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THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.
A Mihe djmas das ins: down the British Channel,
Streamed the red Autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon,
And the white sails of ships ;
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Were all alert that day,
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night,
The sea-coast opposite.
And now they roared at drum-beat from their stations
On every citadel ;
That all was well !
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall,
Awaken with their call !
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post !
In sombre harness mailed,
The rampart wall has scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room ;
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the Warden hoar ;
from shore to shore
The sun rose bright o’erhead ;
That a great man was dead !
ANDREW CRANBERRY, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW.
and cut my chin for my pains. that morning repeating Coleridge's Now, I am a reasonable man, I believe. translation of Schiller's “Hymn to Bac Andrew Cranberry, Attorney-at-Law, is chus”.
not held to be superstitious; but there “Never, believe me,
was something peculiar in this constant Appear the immortals, Never alone," &c.
recurrence of my mind to a poem that I
had not read for years. I had not been dining out. I had re
- What does it portend ?" inquired I, fused Horatio Tidd's invitation to step
as I wiped my face with a damp towel, round to the club, and take it hot with
and walked meditatively towards the sugar, which was Tidd's practice. I had
shower-bath. returned home at the moral hour of ele
- Does it mean,” thought I, interrogaven, and, after composing myself with
tively, as I took the string in my hand, the “North American” (the best of seda
6 that I shall ever feel gay enough to sing tives), had slipped quietly into the sheets;
hymns to the jolly god ? Or is it a sort and that was the end of me until seven, of devil's taunt that I must drink only a A. M. At that hour I awoke, with my eyes
Barmecide cup, and content myself with
cold water ?" turned towards the ceiling, and instantly
Splash! came the shower as I spoke. began to repeat the lines I have quoted.
I had inadvertently pulled the cord. “Come, Cranberry," said I to myself,
But the water did not wash away the “this is a little absurd for you, who have
subject of my thoughts. The sun shone to go down town and arrange the means
brightly through the muslin curtains of of getting a dinner, to lie here in bed and babble heathenish hymns, as if life were
I felt, without seeing, the
beauty of the day. I knew that the life only a luxurious nap. I advise you to
of Babylon was already coursing along its get up.”
veins--those stony veins called streets. “Certainly,” replied I to myself, “if
I knew that men had been hard at work you think best. So here goes.
since sunrise — since daybreak - toiling And I sprang up, and sat a moment
heavily at labor that should not end until upon the edge of the bed. Yet instantly
their lives ended; confined in close and I began again,
noisome places, in which the day was "Never, believe me,"
never very bright, and their hopes grew and away I went, half-musing, half-mut daily darker. I knew that in the green tering, until I felt a little chilly about the parks and gardens—under the trees and ankles.
upon the margin of fountains-children in ** Well," said I, laughing to myself, “I bright dresses were playing in the sun, agree with you; this is about the most
shouting, singing, and frolicking. I knew silly business I have been lately engaged
that the endless miles of monotonous red n."
brick wall which makes the exterior of And I began to strop my razor. city houses, inclosed every kind and de(That reminds me of my bon-mot, gen gree of joy and sorrow; that the street erally known as the Cranberry-joke. Once door saw gay equipages, and smiling and dining with a select party, and being perfumed fashion, and an air of festal conasked how I secured such a kid-glove tent--as if Babylon were Paradise-while quality to my chin every morning, I an the chamber-door witnessed bitter envies, swered, “I steel it.” Upon which there and cold bickerings, and loveless lives. was a subdued smile all round the table; All these images came to my mind as I and old Stryng Beenz, wishing, after his slowly dressed myself, and I half shudDutch fashion, to compliment my good dered to feel that I was one of them; that looks, cried out, " Then Cranberry steals the inevitable course of events went on; the best part of himself every day.” At that the stream of life, an aggregate of inwhich, as no one clearly understood it, finite drops--mine as large as any-flowed every body loudly laughed.)
steadily forward ; and that no power, no To return. I placed myself before my praver, no despair could arrest it. shaving-glass, and began to "steel” my "Jeigho!” said I to myself, “what does chin. But in the midst, as I stood there, all this mean? Andrew Cranberry, what holding my nose awry, with my chin half the dence ails you ? Mark my word, raised and saturated in lather, out came young man, this means something." the words again, like a torrent, and I said And I shook my finger solemnly. for confidentially to myself, in the glass my own edification; rubbed the ox-mar"Never, believe me, "
row upon my hair (I am a little particu
lar) with peculiar unction, as if to say, * Andrew! hold hard, keep dark.”
