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creditors the articles which had been dear to her from her childhood. My friend celebrated our réunion by a brilliant fête. Near to his house was one which, although not large, was delightfully situated; and believing, from an accidental expression, that it would be agreeable to Aurora, I immediately purchased it in her name ; and in twenty-four hours, placed in her hands the deed which made her its mistress.
I returned to Paris with my wife and son. Whether it was that she still retained some of her former pride, or whether it arose from true greatness of soul, I know not; but she showed no surprise when introduced into a large and handsome house, furnished with much taste and magnificence. But I knew that adversity had had a happy influence upon her character; and I felt satisfied that I was beloved by the object of all my tenderness and affection.
A year had thus passed away in perfect happiness, when one morning Aurora entered my study, her eyes sparkling with pleasure : • My dear friend,' said she, ‘ you must not refuse an invitation from your wife. I am going to give you a dinner-party in my house at Lyons; but you must allow ine to precede you with my son. I wish to teach him to do the honors of the house to his father.
I failed not to arrive at the appointed hour, on the day of the fête. Aurora, who had surpassed even the wonted elegance of her toilet, was brilliant with beauty and gaiety; and dinner was soon announced : but judge of my surprise, when, taking me by the hand, and conducting me to an apartment decorated in the inost tasteful manner, I beheld there my ten old friends, the engravers ; my first protectors, the authors of my fortune ; of my marriage, and of my present happiness. I cannot describe the sensations I experienced, during this repast, in which the sprightliness and good humor of my charming wife inspired all our guests with gaiety and enjoyment. After dinner, she led us into the room she had arranged for me, and touching a slight spring, a curtain was withdrawn, and discovered two pictures, beautifully executed. We drew near to examine them, and an exclamation of surprise and admiration burst from all of our lips. One of the pictures represented the scene at my father's hut, near Montélimart. I was upon my knees before Aurora, who repulsed me with disdain, at the same time throwing a look of contempt upon the engraver, who acted as coachman. Below was written : Love conquered by Pride.' The second represented the scene of the present day; my ten friends at table, and Aurora placed between her happy husband and the engraver whom she had refused, smiling complacently upon both. Beneath it was written : ‘Pride conquered by Love.'
Here ends my history, or at least my adventures ; for it is easier for me to feel my happiness, than to describe it. I became the happy father of three other children ; and Aurora insisted that the engraver who had addressed her should stand godfather to the eldest. This estimable man is united to a charming woman, now well known throughout Lyons for the care she has bestowed upon the education of an only daughter. Aurora assures me it is her earnest wish to have this young person for her daughter-in-law; and what is more singular still, my son declares it would constitute his greatest happiness, if this wish could be fulfilled.
"Oh could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My bright example as it is my theme;
Though deep, yet clear, though gentle yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing, full.'
DENAAM's Cooper's Hill.
Wild was the night; fast flew the hurrying cloud,
Mantling the heavens with many-folded shroud ;
The baffled moon kept struggling, though in vain,
Through the rent gloom to smile
upon the plain.
Out stood the cliffs, still blacker than the sky,
Whence rushing, tumbling, foaming from on high,
Passaic, driven with impetuous sweep,
Sprang with a scream of horror down the steep ;
And in the depths of sternly.girdling rock,
Muttered deep groans of anguish at the shock :
To whose lament, the snarling winds on high
Yell back their surly howlings in reply:
And not a voice disturbed the air, beside
That clamorous quarrel of the wind and tide;
Whose loud dispute -- for wranglers never spare
With ceaseless brawling tires the sleepy air,
Dark, savage scene -wild as a murderer's dream
Which to the moon's dim-gazing eye might seem
Like a sick beast, that, fretung as it lay,
Growled, frowned, and fumed the sullen night away.
Now from the west upheaves a denser gloom;
Red lightnings gleam, and coming thunders boom
Portentous : starts the sleeper in his bed,
Blessing the shelter that protects his head;
And mourns the hapless traveller's piteous plight,
Who bears the tyrannous fury of the night.
Bursis the big cloud, the gushing deluge pours,
That ev'n the cataract outrains and roars :
When lo! a flash, and quick successive shock
Quivers and thunders; high upon a rock,
Lit by the lightning's momentary blink,
A human form sits dangling o'er the brink!
And by his side lo! darkly crouching there,
A red-eyed monster, black, with shaggy hair !
Oh! who is watching at this awful hour ?
What murderer hides him from law's iron power ?
