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subdued into tenderness. She rose from the harp, leaving it still vibrating with sweet sounds, and moved toward her father, to bid him good night.
His eyes had been fixed on her intently, during her per. formance. As she came before him, he parted her shining ringlets with both his hands, and looked down with the fondness of a father on her innocent face. The music seemed still lingering in its lineaments, and the action of her father brought a moist gleam in her eye. He kissed her fair forehead, “Good night, and God bless you,” said he, " my good little girl!"
Julia tripped away, with a tear in her eye, a dimple in her cheek, and a light heart in her bosom. I thought it the pret. tiest picture of paternal and filial affection I had ever seen. When I retired to bed, a new train of thoughts crowded into
“ After all,” said I to myself, “it is clear this girl has a soul, though she was not moved by my eloquence. She has all the outward signs and evidences of poetic feeling. She paints well, and has an eye for nature. She is a fine mu. sician, and enters into the very soul of song. What a pity that she knows nothing of poetry! But we will see what is to be done., I am irretrievably in love with her; wbat then am I to do? Come down to the level of her mind, or endeavour to raise her to some kind of intellectual equality with myself? That is the most generous course. She will look up to metas a benefactor. I sball become associated in her mind with the lofty thoughts and harmonious graces of poetry. She is apparently docile : beside, the difference of our ages will give me an ascendancy over her. She cannot be above seventeen years of age, and I am full turned of twenty.' So, having built this most delectable of air-castles, I fell asleep.
The next morning, I was quite a different being. I no longer felt fearful of stealing a glance at Julia ; on the contrary, I contemplated her steadily, with the benignant eye of a benefactor. Shortly after breakfast, I found myself alone with her, as I had on the preceding morning ; but I felt nothing of the awkwardness of our previous tête-d-téte. I was elevated by the consciousness of my intellectual superiority, and should almost have felt a sentiment of pity for the ignorance of the lovely little being, if I had not felt also the assurance that I should be able to dispel it. " But it is time,” thought I, to open school.”
Julia was occupied in arranging some music on her piano. I looked over two or three songs; they were Moore's Irish Melodies.
“ These are pretty things,” said I, flirting the leaves over lightly, and giving a slight shrug, by way of qualifying the opinion.
“ Oh I love them of all things !” said Julia, “they're so touching !"
“ Then you like them for the poetry,” said I, with an encouraging smile.
“ Oh yes; she thought them charmingly written.” Now was my time.“ Poetry,” said I, assuming a didactic attitude and air,“ poetry is one of the most pleasing studies that can occupy a youthful mind. It renders us susceptible of the gentle impulses of humanity, and cherishes a delicate per'ception of all that is virtuous and elevated in morals, and graceful and beautiful in physics. It--"
I was going on in a style that would have graced a professor of rhetoric, when I saw a light smile playing about Miss Mackenzie's mouth, and that she began to turn over the leaves of a music book. I recollected her inattention to my discourse of the preceding morning. “ There is no fixing her light mind,” thought I, “ by ab act theory ; we will proceed practically.” As it happened, the identical volume of Milton's Paradise Lost was laying at hand.
“Let me recommend to you, my young friend," said I, in one of those tones of persuasive admonition, which I had so often loved in Glencoe, “let me recommend to you this admirable poem : you will find in it sources of intellectual enjoyment far superior to those songs which have delighted you.” Julia looked at the book, and then at me, with a whimsically dubi. ous air. “Milton's Paradise Lost?” said she; oh, I know the greater part of that by heart.'
“I find,” said I to myself, “I must not treat her as so complete a novice ; her inattention, yesterday, could not have proceeded from absolute ignorance, but merely from a want of poetic feeling. I'll try her again.”
I now determined to dazzle her with my own erudition, and launched into a harangue that would have done honour to an institute. Pope, Spenser, Chaucer, and the old dramatic writers, were all nipped into, with the excursive flight of a swallow. I did not confine myself to English poets, but gave a glance at the French and Italian schools : I passed over Ariosto in full wing, but paused on Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. I dwelt on the character of Clorinda : “ There's a character," said I, “ that you will find well worthy a woman's study. It shows to what exalted heights of heroism the sex
can rise ; how gloriously they may share even in the stern concerns of men.''
“For my part,” said Julia, gently taking advantage of a pause, “ for my part, I prefer the character of Sophronia."
I was thunderstruck. She then had read Tasso! This girl that I had been treating as an ignoramus in poetry! She proceeded, with a slight glow of the cheek, summoned up perhaps by a casual glow of feeling :
* I do not admire those masculine heroines,” said she, “who aim at the bold qualities of the opposite sex. Now Sophronia only exhibits the real qualities of a woman, wrought up to their highest excitement. She is modest, gentle, and retiring, as it becomes a woman to be; but she has all the strength of affection proper to
She cannot fight for her people, as Clorinda does, but she can offer herself up, and die, to serve them. You may admire Clorinda, but you surely would be more apt to love Sophronia ; at least,” added she, suddenly appearing to recollect herself, and blushing at having launched into such a discussion, “ at least, that is what papa observed, when we read the poem together.”