Finally, after stepping to the glass, and solemnly winking at myself, to secure a perfect understanding, I went down with an air of quiet determination, to breakfast.
I may as well confess it now and here, I lived in a boarding-house.
Boarding-houses rose with the fall. They came in with the going out from Paradise. I honor the austere Dante, and I sympathize with him that, in the departments of his Inferno, he omitted the boarding-house." It is enough,” he seems to say; "I have painted terrors enough to warn you to the right. Should I announce the possibility of an eternity of boarding-house, human effort would be paralyzed."
Fancy it, my dear second cousin Lucy Arrowroot, invalid widow of Nee Britchiz, ancient book-keeper - you who live, or whose days are wasted in that dingy square room, with four rusty black hair cloth chairs, with the seedy carpet, with the angular bedstead, the square washstand, the square bureau with the square portrait over it upon the dingy wall. You, pale Lucy, once the rosiest of village girls, arch coquette-whose ringing laugh now hushed makes that country silence sad (one day I shall tell your story), you who lived in the sunshine like a flower, and whom now only rarely and by stealth, creeping between chimneys and along dark walls, a sunbeam visits-will you please fancy how you would shrivel up with terror-like a bird before a snake -at the very idea of an eternity of boarding-house.
I mean, of course, no reflection upon Lucy's landlady, estimable Mrs. Frizzle Front-one of whose dismal back rooms I occupied until a prolonged fit of depression of spirits seriously alarmed my physician for my sanity — and whom I therefore know very well. It is the nature of boarding-houses to be dismal, and the landlady cannot help it.
But then, again, why have landladies such a tendency to be elderly widows in unmitigated mourning - or attenuated spinsters of a serious turn? In my darker and more misanthropic moments, I have audaciously fancied them revenging themselves upon the world by keeping a few persons endurably miserable for a regular sum per week.
When young Mælle de Bouf— that sprightly Parisian-came to Babylon, he said to ine (having brought letters from my old tutor, the Rev. Agnus Peewee who was then in Paris, "studying man,' as he expressed it), " Now, mon ami, I wish to find ' apartments.'
I trembled, for I knew very well, from Peewee's letters, what "apartments” mean in Paris--a nice, snug, quiet, airy, handsome suite of rooms, with a ditto, ditto, ditto little chambermaid, called femme-dechambre, or something pretty ; and I hadn't the heart to show him the funereal abodes which with us correspond to that Parisian arrangement for bachelor happi
Poor, pale Lucy, when I spoke to her about De Bæuf, and his account of the accommodations for single men in Paris, said, in her faint, sweet way, “I am glad to hear that bachelors can be made happy”—and then glanced at the grim, square portrait of old Nee Britchiz upon the dingy wall, and the ghost of a smile glimmered upon her face, as if her matrimonial life with the ancient book-keeper had been so happy!
“Well," said Mælle, “even if I couldn't find pleasant apartments, I can get some sunshine out of a good dinner. Just show me your best cafés-your Tro's Frèresyour Café Anglais-Maison Dorée-Café de Paris, &c."
So I took him—this flâneur—this spray of la jeunesse dorée—to whom a substantial aroma was a light lunch, and showed him our cafés—the holes in the sides of the street where steaming Babylon gorges its dinner, and considers the necessity of mastication a blunder in the organization of nature, as wasting precious time.
I avoided him after that; I never dared to meet him again. But once I could not escape. It was at Mrs. Parr Venoo's great fancy ball, in her great fancy house upon the Twentieth Avenue. Mælle de Bauf, quivering with jewelry, wandered mournfully around the rooms, con tantly. "setting” his face—that long, bird-like face, with round blank eyes, and a heavily-hooked moustache-between the heads of people in the crowd, so that many of the most sprightly belles looked as if they had a forlorn owl perched upon their shoulders. He said nothing--this patentleathered Mælle de Bæuf, quivering with jewelry-but the expression of his face, as he gloomed and glowered from every corner of the rooms, apostrophized our native land thus: “Oh, unhappy country, which forces men to marry, that they may have a decent place to live in, and a decent dinner to eat! I wonder no more at your lank-visaged children-their solemnity is intelligible now! Oh, unspeakable land! where, in the fury of making a living, men forget to live !"
