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possession of some member of it, and lead- unjustifiable than to parade a hasty suspiing him into all sorts of atrocious acts. cion as truth, and to endeavor to affix it And she referred me for confirmation of as an indelible stigma upon the name of a the doctrine to those passages in the New gentleman ? His being a lawyer makes his Testament which speak of persons who conduct appear all the worse. Accustomwere possessed with devils. With an up-ed throughout his whole life to sift and raised finger and gleaming eye, she added, weigh evidence, it is impossible that he that it was very probable that this fiendish could have failed to observe how entirely attendant of the Astiville family would some groundless was the charge which he took day enter into me. Of course, a child of upon himself to utter." the tender age of which I was, could not “It was, indeed, very wrong," mur hear these frightful tales without shudder- mured Sidney. ing. My parents perceiving the terror “And now," rejoined Howard, vehewhich oppressed me, and after some inves- mently, “Tell me what has been the effect tigation discovering the cause, were very of the calumny. You know exactly what angry. The consequence was, that the Somers said that evening—I do not. If old hag was whipped, and I fear that she you are unwilling to inform me what the regards me, though only an involuntary imputations were which he cast forth so agent in her punishment, with as rancor- recklessly let me hear, at least, whether ous a detestation as she does the memory they produced the result intended. A of old Bob Hateful himself.” »
parent's honor is as dear to me as my own. Sidney and Howard strolled along in If you see cause to believe my father a silence for a little distance. At length the villain, you are welcome to esteem Howard latter remarked :
Astiville ten times more a villain !" “There's an old negro, named Priam- “ Trust me,” replied the young lady, and, by the way, I saw him at the shuck-" I never had reason to entertain the ing yonder—who is Naomi's husband. slightest doubt of your father's integrity. He is at present hired to Sylvester New- Let the assertions which Mr. Somers utlove, and he it was, probably, or his wife, tered, in a moment of irritation, sink into who gave Somers the information about oblivion. They are already as if never the Grave, which was used to such effect spoken—except so far as the recollection in Court. I will not pretend to reproach of them affects Mr. Somers' own reputaSomers for anything he said before the tion. jury ;-there he only acted according to Sidney stopped, confused and blushing; his trade. But what I do blame him for for these last words had escaped her uninis, that he should afterwards have so tentionally. They expressed rather a shamefully garbled and distorted his negro painful conviction, than an opinion which tradition, for the purpose of lowering my she desired other persons to adopt. father in Mr. Everlyn's opinion, and in Howard took up the word immediately. yours. That was a trick of mean, despica- Somers ought, in truth, to be ashamed ble malice, to which I would not have of his conduct-but, I presume, his only thought that even Richard Somers would care is to make himself agreeable to Miss descend."
Newlove ?" Sidney was struck by this observation. Sidney felt her embarrassment increase, In a quick voice she said : “ Can it be that but it was necessary to give some reply. So, Mr. Somers understood the matter as you after the pause of a few seconds, she said: have explained it?"
"I hope, however, that Miss Newlove “Surely! How can it be else? The cannot possess so exacting a disposition as account which I have given you is the ne- to require, from her advocate, the forfeitgro account, and it is the one which Somers ure of his honor." must have received. Or, if any other tale “I should have been inclined to believe was told him, it certainly could not have so too,” returned Howard. “I had a been more unfavorable to our family. good look at the young lady a few days This is the darkest one that has ever been since, and, really, if she were not a New propagated. But, giving him the credit Yorker's daughter, one might conjecture of iguorance, what can you imagine more' her to be quite an amiable sort of person.
Of course no less partial spectator than “I might answer,” said Howard, after Richard Somers, would reckon her very the fashion of echo - What falsehoods ?' beautiful ;-still there's something enga- Why, any and all;—for it is to be preging about her. Spenser has a couplet, sumed that every word that drops from bis which, I think, describes pretty well the lips involves a deceit. Yet I care little impression likely to be made on one who what estimation is placed upon his assersaw her for the first time. The poet, in tions, except when they touch my father's mentioning some plain, unpretending dam- good name." sel, says:
" Assertions which do that,” said SidYet was she fair, and in her countenance ney, “must meet disbelief and rebuke, let Dwelt simple truth, in seemly fashion.'”
them proceed from whom they may. Your “Very pretty lines, indeed,” said Sid father's high integrity is not to be doubted, ney, " and I am sure that any one who de- even upon testimony so respectable as that serves to have them applied to her, need of Mr. Somers. not complain that Dame Nature has been “I am grateful,” uttered Howard, bendniggardly in the bestowment of charms." ing his head. “We stand cleared from
Miss Emma Newlove is well enough,” one imputation; but how is it with regard answered the gentleman, " though a little to old Naomi's ban? Do you believe that too meek, and quiet, and die-away for my there is indeed a curse overhanging every notion.”
one who is so unfortunate as to be de“Why, I thought you had never con- scended from Robert, the master of versed with her, Mr. Astiville ?”
