the maturer portion of your life. Such being my
conviction, you have my esteem, and, need I say it, Victorine? a more
exalted and warmer feeling even than that."
Madame Santerre sat drooping in her chair, trembling
violently, but endeavoured in a scarcely audible voice to express her
thanks for his good opinion. Emotions, explicable only to herself, shook
her whole being. Mr. Morland went on—
"In my quiet musings, after those brief intervals of
enjoyment in your society, I have looked round my abode, and, spite of its
many comforts, fancied that it looked lonely and cheerless. Though I had
never observed it before, the enlivening presence of a faithful and
confiding woman seemed wanting. I looked about me for the desirable object
of my household, and my choice—could it miss?—rested upon you. I felt the
hold you had taken of my affections, but forbore to explain my sentiments,
from a fear of being too premature, till now. I am now decided; and if a
man who had seen enow of the world's vanities to despise their false
glitter—if a heart which has been chastened, and, I trust, purified by
early mental suffering, but which is still capable of loving, be worthy
your acceptance, I here offer them in exchange for yourself and your
esteem. I cannot woo with the romantic ardour of a youthful lover, but
your good sense will not expect it. If none more favoured has forestalled
me in your affections, may I beg to know if your heart can respond to my
own? May I hope that the coming winter will see you the presiding mistress
of my house? God has been pleased to surround me with worldly comforts,
and by the continuance of his blessing I can be a guide and father to your
son, a devoted companion to yourself, and we can share the joy of doing
good among our fellow-creatures, keeping in view the teachings and example
of Him in whose service I am engaged, and to whose glory every deed of my
life, I hope will be dedicated. I wait for your decision. Take time to
examine your heart, and if its pleadings are in my favour my happiness is
With calm but desperate courage Madame Santerre replied to
the good rector; she fully appreciated the honour conferred upon her by
the unqualified offer of his heart and hand and confessed with
diffidence and delicacy that she felt far from indifferent towards him;
but argued the necessity of a little time for consideration on so
important a step as marriage, fraught as it would be with misery or
happiness to both. In a week she would be prepared to enter into the
details of her life previous to her coming to Mayburn, with a full trust
in his integrity, and leave him to renew or withdraw the generous advances
he had made, as a knowledge of her history might prompt him to act. Mr.
Morland was pleased with her candour, and acknowledged the reasonableness
of her proposition. He would wait with patience, though not without
anxiety, the appointed time, and leave her till then in the care of her
good angel. At parting he took her extended hand, kissed it respectfully
and affectionately, and quitted the house. The widow sought her chamber,
full of bewildering thought and misgivings as to the effect of her
promised disclosure. Her prayers were not unavailing that night in Heaven.
Having asked council of God, she resolved what course to pursue before
slumber closed her eyes. "For fourteen years," she mused, "have I
estranged myself from my own land, pursuing a shadow which eludes my
grasp, nursing a foolish love and a vain regret, mourning over the
commission of a guilty act to which cruel circumstances, in some measure,
compelled me, keeping my secret with unshrinking firmness, bearing up
against my grief with unwearied fortitude, and finding, at last, in this
sweet retirement something like retiring peace and tranquillity, when this
good man, this Edward Morland, comes to change the whole current of my
feelings, and to offer me happiness I am not prepared to accept. If I tell
him the whole truth, he knows my shame, and will, I fear, reject and
despise me. If I disguise it, I retain him by life-long deception, which
my soul abhors,—a deception which would prey upon my heart, and dash my
cup of happiness with gall. No; I cannot dissemble to him as I have done
to the world. Injustice to a kind and honourable man, and for the sake of
that peace of conscience hypocrisy cannot purchase, I will reveal my
misfortunes, and trust to Heaven for the result. With him, I doubt not, my
secret will be in safe keeping, and if I sacrifice my hopes it shall, at
least, be at the shrine of truth."
With this determination Madame Santerre went about her duties
with cheerfulness and alacrity. A burden and a shadow seemed to have
passed from her mind; and when on the appointed evening Mr. Morland made
his appearance, she felt confident in her power to bear the approaching
"Well, Victorine," he said, as he entered, "I hope your good
angel, under whose guardianship I left you, has dictated a favourable
response to my wishes."
The widow smiled faintly and sat down pale and composed.
"Mr. Morland," she began, "I have well considered your
generous and honourable offer. I have done considerable violence to my
feelings in preparing myself for this, to me, important meeting. Though I
claim your friendship, I feel I am not worthy of your love. I cannot to
you dissimulate. With reverence for your sacred character as a minister of
the Gospel, with respect for yourself as a man, I cannot go to the altar
with premeditated duplicity—with a lie lurking and rankling in my heart. I
have committed a grievous sin, which will set a barrier between us,—a sin
in expiation of which I have shed many bitter tears. I trust that my God,
against whom I have chiefly offended, has forgiven me; and shall I not
expect pity from a fellow creature? In divulging the particulars of my
early life, I throw myself on your compassion. I ask your sympathy, end
place implicit faith in your secrecy. More than this I dare not hope for. To begin the history of my misfortunes, I have, contrary to your belief,
never been married."
"Never married, Madame Santerre?" exclaimed the rector, quite
astounded and incredulous, "but your son"—
"Is the child of guilt and dishonour."
"Guilt and dishonour, Victorine!" muttered he, paralysed and
bewildered, "then alas for thee and me!"
"Alas, indeed! Hear my story, and judge between my
culpability and misfortunes. My parents were French protestants; I was
their only child and along with an education suitable to my station, I
received their religious opinions. My father made some successful
mercantile speculation, in Spain, and, for the sake of convenience,
removed his family thither, where he shortly afterwards died. The loss of
my father, shook my mother's delicate frame almost to dissolution, but
recovering slowly, she resolved to return to France, when the British
troops laid siege to the town in which we lived, and effectually prevented
our removal. In common with others we shared all the doubt, fear, and
suspense of that terrible time. At length the town surrendered, and the
outrages of a victorious, licentious, and infuriated soldiery commenced. Deaf to the voice of command, the appealings of reason, and the cries of
innocence, nothing could restrain them. Frenzy of the most diabolical kind
took possession of them, and at this moment I shudder at the recollection
of reports that hourly shocked our ears. For a whole week they held the
ascendancy, till the excess of their own fierce indulgences overmastered
them. It was night, on the first day of these horrors; I had just seen my
mother to bed, feeble from sickness and terror, when a party of soldiers,
reckless from drunkenness, forced the door, and entered the apartment
where I sat with two or three domestics. The servants fled, and left me to
the fury of the intruders. The men seemed to demand money, and while some
ransacked the house in search of it, others pulled me rudely about and
offered revolting indignities. I was speechless with dismay, and though
endowed with more than ordinary strength, I was near becoming the victim
of their brutal passions, when one in the garb of a British officer
entered, and confronting the men commanded them to desist. They refused,
but drawing his sword and shielding me with his person he kept them at
bay. Seeing him resolute, and beholding in him their own officer, they at
length with loud and angry voices, reluctantly quitted the house. When
they were gone I fell on my knees before my deliverer, and thanked him in
French for his generous and timely interference. He addressed me in the
same language, and leading me to a seat, assured me of his protection. I
now saw that he was young and handsome, of polished address and winning
manners. After some conversation he left me with a promise to keep watch
over the house. That night, though I could not sleep for the alarming
sounds in the streets, I had no further molestation. On the next day he
called again, renewed his assurances of protection, and staid a
considerable time. Grateful for his kindness, and glad to have a protector
near me, I could not urge his departure. He talked warmly and eloquently
on various subjects, and as he withdrew, expressed a hope that he might
claim the privilege of a friend, and visit me as often as his duties would
permit. I know not how I answered, for his eyes and his tenderness said
more than his tongue, and I felt his meaning. I must confess that I was
pleased with him and during his absence had a desire for his return. To my
mother, who was confined to her room, I had related my danger and
delivery, and she bade me give such reception to the stranger as the merit
of his act demanded, but cautioned me against overstepping the bounds of a
proper end polite decorum. For two days he came not again; and as the
tumult of the town had not subsided, I was both alarmed and disappointed. When he came it was nightfall; to his hurried knock and request to be
admitted, as more than common danger was abroad, I answered precipitately. He entered and secured the door, and to his desire that he might stay all
night to guard the house, I offered no opposition, but leaving him with
two male domestics, retired to my mother's apartment. But you are
indisposed, Mr. Morland. Pray let me waive the rest till you are better."
