Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

pecting Lilla and her family; by which I learnt, that the mother, full of grief, and sinking under the loss of a beloved husband, had with her children, sought the retirement of Switzerland; hoping by those means to prolong an existence, which, for their sakes, she found every hour becoming of more and more value. That having lingered until Lilla had attained the age of sixteen, she suddenly expired, leaving none, but her unhappy children to lament her loss; that the servant who had attended upon them, had returned to her own country; but Lilla was resolute. On the grave of her mother she vowed that no earthly power should force her from the spot—the servant had, therefore, returned alone.

" And there she remains,” continued the kind hearted man, "spending her time alternately betwixt the grave of her mother, and the beauties of the Staubbach, a spot the ill-fated lady was much attached to, or else chasing the wildsome frolics of her young brother, whom she attends with an affection never to be sufficiently spoken of, nor will she suffer any other attendant within the cottage. Myself, therefore, with the exception of an old woman, who daily visits her at the same time as I do, have been the only inmates she has received until this unlucky accident."

“She must not, shall not exclude me," I interrupted. The good man smiled at my eagerness.

“I trust not. Lilla has a heart alive to the noblest feelings of friendship,” he continued, "and to those who deserve it, she will not be found wanting.

But we had reached the door of the cottage, at which Lilla herself appeared. “ He sleeps," she said, throwing herself in the arms of her pas

“He will die, my poor Thomasin.” “Be patient, Lilla," said the good man, embracing her. "Medical assistance is at hand.”

Again Lilla did not reply, but she looked in the face of the Curé, and then in mine, and when the surgeon came, and the screams of the little fellow whose shoulder had been dislocated rung the hearts of all with pity, she still uttered no exclamation, but hiding her face in the robe of her protector, the convulsive heavings of her body alone made manifest her sufferings.

For three weeks the little Thomasin hovered between life and death, but Lilla had not, as I dreaded, excluded me from visiting her. On the contrary, my presence seemed to afford her a kind of melancholy pleasure; she would even occasionally admit of my taking her place by the side of the sufferer, whilst she stole away, probably to visit the grave of her mother; for when she returned, her eyes were invariably swollen and red with weeping:

It was impossible to continue, as I did, with one so lovely and so unsophisticated, and not become attached to a degree of enthusiasm, not, perhaps, inconsistent with my character, but more

tor.

my

than might be said to have originated in prudence. I felt it was incumbent on me to go, but how to tear myself from one whose slightest movement had in it a world of attraction, was a trial I had not courage to encounter.

Every day I resolved to make mention of my departure, and as often did I return to my quarters undecided what course to pursue.

Letters from friends found me still irresolute. Lilla was all to me.

I had her confidence. She smiled when I approached, would even suffer me to draw her hand within mine own, as together we took our rambles among the mountains. It was on one of these excursions, having carried the young Thomasin and placed him carefully on a bank of wild violets, that I resolved to see what effect my quitting Switzerland might have on my gentle companion.

I must leave you, Lilla, return to a country and friends who are impatient at my long sojourn. Will you think of me? think with regret on one whose most happy hours have been spent in your presence ?"

"Shall I ever cease to think of you?" she answered in melancholy accents, greeting me at the same time with a look in which might be traced an equal mixture of sorrow, affection, and solicitude.

“ Ever cease to regret one who has been the comfort of my sad, sad existence! A beam of light in the hour of affliction! The

preserver of my beloved brother!"
“ If you think so, dearest Lilla, why do we part?”

“I know not,” said the artless creature, as a blush rose to her pallid cheek, which she turned away to conceal.

" You are in the world, and have friends who will love you doubtless better than ever poor Lilla could do. I am but a solitary neglected girl!"

“Neglected! and I with the will and the ability to watch over thee! Believe it not! Hear me, Lilla,” I continued, for my whole soul was in commotion, and I no longer resisted the blessings fate had in store for me, you are the treasure I most value.

Come, then, and let me present you to a world and friends, who will love you as truly as they do me.”

Lilla shook her head.

“Alas! that cannot be: I am wedded to affliction. Even your love must not lure me from my duty!"

“ Can you say this, and yet suffer me to believe I have a place in your

affections?" The tears trickled down her cheeks, as she said sorrowfully, “ However dear

you may be to me, I cannot go hence. I have sworn never to quit this place."

I was not in ignorance of this vow, neither was I slow in perceiving the hold I had upon her affections; but willing to see how she would yet further extricate herself from the dilemma into which we had both plunged, I added,

“ But what harsh vow is this? What tie so binding as to sever you

from a love like mine?Come, and you shall see," was the simple reply; and then turning to Thomasin, she added, “ Promise not to move till I return: you know from whither."

" I promise,” said the boy; " but you must not weep, sister Lilla ; you know you always weep when you go there."

She led the way to a small cleft, or bottom, in the midst of which a little bubbling rill emptied itself into a small basin, whose waters were sufficiently transparent to reflect the fair image that now for a moment paused upon its brink.

