Зображення сторінки

hectic spot, quick flashed the glancing not to be found. Through the palace, eye, and fell disease seemed to lend her through the town, through the park new charms ere death claimed her as they sought her-but found her not. his bride.

Alone, down the fountain-walk, ran the At last, her restless longing to return half-maddened Dubois, and, with one to her own home could no longer be dis- deep groan, fell on the green sward. regarded ; and, by the advice of the Gabrielle lay dead in the shadow of medical attendants, they retraced their the Fountain. steps to St. Cloud, where the court still remained.

I suppose this sad story of the course She was at home. Again she looked of true love made me feel a little melanon the stately trees ; again the perfume choly as I wandered on, and passed of her father's flowers filled her room fountain after fountain, and terrace after with fragrance ; again she listened to terrace, until we arrived at the Palace. the merry song of her birds ; again she It was originally the private residence hearkened to the splash of the fountain, of a wealthy banker, M, Goudy, but and everywhere found something which was, iu the year 1658, purchased by reminded her of Victor.

Louis the Fourteenth, and presented as It was a gala night at the palace. a marriage-gift to the Duke of Orleans. Gabrielle knew not of it; but in the Incalculable were the sums laid out in quiet calm of the summer evening she extending and decorating it. The park stole out to pay her visit to the foun- was planted by the celebrated Le tain, and to moisten with her tears the Notre, and St. Cloud became one of the rose which Victor bad given her when most favourite residences of royalty. they parted.

Louis the Sixteenth purchased it from From the gay and glittering ball- the Orleans family; and here the beauroom, at the same hour, there stole tiful and unfortunate Marie Antoinette away two persons to indulge in the passed some of the happiest years of communings of their hearts, away from her eventful life, and many are the inthe bustle of the splendid crowd, and cidents related of her adventures here. they turned their steps down the avenue Napoleon, I have already remarked, to the fountain. “Julie, my life! how was equally delighted with the chateau. canst thou dream it. Thou art the only Its proximity to Paris, and its great seone I ever really loved. My man- clusion, were doubtless the reasons of his hood's devotion is thine-thine for ever; constant residence; and in the Salle and a boyish fancy is not to be weighed de l’Orangerie occurred the remarkable in the balance.”

scenes of the 18th Brumaire, which They stood in the shadow of the made the Corsican adventurer the Emfountain.

peror of France. With still more recent “ Thou art mine, then, Victor, al- events, too, are its halls and gardens as

sociated; the late King of the French • Always.”

occupied St. Cloud frequently, and his “ And didst thou never love another?” Queen was much attached to it. " Never.”

All these varied recollections thronged “ What was that Victor ; I heard a through my mind, as we walked from deep sigh?

one magnificent suite of apartments to "Impossible ; there is no one here, another, admiring the splendid Gobelin dearest. No one leaves a gay ball- tapestry which covered the walls, and room but happy lovers like us."

the sea pictures of the elder Vernet.“ My husband !”

The ball-room is indeed superb; and the “ My wife !"

panorama of Paris, seen from its winFrom the shadow of the fountain into dows, the most enchanting reality one the broad walk, from the broad walk to can conceive. the illuminated terrace, from the terrace “What a curious people the French to the ball-room once more, and they are, to be sure,” said one of my comsaw nothing, heard nothing, felt no panions, "just look here." throb of grief that night.

I turned, and found my friend looking Morning rose—the ball was over-the out of a door in the wall of the ballcarriages had rolled away. A frantic room, and quickly joined him in his father sought his child ; Gabrielle was ejaculations of surprise. Next the ball

[ocr errors]

room, with entrances to it, was a chapel; Need I tell how we lost our way, how 80 that from the gay dance, the fair pe- our English French was upintelligible nitents might at once go to confess their to children whom we met, how we rested little sins below. The juxtaposition on stone-steps rather disconsolately, how was curious and suggestive, and we we found a railway station and no one at wove a dozen romances on the spot con- it, how we learned it was only used on nected with the incident.

Sundays, how we rambled on until we We were all much interested with the came to the week-day one, how we waited private apartments of the exiled royal for an hour for a train, intently studying family, and the varied evidences of their time-bills and railway fares, how we were tastes and accomplishments we saw whisked back to Paris in time to dress around us-particularly some of the for dinner-need I describe all this, or drawings of the princesses; and, on pass- that merry laughing dinner in the Palais ing through the library, the title of a Royale, the ramble in search of a Jewbook, which caught my eye, “ The Art ish synagogue, ending in a walk on the of Governing,” furnished me with food Boulevards, and an ice al fresco. No, for reflection until we had regained the for these are not my subjects, and our open air, and felt again the refreshing summer-day at Sèvres and St. Cloud breeze.

is over like a pleasant dream.

