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“ As it is but a few clear Lady-days, Mr. Longfellow's sentiment is usually warm May-day nights, at the most a few delicate and rich with thought, but he gives odorous Rose weeks which I am digging us always sentiment, and seems afraid to atfrom this Fixleinic life, embedded in the tempt the pathetic, as if distrustful (probadross of week-day cares ; and as if they bly with good reason) of his ability to reach were so many veins of silver, am sepa- | the profounder depths of feeling. rating, stamping, smelting, and burnishing Where Dickens would either plunge in for the reader, I must now travel on with at once, or, just as we are expecting him the stream,” &c.-RICHTER.
to do so, start off into some ridiculous The following reminds us of Dickens : attitude, playing antics at the very verge,
Mr. Longfellow coolly takes an easier po“On the following morning, very early, as sition, and produces a picture in which he the school-master stood at his door, inhaling uses a good deal of prussian blue, and very the bright, wholesome air, and beholding the little carmine, and exhibits a general preshadows of the rising sun, and the flashing ference to cool, transparent, rather than to dew-drops on the red vine-leaves, he heard the sound of wheels, and saw Mr. Pendexter and
warm body colors. his wife drive down the village street in their
“ Kavanagh” is pleasant summer readold-fashioned chaise, known by all the boys in ing, but of a winter night one would ask town as 'the ark. The old white horse, that a little more of the glow and fire of gefor so many years had stamped at funerals
, and nius. It is a sort of prose pastoral, and gnawed the tops of so many posts, and imag- it is therein perhaps excusable, that, parined he killed so many flies because he wag. ticularly in describing, scenery, our auged the stump of a tail, and, finally, had been thor's prose runs occasionally into harmothe cause of so much discord in the parish, nies so like his verse, that in certain seemed now to make common cause with bis master, and stepped as if endeavoring to instances the rhyming termination alone is shake the dust from his feet as he passed out wanting to complete the resemblance. In of the ungrateful village. Under the axle-tree one short sentence we find the followhung suspended a leather trunk; and in the ing: “The singing of the great wood chaise, between the two occupants, was a large fires;” “The blowing of the winds ;”. bandbox, which forced Mr. Pendexter to let his
" The splendor of the spotless snow;" legs hang out of the vehicle, and gave him the
“The sea-suggesting pines.' air of imitating the scriptural behavior of his horse. Gravely and from a distance he salu- The following has all the harmony as ted the school-master, who saluted him in well as the delicate imagination of the return, with a tear in his eye, that no man poet : saw, but which, nevertheless, was not un
“ The brown Autumn came. It brought the
wild duck back to the reedy marshes of the But how mawkishly sentimental is that South; it brought the wild song back to the which follows, connected as it evidently fervid brain of the poet. Without the village is, for the purpose of introducing along with the reflection of the leaves. Within the
street was paved with gold; the river ran red with it the emblem of the serpent, so per- faces of friends brightened the gloomy walls ; fectly Richterean :
the returning footsteps of the long absent,
gladdened the threshold; and all the sweet ** Farewell, poor old man!' said the school amenities of life again resumed their intermaster within himself, as he shut out the cold rupted reign.” autumnal air, and entered his comfortable study. We are not worthy of thee, or we should have had thee with us forever.
Kavanagh has singleness of design, and back again to the place of thy childhood, the as a whole, possesses a marked, though scene of thine early labors and thine early not a very elevated character. Its purlove; let thy days end where they began, and pose is to represent a country village of like the emblem of eternity, let the serpent of the present day; a petty world within life coil itself round and take its tail into its itself, affording in its diversity of characmouth, and be still from all its hissings for evermore! I would not call thee back; for
ter and incident all the contrasts, the it is better thou shouldst be where thou’art, vicissitudes, the passions, and the variety than amid the angry contentions of this little of good and evil that chequer life in wider town."
theatres of action.