And the owl flitted from fashionable shoulder to fashionable shoulder, impressing me so deeply, that I can rarely mingle even now in the social festivities of Baby
lon without seeming to see the solemn, tering at my feet. It was a black lace silent, ewelled, patent-leathered Mælle veil, which I lost no time in picking up, de Bouf, languishing for the Boulevards and looking about for the owner. Noand the amenities of Paris.
body could have dropped it but a woman But this is partly digressive. I left of slight figure, and dressed in black, myself coming down to breakfast. A whom I saw hurrying along the street, boarding-house breakfast is—but no mat and who must have unconsciously dropter. “It's of no consequence."
ped it as she passed me. Of course, I Breakfast over, I brushed my hat, put instantly matured a theory of the perfect on my gloves, took a final survey of the youth and beauty of the slight lady in general effect of Andrew Cranberry in the black, and hurried after her with the square mirror, over the high mantel, upon most gallant of bland smiles upon my which stood two solemn spectral old can face,dlesticks, that seemed to have only offici “Permit me, madam,” said I, accostated as light-givers at funerals, evening ing her, and holding my hat a little remeetings, and other melancholy occasions, moved from my head, as College Profesand did not at all suggest brilliant festiv sors hold theirs when they pass in beity, clouds of flounced muslin, French tween the students to the Commenceflowers, music, perfume, smiles, and all ment Dinner—“is this, possibly, your the delicious jam and crush of an evening veil ?" party. Poor old candlesticks! I sup A pair of surprised black eyes answerpose they are there yet, summing up in ed me with a glance so expressive that themselves the dreariness of the house, my hat came quite off in my hand, and I and presiding, in severe stiffness, over the ended my
address with a most respectful desolation of those dingy parlors.
bow. Thank Heaven ! we are now about Thank
you, it is mine;" was all the stepping into the sunshine.
response I received, and the next moment I opened the door. How warm and the dark slight figure was floating along kindly strearned the sun against me as before, and Andrew Cranberry stood hearty, broad and cordial as Carlo's wel alone upon the sidewalk. come upon my annual visit to him. It But fo a moment only. To jeer at put me in gay good humor directly : myself for stopping and staring, instead
of investigating further the history of the “Never, believe me,
surprised black eyes, was the business of Appear the immortals, Never alone,"
a fleeting instant-to follow and proffer
courteous attentions was the inspiration whispered I to myself, as I stepped briskly and the action of the next. down the street, enjoying a good deal of Fair reader! be not alarmed, nor fear joking and laughing with myself at my that when you chance to drop your veil, own expense, for harping so constantly you therefore expose yourself to the inupon the lines.
sults, or the attentions, of any chance * Andrew,” said I jocosely, but confi- Cranberry; not at all. I simply followed dentially, “ Cranberry, you unconscion the invitation of the eyes, in following able wretch! you know that you expect that slight figure floating along the street; something to come out of this little inci and if you, Mælle De Bauf, or any other dent of the poem-you know perfectly French-minded man, dares suppose that well, that you are on the look-out for ad those eyes might not have been the pure ventures."
orbs of Rosamund Gray herself, you do “Not at all," said I, with the air of a foul wrong to a maiden, and to the man delighted that his secret is discover character of an irreproachable Attorneyed, but too proud to own it.—" It has at-Law. happened a thousand times before. I of No, no. The invitation was entirely ten wake up with the fragment of a tune involuntary and unconscious upon the in my mind, and go on humming and part of the lady, but it was of that singing it, all day long. Oh no! it's a character which permitted me directly to pleasant little incident, that's all. It accept it. Had the lady -- () floating shows that Blackstone and Chitty and figure, forgive the word, -vinked, in acthe Admiralty practice, and all the rest knowledgment of my handing the veil, I of that preposterous rubbish heaped up should instantly have hailed an omnibus, in little stout calf covers, and called Law, or rushed into the Bowery to take the has not driven poetry out of my head."
