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brothers. But she no sooner saw our hero, than she declared a decided preference for him, over either of her brothers; and she would call him her beau, notwithstanding her mother threatened to punish her for it. And although our hero joined in all her hilarious frolics with great glee, he did not manifest that strong regard for her that she did for him.
The attachments of children are seldom lasting : they easily accommodate themselves to the company of whatever companions chance throws in their way, and as easily forget them when separated; they are seldom capricious in their tastes, and rarely show decided preferences. But sometimes attachments formed in early childhood continue through life, because the same sympathies would have attracted the same individuals at any period of their existence.
Julia Tuck was by no means a beautiful child : she had a dark complexion, and regular features; her hair was black and luxuriant, but her forehead was low, and her figure slight; there was a peculiar charm in her voice, and she always appeared joyous and happy, and was somewhat of a romp. But she was very passionate, and when her inclinations were opposed, she showed a stubbornness of purpose uncommon in a girl of her years. Her brothers, Tom and Sam, could both boast of more personal beauty than their sister, Tom Tuck was a forward boy; he was a favorite both with his mother and his teacher, and indeed with all elderly people who knew him; and although he was known among the boys to be the greatest rogue in school, he always contrived to escape punishment, and was very rarely found out in any of his misdoings. Sam Tuck was the youngest of the brothers, and although not a whit more virtuous than Tom, yet he had such an innocent manner, that nobody ever believed him to be intentionally guilty whenever he was detected in any mischief that he undertook, and he was always sure lo be found out, let him do what he would. He was for ever poring over a book, but it never happened to be the one that contained his lesson. If Robinson Crusoe and Rinaldo Rinaldini had been elementary works in the Rev, Mr. Hodge's school, there can be no doubt that Sam Tuck would have been the best scholar in it; but as they were not, he was perhaps the very worst. He was very fond of history, that is, the history of impossible personages and improbable events; and he would sit in his mother's kitchen, of a winter's evening, and listen to the tales of rebellions and fairies, related by an old Irish servant, until the purring of the cat would make him start with fear, and he would not have looked behind him for all the world. He was a comely boy; he had a fair round face and a clear complexion, light blue eyes, and soft curly hair. These two boys took young Tremlett under their protection as soon as he made his appearance at school. Whether it was that they took compassion on his lone condition, or that they discovered he had more money to spend than themselves, does not appear; but they would not allow any body else to be intimate with him; and whenever there was a fight, which was once a day at least, the three boys were sure to be found ranged on one side. But for some cause or other, the mother of these children declared hostilities against our hero as soon as she heard of him. She not only would not allow him to enter her house, but she commanded her children not to speak to him. Per
haps it was some excuse for Mrs. Tuck, that she came from a very good family, and like all descendants of good families, she held in utter scorn every body that was base-born or vulgar, unless they were rich; the genuine aristocratic principle being, that wealth can atone for the want of birth and talents, or that birth can atone for the want of both, but that talents cannot atone for the want of either. Children, however, are not apt to be aristocratic in their ideas; and as the young Tucks could not enter into their mother's feelings, they did not pay the least regard to ber commands, but continued to cultivate a very good understanding with our hero.
It was almost a year since he had been at school: he had made great improvement, and all effects of his early associations had disappeared. He was the pet and the darling of a little circle, where there was no one to contend with him for empire in the hearts of those who loved him. Mrs. Swazey, from at first appearing to love him, had got to loving him in reality, and Mr. Tremlett every day discovered some fresh cause for admiration. He had become essential to the old man's happiness, and he began to feel that life would be a burden without him. But an event soon occurred, which for a time threatened to sever all those ties which had become so closely drawn together, and to deprive the fond old merchant of his chief solace and source of pleasure, and to drive our hero into tbe world again, to encounter all its trials and privations.
When to my youthful bosom
An infant bud was given,
The first sweet gift of heaven,
Had been a name before,
With which my cup ran o'er.
Such grateful incense rose,
An offering only knows:
Its winning cherub smile,
Did so my heart beguile :
Upon the Howeret fair,
Had traced such beauty there :
Of praises to renew,
Its grateful incense due.
And so God broke the quiet,
The joy that had been mine,
From its beauteous infant shrine:
At noon began to fade,
My lily-bud was laid !
Had been a name before;
Which healing might restore !
Did meek submission bring,
With healing in his wing.'
From my heart was sent above,
Her endless song of love.
The idol from its throne,
To Him, and him alone!
E. c. S.
Heart of my hope! in many an hour,
When Passion some dark impulse gave,
That makes a victim of a slave-
Has made me what I will not name,
That to my careless childhood came,
Without a single word of blame-
And wildly I have wept to know
Whose blessings go where'er I go,
When they are shed for evils done;
From God's atoning, holy Son ?