In the scenery, the subordinate person- of life, and self-renunciation, and devotion to ages, and minor incidents, our author has duty, were early impressed upon his soul. To been eminently successful, but less so, his quick imagination, the spiritual world bethough not wholly otherwise, in the at
came real; the holy company of the saints
stood round about the solitary boy ; his guartempt to show how, in the same situation, dian angels led him by the hand by day, and and under the same outward influences, sat by his pillow at night. At times, even, he 8 man of cultivated tastes and literary wished to die, that he inight see them and talk habits may, by submerging the practical with them, and return no more to his weak and in the ideal, lose all hold upon what is weary body." tangible, and fritter away life in dreams, or, on the contrary, by converting the He is sent to the Jesuit college in ideal to the uses of reality, develope the Canada, where he is distinguished, and true purpose of his existence and keep a whence he finally returns to receive the life-hold upon its action,
dying blessing of his mother. The study It is time we should give the reader an of ecclesiastical history awakens in him outline of the story. Though Kavanagh a passionate desire for truth and freeis the ostensible hero, Churchill
, the vil. dom; and “by slow degrees ” he becomes lage school-master, is really the predomi- a Protestant. These details, especially nant character. We might not improperly in the intercourse with his mother, and consider them as twin heroes—not in the developement of his character under the ancient signification truly, but by the the influence of her affection, reminds us complaisance of novel technicality. They of " Les Confidences;” but our author is possess little individuality, and reversed cir- wholly free from the vain, self-glorifying cumstances might have fitted either to sit air, which in Lamartine continually checks for the portrait of the other. They are the flow of our sympathies. both sentimental, both pedantic; and we Kavanagh is settled over the church never lose sight of them. Like Castor of Fairmeadow, which has recently disand Pollux, when one is not endeavoring missed its aged pastor, on the usual preto shine, the other is always sure to dis- tenses for this fashionable kind of divorce, play his light.
one of which, neither the greatest nor Kavanagh is a young man educated in the least in importance, was, that the the Roman Catholic faith. His early life, reverend gentleman insisted upon pasturpassed near the sea-coast of Maine, is thus, ing his horse in the parish fields. The described :
new clergyman is faithful to his calling,
and enters with alacrity upon his clerical “ In these solitudes, in this faith, was Kava- duties. nagh born, and grew to childhood a feeble, delicate boy, watched over by a grave and taci- “ He worked assiduously at his sermons. turn father, and a mother who looked upon He preached the doctrines of Christ. He him with infinite tenderness, as upon a trea- preached holiness, self-denial, love. He did not sure she should not long retain. She walked so much denounce vice, as inculcate virtue ; he with him by the sea-side, and spake to him of did not deny, but affirm ; he did not lacerate the God, and the mysterious majesty of the ocean, hearts of his hearers with doubt and disbelief, with its tides and tempests. She sat with him but consoled, and comforted, and healed them on the carpet of golden threads beneath the with faith. aromatic pines, and, as a perpetual melancholy “ The only danger was that he inight advance sound ran along the rattling boughs, his soul too far, and leave his congregation behind seemed to rise and fall, with a motion and a him; as a piping shepherd, who, charmed with whisper like those in the branches over him. / his own music, walks over the flowery mead, She taught him his letters from the Lives of not perceiving that his tardy flock is lingering the Saints-a volume full of wondrous legends, far behind, more intent upon cropping the and illustrated with engravings from pictures by thymy food around them, than upon listening the old masters, which opened to him at once the to the celestial harmonies that are gradually world of spirits and the world of art; and both dying away in the distance.” were beautiful. She explained to him the pic- “ In affairs ecclesiastical he had not sugtures; she read to him the legends--the lives of gested many changes. One that he had much holy men and women, full of faith and good works at heart was, that the partition wall between -things which ever afterwards remained asso- parish and church should be quietly taken ciated together in his mind. Thus holiness down, so that all should sit together at the
Supper of the Lord. He also desired that the to cease, but only to disappear in the greater organist should relinquish the old and perni- tide, and flow unseen beneath it? Yet so it cious habit of preluding with triumphal marches, was; and this stronger yearning—this unapand running his fingers at random over the peasable desire for her friend--was only the keys of his instrument, playing scraps of secu- tumultuous swelling of a heart, that as yet lar music very slowly to make them sacred, knows not its own secret.” and substitute instead some of the beautiful symphonies of Pergolesi, Palestrina, and Sebas
Another young lady more actively and tian Bach.
