« НазадПродовжити »
I hasten to reply. I regret that an answer similar to time of year is a very costly business, dear Lily, that given to many applicants during every week besides being so cheerless!" must also be returned to you. I regret this the more, “ There is no use talking about it; I should have because your communications show talent, but-loved to live here, for my own part, all my life, but you need much practice; and, permit me to say, a I have engaged a school in the town we are going to, writer must usually have acquired some reputation and they wish it to be opened early in ihe spring. before he can receive any • golden rewards. If you There's no help for it-we must go." are necessitated to labor, I would advise you that And they went. there are many ways less vexatious, and more cer- From that day until within a few months I heard tain as to their issue, in which you might successo nothing in regard to the Reeve Family. Lily had fully employ yourself.
promised to tell us her experience in the west, of “I retain the MS. subject to your orders.
her success in this new attempt at securing a liveli“Respectfully, etc.,
hood; but her promise was unfulfilled, and we could
not but fear lest des pondency had utterly crushed all It was with difficulty I could repress my grief, as the aspirations of her genius, that if sbe yet lived, I looked about that cheerless room, and on the young poverty and hopelessness had come to be her only girl whose disappointment I knew must be so keen; portion. but calmly, and apparently undisturbed, Lily con- Still, though her name had never reached us through tinued her drawing.
the medium talents like hers choose for their utter“What will you do now, Lily ?" I asked, anxious ance—the press—there was always with me a lingerto at least break the embarrassing silence.
ing hope and belief that Lily had, under some assumed “We are going west next week !"
name, made herself famous. Knowing so well her “ West! where-how?”.
ability, the more I thought of this the more I became "To Illinois. I have borrowed the money-we strongly convinced that it was so. At last, when I cannot stay here and starve. I am going there had dreamed of her night after night, and thought to take a school. If I cannot get a living by much of her in my waking hours, it became abso. writing, there are many other ways-and I will try lutely necessary to my own peace of mind that I them at least."
should write to her once more-a thing I had not Had she told me her immediate intention of taking done in many years—in order to discover if she a journey to the South Pole, I should have felt my were actually dead or alive-famous or unknown to powers of credulity very little more taxed than they the world. It was with much anxiety, as all my were at that moment, so wild and perfectly imprac- lady readers will believe, I awaited her reply-for an ticable seemed the scheme. But Lily had spoken so answer I felt convinced I should receive. It came seriously, and with so much determination, I was at last; and as people such as she are regarded by constrained to believe ber.
the world as a species of public property, as regards The picture she was engaged upon-I have it yet their thoughts, words, and deeds, I have little scruples -was an imaginative and a striking one. It was a in laying Lily's epistle open for public inspection, moonlight scene. Beside the water's edge, among knowing that her words will awaken the hupe and wild rocks, a girl was standing alone—the figure was renewed efforts of the despairing, and excite the admi. a likeness of herself--and a very perfect one it was, ration and commendation of all good people. too. The expression of the sketch was touching in “I have but just received your letter, dear friend the extreme.
of by-gone days, and believe me, it has given me no “She is looking for peace and rest there,” said litle satisfaction to think that you remember me, and Lily, in explanation. “She has sought it so often, with interest still. I am inclined to laugh, and but has not found it—and she never will."
weep, and wonder, when I think of myself as I was “Does she seek it in the right way, Lily ?" in the days long ago, when we lived among you so
“I don't know. Every thing seems changed to very poor and dependent; but there is a feeling of me of late. I am bewildered. It seems to me as gratitude living in my heart stronger than every other though I had lost myself. Since that letter came I emotion now excited in my breast by the freshened doubt my powers more than ever. To think of one remembrance of my old home. in my situation having to practice before I can work “You ask me to tell you what I have been doing, successfully! There is little time to practice, I think, and wish to know under what name I have immorwhen eight human beings are wondering where their talized myself. You will not believe I left behind next meal is to come from—when their wood-yard me all my ambitious desires when we made our is in such a state of depression and emptiness as | abode here in the west! Have you ever chanced to ours is !”
hear of - ? It is the name I chose to adopt in my The mother sighed heavily as Lily said this, but appearance before the public. Perhaps you may did not speak
have seen it, and read verses accompanying it, but I “But you certainly can do something bere," I am confident you never recognized in those merry cried.