What unchained madman shows his daring form,
Or madder poet, amorous of the storm ?
The glancing moonlight, as the clouds toll by,
Reveals the startling phantom to the eye.
His dress and mien a lowly man display,
Whom fortune owes much, but neglects to pay:
Yet his fixed lip shows firmness not to blench;
His eye, a fire no cataracts can quench.
From his drenched hat the rain-drops, gathering slow,
Drip one by one far down the gulf below :
Like tears they seemed, that 'scaped his bended head
Alas! the only tears he knew to shed.
His care-worn features, wild, and fever-tinged,
Bespoke a soul ambitious fire had singed :
High resolution fashed from every look,
And trying thoughts his rigid sinews shook ;
As if some inighty purpose swelled his mind,
Big with results to science and mankind.
No murderer he, that shunned the meed of crime-
No madman loose, nor madder child of rhyme :
No! 't is the Great Descender, mighty PATCH!
Spurner of heights – great Nature's overmatch!
Lone, strange, and musing on his deeds unborn,
Of youth the laughter, and of age the scorn:
And the fell fiend that crouched so darkly there,
Was but his pet and follower, a bear:
For his was far too bold, too wild a mind,
To mate with creatures of a common kind.
Thus great Columbus idled on the shore,
Dreaming of worlds his genius should explore:
Thus Newton, child-like, blew his bubbles bright,
To give the sneering world the laws of light:
Thus Franklin Aung his line and kite on high,
Angling for lightnings in the liquid sky;
By all the jeers of gaping fools unchecked,
Whose very heads his wit would soon protect.
Oh! ever thus, short-sighted man decries
The first bold projects of the great and wise;
And Science' self seems doomed to wander here,
Scoffed, scorned, and pelted, through her long career :
Yet nobly gives for sneers new powers unborn,
And with protection pays the debt of scorn.
What wonder then our hero should evade
The face of man, and court the lonely shade?
What wonder his congenial soul should seek
The spot where daring waters leap and break ?
There breathed a spirit round that wild abyss,
Of storm and energy, akin to his :
The strife of tortured waters, groaning there,
Seemed but the struggle of his own despair;
While their calm progress after trials passed,
Typed the sure triumph he should find at last.
But hark !- he lifts his voice, and thus proceeds,
Turning his thoughts to words that shall be deeds :
Ill fated lot, to grovel yet with pride,
To thirst for fame, with power to win denied :
From my sad birth, to toil and ignorance doomed,
Cursing my days ignobly thus consumed.
And yet, ofttime the question stays my sighs :
Can grovelling ignorance ne'er hope to rise ?
Can the wide world, in all its paths of care,
No instance show to hold me from despair ?
Are there none ignorant, at this very hour,
Treading the heights of wealth, of place, of power ?
Are there none such, great Gotham! wear thy crown,
And sway the topping circles of the town?
Find we none such among our noisy great,
Holding the high- ay, highest chairs of state ?
Oh, Law and Physic! – mid your dregs and lees,
Have ye none such that fatten on the fees?
Mid Physic's apes, than with her sons no less,
Are there none such ? - great BRANDRETH! answer yes.
Ah yes ! - too many such the prize obtain :
So many seek, it kills my hope to gain.
Alas! then whither shall my spirit turn, To quench in deeds these fiëry hopes that burn? Teach me, ye stars! some method, short of crime, Some untried ladder lend me now to climb!' With lifted head and proudly soaring eye, He scanned those bright diviners in the sky: Just then, a sudden meteor, trembling there, Slid down the sky, and quenched itself in air : The hero started: Ha! I will obey ! Renown is mine!- the heavens have marked the way: Yon meteor tells me, wherefore climb at all, Since fame as well irradiates things that fall? Yon earth-born meteor, spawn of slime and mire, More wakes the vision by its dropping fire, Than the world-sprinkled heavens, whose lights sublime Have cheered the darkness since the birth of time. And more: does not the monarch of the skies Go down in glory too, as well as rise ? How many watch him as he sinks away! How few pay homage to his rising ray! The lightning's self may glitter as it likes, 'T is ne'er gazetted, save it stoops and strikes. How many, smitten with the fame it gave, Have dived in bells far 'neath the ocean-wave! Or from balloons in parachutes gone down, Stooping to catch the jewel of renown. We pass unpraised the stones that round us lie, But hail them when they tumble from the sky: The Arch-fiend's fame no poet's tongue would tell, Nor history chronicle, until he fell; And Pisa's tower, so bending, and so tall, We laud – that only makes a threat to fall. 'And thou, Passaic! of clear streams the queen How many pilgrims at thy shrine are seen! Why gather thus these strangers at our walls ? To see thy flood — and why? - because it falls! Ignobly else thy gentle tide had flowed, Nor won the worship of th' admiring crowd . Thy very mists, whose silver-drizzling spray, The rainbow circles in the sun-bright day, Have first to fall, before they mount and glow, With glory's garland wreathed around their brow. Oh! thus, the world, for its applause, demands Some perilous deed — some trial at our hands : A life of peace, though better worth a name, Is barely whispered by the breath of fame; While trumpets shout at every daring leap, Which Danger ventures from his dizzy steep. Forgive me, Heaven ! — if that which I pursue So warmly now, be sought too rashly too : Ambition drives me - urging, pushing still I have the bump, and cannot use my will. Floods, storms, chasms, quicksands, rocks of blackest frown, Line the sole route life opens to renown.