consciously unfolds the flower of her affec“ He held that sacred melodies were becoming
tions. Miss Amelia Hawkins becomes to sacred themes; and did not wish, that, in suddenly captivating and devout; and his church, as in some of the French Cana- | takes interest in Sabbath-schools, as well dian churches, the holy profession of religion as in a portrait for which the should be sung to the air of When one is
young dead 'tis for a long time'-the command gyman submits to sit at the request of his ments, aspirations for heaven, and the neces
parishioners. The portrait is described sity of thinking of one's salvation, to "The with humor: Follies of Spain,' • Louisa was sleeping in a grove,' or a grand · March of the French “The parish showed their grateful acknowCavalry.""
ledgment of his zeal and sympathy, by request
ing him to sit for his portrait to a great artist He soon became popular, especially from the city, who was passing the summer with the ladies, one of whom declared on
months in the village for recreation, using his
pencil only on rarest occasions and as a parhis first appearance that he was
ticular favor. To this martyrdom the meek man, but a Thaddeus of Warsaw.” Alice Kavanagh submitted without a murmur. DurArcher, a thoughtful, silent, susceptible ing the progress of this work of art, he was girl, whose dark eyes, fixed upon him seldom left alone; some one of his parishioners
with unflagging interest and attention," was there to enliven him; and most frequently cheered and consoled him through the it was Miss Martha Amelia Hawkins. * * discouragements of his first discourse. She took a very lively interest in the portrait, becomes enamored of his eloquence and tinguished artist, who found it dificult to obtain of himself. The first suggestions of ber an expression which would satisfy the parish, passion are delicately introduced in a con
some wishing to have it grave, if not severe, versation with her friend, Cecilia Vaughan. and others with " Mr. Kavanagh's peculiar
smile.” Kavanagh himself was quite indiffer* • I have just been writing to you,' said
ent about the matter, and met his fate with Alice; "I wanted so much to see you this Christian fortitude, in a white cravat and sacermorning!
dotal robes, with one hand hanging down from Why this morning in particular ? Has the back of his chair, and the other holding a any thing happened ?'
large book, with the fore-finger between its Nothing, only I had such a longing to leaves, reminding Mr. Churchill of Milo with see you!
his fingers in the oak. The expression of the And, seating herself in a low chair by Ce-face was exceedingly bland and resigned; cilia's side, she laid her head upon the shoul- perhaps a little wanting in strength, but on the der of her friend, who, taking one of her pale, whole satisfactory to the parish. So was the thin hands in both her own, silently kissed her artist's price; nay, it was even held by some forehead again and again.
persons to be cheap, considering the quantity “ Alice was not aware, that, in the words she of background he had put in.” uttered, there was the slightest shadow of untruth. And yet had nothing happened? Was The following is equally felicitous : it nothing, that among her thoughts a new thought had risen, like a star, whose pale " Mr. Churchill, also, had had his profile, effulgence, mingled with the common daylight, and those of his wife and children, taken, in a was not yet distinctly visible even to herself, very humble style, by Mr. Bantam, whose adbut would grow brighter as the sun grew lower, vertisement he had noticed on his way to school and the rosy twilight darker ? Was it nothing, nearly a year before. His own was considered that a new fountain of affection had suddenly the best, as a work of art. The face was cut sprung up within her, which she mistook for out entirely; the collar of the coat velvet; the the freshening and overflowing of the old foun- shirt-collar very high and white; and the top tain of friendship, that hitherto had kept the of his head ornamented with a crest of hair lowland landscape of her life so green, but turning up in front, though his own turned now, being flooded by more affection, was not down—which slight deviation from nature was explained and justified by the painter as a / acted in a deeper tragedy than this! How terlicense allowable in art.”
rible it is! Let us pass on?
