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The eccentric individual addressed, advanced to the table with one gigantic stride; and M, raising the glass in his hand, exclaimed slowly and with much dignity-"To the memory of Washington!"
"The fiend has passed out of me into Robin," I said, seeing that our friend had clutched the back of Emily's vacant chair almost convulsively with both hands.
"You are thinking," said Mtouching his arm, "that had you the power, you would build a monument at Mount Vernon, that would put to shame Pompey's Pillar, or the Pyramid of Cheops itself; are you not?"
Robin shook his head slowly, and without moving a muscle answered, " No!" and then raising himself to his full height, as every feature took a sudden leap from apathy to intense excitement, his lip quivering and his big, dark eye almost blazing he burst forth
"No, sir! Elsewhere let the tall shaft cleave the clouds, and lift to heaven the image of him who was greatest and best; and let the pilgrim come and gaze with mingled pride and admiration. But at Mount Vernon no stately monument must conceal the green turf embosoming his remains; unadorned and undistinguished let VOL. IV. NO. I. NEW SERIES.
them lie. And when generations yet unborn shall cluster there, the generous tear will fall for the man-not to the hero. There let them feel that he was one of them, and within reach of their sympathies-and elsewhere the Gothic spire or the Grecian column may proclaim the demi-god, awakening homage and exultation."
The tears were trickling down his swarthy cheeks as he concluded; but never did meteor start from darkness to light with more velocity than his face resumed its customary fixity. With him it was come light, come darkness-no twilight.
"Is he not a phoenix?" said MRobin left the room; "I thought he would have gone off in a blaze. Lo! there is Emily's harp in full vibration. By all the books, Morpheus is heir-apparent to Bacchus, and I shall give him his succession, especially as I concede, with Euripides, that our ancestors displayed little wisdom in assigning music to the joyous feast, but should have reserved it to dispel the cloud of sorrow. As your brow is not quite clear yet, go, and be wiser than your forefathers."
Emily, until you can produce a better | first book of Kings, to this effect— And title to it."
I assure you I am not covetous of so high an honor; a title to sympathy never involved a lawsuit."
There is a certain species of conversation which derives all its sweetness from the opportunity that calls it into existence, and from the circumstances inspiring it; which defies repetition, as it was never designed for a third party; and which, above all, should never be retailed in the first person. It is born beneath the ray of the intensest feeling, and withers under the chilling influences of a colder clime.
"Draw to that shutter a little," said Emily, "the sun is right in my face. There I will reward you with a slow movement from Mozart's Entfürhrung, which is more like the song of a pensive angel than mortal music."
She sung the brief adagio—I have never heard it since-in such a manner, that I felt my innermost soul acknowledge the truth of her last proposition. Beautiful and accomplished girl! When, at this silent and remote hour, the mind allows the senses to slumber as if in consideration of past services, turning to memory for old impressions, unambitious of new ones, I recall thy perfections so well adapted to bestow, instead of losing the joys of Eden, I fear that reviving regret is not entirely stifled by the sweet conviction that thou art now enjoying the reward of thy virtues!
She had concluded the air, and her fingers were trickling carelessly over the strings. Her uplifted eye still retained the inspiration of the dreamy strain, when I heard a whisper in my ear, repeating Benedict's outrageous soliloquy-"Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale the souls out of men's bodies?" I started from my reverie, and recognized Mat my shoulder.
"Secrets! Oh exquisite !" said Emily, springing forward; "I insist upon being made lord keeper of the little vagrants."
"I have not the heart," said M"to disappoint so reasonable a curiosity, and I will insure your secrecy by the assurance that you are at liberty to divulge it anywhere or to anybody. I was then merely reminding this young gentleman of a passage in the sixteenth chapter of the
it came to pass, that when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took a harp and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.' This is a high compliment to your favorite pursuit, and my recollection of it is only attributable to your proficiency. Whether you are gratified in receiving praise where you expected a secret, I know not; for the discrimination of Aquinas himself would be insufficient to determine which is dearest to woman-the indulgence of her vanity, or the gratification of her curiosity.'
"My dear father," replied Emily, "the light of your praise is hidden beneath the bushel of your censure; your honey is flavored quite too decidedly with the Sardinian poppy; but I thank you for so high an authority, that music is so nearly allied to heaven, that a demon fled at its sound."
Your nap has been a short one," I said, addressing M.
Short! When I left you, the sun had a fourth of his course to run, and now his fiery disc is scorching the horizon. But do not imagine that I slept through the whole interval; one hour suffices me, and the two others, which you were pleased to condense into a short nap, were devoted to such exercise as the mind is entitled to."
"Those shadows have had a most wonderful growth," I said, surveying from the window the lengthening outlines of the old oaks upon the grass.
"Yes," he replied, he replied, "the growth of Otus and Ephialtes was nothing to it. A short nap of three hours! In what delicious fairy-land have you been roaming, pray? Well, time is like a cone standing on its base, where the circles in planes parallel to the plane of the base may represent years or days; the space we travel is increased or diminished, as affliction compels us towards the ground line, or joy elevates us to the tapering vertex. Your orbit has been around the very top.' And you, sir, I hope, have not been circling near the base?"
"No, my course was midway. But put away your instrument, my child, or sing some English, Irish or Scotch air,
that I can comprehend; your selections are usually as unintelligible to me as the whistle of the midnight winds."
"Now, my dear father," replied Emily, "your prejudices on this score are surely most unfounded. There is no earthly reason why music should be despised for want of simplicity. Because we admire the songs of Burns, or the idyls of Theocritus, are we prevented from according homage to the lofty and studied majesty of Paradise Lost or the Divine Comedy? The musical faculty is as susceptible of cultivation as any other, and yet when experts in the art venture an opinion and evince a partiality, their conclusions are scouted at by the uninitiated as at variance with their tastes, and their ideas."