“ Indeed,” said I, dryly, for I felt disconcerted and nettled at being unexpectedly lectured by my pupil ; “ Indeed, I do not exactly recollect the passage.
“ Oh,” said Julia, “ I can repeat it to you ;' and she im. mediately gave it in Italian.
Heavens and earth !here was a situation! I knew no more of Italian than I did of the language of Psalmanazar. What a dilemma for a would-be-wise man to be placed in! I saw Julia waited for my opinion.
“In fact,” said I, hesitating, “ I–I do not exactly understand Italian."
Oh,” said Julia, with the utmost naïveté, “ I have no doubt it is very beautiful in the translation."
I was glad to break up school, and get back to my chamber, full of the mortification which a wise man in love experiences on finding his mistress wiser than himself. “Translation ! translation !" muttered I to myself, as I jerked the door shut behind me: “I am surprised my father has never had me instructed in the modern languages. They are all-important. What is the use of Latin and Greek? No one speaks them ; but here, the moment I make my appearance in the world a little girl slaps Italian in my face. However, thank Heaven, a language is easily learned. The moment I return home, I'll set about studying Italian ; and to prevent future surprise, I will study Spanish and German at the same time ; and if any young lady attempts to quote Italian upon me again, I'll bury her under a heap of High Dutch poetry!”
I felt now like some mighty chieftain, who has carried the war into a weak country, with full confidence of success, and been repulsed and obliged to draw off his forces from before some inconsiderable fortress.
However," thought I, “I have as yet brought only my light artillery into action ; we shall see what is to be done with my heavy ordnance. Julia is evidently well versed in poetry ; but it is natural she should be so ; it is allied to painting and music, and is congenial' to the light graces of the female character. We will try her on graver themes.”
I felt all my pride awakened; it even for a time swelled higher than my love. I was determined completely to establish my mental superiority, and subdue the intellect of this little being : it would then be time to sway the sceptre of gentle empire, and win the affections of her heart.
Accordingly, at dinner I again took the field, en potence. I now addressed myself to Mr. Mackenzie, for I was about to enter upon topics in which a young girl like her could not be well versed. I led, or rather forced, the conversation into a vein of historical erudition, discussing several of the most prominent facts of ancient history, and accompanying them with sound, indisputable apophthegms.
Mr. Mackenzie listened to me with the air of a man receiv. ing information. I was encouraged, and went on gloriously from theme to theme of school declamation. I sat with Ma. rius on the ruins of Carthage; I defended the bridge with Horatius Coccles; thrust my hand into the flame with Martius Scævola, and plunged with Curtius into the yawning gulph ; I fought side by side with Leonidas, at the straits of Thermopylæ; and was going full drive into the battle of Platæa, when my memory, which is the worst in the world, failed me, just as I wanted the name of the Lacedemonian commander.
“Julia, my dear,” said Mr. Mackenzie, perhaps you may recollect the name of which Mr. Devereux is in quest?”
Julia coloured slightly : “I believe," said she, in a low voice, “I believe it was Pausanias."
This unexpected sally, instead of reinforcing me, threw my whole scheme of battle into confusion, and the Athenians remained unmolested in the field.
I am half inclined, since, to think Mr. Mackenzie meant
this as a sly hit at my school-boy pedantry ; but he was too well bred not to seek to relieve me from my mortification. “Oh!" said he, “ Julia is our family book of reference for names, dates, and distances, and has an excellent memory for history and geography,"
I now became desperate; as a last resource, I turned to me. taphysics. “If she is a philosopher in petticoats,” thought I, “ it is all over with me."
Here, however, I had the field to myself. I gave chapter and verse of my tutor's lectures, heightened by all his poetical illustrations : s even went farther than he had ever ventured, and plunged into such depths of metaphysics, that I was in danger of sticking in the mire at the bottom. Fortunately, I had auditors who apparently could not detect my flounderings. Neither Mr. Mackenzie nor his daughter offered the least interruption.
When the ladies had retired, Mr. Mackenzie sat some time with me; and I was no longer anxious to astonish, I permitted myself to listen, and found that he was really agreeable. He was quite communicative, and from his conversation I was enabled to form a juster idea of his daughter's character, and the mode in which she had been brought up. Mr. Mackenzie had mingled much with the world, and with what is termed fashionable society. He had experienced its cold elegancies, and gay insincerities; its dissipation of the spirits, and squanderings of the heart. Like many men of the world, though he had wandered too far from nature ever to return to it, yet he had the good taste and good feeling to look back fondly to its simple delights, and to determine that his child, if possible, should never leave them. He had superintended her education with scrupulous care, storing her mind with the graces of polite literature, and with such knowledge would enable it to furnish its own amusement and occupation, and giving her all the accomplishments that sweeten and enliven the circle of domestic life. He had been particularly sedulous to exclude all fashionable affectations; all false sentiment, false sensibility, and false romance. “ Whatever advantages she may possess, said he, “ she is quite unconscious of them. She is a capricious little being, in everything but her affections ; she is, however, free from art; simple, ingenuous, innocent, amiable, and, I thank God I happy.”
Such was the eulogy of a fond father, delivered with a tenderness that touched me. I could not help making a casual in