“ They hurried away, Kavanagh trembling Ignorant of the timid but deep-seated in every fibre. Silently they walked, the music love of Alice, and annoyed by the vulgar fading into softest vibrations behind them. assiduities of Miss Hawkins, Kavanagh said Mr. Churchill, rather as a relief to his bestows his affections on the beautiful
own thoughts, than for the purpose of reviving Cecilia Vaughan; and after a short and the conversation. These people really believe not very romantic wooing, they are united that the end of the world is close at hand.' and go to Italy.
“ . And to thousands,' answered Kavanagh, Churchill, meanwhile, with his cheerful, this is no fiction--no illusion of an overblue-eyed wife, moves on the even tenor
heated imagination. To-day, to-morrow, every of his way, which is unbroken by a single at hand. And why should we fear it? We
day, to thousands, the end of the world is close incident, except the absconding and sub- walk here, as it were, in the crypts of life; at sequent death of their pretty serving-maid, times, from the great cathedral above us, we Lucy; who, after eloping with " The can hear the organ and the chanting of the Briareus of boots," returns “forlorn and choir; we see the light stream through the forsaken,” wishes she were only a Chris- open door, when some friend goes up before tian that she might destroy her life, and us; and shall we fear to mount the narrow shortly afterward, under the exciting in
staircase of the grave, that leads us out of this fluences of a Millerite camp-meeting, the life eternal ?
uncertain twilight into the serene mansions of drowns herself in the river. It is the only “ They reached the wooden bridge over the impressive incident that occurs, and is river, which the moonlight converted into a alluded to with just sufficient detail and river of light. Their footsteps sounded on the remark to produce the strongest effect.
planks; they passed without perceiving a fe
male figure that stood in the shadow below on “ Kavanagh and Mr. Churchill took a stroll
the brink of the stream, watching wistfully the together across the fields, and down green
flow of the current. It was Lucy! Her bonlanes, walking all the bright, brief afternoon.
net and shawl were lying at her feet; and From the summit of the hill, beside the old
when they had passed, she waded far out into windmill, they saw the sun set ; and, opposite; in its deeper waves, and floated slowly away
the shallow stream, laid herself gently down the full moon rise, dewy, large, and red. As they descended, they felt the heavy dampness that were faded and fallen like herself—among
into the moonlight, among the golden leaves of the air, like water, rising to meet thembathing with coolness first their feet, then their. had been broken off and polluted long ago.
the water-lilies, whose fragrant white blossoms hands, then their faces, till they were sub:" Without a struggle, without a sigh, without a merged in that sea of dew. As they skirted the woodland on their homeward way, tram
sound, she floated downward, downward, and pling the golden leaves under foot, they heard silently sank into the silent river. Far off, voices at a distance, singing; and then saw
faint, and indistinct, was heard the startling the lights of the camp-meeting gleaming hymn, with its wild and peculiar melody: through the trees, and, drawing nearer, distinguished a portion of the hymn :
"O, there will be mourning, mourning, mourning,
This beautiful passage is like that in
which Evangeline unknowingly passes her Sounding through the air !
lover on the Mississippi. The unaccus“ These words, at once awful and ludicrous," tomed sadness that comes over Kavanagh rose on the still twilight air from a hundred and his friend, as they pass the wooden voices, thrilling with emotion, and from as bridge, is like the spirit-presence of Gabriel many beating, fluttering, struggling hearts. High above them all was heard one voice, and the one as strikingly illustrates our
on the heart of that wandering maiden ; clear and musical as a clarion.