"Go on, Madame Santerre—for heaven's sake go on! I must hear
you to the end."
Surprised and startled by the rector's singular and
impressive manner, Madame Santerre proceeded:
"Next morning, with considerable trepidation, I sat down to
breakfast with my protector, who was cheerful and even gay, and exerted
all his powers of pleasing. At length he ventured to talk of love, and,
encouraged by my silence, he declared his passion for me in the most
earnest but respectful language, soliciting my pardon for his temerity,
and offering his undivided and devoted heart. As he spoke, I took a
rapid survey of my own feelings towards him: his seeming rank, his amiable
and fascinating manners, his cultivated mind, his personal bravery in my
defence, my gratitude, all were in his favour, and pleaded for him with
a power I could not withstand. With a frankness which is natural to me,
and with the proud but subdued delight of a girl who first sees man her
worshipper, I confessed—could I do less? that I already loved him. I need
not describe our mutual confidence and happiness. In a few days the
frantic soldiery were reduced to order and discipline, and comparative
peace was restored. In the mean time my mother's health rallied, and every
hospitable kindness that could express the deep sense of our obligation to
the Englishman she unstintedly showered upon him. Our interviews now
became frequent and protracted. Fearing to make my mother acquainted with
what would appear to her a too premature connexion, we met in secret. Every day we were knit more closely together—every hour saw me more
entangled in the mazes of a new and romantic attachment. By his artful
designs—for I must now call them artful—my caution was gradually lulled to
sleep; my scruples were over-ruled; my virtue was undermined; and in an
evil and unguarded hour I became the victim of a guilty passion which I
blush to name."
Here Madame Santerre gave way to her feelings and wept, while
the rector with a hurried step and troubled countenance, paced the
apartment. At length the widow resumed,—
"A few weeks passed away in dishonourable and intoxicating
indulgence, during which I saw no diminution of his tenderness. One
evening, how ever, he appeared unusually thoughtful. Sitting beside me he
slid a valuable ring on my finger and unclasped a bracelet from my arm,
saying half-playfully, half seriously, "We will exchange tokens of
affection, dear Victorine, keeping the talismans to remind us of each
other when distance or duty keeps us apart." I saw nothing in the sentence
to alarm me. I saw nothing but the unwonted gloom on his brow, and
expressed my anxiety as to the cause. With a sickly smile he pleaded
indisposition, and with an embrace, during which I felt a tear—a tear of
his shedding—fall hot upon my cheek, he departed. I never saw him more. On
the following day I received a letter; it was from my lover. With a
trembling heart I tore it open, devoured its contents, and stood paralysed
with fear, grief, and shame. It was full of expressions of love and
remorse. 'Under an assumed name,' he wrote, 'I have wooed and wronged you. I mourn that inexorable circumstances prevent me making reparation; but as
my heart can never be estranged from you, can those difficulties be
removed, it will be my pride and pleasure to claim you as my wife. Till
then I implore you to be consoled, to forgive me, to believe that I am not
the heartless seducer I appear. We may possibly never meet again, but till
the latest moment of my existence, my dear Victorine can never be
forgotten, can never cease to be beloved. Duty calls me hence; I depart
this very hour.' "
"This letter afforded no clue to where he might be found. In
vain I made enquiries. In vain I made daily rambles through the town in
the hope of again beholding him. It was evident that he was really gone,
and the sense of desolate despair that came over me words are inadequate
to describe. To add to my sorrow, my mother suffered a relapse, and as I
watched over her with affectionate solicitude, brooding over my fate,
fearing to lose the only being that connected me with the world, my fond
parent would attribute my faded cheek to my toil and anxiety on her
account. It was indeed true in part, but I could not embitter the few days
that remained to her by a confession of my guilt and grief. She closed her
eyes unconscious of my sin, and I laid her in the grave with a subdued and
repentant spirit, returning home—alas! how lonely now!—with a
strengthened, trustful, and tranquil mind. I had scarcely performed this
mournful duty than I began to feel the unquestionable consequences of my
criminal love. Alarmed at this new cause of trouble, and fearing exposure,
I hurriedly arranged my affairs, discharged my domestics, disposed of my
house, and with one female companion, who yet remains with me, set out for
Paris, where my father's property had been chiefly invested. Having
secured my little fortune, I assumed the name of Madame Santerre, and took
up my abode in a sequestered village, where I gave birth to my poor boy,
who is yet ignorant of his mother's disgrace. Here I stayed three years.
The innocent endearments of my child soothed my sorrow, and kept alive my
love for his father. A new hope, a new desire seized my mind. I would
visit the principal cities of France and England. I might in my wanderings
meet with him—he might be yet free and unchanged, and, oh! flattering
idea! I might yet be compensated for all my sufferings on his account. For
a whole year I travelled incessantly, and made use of every honourable
means to discover the object of my search, but in vain. Wearied and sick
at heart I at length took refuge here. My one great hope gradually
subsided. Time did its work of consolation, and my one great misfortune
seemed a thing of "long ago." My love for the man who had wronged me gave
way to a higher, a holier feeling. Religion began to claim my whole heart,
when your eloquence, Mr. Morland, gave poignancy to my recollections, and
your noble offer put me to the necessity of making this painful
disclosure. Without reservation have I made it; and your commiseration,
perhaps a continuation of your friendship, is all I can now expect; more
than that I have not the presumption to claim. A load is lifted from my
mind, and with a full reliance on your honour, I resign myself to my
solitary lot, too happy if I see my boy take a virtuous path, and an
honourable position in the world, ere I die."
Madame Santerre (as we must still call her) concluded her
narrative with a deep sigh and a few tears of maternal solicitude. With
her eyes bent on the ground, she had not observed the many changes that
had passed over the face of her auditor, in the course of her story. He
was now deathly pale and trembling with deep emotion, as he said, "Madame
Santerre, there is something very strange in your history; and I feel, I
hope, that I am in some way connected with it. Will you satisfy
some doubts that yet remain upon my mind?"
"Anything, Mr. Morland, that may convince you of my
"Is your present name not Santerre?"
"No; my real and only name is Jocelyn."
"Good God!" ejaculated the rector. "What was the assumed name
of your lover—I mean your seducer?"
"Alas! I remember it too well! It was Frederick Stanley."
"Indeed! But there have been, no doubt, many of that name in
the British army. Can you produce the ring he gave you, and the letter he
wrote to you at parting?"
"I can," said Victorine; taking them from a cabinet and
laying them on the table: you will see that the ring contains an emerald,
heart-shaped. The letter is worn and stained with my tears."
The rector took up the letter and scanned it closely. Having
read it end laid it down calmly on the table, there was a tear upon it,
which said more than
"In what town of Spain did these painful events of your early
life take place?"
"In Badajos, after the siege in 1812."
