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the mazes of the dance? The waltz! How her eyes sparkled ! She turned to me suddenly, and said : Do you dance ?• Yes,' gasped I, feeling at the moment something like a shock of electricity. I think of employing a master of the art, to give me some instruction,' rejoined she. See ! see! how graceful ! Oh, I know I should dance well, I'm so fond of it!' What a climax! Here was one for whom I had made myself miserable, for a mortal half hour, because she possessed not the beauty of those around her, quite content with the world and herself, and thinking of learning to dance ! The sudden transit of feeling from the sublime to the ridiculous, was irresistible, and — heaven forgive me!- I laughed outright.
'Patriæ fumus igne alieno luculentior.' How incomprehensibly is the love of country interwoven with our natures, and what a power does it exercise over our hearts ! Home! It is the exile's hope, though he dwell in lands gorgeous as the fabled East! It is the weary traveller's guiding-star the goal to which the mariner speeds o'er the bounding wave his dashing prow.
I reside in the house with an elderly English lady – 'a half French, better half English woman,' as · Elia' says
whose amor patria a childhood passed in 'la belle France,' and a forty years' residence in America, has not in the least degree diminished, and with whose Saint-George-and-the-Dragon notions I am inclined to quarrel a dozen times a day, while she, I believe, looks upon my independent ideas - my disregard of rank, and refusal to bow to any but the aristocracy of mind with utter astonishment. Boasting a descent from the nobility of England, and on the maternal side, even from royalty itself — reared in the very precincts of the court of Louis the Sixteenth — still remembering the land of her birth, and abhorring every thing un-English, as foreign — she has from infancy looked upon that gilded toy a king,' and upon the pomps and vanities attendant on that state, with almost religious reverence; the greater, perhaps, from the recollection, that on coming to the land of liberty,' she was led by the republican arguments of love, to cast off the bonds of maternal restraint, and the rank she did inherit, and to a lowly fortune link her high estate ; that estate to which, like the saline wife of the patriarch, she is ever looking longingly back. In our frequent conversations, my reasonings, I am convinced, seem to her to savor of that revolution, of whose horrors she retains a vivid remembrance.
SPEAKING of amor patria. Some years since, journeying, in the intense month of July, through a part of New-England, our driver stopped before a country inn, for the purpose of watering his horses. It was on the anniversary of the 'glorious Fourth,' and the whole village wore a true holiday aspect. Upon a large green fronting the inn, was erected an arbor of boughs, beneath which was spread a table, whereon traces of feasting yet remained, and where sat men, in that extreme 'o-be-joyful' state, so well befitting the occasion. As the coach drove up, one arose, and making a great effort to maintain a sober face, and his equilibrium, gave a toast, • The Fair Sex !' in compliment probably to the ladies of our party, which was received with astounding acclamations; and as a gentleman' rolled from his seat, another, in regimentals of the cut of seventy-six,' arose, and swaying now this way, now that, held out a brimming bumper, and exclaimed : 'Fel citizens! I give you John Bull! If ever ag'in he dares to set his foot in this land, to invade it, may Uncle Sam beat him, till he beats his head off !'
I have had a few thoughts on ambition, and some of its varieties. 'He fills his space with deeds, and not with lingering years,' who, like the Spartan Lycurgus, lives but for the glory, and dies for the welfare, of his country.
a noble, a self-sacrificing ambition.
The ambition of Brutus was wicked and selfish. Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more,' he says in his address to the people. No such thing! • As he was ambitious, 1 slew him !' Even so ! Cupido dominandi cunetis affectibus flagrantior est;' and o'er the fallen Cæsar hoped the patriot Brutus to rear the column of his own imperious desires. The disposition has not perished with the Roman. The world hath yet many a Brutus.
The weak yet aspiring ambition of one who overrates himself, was his, who, at the Natural Bridge, climbed nearly up its two hundred feet of rocky side, and there, hanging between the parapet and the abyss — the earth and loose stones crumbling from beneath his feet — sought far, far above all others, to write his name upon the enduring height. Unable, from terror, to accomplish his object, he had inevitably fallen from his lofty perch, but for the kindly aid of a rope, and a helping hand tendered him from above, by which, almost paralyzed with affright, he was drawn to the top in safety.
That of the clown, in Shakspeare's ‘Midsummer Night's Dream,' who was desirous of enacting the whole play himself, from the 'Lion,' even to · Wall,' or Moonshine,' was a grasping and all-conquering ambition. Had he been born to empire, he had doubtless been an Alexander.
A laudable ambition was his, whose adventure is recorded in an interesting little work, entitled • Mother Goose's Melodies. He was evidently, from the tenor of the story, a fisherman. None of your Isaac Walton sort of person, sitting all the day long beside a brook, and angling with flies for trout. No! He disdained even a cod, or a halibut, or any such small fry, as all too mean for his vast purpose. He went boldly down to the sea-side, and there, with a surpassing grandeur of imagination, he
"Baited his hook with dragon's tail,
And sat on a rock and bobbed for whale ! This was true ambition. Commend me to the man whose aim is to excel in his vocation.