“ It was here,” she said in a voice of subdued melancholy, and with an emotion that rendered it tremulous, almost to inarticulation," here, in this solitary spot, that the last words of a be loved mother, reached my saddened ear. The poor Lilla has been left to struggle with the anguish of her own reflections: to mourn the loss of that parent, and to vow, as she has already vowed, to devote her future life to the spot that contains her remains !”

As she spoke, the forlorn girl rushed precipitately towards an embrasure of the rock that had hitherto escaped my notice, at the extremity of which, adorned with flowers of the freshest odours, stood a small marble pillar.

“ It is all that is left to me--all Lilla has now to love-cold, insensate marble; but the voice that used to tune my young heart to gladness is for ever silent. Shall I then quit it? Never!"

Šhe sunk convulsively on her knees, her white arms crossed upon her bosom, her eyes fixed upon the column. Never had I seen her so beautiful as at this moment; but whilst I longed to press her to my heart, I felt it was impossible to break upon a solemnity so truly filial. Lilla was, however, now engrossed by the subject of all others most important to her imagination. Her lips moved, although she spoke not; and it was evident some internal prayer

filled the recesses of her heart. At length she arose, and, turning towards me, with her usual placid sweetness, said,

" It is a sad trial, but I shall at last conquer. “What will you conquer, beloved Lilla ?”

My own heart, my grief at—at losing you!" " You shall not lose me, love, there is no necessity."

She shook her head at this observation, pointed emphatically to the tomb as if doubtful of her own resolution, and then reiterated,

“ It must not,-cannot be. Happiness and Lilla are from this moment separate.”

“ Not so, gentle girl, dwell where you will, we part not. Nay, look not so distressed; turn to me, my own Lilla, for I swear here, at the grave of your mother, to devote myself to your happiness. '

She did turn; but, as usual when her feelings were most acute, she remained deeply silent. For an instant she stood irresolute,

my wife!

and then unable longer to contend with the emotion that had so suddenly overpowered her, her face dropped on my shoulder, and she burst into tears. Need it be told to the reader that Lilla of Lauterbrunnen is now

That the good Curé had the satisfaction of uniting us, and that each day she selects fresh flowers from the enamelled bed of the Staubbach to adorn the little column in the cleft; but it is no longer with an expression of sadness; joy dances in her beautiful eyes, and she is often heard to exclaim,

" Here would Lilla rest,
Now and for ever !"

C. T. C.

BALLAD.

BY LEIGH CLIFFE, ESQ.

Tho' many praise a laughing eye,

And languish in a smile,
Grow sad to hear their charmer sigh,

Who does but laugh the while;
Give me the honest, open heart,

Which but on truth relies,
That will its every wish impart,

And falsehood's arts despise.

There are, who're conquer'd by a frown,

And perish by a tear ;
Whose love is like a martyr's crown,

Anxiety-and fear.-
But those who boast an honest heart,

Which but on truth relies,
Will the soul's inmost thoughts impart,

And falsehood's arts despise.

MISCELLANEOUS CRITICISMS.

No. I.

PENSIVE MUSINGS ON THE PLEASURES OF MELANCHOLY.

BY TRINITARIUS,

(w. J. ABINGTON, ESQ., M.A.)

We augur

We have already been favored with "The Pleasures of Hope,The Pleasures of Memory,and “ The Pleasures of Imagination,by three obscure poets, whose names are almost as unfamiliar to the mass of readers as their poems. * however a very different fate for the new stock of pleasures, manufactured for our amusement by W. J. Abington, Esq., who under the auspicious and orthodox nom de guerre of Trinitarius, has launched into the world half a dozen musings, proposing to develop the hilarious nature of melancholy. If we may judge from the effect produced by this novel effort, we must in justice avow that our author has succeeded in his endeavours to a hair's breadth. It is long, very long since we recollect to have passed so merry an hour as in the imbibement of Mr. W. J. Abington's Pensive Musings." Indeed, had it not been for the title of the book, in which plainly is depicted the pleasures of Melancholy, we should have arisen from our task with the assurance of having perused a successful attempt to inspire risibility by the most original and grotesque combinations of words and images, the most extraordinary and unheard of application of trite phrases and poetical licences that in the whole course of our varied and extensive reading, it has been our lot to encounter.

The work commences with a short and pithy dedication to the Queen Dowager, to whom a previous production of the author, entitled, Chaos and the Creation," was also inscribed. As queens and kings are made of other stuff than “ the swinish multitude,” we thus have

some sort of key to the very extraordinary nature of the Pensive Musings” of Trinitarius. The author (of course) “ feels unable to express his gratitude for Her Majesty's condescension in thus allowing a second of his humble productions to appear under such illustrious auspices;"--more especially—" as Her Majesty is placed out of reach of melancholy, being well fortified against the vicissitudes that affect

* An erudite friend, whose research in unread and unreadable books is unquestionable, has communicated to us the names of the three authors alluded to, which we must confess we had forgotten. We forthwith present them for the benefit of our readers,—Thomas Campbell, Esq., Samuel Rogers, Esq., and Mark Akenside, Esq., the two former living, the latter deceased.

« PredošláPokračovať »