With compressed lips, but with an expression of eye which
indicated inward pleasure, Mr. Morland walked slowly about the room,
purposely averting his face from the anxious, searching, and enquiring
looks of the lady, a pause, he asked, with some hesitation, as if fearing
her answer might frustrate his newly kindled hopes, "Was there about this
Frederick Stanley any mark, any peculiarity by which you could recognize
"There was: he had on his neck a scar left by a bullet wound. When questioning him concerning the dangers to which he had been exposed,
he showed me this mark, and expressed his thankfulness that Providence had
guarded him in the strife."
Here, to the surprise of the lady, the rector threw himself
at her feet exclaiming, "Rejoice with me! rejoice with me, my dearest
Victorine! Behold in me that Stanley—that infatuated and guilty man who
robbed you of your honour, and who has been the cause of your tribulation. In the course of your story I felt it would come to this, and I am now
grateful to Heaven that I am permitted to offer that heart whose first
love has never been wholly subdued. But we knew not each other, beloved
Victorine! How is this?"
Victorine, bewildered with astonishment, delight, and
gratitude, had fallen upon his shoulders, and her tears were dropping
thick and fast upon his uplifted face. "Alas!" she replied, "fourteen
years of sorrow and remorse will blanch and furrow the fairest face, and
the difference of garb, place, and circumstance has aided the deception. I
had a vague presentiment, when I first saw you as God's chosen servant,
that I had looked upon your countenance and listened to your voice in my
youthful days; and am I not exceedingly happy to have found you at last!" Once more, as of old, but in perfect purity and sincerity, their lips met,
and seated by each other the rector explained some circumstances of his
"I was born of a good and pious family in the north of
England. My father designed me for the church, and I was educated at
Oxford with a view to holy orders; but being of an ardent temperament, and
fond of novelty and adventure, I expressed my preference for the army,
which excited my father's anger and surprise. Rightly judging, however,
that a few years amid the dangers and discomforts of a soldier's life,
would cool down my youthful impetuosity, he purchased for me a captain's
commission, and I set out to reap laurels in the Peninsula. After taking
part in a few minor engagements I was at the taking of Badajos, where I
had the good fortune my dearest Victorine, to protect thee from a brutal
and merciless soldiery. Little did I think that so many woes would have
resulted from our first meeting. I had not then learned to control my
passions, and your beauty, your interesting position, your gratitude, and
my own wild desires, all combined to effect your ruin. Knowing I was not
at liberty to offer you my hand, though my heart was yours, with a feeling
of anguish and self-reproach I wrote that letter. I was then ordered to a
distant station, and departed immediately. For six months, though I had
much to occupy my mind as a soldier, I was absolutely miserable,
hesitating between my love for you, and my ties and promises to those at
home. At length the caprice of the lady to whom I was betrothed released
me from my engagements. I hastened to communicate to you the joyful
intelligence, renewed my vows, and promised, when my duties would permit,
to fly to your arms, and make honourable amends for the wrongs I had
inflicted. Weeks passed away and no answer came to tranquilize my
impatient mind. I then requested a brother officer still remaining at
Badajos, to make inquiries after you. He informed me you were gone no one
knew whither. I was distracted, and with more recklessness than bravery,
plunged into danger, and sought every kind of excitement in the vain hope
of banishing your image from my memory. It would cling to my recollection. In the tent, in the field, at the feast, it was ever before me, and
reproached me with almost unendurable gentleness. Thus I existed, mentally
and bodily tossed about, till the battle of Waterloo. Here again I courted
danger, but when victory furled the British standard I remained unscathed. Disgusted with the enormities of the war system, weary of tumult, and the
turmoil of my own mind, I gave up my commission, and was received by my
family with affectionate joy. To the great satisfaction of my father I
recommenced my studies for the church, and began my new career with a
small living at some distance from here. With a truly changed and penitent
spirit I gave myself wholly to my sacred duties, the performance of which
afforded me a pleasure far higher than all the liberties of a mere worldly
life. At length I obtained the rectorage of Mayburn; and I believe that
Providence has brought me hither for the especial purpose of atoning for
my youthful crime by loving, guarding, and comforting thee, my Victorine;
wilt thou not grant me such glorious privilege?
"Need such a question be asked, Edward? From this moment I am
devoted to your slightest wish, and shall be proud to retain the truant I
have sought so long."
"I have but another request to make. May I not see my boy
this evening? May not our marriage be solemnized immediately, Victorine?"
"I will send for Charles; but we must prudently keep him
ignorant of the circumstances of his birth for a time. With regard to our
marriage, permit me a little
space to prepare my mind for that happiness I long since ceased to hope
for. It is now the end of October; let it be on Christmas day, Edward, a
time to remind us of Him to whose service our future years must be
The good rector assented, and their son was called in. Mr.
Morland took the boy's proffered hand and retained it, while the inward
yearnings of the father's heart prompted him to fall upon his neck, but he
restrained himself, and merely gazed affectionately in his child's face.
"Charles," said his mother, "you must henceforth look upon Mr
Morland as your father; can you not love and honour him as such?" "I can
mother. I loved Mr. Morland long since, and am pleased to be allowed to
call him father. I shall be happy to prosecute my studies under a father's
Mr. Morland, with a gratified look, said, "Victorine, let us
pray together." This little family knelt down. He prayed with more than
common eloquence, fervour, and pathos, while Victorine in the fullness of
her joy wept aloud. When they rose, three happier hearts than theirs did
not beat in the world. Beseeching a blessing on the house and its inmates,
the rector departed for his own dwelling with a feeling of profound peace
arising from a consciousness of having done his duty, and of having given
happiness to two beings so near and dear to him.
A few weeks passed rapidly away, and on the morning of
Christmas day Mr. Morland and Victorine by the most solemn and important
of ceremonies for the living, were made one. The rustics of Mayburn, who
heard of the approaching event, had filled the church. Their
congratulations were sincere and hearty. Their pastor gave bountiful
largess them, and sent them grateful to their homes. Mr. Morland then led
his happy but trembling wife to the rectorage, where a few select guests
awaited to receive them.
"Welcome to thy future home, my own Victorine! " exclaimed
he, as stepped over the threshold, "which thy sweet society will make a
lit paradise for me, and where I shall pour my daily thanks to Heaven
restoring thee to my arms. Sinful was the PASSION;
sincere has been the PENITENCE. I trust we are
forgiven." Mrs. Morland threw herself upon her husband's neck, and wept in
the fullness of her gratitude and joy.
If there be among my readers any youth whose ardent spirit
has been bewitched by the spurious grandeur of War, and who has longed to
try his chance for distinction in the "tented field," I hope that this
little tale may have tended, however slightly, to shake his faith in the
"honour," the "glory," the "duty," said to belong to this disastrous and
unchristian system. They are specious names used to catch the ear and
inflame the imaginations of young and unthinking minds. "War is a game
which, if men were wise, kings would not play at;" and as men begin to
form correct notions of War and its enormities, a corresponding distaste
and detestation of them will be created. We may serve our country without
shedding the blood of our fellow-creatures, recklessly and unnecessarily,
at the bidding of men who would urge us into strife from expediency, vain
glory, and intolerant self-love. A feeling opposed to battle and bloodshed
is taking deep root in the public mind of our own country, and who may
tell her influence for good on other nations? God prosper the feeling, and
hasten the coming of that day of Jubilee when universal brotherhood shall
be acknowledged and held inviolable, "and Peace embrace all climes, all
children of the world."
THE SEASIDE SOJOURN.
TO A POET-FRIEND.
My valued Friend! as generous and true
As bard could wish, when steadfast friends are few,—
Friend of the feeling heart and soul of fire,
Restrained and chastened by each just desire:
Whose thoughts are high, exuberant, and warm,—
Whose manners win, whose lightest words inform;
Whose deeds are ever on the helpless side
Of all who are oppressed and trouble-tried.