"Ghost of Aristophanes! Emily-what a broadside! I sink my colors. But remember, my child, I only said your favorite jingles were above my mark-not below it I charged myself with incapacity, not your German or Italian fantasias with absurdity."
"But you have done so before," she said with a smile; "admired the Bucolics, but despised the Æneid."
"Only because I could not understand the latter. I am far from disputing your position, my daughter; there is a progression in music as well as in mathematics; and though I may have occasionally laughed at your devoting as much time to your quavers, as Miss Ringlet gives to her curls, I assure you that I deem your favorite recreation anything but a frivolous pastime, at war with more serious pursuits. I would not hesitate to employ a lawyer, because he might, after the stern toils of the day, prefer the canvas to parchment, or happen to perpetrate a sonnet at his own fireside; I am not quite so prejudiced as to censure a lecturer for illustrating a mechanical proposition with a billiard ball. Let the foundation be solid and deeply rooted, and the sturdy Tuscan or Doric column uphold a substantial and enduring mass; the light Corinthian shaft, with its elaborate capital, may support numberless graces at the top: they will add vastly to the beauty, without impairing the strength of the edifice. But if we dally here much longer we shall miss the sunset."
He gave Emily his arm, and I followed them out of the apartment.
The air was now pleasant, and the birds and beasts seemed rejoicing in the golden serenity that attends a summer sunset. The sun, just dipping beneath the horizon, retained all his light without half his heat. Large banks of purple clouds fringed with gold were clustering around him, and here and there light fleecy specks hung on the borders of the radiant mass, rejoicing in the effulgence, and changing their gorgeous livery with the rapidity of a fanciful belle determined to display the variety and extent of her wardrobe. The sun is certainly suggestive of similes.
"See those sycophant clouds," said M- "how they turn their bright sides to their monarch, while they frown gloomily upon all beneath them: honey to their master, gall to their inferiors. Aye, their glories are fading now; they will soon be left black and desolate enough, perhaps to weep ere many hours."
The tiny hills in the distance still held on to a few loitering beams, with the tenacious grip of some love-sick damsel to a fickle lover. We watched the splendid pageant to its close, and then retraced our steps.
We sat in the ample porch as long as the night-air permitted. I will not attempt to repeat the brilliant and varied conversation with which Mregaled us; I feel the injustice I have already done him, and dare not peril his reputation any further. Among the many things which gave zest to hours, not remembered without a sigh, was a song of Emily's, running thus:
"Had I the Peri power to hie
From star to star on viewless wing,
"And though 'mid halls all bright and fair
My jewelled foot might proudly roam;
Thus Zara sung, while her dark lash flung
These lines, dearer to me from associa- | troubled expression of her eye gave me tion than from any intrinsic merit, I have much uneasiness. My horse, as I had never forgotten: on that evening, like directed, was at the gate, and as I rode Zelica's mournful lay, their effect was en- home in the clear moonlight I felt the hanced by the thrilling tone and the hour. first chill mist settle on hopes hitherto so Thus ended a day of mingled pain and bright and cloudless. pleasure. As I took leave of Emily the
NO. III-THE PRIMARY PLATFORM.
THE founders of our system did much more than they are apt to have credit for having done, in a policy of conservation looking to the future. And as power in one form or another was the Pandora's box of the subject, so it will be found upon examination, that to adjust the measure and distribute the jurisdiction of power; to keep it from excess in every quarter and prevent abuses; to stay its natural growth, control its tendencies, and provide antidotes for the poison of its temptations, was the main drift of that policy.
A government may be too strong or too weak; may have too much power in it or too little. Here was a problem to begin with.
In the early State constitutions it is remarkable that with few exceptions the measure of power allotted to rulers was nowhere specified. Not even words of grant were used in most cases; much less words of definition. The fathers simply said, let there be such and such departments, with such and such officers in each, and there they stopped. The rest was to be settled by implication--common law implication.
law acts only upon evidence, and seldom fails of arriving at just conclusions.
But when at length the particular State organizations were to be combined in a larger economy for national purposes, the question of official endowment became more embarrassing, forasmuch as the agencies now to be instituted were confined and special in their objects, and could only be invested with their needed authority by a sort of cession from the pre-existing governments, or from the people in derogation of those governments. A compromise was necessary. The States were as yet sovereign in the absolute sense of this term. And as no new government could be set up over them without a consequent reduction of their power and dignity, the enterprise had some vanities and jealousies to contend with, and instead of being left as before to common-law adjustments, must depend in great measure upon exact verbal provisions.
The result might have been guessed beforehand. The first experiment was a complete failure. The thing was gone about too timidly, (too grudgingly perhaps,) in the very point of ceded power. There And upon second thought, what better was not power enough given to the new could they do? Those governments were economy to keep it alive. The prepure republics. There had been no such existence of the local organizations may governments before. It was impossible to or may not explain the fact. At any rate, foresee all exigencies. To attempt to dole it was a severe tax upon the magnanimity out in advance, statute fashion, the precise of the States, to be called upon to curtail modicum of power that would be certainly their own consequence by contributing to enough in every instance, and as certainly the erection of a government, which must not more than enough, would have been necessarily overshadow them in certain realike gratuitous and empirical, when the spects. Whether from this cause or from common law presented a so much safer sheer misjudgment in apportioning means alternative. Legislation and the common to ends, the important fact is, that they law are very different things. went no further for the time than to sign before events, while this applies its judg-"articles of confederation," establishing ments to them in the detail of their occur- what in the first paragraph of the instru rence. Legislation is conjectural often, ment was accordingly termed "a confedand shoots wide of the mark; the common eracy," while the second paragraph led