'Thou stubborn stream! that from thy fount dost sweep
Downward, unswerving to thy goal, the deep;
Nor even pausest at yon giddy height,
But run'st in eager rapids at the sight,
To gain sure headway for the leap profound,
Then clear'st the horrid barrier at a bound,
Lighting in triumph on the vale below -
Canst thou rush on where I would fear to go?
Canst thou, by leaping, win the laurel crown,
And I not seize it by the means thus shown?
Yes! here I'll prove, at midnight, and alone,
Some things as well as others can be done!
Thou gaping chasm! whose wide devouring throat
Swallows a river – while the gulping note
Of monstrous deglutition gurgles loud,
As down thy maw the huddled waters crowd,
I to thy hungry jaws devote me too!
My hour is come — my steady nerves keep true!
I toss my body from these giddy rocks,
To bring up drowning honor by the locks.'
I dive for glory's rare and pearly prize.
I stoop to conquer, and I fall to rise!
Cavern of savage darkness, foam, and roar,
Where never mortal plunged, and lived before!
Oh! cast me safe, as erst, within him hid,
The great Leviathan the prophet did!
Sons of renown! who seek a deathless name -
Mount, if ye like! I will descend to fame!'
He ceased, with dignity in every look,
Then from his head his dripping hat he took,
And whirled it proudly in the boiling sea,
And calmly said: 'old friend! I follow thee!
With one rude bound, he rushes madly on
To the dark brink's sharp edge — and is he gone?
Not yet — not yet ; he halts in mad career!
What sudden thought, what shock arrests him here?
Ah! wherefore seek the anguish that oppressed,
In hour like this, his big, tumultuous breast!
Condemn him not! - ye cannot know the strife
That shakes a mortal on the verge of life.
Again he's roused — first cramming in his cheek
The weed, though vile, that props the nerves when weak.
Once more he rushes! Stay – he stops once more,
With more spasmodic quick ness than before;
Envy would say, fright checked his bold career —
Vain, ignorant sneer! - for heroes know not fear.
Perchance he thought upon his parents lone,
Childless, all hope of future issue gone;
Himself, last scion of the house of Paich,
Tossed like the tide, for every rock to catch!
Perchance he started, thinking on his debts;
Perchance -- but see! all dangers he forgets,
And from his breast a vessel doth remove,
Filled with the nectar heroes ever love:
With one long draught, the fiëry tide he quaffs —
Feels a new vigor – leaps, and shouts, and laughs :
Now !-- now! - he springs! he clears the final stone!
Shoots down the darkness - gracious heaven! - he's gone!
No shriek is sent, no sound is heard, beside
Th' eternal thunder of the falling tide;
And Bruin's growl, who prudent turned about,
Following his master by a safer route.
Mad, reckless man, to brave sure ruin so,
And stake his body on so rash a throw !
Ambition's fool - none saw the death he braved -
All's lost with life, even to the fame he craved.
But hark! - far down yon water-flooded vale,
A voice swells faintly on the evening gale :
He lives !- he lives ! - his feeble voice it is
His, first survivor from that black abyss !
On a green isle, which seems so sweet asleep,
That ihe rude waters, ere its shores they sweep,
Fork gently, touched with charms that helpless lie :
And pass unwaked the dreaming beauty by -
The hero lies, left by the hurrying stream;
Though spent, his eye is bright with victory's gleam -
Battered, and worn - - still conqueror of the fall,
Exhausted - yet triumphant over all !