Thou hast not 'scaped the many-headed strife,
Which in the tangled labyrinths of life
Meets us at every turn, and strives to wrest
Peace from the mind, and pleasure from the breast;
But could I, as my wishes urge, extend
A prayer-won blessing unto thee, my friend,
Thy storms should cease, thy clouds should break away,
And leave the experienced evening of thy day
Calm in his joy, and in its brightness bland,
A fleeting foretaste of a happier land.
Sick of the thoughtless revel, and the throng
Of paltry pleasures that have done me wrong,
Of envious malice and of spurious praise,
(The bane, the blight of my aspiring days!)
I come, with more than sadness in my breast,
To be with Nature a repentant guest;
And here, once more by the consoling sea,
Whose constant voice of solemn euphony
Disposes to serene, exalted thought,
I find the tranquil solacement I sought;
Put off my cares, repress regretful tears,
And wake fond memories of departed years.
Many and harmless are the spells that bind
To this calm spot my stricken heart and mind,
The grey and breezy downs, unploughed and bare:
The priceless luxury of healthful air;
The long lone ramble by the sounding shore;
The drip and sparkle of the measured oar;
The white winged sea-gull's low and laggard flight;
The green wave's fitful and phosphoric light;
The staunch and stately ships that come and go
With the strong tide's unfailing ebb and flow;
The hardy sailor's wild, peculiar cry,
As, with a spirit emulous and high,
His horny hands unfurl the fluttering sail
To catch the fullness of the freshening gale;
The steadfast beacon's red revolving shine,
Far-looking o'er the still or stormy brine
With calm and constant, needful, watchfulness,
To warn from danger, and to cheer distress.
Then the pure pleasantness at eventide,
Our faces brightening by the "ingle-side,"—
In social converse, various and new,
Merry or sad, with chosen friends and few,—
Of wit and wisdom, manners, books, and men,
Of the strong sword-plague and the stronger pen;
Of living laws that guard us or degrade;
Of peaceful arts that speed the wings of trade;
Of mild Philosophy's untold delights;
Of fearless Science in his daring flights:
Of fervid eloquence, whose wondrous tongue
Makes truth and falsehood, rectitude and wrong,
Play faithless and, withal, fantastic parts
On our deluded ears and doubtful hearts;
Till thou, my Friend, already brimming o'er
With classic story and poetic lore,
Dost lead us gently, by degrees, away
To mental regions of serener day,
Where Genius of a loftier, holier power,
Lives soul-rapt in the quiet of his bower,
Calmly creating and enjoying things,
(Born of emotions and imaginings.)
So sweet and stainless, truthful and sublime,
And so instinct with life, that even Time
Who makes material grandeur stern and hoary,
Adds to their strength, their beauty and their glory!
'Tis sweet again, with tranquil heart and limb,
Within my dormitory, small and dim,
To lie and listen to the lengthened roar
Of restless waters rolling on the shore,
And feel o'er all my languid senses creep
The soft and silent witchery of sleep;
With its mysterious crowd of glooms and gleams
Mixed in a wild romance of miscellaneous dreams.
Once more there's pleasure, when my lattice pane
Admits the dewy morning's golden rain,
To hear the merry birds' melodious glee,
And the still sleepless and complaining sea—
Call me to spend another happy day
Of fresh, free thought—too soon to pass away!
But there are other charms that gently hold
My world-sick spirit to thy little fold
Of joyous human lambs, that learn and live
'Mid many pleasures fair but fugitive;
That wist not wherefore, and that ask not when
Care claims the hearts, and dims the eyes of men.
The first that greets my inquiring eyes at morn
Is the sweet fay, thy loved and latest born:
Her with the ruddy and the rounded cheek,
And flowing elf-locks, amber-hued and sleek,
And ripe lips, like a virgin bud that blows
'Mid summer dews, a stainless infant rose:
Her with the thoughtless brow, and laughing eye,
Clear as the depths of the cerulean sky,
Where storms are brief, where shadows seldom dare
Pollute or trouble the salubrious air.
Well do I know her father hath the power
(A dear, but yet, alas! a dangerous dower!)
To shrine his daughter in a song whose tone
Would be as sweet and lasting as my own;
But since he lays his trembling harp aside,
With a deep sense of not unworthy pride,—
Be mine the privilege, with words sincere,
To please an anxious father's willing ear.
She duly comes—that little sprite of thine,—
A human form, but seeming half divine,
With the young morn, as fresh and free from care
As forest flowers that meet us unaware—
To kiss with ready lips her fond, firm mother,
Her kindly nurse,—her grave and growing brother,
Her yearning father, and her father's friend,
As if she sought her little soul to blend
With souls of sterner mood, and thus impart
Her own spontaneous happiness of heart.
With bright impatient face she rushes out,
Her lips disparted with a gleesome shout,
To make a merry pastime of the hours
In the romantic fields, knee deep in flowers,
Which with an eager hand she plucks to grace
The unravelled tresses floating round her face.
Else, with her young companions hand in hand,—
Leaving her tiny foot-prints in the sand,—
Roams the long level of the sloping shore,
Watching the waters—fearless of their roar;
Gathering the stranded shells wherewith to deck
The purer whiteness of her graceful neck;
Till in the full-tide splendours of the noon,
Humming with "vacant joy" some wordless tune,
She comes exulting from her pleasant toils,
And strews the floor with variegated spoils;
Worthless, perchance, to our maturer sight,
But to her own a treasure of delight.
The dinner done, the irksome lesson o'er,
Again she seeks her playmates, to explore
Haunts yet unvisited, or old ones where
All that salutes her earnest eyes is fair;
And every sound, to her untutored ears
Is as the fabled music of the spheres.
The shady quiet of some bosky dell,
And the cool sparklings of its little well;
The bustling brooklet hurrying past her feet
With a low murmur, tremulous and sweet;
A fluttering leaf—a waving flower—a tree
Shivering through all is foliage; a bee
Sitting assiduous on the honied bloom
Of clover, blushing in its own perfume:
The song and plumage of some fearless bird—
The cuckoo's shout from dim remoteness heard;
Mysterious Echo's mimic voice, that seems
Like that of spirit from a place of dreams;
The dauntless pleasure-toils to seek and find
The brown nuts nestling in their rugged rind;
The feast of bramble berries black and bright,
Staining the lip that prattles with delight;
The tale of fairy—childhood's cherished creed—
Of wild old thoughts, a treasury indeed!
Yea, all that Nature's outward form imparts
To win the worship of such sinless hearts,
Makes up her waking life, and makes it too
Seem ever gladsome, glorious, and new,—
Sending her home at the calm set of day
Subdued and silent from her joyous play;
Her light limbs weary, and her eyelids prest
By slumber—welcome, though unbidden guest,
Which lays her down, a pure unconscious thing,
In the soft shadow of an angel's wing.
Oh! Childhood is the Paradise of Life,
Long safe from sin, and separate from strife;
And heaven-appointed spirits hover round,
To guard from evil the enchanted ground,
Till the dread thing o'erleaps the hallowed wall,
Basks in our path, and lures us to our fall:
Bright thoughts and pure all stealthily depart,
Leaving a strange vacuity of heart;
Some necessary impulse seems to press
Our footsteps nearer to the wilderness,
Until we learn the knowledge of our doom
From the "small voice" that whispers through the gloom,
While unseen hands, and powerful, compel
Our going from the Eden where we dwell;
And at the boundary, the angel Truth,
With looks of pity on our dawning youth,
Waves the stern flame-sword in our startled eyes,
And turns us to the world where danger lies:
But happy we, if in our hearts we find
Aught holy from the home for ever left behind.
