« PoprzedniaDalej »
hopes. Never before had I welcomed the dawn with so grateful a smile. One single thought radiated within my soul ; but in that one thought were comprised all the vague, pleasing, anxious desires which had long occupied it. That one thought embraced a whole futurity, for on the evening of that precious day I expected the object of my affections to arrive.
1, a gay and careless girl, whose brow always wore a smile, was on that morning serious from the very intensity of my happiness. My kind mother, uneasy at my unusual silence, repeatedly asked—“What is the matter with you, my poor girl ?" and I, full of my mysterious hopes, answered her, with a kiss, “O nothing, mother, nothing ;" and my bright smile reassured her, for mothers know that there are in the heart some secret feelings of joy which open only in solitude, and which wither if revealed.
All my usual occupations were neglected. My canary sung my favourite air in vain; he did not receive a single caress. My books were thrown aside; the reveries of others seemed pale and dull compared to my own. My piano remained closed all day; its notes would have sounded hoarse and discordant compared to the harmony which echoed within my breast.
My joy rose to ecstasy. Reclining on my mother's couch, I was busy thinking of the appointed hour—the hour when my girlish dreams were to be realized. Sometimes I rose hastily and hurried to the window, as if to hasten the moment; but the curious looks of a neighbour soon drove me away. How I should have blushed, if my impatience had been detected !
At last a well-known step was heard on the staircase ! I felt my heart beat and my bosom swell with emotion. My maid entered ; a signal which we had agreed upon informed me that the object of my expectations had arrived I I hastened out, trembling with joy.
Two hours afterwards I was seated, solitary and sad, in my lonely chamber; my eye was bright, but only with tears. The hour which I had so ardently longed for had come—and with it, despair! The beloved object lay before me, but in what a state ! Bruised, mangled, crushed-gone for ever!
On that evening I was to have made my first appearance in society. I had ordered a delightful dress- - one of those dresses which are an era in a woman's life-and this, the adored subject of so many rapturous dreams, of so much hope and expectation—this beautiful dress had been brought home-horrible to look upon !-torn, crumpled, ruined! The wheel of a carriage had come in contact with it in the street !
And on that evening, instead of the intoxication of dance and song-instead of reading admiration in the eyes of the men, envy in those of the women-there I sat, alone, and before me lay my ball-flowers scattered, my pappillotes torn away and trampled under foot-alas ! like my joy! And I wept over my first disappointment, thinking how false the world is when it promises us happiness I
Since that time I have passed many of those days in which there are no deceptions of fancy. Other sorrows have come upon me, more serious and more keen, but also better foreseen ; for the secret of life was then known to me.
At sixteen, I had to mourn my first ball-dress.
Clifton, in the vicinity of Bristol, has often afforded employment both to the pen and pencil. Independent of the natural beauties of the scenery, this locality has obtained celebrity from the medicinal spring which rises at the base of the rocks, and which has given origin to the Hot-Wells. Here the scenery is of a sublime character, especially from a point contiguous to the Well-House ; but the valley is so narrow, that it admits of little foreground. The chasm through which the Avon flows in this part of its course, is formed of lime-stone rocks, shooting up precipitously to a vast height, and varying in colour from light red, to brown, dark grey, and blue. In the fissure numerous quartz, crystals, and rhomboidal stalactites, and dogtooth spars, are found. These crystals are usually called Bris. tol stones, and are so hard as to cut glass and sustain the action of fire and of aquafortis : this, however, is only the case with such as are tinged with colour. Great quantities of the rocks are annually burnt into lime. The height of the cliffs on each side is nearly equal; and the strata so nearly correspond, both in substance and inclination, that hardly a doubt can be entertained of the chasm having been formed by some violent natural convulsion. The crescents and the terraces, which the romantic scenery has invited the wealthy and the fashionable to build and to embellish are amongst the finest in the kingdom, and not equalled for situation any where.
The properties of the celebrated spring, whose waters have become so renowned in cases of debility and consumption, were but very little regarded till towards the close of the seventeenth
century. Their virtues being then ascertained, a few years afterwards, in 1695, the Society of Merchant Adventurers of Bristol, (proprietors of the Manor of Clifton,) granted a lease to Sir Thomas Day, Knt. and others, who erected the HotWell-House, and other buildings, for the reception of company : since that period, the repute of the spring has greatly increased ; although as a fashionable resort it has, it is believed, of late years been on the decline. Two stanzas by the Rev. W. L. Bowles will appropriately close this short notice.
How beauteous the pale rocks above the shore
Uplift their bleak and furrow'd aspect high !
That meet the earliest sunbeam of the sky,
The tall bark on the winding waters line,
And peering on the sight the white sails shine."
THE CROISSY YEW.*
FROM THE FRENCH.
“I will tell you, sir, why I come every evening to smoke my pipe under the Croissy yew.'
So begins the tale. In 1812, the narrator, who had escaped the conscription, by entering college, which he had since left, did not know what to do with himself. Meantime, he amused himself by climbing up in a huge yew tree, and casting his eyes over the surrounding country. One moonlight evening, when at his post, he overbeard a conscript, who was bidding adieu to his sister and his betrothed. The latter wept, The more resolute sister said,
“ Have you not got a colonel ? him who enlisted you? Well I go and find your colonel, throw yourself on your knees, and say, “My lord, I don't want to go away—I don't want to be killed. There are my sister and a wife, who cannot live without me, and who are going to throw themselves into the river. Beat me, colonel, put me in prison, but don't make me go away! Long live the emperor! He's a noble fellow! Let him leave me in peace, and go about his business! Co. lonel, I am a man and a free one, and I have no right to leave my sister Christine, who won't have me to quit her; and who will hate you, colonel, if you make me go off!'"
* The Croissy Yew is a little tale, full of freshness and interest. We vill let our readers judge of i: by an analysis, and some extracts.