“I should rather say not,” said Mr. I rapidly gained upon ber. I reached Andrew Cranberry, Attorney-at-Law, her side. It was a lonely part of the quietly smiling at his own thoughts. street, and there were no noisy carriage
At that moment a dark object fell flut wheels to drown the sound of my voice
with their roar. Then, with all the re conversation fell upon obvious topics, but spect of a Crusader kneeling to the image in all she said there was a maidenly wisof his lady upon his shield, I said dom which was no less new than fascina"Madam, may I hope that the little ser ting. I do not very distinctly remember vice I have rendered you is but the begin what we said. It was that glancing talk ning of
by the way, of which the spirit, the tone She turned toward me. I saw again and the feeling are so much more than the surprised black eyes fixed full upon the words. me. You, Mælle De Boeuf, would have I only remember this, that with every withered in that glance, because it was step of the way, I went whole leagues not alone surprise but indignation. I too into love. She belonged to no
"set" should have trembled and shrunk away, with which I was familiar. She knew if I had not been full of the fairest inten none of the fashionable ladies. She had tions. Meaning nothing but what the no gossip. The walk with her was like Chevalier Bayard, without fear and with a warm day in winter-like a summer out reproach, might have meant, I stood week in the country to a tired Pearlmy ground manfully, and continued, – street Jobber. She knew the poetry of
"I am perfectly aware how singular, the poets I loved, the music of the comand preposterous this conduct may seem, posers most dear to me. But in all she but I may never see you again, and—and said, and in all I asked, there was no aland I want to know you,” said I, trusting lusion to her situation in life,-nothing to Providence.
which informed me with whom I was “It is singular, sir,” said a low sweet speaking. voice, "to accost a lady whom you do Suddenly-it was somewhere in the not know in this way, and in the street. Twenty-second Avenue-she paused beYou are mistaken, sir. I will wait until fore the door of a small house in a poor you retire.”
block. There was a sign under the front She stood still, but I could see a little windows“Madame Beignet de Pomme, mournfulness in her eyes, as if she were Milliner from Paris.” She went up the grieved that a man whose aspect had steps leaving me standing upon the sidepleased her (I knew that immediately),
walk. should disappoint her, and prove to be "I thank you for a very pleasant only a Mælle De Beuf, after all.
walk," said she, as she rang the bell. "Madam,” said I, “ you do me a great “Is this your home ?" inquired I. wrong, if you fancy that I have any “Yes, for the present," answered she. thought which you would not honor. I “ You are a milliner ?" have indulged a whim in speaking to you, “I am a milliner.” but I do most solemnly assure you, it “You are not Madame De Pomme ?" was the result of a genuine wish to know “I am not Madame De Pomme.” you.” And I pulled out my card-case, It was evident that she did not choose and handed her a card, Mr. Andrew Cran to be questioned further in that direction, berry.
and I said no more. " Mr. Cranberry,” replied the lady, "I “Will you allow me to come and see am willing to believe what you say ; and, you sometimes ?" asked I. looking in your face, I do believe it. Yet She did not immediately answer, but I do not know why you should wish to stood looking on the ground and thinkknow me, whom you have never before ing, at length she said; “Mr. Cranberry, seen, and whom you could hardly expect I am quite alone in this city; in fact, I to see again. Propriety, Mr. Cranberry, have scarcely a friend. You will underthe usage of the world, &c., &c.,” con stand, therefore, how easy it is for people tinued she with a slight smile, "would to speak ill of me. Yet I am not willing require me to order your instant depar to lose all the pleasure of such society as ture; but I am able to take care of my I most enjoy (and which I rarely meet), self, and I am confident you mean no
tongues wag so readily. If wrong."
I consent to see you, I shall do so at a So saying, the lady resumed her walk, great sacrifice." and I accompanied her. She had that As she spoke, a fiery gloom gathered subdued, sweet manner, which implies a in her eyes, like jealous passion in the latent grief-a sorrow that has become a eyes of a Spanish girl. “It is a wicked habit. The quiet self-possession revealed world,” she continued ; “that will not let a character moulded by actual contact me see a friend, without slandering my with the world, a manner more beautiful reputation. But if you will sometimes to me than the conventional reserve and come to see me, I shall not hesitate to retimidity of the daughters of my Twentieth
ceive you." Avenue friend, Mrs. Parr Venoo. Our She said it with a firm emphasis, as if