I may not predicate what grief or glee
Awaits the darling of thy wife and thee,—
Her fate lies folded in the breast benign
Of Him who holds her in His hand divine:
But hope is soothing, and despair is vain,
And gentle precept leadeth with a chain
Stronger than passion's, from the path of wrong,
And firm example doeth more than song.
Thus with the teaching thou alone canst give.
Serene in virtue she may learn to live;
And though some bitter taints the cup of all,
Her's, in its sweetness, may subdue the gall.
Oh! may these written thoughts, when after life
Hath merged the maiden in the prouder wife,
Awake sweet memories of departed years,
And call the tribute down of none but happy tears.
I go, heart-strengthened by the little space
Of calm enjoyment in as calm a place,
Enlarged in sympathy, refreshed in mind,
With loftier thoughts, and feelings more refined;
Earnest and hopeful, anxious to explore
A clearer region of poetic lore,
Where I may toil with purer soul, and stand
Among the worthiest of my native land.
In sadness I depart, but not in pain,
Trusting to clasp thy cordial hand again:
Take thou and thine my blessing and farewell,—
Peace to thy house and all therein that dwell!
COME TO MY HOME.
Come to my calm but lonely home
With all thy grace, and love, and light,
That I may watch thee day by day,
And be thy guardian through the night;
Be thou my household's happy queen,
The pride and beauty of my bower;
My wayward soul's presiding star,—
My fond heart's sweetest, dearest flower.
Light labours only wait thee here,—
My peerless and my chosen one!
For thou shalt train the nectar-tree
To hang its tresses in the sun.
By thee the honey-fingered bine
Shall mantle round our rural shed;
And the Sultana summer rose
Lift high her proud imperial head
Through radiant summer's gorgeous time,
When pleasant toils are duly told:
When burn upon the western skies
The sun's rich robes of cloudy gold,—
We'll tread the green and fragrant sward,
And, leaning by some laggard stream,
Breathe to the sweet and listening air
The words of some immortal dream.
When garish day fades softly out,
Religious twilight gathering o'er,—
We'll read upon the book of heaven
Its God-illuminated lore;
Then filled with quiet thankfulness
While odorous night winds round us creep,
We'll turn with homeward steps, and slow,
To woo the tranquil bliss of sleep.
When moonlight snow is on the roof,
And pictured frost is on the pane;
When clustering stars look keenly forth,
And clouds discharge their solid rain,—
We'll nestle near the chimney side,
Unenvious of the festive throng,
And drown the moaning of the blast
In the united tones of song.
Should sickness bow thy fragile form,
Or sorrow rifle thee of rest,—
Should aught of human ill destroy
The peaceful rapture of thy breast,
My lips shall speak of hope and health,
To cheat thee of thy grief and pain,
And all my faculties combine
To bring thee back to peace again.
When other voices than our own,
And other forms which are not here,
Shall fill these walls with childish glee,
And make existence doubly dear;
What shall estrange us heart from heart,
When such connubial joys are given?
Come, be the angel of my life,
And make my earthly home a heaven!
A SUMMER'S EVENING SKETCH.
In tranquil thought, last eventide, I went my wonted way,
Along the foldings of a vale where quiet beauty lay,
To breathe the living air, and watch with fancies half divine,
The clouds that gathered near the sun, to grace his grand
The new-mown meadows, smooth and broad, gay in their
The sinuous river gliding on in shadow and in sheen;
The orchard and its little cot, with low and mossy eaves,
And tiny lattice twinkling through its chequered veil of leaves.
The costly mansion, here and there, 'mid solemn groves and
The mass of deep and wave-like woods uprolling on the hill;
The grey and gothic church that looked down on its grave-
And on the hamlet roofs and walls, coeval with its own;
Old farms remote and far apart, with intervening space
Of black'ning rock, and barren down, and pasture's pleasant
The white and winding road, that crept through village, vale,
And o'er the dreary moorlands, far beyond the homes of men.
The changeful glory of the sky, the loveliness below;
The tree-tops tinged with rosy fire, the bright pool's borrowed
The blaze of windows, and the smile of fields so soon to fade,
And when the lingering sun went down, the tenderness of
The throstle's still untiring song, loud as at early morn;
The grasshopper's shrill serenade amid the ripening corn;
The careless schoolboy's gleesome shout; the low of home-
The voice of mother and of child, let loose in loving words;
The rose that sighed its fragrant soul upon the summer air;
The breath of honeysuckle wild, that met me unaware;
The smell of cribs where oxen lay, of dairies dim and small;
Of herb, and moss, and fruit, that grew within the garden
All pleasant things that wooed the sense in odour, sound or
Came with as sweet an influence as if they had been new,—
And so disposed my mind to love, to gentleness, and trust,
I blessed all seemly forms that God life kindled from the dust.
The mingled magic of the scene, the season, and the hour,
Fell on my world-sick spirit then with most consoling power;
Old friendships seemed revived again—old enmities forgive,
Suspended as my feelings were midway 'tween earth and
I could have sported with a child, myself a child again;
I could have hailed the veriest wretch of penury and pain;
Religion, love, humanity, awoke within my breast,
And filled me with a solemn joy my tears alone expressed.
Thus nature wins her peaceful way, with silent strength and
To souls that love her lineaments, and meet her face to face.
Blest privilege! to leave behind the paths of toil we trod,
And live an hour of purity with Nature and with God!
In a lonely valley yonder,
Where the Rhenish wine-tree grows,
I sat me down to rest and ponder
On the mystery of woes:
For I was travel-stained and weary,
Sore of foot and faint of limb,
Helpless, hungry, heart-sick, dreary,
My eyes with want and watching dim.
It was a sunny Sabbath morning,
In the briefest days of spring,—
Infant buds the boughs adorning,
Larks upon the skyward wing:
Flowers, in fragrant childhood blowing,
Drank the golden light of day;
Streams, in clearer gladness flowing,
Found a sweeter, greener way.
The peasant poor to worship wending—
Wrinkled dame and ruddy lass,
With a kind obeisance bending,
Greet the pilgrim as they pass:—
Welcome, though their homely graces,
Buoyant footstep, aspect free;
Stranger forms and stranger faces
Are not those he yearns to see.
A simple Sabbath-chime was ringing
From a grey and leafy tower,—
A sweet and solemn music flinging
Over vineyard, vale, and bower;
The very woods and hills seemed listening;
In a holy calm profound,
And the lingering dew-drops, glistening,
Seemed to tremble at the sound.
Present sorrow,—baleful shadow!
Slid from off my languid mind,
Like a cloud-shade from a meadow,
Leaving greener spots behind.
Recollections, sad or splendid,
Came with softened smiles and tears,
And the future, hope-attended,
Beckoned unto brighter spheres.
England's temples of devotion,
Unassuming, old, and dim,
Where the deepest heart-emotion
Answers to the holy hymn;
In whose grave-yards, greened with ages,
Eyes the tears of memory shed,
Looking on those solemn pages—
Stony records of the dead.
I saw a sleeping babe receiving
Baptismal drops upon its face,
A blushing bride the portal leaving
With a proud and modest grace:
I saw a dark assembly gather
Round an open grave and deep,
And a wifeless, childless father
Stricken till he could not weep.
Then my youth rose up before me,
Fresh as in its newest hour,
When that deeper life came o'er me,
Love's pure passion and its power;
When a crowd of different feelings
In my growing heart took birth,
Different thoughts, whose sweet revealings
Uttered more of heaven than earth.