"I know that voice,' said Mr. Churchill ;• it often unconscious nearness to calamity and is Elder Evans's.'
death, as in the other we see how the “* Ah!'exclaimed Kavanagh-for only the objects of most ardent aspirations someimpression of awe was upon him— he never times approach so as to be grasped, had
we but a distincter sense of their prox- ances into serious misfortunes. The basis imity.
of his character is weakness; he is too After three years' absence, Kavanagh amiable to resist, too inefficient to perform. and Cecilia return to Fairmeadow, which, The scope of his intellect is narrowed by by the addition of a railroad, had grown, the exclusiveness with which he cherishes according to some of the ladies, “ quite one darling aspiration; and his whole metropolitan," and was thought “likely character becomes "sicklied o'er" by his soon to become a sea-port,” having already "pale cast of thought.” Beneath the “grown from a simple village to a very actual life he bends as with a burthen, precocious town.” Kavanagh, wandering stumbling as he goes; while in the world about, the morning after his return, finds of imagination he walks erect with his not the Fairmeadow of his memory: his head in the clouds, and half blinded by first familiar recognition is of Miss Man- their vapor. Such a man has no station, chester, on a ladder, painting her own no identity ; he is shadowy, and makes no cottage.
lasting impression. Our author compares
him to the sea, “ that plays with the pebbles .GO
away !' she said, flourishing her brush. on its beach ; but under the inspiration of Go away! What are you coming down here the wind might lift great navies on its for, when I am on the ladder, painting my outstretched palms, and toss them into the house? If you don't go right about your air as playthings.” Beyond this assertion, business, I will come down and
we have no evidence of such power to 66 «Why, Miss Manchester!' exclaimed Kavanagh, how could I know that you would be play with mighty things; and, far from going up the ladder just as I came down the playing with the pebbles of life, he conlane ??
tinually frets himself against them, and "Well, I declare! if it is not Mr. Kava- magnifies them into great rocks.
The delineation of Cecilia Vaughan, if ** And she scrambled down the ladder back- less elaborated, is scarcely less unreal. wards with as much grace as the circumstances Here the character and the situation are permitted. She, too, like the rest of his friends in the village, showed symptoms of growing not in keeping. No such girls are found older. The passing years had drunk a portion in a New England village. In no such of the light from her eyes, and left their traces village could Miss Vaughan, there born on her cheeks, as birds that drink at lakes and bred, have preserved that aristocratic leave their foot-prints on the margin.” exclusiveness which limited her acquaint
ance to Alice Archer, and held her at such Churchill is found still brooding over awful, unapproachable distance above the his long-cherished, darling contemplation, unfortunate aspirations of Mr. Adolphus his still unwritten romance.
It is on the Hawkins. character of Churchill that our author has Alice Archer is more true to nature. expended his strongest effort. He is a Her early love, crossed by that of her man of a naturally powerful and expan- friend, and ending in death, constitutes sive intellect, constantly obstructed by the the romance proper of the tale; but her actual in search of the sublime. A man death, instead of being reserved for the of feeble passions, possessing no ambition, dénouement, occurring as it does in the unless it be a vague sort of literary am- middle of the book, and at a time when bition, he moves in a kind of trance, and other interests are paramount, the little always procrastinating, passes his life with sympathy which her ill-fated passion has scarcely an effort at accomplishing its excited is lost, and she forgotten. The dearest hope. The Monday morning that practical morality squeezed from her story, calls him from his day-dreams to his duties, and thrown, as it were, in the teeth of is“ a dark hand placed between him and poor, innocent Mr. Churchill, is so wide the light;" and he is thrown from his as to be ridiculous, and makes one laugh equanimity by the appearance of a butch- as if at the wrong time, and feel like er's cart at his door. Utterly deficient in child who has behaved with indecorum at humor, he has therefore no tolerance of a prayer-meeting. the little practical items of daily life, and exaggerates trivial and ridiculous annoy- “ All day long, all night long, the snow fell