More faithfully thy gentle powers,
Thy hopes, in reckless acts of ours :
The bark that bears them must not be
For sun-lit hour and summer sea :
A Christian's faith and woman's heart,
Above the lurid storm-clouds part,
Ar the dark and melancholy period when Don Roderick the Goth and his chivalry were overthrown on the banks of the Guadalete, and all Spain was overrun by the Moors, great was the devastation of churches and convents throughout that pious kingdom. The miraculous fate of one of those holy piles is thus recorded in one of the authentic legends of those days.
On the summit of a hill, not very distant from the capital city of Toledo, stood an ancient convent and chapel, dedicated to the invocation of Saint Benedict, and inhabited by a sisterhood of Benedictine nuns.
This holy asylum was confined to females of noble lineage. The younger sisters of the highest families were here given in religious marriage to their Saviour, in order that the portions of their elder sisters might be increased, and they enabled to make suitable matches on earth, or that the family wealth might go undivided to elder brothers, and the dignity of their ancient houses be protected from decay. The convent was renowned, therefore, for enshrining within its walls a sisterhood of the purest blood, the most immaculate virtue, and most resplendent beauty, of all Gothic Spain.
When the Moors overran the kingdom, there was nothing that more excited their hostility, than these virgin asylums. The very sight of a convent-spire was sufficient to set their Moslem blood in a foment, and they sacked it with as fierce a zeal as though the sacking of a nunnery were a sure passport to Elysium.
Tidings of such outrages, committed in various parts of the kingdom, reached this noble sanctuary, and filled it with dismay. The danger came nearer and nearer; the infidel hosts were spreading all over the country; Toledo itself was captured; there was no flying from the convent, and no security within its walls.
In the midst of this agitation, the alarm was given one day, that a great band of Saracens were spurring across the plain. In an instant the whole convent was a scene of confusion. Some of the nuns wrung their fair hands at the windows; others waved their veils, and uttered shrieks, from the tops of the towers, vainly hoping to draw relief from a country overrun by the foe. The sight of these innocent doves thus fluttering about their dove-cote, but increased the zealot fury of the whiskered Moors. They thundered at the portal, and at every blow the ponderous gates trembled on their hinges.
The nuns now crowded round the abbess. They had been accustomed to look up to her as all-powerful, and they now implored her protection. The mother abbess looked with a rueful eye upon the treasures of beauty and vestal virtue exposed to such imminent peril. Alas! how was she to protect them from the spoiler! She had, it is true, experienced many signal interpositions of providence in her
individual favor. Her early days had been passed amid the temptations of a court, where her virtue had been purified by repeated trials, from none of which had she escaped but by miracle. But were miracles never to cease ? Could she hope that the marvellous protection shown to herself, would be extended to a whole sisterhood? There was no other resource. The Moors were at the threshold; a few moments more, and the convent would be at
Summoning her nuns to follow her, she hurried into the chapel; and throwing herself on her knees before the image of the blessed Mary,' Oh, holy Lady!' exclaimed she, 'oh, most pure and immaculate of virgins ! thou seest our extremity. The ravager is at the gate, and there is none on earth to help us! Look down with pity, and grant that the earth may gape and swallow us, rather than that our cloister vows should suffer violation !
The Moors redoubled their assault upon the portal; the gates gave way, with a tremendous crash; a savage yell of exultation arose ; when of a sudden the earth yawned; down sank the convent, with its cloisters, its dormitories, and all its nuns. The chapel tower was the last that sank, the bell ringing forth a peal of triumph in the very teeth of the infidels.
Forty years had passed and gone, since the period of this miracle. The subjugation of Spain was complete. The Moors lorded it over city and country; and such of the Christian population as remained, and were permitted to exercise their religion, did it in humble resignation to the Moslem sway.
At this time, a Christian cavalier, of Cordova, hearing that a patriotic band of his countrymen had raised the standard of the cross in the mountains of the Asturias, resolved to join them, and unite in breaking the yoke of bondage. Secretly arming himself, and caparisoning his steed, he set forth from Cordova, and pursued his course by unfrequented mule-paths, and along the dry channels made by winter torrents
. His spirit burned with indignation, whenever, on commanding a view over a long sweeping plain, he beheld the mosque swelling in the distance, and the Arab horsemen careering about, as if the rightful lords of the soil. Many a deep-drawn sigh, and heavy groan,
also, did the good cavalier utter, on passing the ruins of churches and convents desolated by the conquerors.
It was on a sultry midsummer evening, that this wandering cavalier, in skirting a hill thickly covered with forest, heard the faint tones of a vesper bell sounding melodiously in the air, and seeming to come from the summit of the hill. The cavalier crossed himself with wonder, at this unwonted and Christian sound. He supposed it to proceed from one of those humble chapels and hermitages permitted to exist through the indulgence of the Moslem conquerors. Turning his steed up a narrow path of the forest, he sought this sanctuary, in hopes of finding a hospitable shelter for the night. As he advanced, the trees threw a deep gloom around him, and the bat fitted across his path. The bell ceased to toll, and all was silence.
Presently a choir of female voices came stealing sweetly through