Memory opened out her treasures,
Which had lain unheeded long,—
Trials, triumphs, pains, and pleasures
A mingled and familiar throng;
Scenes, where I had wandered lonely,
In my boyhood's dreamy days,
When the shapes of nature only
Soothed and satisfied my gaze.
Wood haunts, where I lay and lingered,
At my stolen, but happy ease,
While the west wind, frolic-fingered,
Stirred the umbrage of my trees;
While the fern and fox-glove nigh me
Whispered things, too seldom heard;
And brook and bee that flitted by me
Held light concert with the bird.
England's soft and slumbering valleys,
With happy homesteads scattered o'er,
Where the honey-suckle dallies
With the rose, about the door:
England's ancient halls and granges,
In some woodland nestled low,
Through whose shades the river ranges
With a dark and devious flow,
Then I saw new things, and fairer,
In the stars, clouds, fields, and flowers;
Then I heard new sounds, and rarer,
In the ever-voiceful bowers:
Then with stronger life came laden
Every breeze that wandered wide,
Because one loved, one loving maiden,
Smiled, looked, listened, by my side.
Every spot of blissful meeting
Rose before my inner sight;
Every fond and joyous greeting
Thrilled me with an old delight.
Precious hours of speedy pinion—
Ye with purest passion rife,
Alas! to feel your dear dominion
Once only in the lapse of life!
Still that Sabbath-chime was ringing,
Where the Rhenish wine-tree grows,
Sterner recollections bringing,
Tinctured with a thousand woes:—
Poverty's resistless terrors,
Careless words, and careless deeds
Rash resolves, and thoughtless errors,
For which the wiser spirit bleeds.
Absent voices, absent faces,
Which I longed to hear and see;
Hearts, which yearned for my embraces,
And beat with faithful pulse for me.
Thoughts like these, with strong appealings,
Tinged with hopes, and touched with fears
Only asked for human feelings,
And I answered with my tears.
Thus that Sabbath-chime, though simple,
Stirred me with its hallowed sound,
As a still lake's smallest dimple
Moves the whole bright surface round.
That sweet music, and the brightness
Of the young and buoyant day,
Gave to my soul new strength, new lightness,
As I journeyed on my way.
Scourge of the nations, and the bane of freedom, hope, and
Stern reveller in gory fields, exulting in the strife !
Thou terror of ten thousand homes, thou sword-plague of
the world !
When shall we see thy balefires quenched, thy blood-stained
Ambition born, and power-begot, with passions dark and vile,
And fostered by the cruel arts of avarice and guile,
Thou goest forth with reckless hosts to slaughter and enslave,
Thou trampler upon human hearts, thou gorger of the grave!
My oriflamme floats wantonly in the pure unconscious air;
The chorus of thy drums gives out the warning note "Prepare;"
Thy cymbals ring, thy trumpets sing with shrill and vaunting
Alas! that such vain pageantry should grace the feast of death,
Growing in peaceful splendour stands some proud and prosp-
Till thy dread footsteps pass her gates, and tread her glories
While panic sweeps her wildering streets, and all thy hounds of
Make riot in her homes, and leave dishonour and dismay.
Some village, nestling tranquilly amid its happy shades,
Girt with the calm amenities of corn-fields, streams, and glades,
Beholds thee pause upon thy march, and in thy fierce employ
Despoil its blooming paradise of quietude and joy.
A province withers at thy frown, a kingdom mourns to see
Her desecrated temples torn, her towers o'erthrown by thee;
Bewails her commerce paralysed, her fields unploughed and wild
And all her household sanctities invaded and defiled.
And yet the land that sends thee forth, what land soe'er it be,
Leaps at thy lawless victories, and lifts the voice of glee,
And songs are sung, and bells are rung, and merry bonfires
While false, or foolish pens, distil the poison of their praise.
And at the crowded banquet board quick tongues diffuse thy fame,
And columns lift proud capitals in honour of thy name.
And virgins, pure and beautiful, give their fond hearts away
To men who trod out human life in the carnage yesterday.
Thy trophies, brought in triumph home, attest what thou hast done,
What valour lavished on the foe, what fields of glory won;
But men who scorn thy painful pomp, survey with blushing face
Such signs of sanguinary power, such symbols of disgrace.
Aye, strip thee of thy dainty garb, thy tinsel robe of pride,
Lay glistering helm, and flaunting plume, and specious names
And what remains of that gay thing that dazzled us before?
A monster, hideous to behold—an idol smeared with gore!
The widow's curse is on thee, War; the orphan's suppliant
Mixed with the mother's malison, ascend the placid skies;
And bones that bleach upon the shore, and welter in the sea,
Appeal,—and shall it be in vain? against thy deeds and thee.
The green earth fain would fling thee off from her polluted
The multitudes are yearning, too, for knowledge and for rest,
And lips inspired by Christian love all deprecate thy wrongs,
And poets fired with purer themes, disdain thee in their songs.
"The embattled corn" is lovelier far than thy embattled hordes;
One plough in Labour's honest hand is worth ten thousand
The engine's steam pulse, fitly plied, hath nobler conquests
Than all the congregated serfs of thy abhorrent trade.
More courage in the miner's heart than captain ever knew;
More promise in the peasant's frock than coats of scarlet hue,
More honour in the craftsman's cap, and in the student's
More glory in the pastor's robe, than all thy vain renown.
England, my own, my mother land, as fair as thou art free!
Thou Island queen! whose wide domains o'ersprinkle earth
What need that thou should'st yearn again to conquer and
Thy power has long been known to all, shall not thy mercy
Forbear to use the cruel sword, or, if thou wilt invade,
Be it with palm or olive branch, that maketh none afraid;
Be it with Bible in thy hand, with justice in thy breast,
Give peaceful arts; give Gospel light; give rectitude and rest.
If strong ambition dares to doom his weaker foe to bleed,
Raise high the trumpet-voice of truth against the ruthless
With magnanimity of heart, with calm and fearless brow,
Be thou the umpire and the friend—the mediator thou.
So shall the nations look to thee, as one ordained to keep
The balance of the social world, the portals of the deep;
And history shall write thee down, with proud and willing
A realm of mind and majesty, a wise and Christian land!
Stern Winter time! thy shrouded skies oppress me,
And fling funereal shadows o'er my brain:
Sad thoughts and visions, spectre-like, distress me,
And waken all my sympathies to pain;
Sad thoughts of yonder multitudinous city,
Where care too often festers into crime:
Where hearts heave out their life for lack of pity,
Or, living, dread thy coming, Winter time!
Sad thoughts of sinful and pestiferous places,
Where love, hope, joy, breeze, sunlight, never comes;
Where pen and pencil never lend their graces,
Nor common comforts quiet, to their homes—
Oh! no, not homes, but dens—where God's own creatures
Creep through the roughest ways of lowest life;
Where untaught minds make savage forms and features,
And hold perpetual fellowship with strife.
Sad thoughts! that virtue and that vice together
Stir the thick air with curses and with groans,
Pine through the day, and in the fiercest weather
Herd nightly on the cold and cruel stones;
Or desperate men put off their fear and starkness,
To wreak their vengeance on some guiltless head;
Or women, roaming through the storm and darkness
Barter their beauty for dishonoured bread.
Even where royalty, oppressed with splendour,
Free as the humblest from repulsive pride,
While ready hands and willing hearts attend her,
Walks in her gardens beautiful and wide—
There, even there, with gorgeous wealth surrounded,
The lost, the scorned, the outcasts of their kind,
Lie down a heap of indigence confounded,
Fellows in misery, if not in mind.
Sad thoughts! that in yon town's bewildering mazes,
Dark veins far stretching from its giant heart,
Man in his saddest moods and sternest phases
Lives from all healthy influence apart:
Souls that have missed their way lie there benighted,
With all their sensual instincts wild and bare;
A hearts, once prone to love, are warped and blighted
For lack of genial sustenance and care.