[ocr errors]


Tell me, thou vast and murmuring sea,

What is thy mystic power ?
Each time I visit thee seems to me

Almost a hallowed hour:
Thy myriad waves, as they strike the shore,
Whisper in tones that I loved of yore.

They come to tell me of long bright days

By a wide and pebbly strand,
They come to sing me sweet childish lays

Of a loved and distant land :
Whence is thy music? consoling sea !
Whence are my tears when I look on thee?

And whence is that Past? so shadowy now

It appears but a golden dream,
When with care-free spirit and sunny brow

I played by the rush-fringed stream.
I recall-how dimly !--the primrose-glade,
The spire, and the cot, and the willow-shade.

And thou seemest laden, O Summer air !

With a perfume of mountain flowers ;
Ye cloudlets, rose-tinted, also bear

Remembrance of by-gone hours :
Fleeting, as are your ethereal forms,
To be followed, like you, by gloom and storms!

Oh! why has that joy-brightened season fled,

Why is gladness for me no more?
I would I might lay down my wearied head

By this sun-illumined shore.
Sea! thou should'st sing me a dirge divine,
Earth has no music compared to thine !

Yes, yes, there is music ; I know a voice

Whose unforgotten tone
Still lives to make my sad heart rejoice :

With influence all its own,
From Despair it calleth my spirit back
To the toil and the scorn of life's harsh track.

Yet Earth hath beauty ; and Love is true!

On Hope's light wings upborne
I would pierce the future for one brief view,

For awhile forget to mourn ;
' A radiance bright as those western rays

May gild with its glory my evening days.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The Poet ceased. His dark and thoughtful eyes
Flashed back the golden light that quivering played
Upon the gathering tears, through which he saw
A thousand scintillating rays from clouds
And burnished sea, and the all-colouring Sun.
The peace of Nature—that fair Summer eve-
Entered his very soul ; these silent tears
Alone expressed emotions deep, half sad
And half delightful, past expressive speech.
His inmost thonghts were silent; and he felt
The music of the waters and the air
Mingle mysteriously with Memory's scenes
And with Anticipation's. Yet he hoped
With longings undefined. He only knew
That Life's stern ills seemed fading in the glow
Of some benign infinitude, so grand,
So all embracing and so all-consoling,
That but this transient glimpse was full of glory :
The promise of an immortality
To bless the purest longings of the soul.

I. A, D.



NO. I.-GREEN-ISLAND AND THE KNOCKAGH. At an equal distance from the village which hangs above you-guarding it of White-Abbey and the town of Car- alike from winter's storın, and sumrickfergus, there is a bed of rocks, near mer's heat. to the shore, but surrounded by the water These passed, there succeeds a windof Belfast Lough at full tide. The highest ing mazo—now upon thick herbage, portion of the range is flat on the sur- then on gray stones ; here amongst the face, enclosed by a circular wall, and dwarfish thorn ; there by the branches covered with sward. It is therefore of the green hazel. Still, the track called “the Green-Island," and has leads upwards, till you come to a reach given its name to the immediate district. of ferns, thick and waving ; since, by

Nor do I know of a sweeter spot, when this, the wind begins to freshen, wakes the quiet morn is breaking into day, or the ear toʻits sigh, and fans the cheek hastening eve sinks on the arms of with its welcome breath; the down of night-when the sun comes struggling the thistle floats around, and the grassthrough the cloud, or showers around hopper chirps at your feet. Yet the its golden rays; Sea-Park and its fairy reach is so abrupt, that it may be fort are close at hand, and the Castle likened (notwithstanding the ferns) to of Carrickfergus still more to the left, the side of a punch-bowl-that is, a proud in its years, and sombre as a devil's punch-bowl, which is no trifle. pyramid ; in front is Cultra, with the Certainly, you may digress to the right Lough between, and the Knockagh be- without losing cast, and every step rehind; while fair fields and many a veals a nobler range ; fields, houses, villa, Carnmoney hill and Ben-Uaim, and plantations start into life; thé stretch to Belfast on the right.

shore extends itself, and the BlackWhen seen from the neighbourhood Head looms afar. of the Island, the Knockagh has a fine You can now follow the course of a effect; though its elevation is not dyke that breasts the hill, until it meets great, nor its length very considerable. a natural terrace, which bounds the But the eye is arrested by the grassy reach as it ascends to the left, and from slopes that clothe its sides, the flitting which there is a corresponding vista of shadows, and centre cliffs. You long the valley of Belfast-the heights of to press the one, to mingle with the Carnmoney are dwindling fast, and others, and gain the level summit. Ben-Uaim less formidable ; the clouds