" Don't go and bury yourself in the back- strains the voice and the heart-tune of your once woods. I'm sure you can be a teacher in our school poverty-stricken and desponding friend." if you'll only ask. It's perfectly wild in you to think (The reader may imagine my astonishment and of going this winter! traveling, you know, at this amaze on reading these words—for my correspondent,
Lily Reeve, was none other than one of the most removal here I altogether abandoned my pencil and beloved and popular of writers !)
my pen; I thought I would never labor with them "I feel conversational to-day, besides, I know it again. But I was mistaken in myself, as many is but just to assure those who were so generous in times before I had been. I knew not the wants and my days of adversity, that their money and sympathy necessities of my own nature. were not altogether thrown away. I was very far “ The second winter I had continually a resiless from being forgetful of those who in my earlier years yearning for higher and nobler pursuits than the mere rendered me such efficient and valuable aid; but I business of school-teaching ; that supplied our natural thought it better even at the risk of being esteemed wants and necessities admirably, it is true, but there ungrateful, to be unknown to them and to you, until were longings of my mind that it became as necesI should be able to reflect some little credit upon sary for me to supply. And so once more in the long them. I shall soon publish a book which is dedicated winter evenings I resumed my pencils and pen, and to those friends of former days, through that I hope I worked with them. It is impossible for me to ex10 relieve myself from any charge of forgetfulness press to you the intense satisfaction following these or coldness they may have justly brought against me. labors; it seemed as though I had found suddenly an
“It is only ten years since we first made our home Aladdin's lamp, and that it dispelled the darkness and in this western world; but I have grown gray in gloom of undefined yearning, and showed me a true feeling since then, and looking back into my child and a great end that I could accomplish! I did not hood, the road to it seems to be one of interminable then immediately force my new productions upon length. Decidedly as our fortunes have brightened, the editors, but remembering well that one salutary we have had our struggles and heart-sorrows here lesson I received long ago, I strove hard to perfect also; and we have had much of sickness too, which myself. It would be wearisome for you to listen to seems to await alınost every settler in the west ; but the narration of my progress till I had gradually there is so much more for which we have occasion mounted up into the notice of the noble people of the to be thankful, that it seems almost a sin even to west; how kindly and charitably they hailed my revert 10 our first trials and vexations. My mother, writings; how encouraging were the letters which, thank Heaven! now that she is old, may rest; her from many sources unexpected and unsought, I relatter years are not harassed with the thoughts of a ceived, I will leave you 10 imagine-I felt ihen as dependent, impoverished family; my brothers are in though I were truly working out my destiny. Words a way, all of them, to support themselves, and my crowded to my lips for utterance; thoughts pleaded young sisters are being educated in such a way that in my brain to be heard; I longed to speak words of they will never have to rely on others for their sup- encouragement and strength to others—such words port. And for all this I pray we may be ever thankful as from my own experience I knew full well many as we ought.
an overburdened soul needed. I spoke them, and I “When we first came to this place all things were humbly hope they found acceptance and regard in decidedly new. The inhabitants, men, women and many a heart. children, truly seemed to us to have reflected in their "You will ask if I then was wholly satisfied? You own natures the marvelous greenness and freshness will ask if notoriety pleased me? If I cared for no of the close surrounding forests; the village was poor, other and humbler good after I had attained ihat-in like all new places, and not one quarter its present short, if I did not yearn for other love than that size. Indeed, we call it a city now.
lavished on me by my own kin. In all calmness and “But you never can think what a house of refuge confidence now, I can answer, yes! there were hopes it was to us poor people! I was glad from my heart unsatisfied, desires unfulbilled. Admiration was not that there were none rich, none powerful here; that all I craved-commendation not all I coveted. But all was one grand level, above which wisdom and years passed on, and with them the time when I could strength of mind, and superior goodness alone might have rejoiced in loving and in being loved. The rise. I was glad, I say, for despise it as you may, wild dream that haunted my mind of a perfect hapI am bold to acknowledge there was something piness on earth, of another kind of affection than I awfully repelling to me in the thought of looking up had yet received or given, went by. Coldness, and to people because they happened to be rich, or occupy I am almost constrained to think at times, heartlessby birth a high station. Even the notice taken of me ness, have usurped the place once occupied by the in my young days, in the place where I sojourned, winged god; the altar which needed but a word to be was galling to me. It savored 100 much of con- enkindled and wrapped in flame, is torn away-a descension, which, child as I was, even then I de calm, immovable spirit occupies its place. I am spised and hated. There were many children here not lonely or unhappy, only I feel strangely changed. even in those days; for some years mine was the I feel old in spirit; there may be no cloud, but there only school-how well it was patronized I need not certainly is no sunshine; passionless now, and withsay. I prospered, and was contented. Oh, it was out the least craving for human love, my years glide such a joy to look on our own comfortable home; to on. I am satisfied in having helped to make the hapknow what a cheerful fire and plenty of food meant piness of those for whom I have labored, and yet, in one's own house! There is someihing so exhila- irue to woman's belief, I must say, I am well aware rating in the thought of independence and reliance on that I have missed life's highest good; I have passed one's own exertions, that for a whole year after our by, in my eager search for a something that has not satisfied, that bright possession which the poorest of I would have gloried then to be thine own; earth's children, equally with the most exalted have That time is past-it never more can be ! extended to them by the hand of our benificent Father.