And he too was ambitious, in a kindred way, who, in an extreme western state, replied to one who asked him, far in the old solemn
wilderness, where his house was: 'Umph !' said he, 'house, eh? I a’n't one o' them kind. No, no! I sleep o' nights in the big government purchase, eat raw bear and buffalo, and drink out o' the Mississippi !! Like Daniel Boon, he was ambitious of elbow-room, and heartily detested those losel scouts, who were crowding round him, some not more than a hundred miles off!
Time was, ere Babel was my habitation, and unbounded leisure my heritage ; ere the green and palmy days of youth had ripened into womanhood, or ere I, athirst, bent for a draught at Helicon, and the sweet face of Poësy gleamed up to me through the bright waters; when Broadway to me was not, and this proud city was the Utopia of mine imagination ; when I, an untravelled, unsophisticated villager, ambitious of a character for notability, like the little busy bee, 'improved each shining hour.'
When I, a lesser orb, under the tutelage of my maternal planet, shone in the household as 'cook's oracle, and house-keeper's assistant,' and an infallible regenerator of superannuated indescribables. What time I, emulous of Atlas, the great globe-bearer himself, took my world of duties lightly upon my back, and in my circumscribed sphere, sped on through time and space, with a velocity comparable to his the worthy sometime proprietor and wearer of the famous seven-league boots — shadowless Master Peter Schemil! Ah, me! and have I then shot from my sphere of usefulness, to become here 'a voice, and nothing more ?'
Our life! Is it not as the banquet of the ancient Egyptians, where the skeleton PRESENT is ever before us? And from that hidden Isis, the Future, who hath ever raised the veil ? But · Vive la Bagatelle !'
I am not sad — the world for me
Music! To the sound of a barrel-organ, my heart bounds with the monkey, its usual accompaniment, or swells with a jews-harp, or one of the thousand strings. But wo is me! Would that mine habitation were in the skirts of Jericho, rather than thus, next door to, and separated from, by a very thin partition, that of a family of musical young ladies, whose ear-torturing executions' I am doomed to suffer, from morning to night! There they go !
• U-na vo-ce po-ca fa !' — piano and voice each in its own independent half dozen' keys, with flats and sharps, ad libitum. Surely they were taught in chaos, ere time was — or ere the spheres were tuned to harmony - or ere the morning stars sang together!' M. E. H.
MARKS OF TIME.
Manhood next followed, in the sunny prime
Last came, with trembling limbs and bending form,
For Time is pointing to ETERNITY !
K. A. W.
SHAKSPEARE'S SEVEN AGES.
"And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eye-brow.' The youth that but yesterday was an infant, and just now a school-boy, is already before us as a lover. Our life is a shadow. Our seven ages' are soon told. They pass as rapidly as the incidents in the story of the bean, which little Jack planted, and saw grow, in a few nights, quite out of sight. Our life, too, like this famous bean, bears events, and concludes histories, not second in strangeness and importance to the castles and giants which the latter supported on its slender stalk; for, though fragile and fleeting, our life is the beginning of an eternity: the ages' all tend to this, and the history' proceeds.
Adieu, ye innocent pastimes of boyhood !- the ball, the kite, the skate, the top, the hoop, two-'ole cat, leap-frog, and going-ina-swimming ! Welcome to your duties, moonlight, night damps, corrosive thought, attempts to shave, a stiff stock, and tight boots ! The youth ‘now brushes his hat o' mornings; what should that bode?' 'He rubs himself with civet, and is melancholy;' in short, he is in love. Who has done this? What spell is cast upon his open spirit ? What
power bends bis head, and why muses he by streams? His horse, his gun, are neglected. He joins not the chorus at the dinner; he remembers not the text at church; he looks not at the parson. Ah! those bright eyes in the gallery have done his business!—those eyes, so soft that but for the eye-brows that arch so gracefully above them, and give them character and force, could never strike so deep a wound. Henceforth, our school-boy is a man.
In considering this chapter of man, we would prepare the reader for serious conclusions. We have not here to deal with love-letters and Cupid's darts, pretty feet and ankles, nor any of the common flirtations which, as to any effect upon the character, are mere froth and wind. No. Poor fellow ! look at him; he ‘sighs like furnace,' and suffers enough without our ridicule. A vast change is going on within him a chemical change ; and latent heat is evolved, and rolled up through his breast, and out at his mouth and nose, drawing tears from his eyes, and almost blood from his beart. He is suffering an eruption of certain newly-formed combinations, and presents to the by-standers a volcanic appearance. In the passage from boy to man, none escape this trial. Bachelor or husband, all are destined once to 'sigh like furnace.'
Ordinarily, some token of the coming change is evinced. Large boys and collegians have sweet-hearts, openly and proclaimedly, and begin to brush their hats o' mornings,' and to perfume. As the mountain warns the inhabitants upon its sides, by bellowing, and noise, and smoke, of the approaching crisis of melted stones and earths, about to devastate its surface, so these fopperies and fool