The best approach is by a lane which are sailing from the summits ; you leads from the shore at Ballynascreen, stand on their shadows and would and runs in a direct line through the grasp them in your arms; the raven meadows, until joined by a path (but wheels about; and yonder speck is a little trodden and half overgrown with grown man who has scaled the last grass) that continues the ascent to the slope, and hails you from the top. upper or Ballymena road, which has B ut the freshness of that slope will numerous points of interest. From this, scarcely compensate for its steepness, a similar, yet steeper way branches to and you should keep to the terrace a lime-kiln that stands prominently whence it springs, and which stretches out, and commands a good view of the to a ravine formed by jutting rocks on Lough, the varied lands to the north- either hand. At the end of this, there east, and part of the Carrickfergus is a plateau that rises with a gradual plains, with the town and Castle, But sweep to the highest level of the hill; its most striking prospect is that of the and thence the whole prospect is disKnockagh itself; for here, the hill played from the brows of Black-Head really dates, and assumes its distinctive to the fort of M.Carth, from the glades form ; twisting into dells, springing of Woodburn to the domes of Belfast, into slopes, or breaking into bold masses; from the Copelands to the Queen's while the whole is fringed by a belt of Island, from Bangor to Ballymacarrett trees, that nestle about a farm house, all are there ; meadow and mountain, cliff and corn-field, the fisherman's and man, are ministering on every side! sail and the merchant's barque ; villas, Then drink of the cup till the heart is Castle, and towns lie stretched below; full, and re-seek the shore a happier Earth and water, Nature and art, God and a purer being.

NO. II.—THE QUEEN'S ISLAND. Among the many proofs of recent I need not describe it, however, with enterprise to which the people of Bel- much minuteness, for many of my fast may fairly point, there is hardly a readers are familiar with its appearance more pleasing one than the place above and locality-suffice it to say, it is about mentioned.

three quarters of a mile in length, and A few years ago, the space on which a stone's-throw at the greatest width ; it partly stands was occupied by a bank commencing nearly opposite to the of sleechy mud, in the centre of the Albert Quay, attaining a point someLagan mouth-more soft than beauti- what on a line with that of Thomson's ful, and pungent rather than fragrant. embankment, and washed by the forSo that, when the tide was out, and the mer channel at the rear, or Ballymacarsun pretty strong, it was usually adorn- rett side. But where the tide daily ed by a charming curtain of malaria, flowed, and the sole marks of life were which afterwards lent to the neighbour- the footprints of the sandlark, heron, ing weavers the most interesting of all and gull-broad walks and crystal mart, complexions; or, with more justice, green sward, and rows of trees now graced the streets, homes, and factories greet the eye; the ship-wright rains his of Belfast itself : and when the river blows, the merry boy leaps along, and was full, and vessels tried to gain the the pale-faced man sits him down, that Lough, by meandering south and east he may breathe the grateful air, and along the hidden quag, the chances dream of the days that are to be—when were nearly even that they drove upon those trees shall tower aloft, and the it ; and then—“ Back-'er, boys, back- sward, mart, and walks be crowded 'er !” or, “ Row, brothers, row !” was with happy thousands ; when wealth the order of the day.

shall have lost its deadening influence, But in a happy hour it was decreed the wants of the poor been sensibly by “ The Corporation for Preserving lessened, and the comforts of life more and Improving the Port and Harbour,” equally shared; when ignorance, prethat, by way of a short cut, there should judice, and hate shall pale away, and be a long cut on the western side of the men have learned to know and “love sleech ; and as same was gradually one another ;" when the banners of formed, the bank became high and “every nation, kindred, and tongue" dry as “Dargan's Island”-that ruler will float in the bay, and the ends of of navvies, and “mighty contractor for the world be united indeed. Companies,"until the name was changed Meanwhile, the lover of Nature may to the above, in a spirit of undoubted feast from our Isle on the massive loyalty, but very questionable taste. mountain range that guards the town, And now that the new channel has and stretches to the Knockagh by many been extended for several miles, and a graceful bend ; or, passing in review the largest ships may ride in it, the the great throats of belching factories, worthy Corporation have, with great smaller chimpey tops, and sloping masts, modesty, curtailed their own style, and he may skim the waters of the Lough, lapsed into “ The Belfast Harbour Com- or traverse the whale-backed hills of missioners”-a pleasant title still; and Down, and watch the serpent wreaths I never write it without thanking Hea that rise from either shore, as the snortven for the abbreviation. Yet I must ing engines rush to their goals, and not, on this account, forget the realm of snuff the wind as they go, the Queen's Island.

NO. III.—THE BANKS OF THE LAGAN, It is but right I should speak of you True it is, that the first introduction here ; for, is there one amongst the of many of us was in the time of “the Northern Athenians who owes you not Doctors”-and I am far from subscriba kindly word and warm emembrance ? ing to the notion, that same was the

« НазадПродовжити »