Giles ?" “So I have not-I only infer the char- “ If I did entertain such a belief,” said acter from the face. My opinion may be Sidney, “it would only be a ground for symwrong. Perhaps, with all that mild sin-pathy and fellow-being. You know Evercere look, she is, in reality, a termagant stone lies under a doom. But let us keep and a scold. If this be the case, I trust a bold heart, and destiny may do its that Somers is the man who is destined to worst." become her husband-no fate can be too “I have need, in truth, Cousin Sidney, bad for him."
to summon all my powers. Think what a “But suppose she of a temper alto- fiend it is that haunts me—not a tempter gether different ?
who seeks to beguile me to my ruin, but “Why, then,” added Howard, “may an irresistible despot, who will never condeshe have the good sense to choose a hus- scend to address his victim in any language band somewhere else than in Redland. but that of stern command. Imagine him She ought to know that there are ladies tossing me about at his own will and pleahere, too fair to be rivalled by Yankee sure. See me writhing as hopelessly as beauty, and sufficiently numerous to en- Laocoon, enveloped in the folds of the sergross the entire devotion of all the sons of pent. Am I not to be pitied? Perhaps, the South. Stay!—let me think better however, there is a way to exorcise and of it. Yes, we'll be generous, the little banish the fiend. If you, Cousin Sidney, puritan maidens shall have leave to gather were gifted with the power to relieve me from the crumbs. Let them take the lawyer, this horrible fate, would you not exert it?” and welcome! It will be a happy riddance Certainly. It would be inhuman to reto you, Cousin Sidney, will it not ? But refuse; but, unfortunately, I am no Merlin." why waste time in making provision for “Oh,” resumed Howard, “I ask not Miss Newlove? She is sufficiently old to the forbidden aid of sorcery. The fiend is help herself.
Though philanthropy is a too mighty to be thus conquered. He can good thing, I don't see that we ought to be driven out only by a power, of a nature be particularly solicitous respecting this directly opposite to his own. He is dark, young lady. For my own part, my loathsome, devilish. I must, then, look to thoughts are not disposed to wander so far. one who is pure, benign, and lovely. And You tell me that Somers' falsehoods have if the being who possesses these qualities, made no impression on your mind.” in their extent, will not assist me, I must
“What "falsehoods » asked Sidney, abandon all hope. What say you now, suddenly.
Cousin Sidney ?”
I have to reply that I still think your demon, if he have any ears to stun, shall safety depends upon yourself alone. But, be ready to cry mercy.” ” since you make such an angel of me,
I “Thanks, my gentle David,” said Howmust, in return for the compliment, render ard, leading his companion towards the all the service I can. Evil spirits were ex- steps. pelled, in ancient times, by the influence of " And do you, great King Saul, be on music. We are nearly at the house, I your good behavior. Cast no javelins at perceive, and the piano is in tolerable tune. my head—I beseech you.” I will play to you, until the unwelcome
To be Continued.
If Mr. Browning be the poet of a transi- it will cover the whole multitude of his tion state, this may explain one of his worst sins. Without siding with either class, we faults, namely, his occasional obscurity or believe that much of the poetry and of the unintelligibility. If he stands in the twi- prose, which is called transcendental, is relight of a coming day, it is not strange that plete with refined appreciations of both familiar shapes emerge indistinctly, here spiritual and sensuous beauty, for which and there, and assume unrecognizable we look in vain elsewhere ; that it has wiforms, while the new revelations, which dened our sympathies with nature by shedshall brighten with glory in the rising sun, ding upon the forms of sense the hues of still glimmer mystically from the shadows the spirit ; that it has analyzed more perthat enshroud them. But whatever be the fectly those mysterious visitings of feeling and explanation—and the true one is, perhaps, thought, which cast such elusive flickerings the indolence or the perversity of the author, of light and shadow upon the soul, and has —the fact is obvious, and must ever stand woven into tissue, beautiful as morning mists in the
way of his popularity. There is a and ærial as gossamer, the fine afinities cunning mediocrity, which wins admira- which connect us with the world of spirits. tion by affecting obscurity, and which by These things are within the legitimate proenwrapping its paltry truism in a glimmer- vence of poetry—but hardly fitted for the ing fog, plays upon its readers the brilliant drama, because the drama supposes the imposture of making them transfer the ex- mind too much absorbed in action to incellencies, which they imagine, to words dulge in anything so fine-spun and visionwhich they do not comprehend. There ary—but when you come to pure Kantian are in Browning whole pages, which, could metaphysics, to speculations upon the eswe believe him infected with Charlatanism, sence and the properties of mind and spirit we should attribute to this cause. But, and the absolute nature of things, and other in point of fact, we believe that he oftener kindred themes, to attempt to extract poeobscures true merit than creates a halo try from them, is like the alchemist's attempt around a sham; and, that the defect re- to make gold out of iron, or the Yankee's sults rather from want of labor than from to squeeze milk out of a turnip. The fact want of ability. He does not dwell upon his is, almost all the great truths which lend a conceptions, until they assume that clear coloring to the affections, passions, and and determinate shape, which compels a practical life of men, and which are condefinite expression. In justice to him, how- sequently poetical-are simple and intelever, it must be said that his later produc- ligible. "Belief in divine Providence, and tions are great improvements upon his the immortality of the soul, the solemn earlier in this respect.