Once, when my heart beat strong with youth and hope, Do you think I am strangely confiding with one whom
Once, when the future held a glorious prize, for ten years I have not known by thought, or word, Through the surrounding gloom I strove to grope, or deed? But we were children together; and I re- And to close-thronging dangers shut my eyes. member how that you more than all I left behind me I fought for honor-fame. I thought that these knew the thoughts and desires of my inner life. Would buy for me that other, nobler good, Doubtless, since we have come to be women, we
For which I prayed upon my bended knees, have both much changed, but at this hour I will be
The boon of love—but fate my prayer withstood! lieve you sympathize with me as in the days of old. Too many years have passed since that sweet dream
“Not long ago there came one to me, a man gifted Too hard and ceaseless has my striving been ; with noble intellectual faculties, and rich in heart- Through the calm twilight now there comes no gleam wealth; he has wished me to be his wife; but know
Of that wild hope—it cannot live again. ing as I do what a very pauper I am in all that is
It cannot be—thou wouldst not prize a gift best calculated to make his a happy home-you will
So worthless as is all I have to give;
Thou wouldst not care from my cold heart to list understand I am not speaking of fortune or beauty
The burden 'neath which I am doomed to live! now—I have declined his suit. I cannot regard him as I could have a few, but a few short years ago. I
Seek for a younger mind—a lighter soul; do not love him as my imagination tells me that
Seek one who has not been what I have been. woman can and should love. For a moment when
I would not that around thy home should roll
A cloud surcharged with gloominess and pain; I read his words, my heart beat wildly-I was happy;
Seek one who hath not from her childhood seen but that passed quickly; I distrust myself; I do not
Her inmost thoughts the best and brightest gold; wish now that any one should intrust to me a charge Seek one who smiles-one who yet dares to dream of their happiness through life; it would be madness, Who has not hardened to a crystal cold! and no less than foul wrong in me to wed with one whose affection I could make but such a paltry return. “And now, being quite sure that I have outwearied I give to you the answer I sent him; it is ihe sum you, and believing that you will gladly let the retotal of my thoughts on this subject-and I would mainder of your interrogatories to day pass unanask you as you read them, do you not think that swered, I will conclude, with the earnest hope that there is but little to envy in one who has flung away you may never be tempted to barter the sacred affeca diamond, for a trifling but more brilliant gem ? tions of your heart for any more alluring, but less,
oh, far less satisfying prize-in the name of our TO
childhood. It is too late; once, once I could have loved thee,
"Always yours, Before my heart grew passionless and cold;
“Lily REEVE." My years are few, but trials have out-worn me
In thought and struggle I am old-am old!
Dear reader, it may be proper to state, that despite My soul had throbbed to hear thy ardent words;
this most emphatic disclaimer on the part of Lily, a But now no inward voice is interceding,
western paper I have recently received, contains a Thy finger touches upon tuneless chords !
notice of the marriage of the distinguished poetess, There was a time when, hadst thou breathed of love,
Lily Reeve, with the Hon.
Had it not A fire had swiftly kindled in my heart;
been for this, one other proof of what is called the I would have coveted then, far, far above
fickleness of woman's nature, you perceive I should All earthly good all that is set apart
have been enabled to end my story without a marFor the strong soul to labor for—a tone
riage; but you will bear in mind that this repetition A look, such as thou gavest now to me,
of the almost invariable climax, is not my fault!
BY FAYETTE ROBINSON.
[SEE ENGRAVING OF MAY MORNING.]
READ on, young maiden. I will gage a kiss
The page so earnestly thou porest o'er, To be the record of the ecstasies
Of some great bard, or it may be the lore
Of wild adventure by Armidu's shore. Or how Diana wooed the Hunter-boy,
Or how to Dido erst Æneas swore
Unmeasured love. Read while thou may'st enjoy,
For certainly as this bright mom of May
As Orient smiles of Spring too soon decay,
Now smiling in the early morning's ray,