Father's sit brooding on the threatening morrow,
With looks of anger kindling into hate;
And mothers, with a mute, but deeper sorrow,
Cease to resist the thraldom of their fate:
Children, grown prematurely old, are pining
In apathetic squalor, day by day;
Round their young natures vicious weeds are twining,
Which thrust the flowers of purity away.
Perchance, within those lazar-dens of riot
Insidious sickness saps the shattered frame:
Where is the yielding couch, the room of quiet?
The pensive taper-light's unfailing flame?
Where is the cleanly hearthstone, blithely glowing?
The cordial offered ere the lips request?
Where are affection's eyes, with grief o'erflowing?
The forms that wait, yet fear, the final rest?
Where is the skilful leech, man's health-director,
With words of honey all unmixed with gall?
The pastor praying to the great Protector,
Without whose will a sparrow cannot fall!
Alas! not there! no love, no skill, no teaching,
Touches with hopeful light the hour of gloom,
The lorn wretch thinks high heaven beyond his reaching
And, dying, braves the horrors of his doom!
Strange contrast! lo! you lofty windows brighten
From chambers as an eastern vision fair,
Where lips and eyes with pleasure smile and lighten,
While song and music thrill the throbbing air;
Where Art hath brought her triumphs and her graces,
The glowing canvas, and the breathing stone;
Where rich refinements from a thousand places
Are tributes from the lands of every zone.
There lusty lacqueys round the banquet gliding
With costly dainties court the pampered taste,
While Joy and Plenty o'er the board presiding
See southern nectars run to wanton waste;
There Fortune's idol learns to love and languish,
Swathed in the splendour and the pride of birth,
Uncaring, or unconscious, of the anguish
That bows her lowly sisters of the earth.
And yet there are, beside the hall or palace,
Shapes of humanity unhoused, unfed,
Untaught, unsought, unheeded, fierce or callous,
The sky their curtain, and the earth their bed:
Shapes which are all of one Almighty's making,
Imploring, threatening, near the rich man's feet,
With sin grown savage, or with sorrow quaking,
Frenzied for food his dogs refuse to eat.
"The poor shall cease not," God's blest word declareth;
But are they less of human mould than kings?
Must they grow faint for what kind Nature beareth,
For what she gives to all her meaner things?
Must they exist in darkness and distraction,
Doubting if Heaven be merciful and just?
Shut out from joy, unnerved for glorious action
And scarce uplifted from the grovelling dust?
Formed for all fitting faculties and feelings
By, Him who gives the tiniest worm a law,
Who fills His humblest work with high revealings,
Sustains the shies, and keeps the stars in awe,—
Shall they, oppressed with famine and wrong doing,
With crowding cares, and unassuasive pain,
Obey, toil, falter, rush to deeper ruin,
Reason, implore, grow mad, and all in vain?
Forbid it, God! who deigns to guide and gift us!
Ye mild and moral principles of right—
Ye liberal souls that labour to uplift us—
Rise up against it with resistless light:
And all ye holy sympathies that slumber
Unstirred, unfruitful in the human breast,
Spring into active phalanx without number,
And give the poor hope, help, and happier rest.
Forbid it Pen—for thou canst vanquish error;
Forbid it Press—proud ally of the Pen!
Forbid it Speech, that carries truth or terror
To the hard bosoms of unthinking men.
Pen, Press, and Speech, creators of opinion—
Opinion armed 'gainst ignorance and wrong—
League all the lands beneath your blest dominion,
Till the glad poet sings a calmer song.
THE PARTITION OF THE EARTH.
PARAPHRASED FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLER.
"Take the Earth!" uttered God, from the height of his throne,
As he looked on the children he made, from above:
Take the Earth, with its treasures, and call it your own,
But divide it with justice and brotherly love!"
By myriads men came when they heard the decree,—
Age, manhood, and youth hurried on in the race;
The husbandman ruled o'er the corn-covered lea,—
The forest was given to the sons of the chase.
The merchant took all that his stores would contain,
While the priest—holy man! took the choicest of wine;
The king took the highways and byways for gain,
By a law which the people believed was divine.
At length, when each mortal rejoiced in his lot,
Came the poet, who loved not the boisterous throng;
But, alas! when he came he beheld not a spot,
Save the breadth of a grave, for the pilgrim of song.
Then he threw himself down at the throne of his Sire,
And cried to the Being who gave him his birth,—
"Oh! grant a poor outcast his only desire,
Let the child of Thy wrath be forgotten on earth."
God said, "If thou liv'st in the empire of thought,
The cause of thy sorrow pertains not to me:—
Where, where hast thou stayed while my bidding was
Said the Poet, "Oh, God! I was near unto Thee!
"If my eyes were entranced by Thy glory and might,
And my ears by the music that breathes in Thy skies
If my soul was absorbed in Thy love and Thy light,
Forgive that the Earth disappeared from mine eyes."
"Content thee," God said, "for Earth's riches are give",
As such was my pleasure, and hence my decree,
Thou shalt live with thy Lord in his own blessed heaven;
For whenever thou comest 'tis open to thee!"
THE PATRIOT'S BATTLE PRAYER.
PARAPHRASED FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLER.
Father of Life! to Thee, to Thee I call—
The cannon sends its thunders to the sky;
The winged fires of slaughter round me fall;
Great God of Battles! let Thy watchful eye
Look o'er and guard me in this perilous hour,
And if my cause be just, oh! arm me with Thy power!
Oh! lead me, Father, to a glorious end,
To well-won freedom, or a martyr's death;
I bow submissive to Thy will, and send
A soul-felt prayer to Thee in every breath:
Do with me as beseems Thy wisdom, Lord,
But let not guiltless blood defile my maiden sword
God, I acknowledge Thee, and hear Thy tongue
In the soft whisper of the falling leaves,
As well as in the tumult of the throng
Arrayed for fight—this human mass that heaves
Like the vexed ocean. I adore Thy name,
Oh, bless me, God of grace, and lead me unto fame.
Oh! bless me, Father! in Thy mighty hand
I place what Thou hast lent—my mortal life;
I know it will depart at thy command,
Yet will I praise Thee, God, in peace or strife;
Living or dying, God, my voice shall raise
To Thee, Eternal Power, the words of prayer and praise!
I glorify thee, God, I come not here
To fight for false ambition, vainly brave;
I wield my patriot sword for things more dear,—
Home and my fatherland; the name of slave
My sons shall not inherit. God of Heaven!
For Thee and Freedom's cause my sacred vow is given!
God, I am dedicate to Thee for over;
Death, which is legion here, may hem me round;
Within my heart the invader's steel may quiver,
And spill my life-blood on the crimson ground:
Still am I Thine, and unto Thee I call,—
Father I seek the foe—forgive me if I fall!
ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT SOUTHEY,
LATE POET LAUREATE.
From the bright coronal of living minds,
The grace and glory of these later days,
A gem is shaken to the dust; a star
Which rose in thought's wide hemisphere, and grew
Resplendent with the calm, sweet light of Song
Hath faded into darkness, while our eyes
Gaze with sad yearning after it—in vain!
The fitful winds, which sweep with varying voice
O'er the broad breast of Keswick's wrinkled lake,
Sing dirges o'er the mountain-girdled grave
Where Southey sleeps. A fitting tomb for him
Whose heart did feed itself amid a scene
So strangely beautiful; for many a sound,
And silence—which is sound awful—will
Breathe about his resting place, from glens,
From green hill tops, from old time-twisted trees,
From wave-worn caverns in the rifted rock,
From waters, sleepless as the listening stars
On which they gaze, from breezes touched and tuned
To storms or zephyrs; for in them he heard
What unto him was Poesy, and she
Peopled his solitude with things of joy!