raptures of devotion, the retributive terBut if one cause of his obscurity is his rors of conscience, the ennobling fascinaimperfect expression, another cause is the tions of love, the strength and purity of abstruse and recondite nature of many of domestic affection, the aspiring and the his thoughts. He is guilty of that kind of grovelling propensities of man, and the thinking popularly styled transcendental. beautiful effects of natural scenery, are Now, with many, this of itself is as bad as themes to which the simplest heart gives the unpardonable blasphemy, and will suf- cordial response and are inexhaustibly rich fice to shut him out from all mercy, human in poetry. It is the poet's chief mission to or divine ; while with others, like charity, I create media, through which these shall be
naturally and vividly expressed. And here | Such with a love themselves can never feel, he can find full exercise for originality and Passionless mid their passionate votaries. invention ; for whereas truth in itself is Or even dream that common men can live one, it yet can shine through a thousand On objects you prize lightly ; but which make forms and speak in a thousand tones. The Their heart's treasure. The affections seem poet must select that form, which shall em- Beauteous at most to you, which we must taste
(Ir die ; and this strange quality accords, body without obscuring it, and these tones
I know not how, with you; sits well upon which shall mingle the
least of earthly dis- That luminous brow, tħough in another it scowls cord with the music of its voice. He must | An eating brand—a shame." leave to philosophers the annunciation of
His after-fate, it is true, belies these new laws and principles, whilst they re- wonderful attributes, but the above is, proquire argument to support them; or if he bably, the conception which the author would sometimes with Wordsworth and wishes us to form of his hero. All the inColeridge, travel far into the twilight re- terlocutors of the play except Michal gions of consciousness, let him adopt the Heaven bless her loving and truthful heart didactic and lyric, and not the dramatic -are gifted with an inordinate loquacity. form of composition.
When they open their mouths, one, two, The first and most ambitious, but to us three, or four pages of words tumble out, the least satisfactory, of these plays, is Pa- sometimes, very little to the enlightenment racelsus. It is no drama, unless five se
of the reader, and, always, very little to parate talks upon the same subject, detail the furtherance of dramatic effect. This ing the plans and experiences of a man is an historical characteristic of Paracelsus, in the pursuit of one object, without a par- he having given one of his names (Bomticle of action, can constitute a drama. The bastus) to a species of eloquence, common first scene, headed, “ Paracelsus aspires,” before the Fourth of July and just before shows him with his two friends, Festus election, and which it was hardly necessary and Michal, on the eve of departing on for Mr. Browning to have taken any parhis wandering in quest of knowledge. They ticular pains to immortalize. Thus, many talk over bis plans and hopes, scattering words are spent in discussing his plan of thickly, here and there, hints of his past acquiring knowledge, which seems to have career and of the strange promptings which been merely to roam abroad, at random, induced him to dare to know, to know as gathering by observation the truth scatter
“ the secret of the world, of ed up and down the world. Festus makes man and man's true purpose, path and some very sensible objections, but is finally fate," a knowledge which is to find “ its convinced, by the enthusiastic, mystical, own reward in itself only, not an alien end and eloquently obscure replies of Paracelto blend therewith.” In his proud self-re- sus, that, with a person of his genius, they liance, he scorns the services of humbler
can have no application. He sees his way, men.
the bird her trackless way,” and, in “ If I can serve makind
the end, convinces Festus and Michal that he 'Tis well—but there our intercourse must end;
shall succeed in his enterprize, and departs. I never will be served by those I serve." We next meet him after the lapse of nine
The theme, then, which is proposed is years in Constantinople. Baffled in his the aim“ to know for knowing's sake," and object and sick at heart, he has consulted the sacrifice of all affections to this end. I truth, which he cannot wring from nature.
a conjuror to obtain some clue to the Festus thus grandly describes Paracelsus.
While soliloquizing over disappointed hopes "Tis no wish of mine, You should abjure the lofty claims you make,
ges a poor crazy poet, called Aprile, apAlthough I can no longer seek, indeed,
pears upon the scene. Aprile has been as To overlook the truth, that there will be
far misled by his intense love, as ParacelA monstrous spectacle upon the earth,
sus by his desire to know. Paracelsus, howBeneath the pleasant sun among. trees, - ever, discovers in the poor dying bard the A being knowing not what love is. Hear me ! You are endowed with faculties, which bear
qualities which are wanted for his own perAnnexed to them as 'twere a dispensation
fection. Says he : To summon meaner spirits to do their will
“ Die not Aprile; we must never part: And gather round them at their need; inspiring Are we not halves of one dissevered world