Sad to remember that that laurelled brow,
Which held such wild imaginings, such powers
To clothe in lofty language lofty truths,
And sentiments which humanized and stirred,
Wears the cold hues of death. That cunning hand,
Which traced upon the page the living line,
Is paralysed; and that once piercing eye,
Lit with the reflex of an ardent-soul,
Is veiled and quenched. That spark of deathless fire,
Which filled its shrine with glory, hath returned
To the pure fountain of immortal light
From whence it sprang, leaving its "darkened dust"
To mingle with its elements for ever!
Men lightly say—"This is the common lot;"
But when the gifted and the good depart,
We stand aghast, as if some well-touched string,
Breathing divinest music in our ears,
Was snapped asunder, even while our hearts
Were throbbing to its tones. But have we not,
Within a few brief moons, been called to weep
O'er the sad loss of many an eloquent mind
Of strength and beauty? For a voice hath said,
That he who fixed his soul in marble lives
In fame ALONE; that Wilkie's magic hand,
Which threw upon the canvass genuine life
Hath lost its power in the remorseless grave;
That honest Allan, of the hardy north,
Hath hung his harp upon the cypress bough,
And joined a nobler choir; and Southey, last,
But far from least of these, hath rent away
The gyves of earth, and soared to happier spheres.
Yet let us not despair,—for Southey LIVES,—
Lives in the labours of a quiet life,
Well spent and richly fruitful. Few may claim.
The laurel crown which he hath laid aside,
And wear the wreath so nobly and so long.
The lustrous diamond in profoundest gloom
Retains the light it gathered from the sun
From age to age; so hath the world received
And treasured up the lustre of the mind
Of him we mourn, which shall not melt away.
Let us imbibe his spirit, like old wine
Long caverned in the earth, and mellowed down
To strength and purity; but let us not,
Because some lees remain within the cup,
Reject as worthless the inspiring draught.
Those first brief bursts of his unsullied muse—
Those earlier flights of her rejoicing wing,
Light as the lark and buoyant as his lay,
Are ours to think upon and love. How well
He sang the sorrows of his race, and cried
Aloud against its wrongs! How sweetly breathed
His harp-strings, when the charms of nature wooed
Their eloquent voices out! For these alone,—
For these few flashes of a feeling soul,
His laurel leaves shall keep for ever green!
Thou priest and patriarch of nature!—thou,
Who wast a brother of the buried bard
In mind and fame! awake thine ancient lyre
To one last mournful melody, and mine lyre
Shall shrink to silence at thy loftier song!
FAMILIAR EPISTLE TO MY FRIEND
Free for an interval of time
To sleep or think, to read or rhyme,—
I hear yon steeple's measured chime,
With solemn weight,
Fling to the silent night sublime
The hour of eight.
Snug seated by the chimney-cheek,
Too calmly indolent to speak,—
An evening custom through the week,
My tube of clay
Sends forth a light and odorous reek,
Like ocean spray.
The spiral cloud soars to the ceiling,
To Fancy's eye strange forms revealing
Until I find around me stealing
So sweet a rest
That every kind and gentle feeling
Stirs in my breast.
(Thou tiny censer, burning slow,
Whose fire and fragrance soothe my woe,
I would not willingly forego
Thy quiet power
For all the dainty dazzling show
Of Fashion's hour.)
The flickering fire is dancing bright,
Dispensing genial warmth and light,
While beings pleasant to my sight
Are seated round;
And one doth read, and one doth write,
With scarce a sound.
Meanwhile, within the glowing grate
I see things wild and desolate,—
Rocks, mountains, towers, in gloomy state,
With other traces
Of monsters savagely sedate,
With gorgon faces.
But as I gaze they slowly change
To regions beautiful and strange,
Where lovely creatures seem to range
The red realm through;
Or English temple, cot, and grange
Start into view.
Outside, the myriad-fingered rain
Is drumming on the window pane,
And the strong night-winds wail in vain
To enter here:—
Alas! they move upon the main
With wrath and fear!
And now my thoughts are sent afar
To where the peril seeking tar,
Without the light of moon or star,
And hears his proud ship's sail and spar
Rent in the blast.
Poor souls! who tempt the dangerous wave,
Your home, your empire, and your grave,
When winds and waters round you rave
In mighty madness,
Who shall extend the hand to save,
And give ye gladness?
Upbuoyed on Ocean's heaving flood,
A thousand breathing beings stood,
The brave, the gifted, and the good,
Till the storm came in maddest mood,—
And where are they?
God of the tempest-hidden sea!
The solemn secret rests with Thee,—
With finite sense we are not free
To scan thy law;
'Tis ours alone to bow the knee
In silent awe!
Thus the sad chiding of the wind
Wakes memories of a mournful kind,
Which pour upon the restless mind
A tranquil balm,
As thoughtful here I sit reclined,
Secure and calm.
And thinking on the sleepless sea,
"Hungering for peace," I think of thee,
And how with friendly souls and free
We strayed together,
To talk and dream of Poesy,
In summer weather.
I see that little rustic place
Where our 'blythe friend,' with pleasant face,
Displayed with hospitable grace
Those goodly things,
Which quicken Time's lame, laggard pace,
And speed his wings.
The full o'erflowing of the breast,
The frank and unoffending jest,
The bright idea well expressed,—
The laugh and song
The talk of Spencer, and the rest
Of Fancy's throng;
The antique chamber, warm and small,
The fire-light flashing on the wall,
The social cup unmixed with gall,
The whole delight
Passed like a vision to enthrall
My memory quite.
Deferred too long; I seize my pen,
(My wand of fancy now and then),
To tell you why, and where, and when
I scrawled this letter;
For in these courtesies, ye ken,
I am your debtor.
Yon crowded town, where stunned and tossed
I lingered long, and to my cost,
Caressed to-day—to-morrow crossed,
I've left at last;
And as I count the moments lost
I stand aghast.
And here I am, three leagues away,
Earning my dinner every day
As I was wont, before my lay
Found willing ears,—
Without a single friend to say
"Put off thy fears."
But yet I am not friendless—No!
My wife, fond sharer of my woe,
And Hope, that spirit joy below,
Are with me still;
And God has blessings to bestow,—
I wait His will.
I have a corner in my heart
For thee, all generous as thou art;
For thou, like me, hast felt the smart
Of the world's wrong;
And thou art loth to live apart
From darling song.
And, therefore, do I wish to learn
If fortune's features grow less stern,
And if thou dost as yet discern
A brighter real,
Or of thy hidden thoughts still yearn
For the ideal.
Does Myra's cheek with gladness glow,
And her sweet mouth with laughter flow
As wont? Do all thy children grow
In sense and duty?
And does thy wife put off the woe
That veils her beauty?
With us the wretched rains and damps
Have turned the level fields to swamps,
And through the mist the drowsy lamp
Look dim and dreary;
But, save some fitful aches and cramps;
I'm well and cheery.
I've fallen in love, but not with Flora,
Nor Cynthia chaste, nor young Aurora
Nor dark Gulnare, nor sweet Medora,
But with the shade
Of fair, fond, faithful, fervent Zora,
A Syrian Maid!
Simply, I mean to weave a lay
Of love, to cheer me on my way;
And in my silent hours I pray
"God speed my pen,"
To which, methinks I hear you say
Night wears, and, therefore, 'gainst my will,
I use the last drop in my quill
To tell thee I esteem thee still
In shade or shine;
And be our lot or good or ill,
I'm ever thine,
J. C. PRINCE.