Ode on a Grecian Urn

A Poem by John Keats

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
       Of deities or mortals, or of both,
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
       Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
               Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
       She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
               For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
         Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
         For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
         For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
                For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
         That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
                A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
         To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
         And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
         Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
                Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
         Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
                Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
         Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
         When old age shall this generation waste,
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Ode on a Grecian Urn” is a poem written by the English Romantic poet John Keats (see more)

Godiva

A Poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I waited for the train at Coventry;
I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge,
To watch the three tall spires; and there I shaped
The city’s ancient legend into this:
Not only we, the latest seed of Time,
New men, that in the flying of a wheel
Cry down the past, not only we, that prate
Of rights and wrongs, have loved the people well,
And loathed to see them overtax’d; but she
Did more, and underwent, and overcame,
The woman of a thousand summers back,
Godiva, wife to that grim Earl, who ruled
In Coventry: for when he laid a tax
Upon his town, and all the mothers brought
Their children, clamoring, “If we pay, we starve!”
She sought her lord, and found him, where he strode
About the hall, among his dogs, alone,
His beard a foot before him and his hair
A yard behind. She told him of their tears,
And pray’d him, “If they pay this tax, they starve.”
Whereat he stared, replying, half-amazed,
“You would not let your little finger ache
For such as these?” — “But I would die,” said she.
He laugh’d, and swore by Peter and by Paul;
Then fillip’d at the diamond in her ear;
“Oh ay, ay, ay, you talk!” — “Alas!” she said,
“But prove me what I would not do.”
And from a heart as rough as Esau’s hand,
He answer’d, “Ride you naked thro’ the town,
And I repeal it;” and nodding, as in scorn,
He parted, with great strides among his dogs.
So left alone, the passions of her mind,
As winds from all the compass shift and blow,
Made war upon each other for an hour,
Till pity won. She sent a herald forth,
And bade him cry, with sound of trumpet, all
The hard condition; but that she would loose
The people: therefore, as they loved her well,
From then till noon no foot should pace the street,
No eye look down, she passing; but that all
Should keep within, door shut, and window barr’d.
Then fled she to her inmost bower, and there
Unclasp’d the wedded eagles of her belt,
The grim Earl’s gift; but ever at a breath
She linger’d, looking like a summer moon
Half-dipt in cloud: anon she shook her head,
And shower’d the rippled ringlets to her knee;
Unclad herself in haste; adown the stair
Stole on; and, like a creeping sunbeam, slid
From pillar unto pillar, until she reach’d
The Gateway, there she found her palfrey trapt
In purple blazon’d with armorial gold.
Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
The deep air listen’d round her as she rode,
And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.
The little wide-mouth’d heads upon the spout
Had cunning eyes to see: the barking cur
Made her cheek flame; her palfrey’s foot-fall shot
Light horrors thro’ her pulses; the blind walls
Were full of chinks and holes; and overhead
Fantastic gables, crowding, stared: but she
Not less thro’ all bore up, till, last, she saw
The white-flower’d elder-thicket from the field,
Gleam thro’ the Gothic archway in the wall.
Then she rode back, clothed on with chastity;
And one low churl, compact of thankless earth,
The fatal byword of all years to come,
Boring a little auger-hole in fear,
Peep’d — but his eyes, before they had their will,
Were shrivel’d into darkness in his head,
And dropt before him. So the Powers, who wait
On noble deeds, cancell’d a sense misused;
And she, that knew not, pass’d: and all at once,
With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless noon
Was clash’d and hammer’d from a hundred towers,
One after one: but even then she gain’d
Her bower; whence reissuing, robed and crown’d,
To meet her lord, she took the tax away
And built herself an everlasting name.

“Godiva” is a poem written in 1840 (see more)

Analysis of “Godiva”

With Dickens

A Poem by Henry Lawson

In Windsor Terrace, number four,
    I’ve taken my abode—
A little crescent from the street,
    A bight from City Road;
And, hard up and in exile, I
    To many fancies yield;
For it was here Micawber lived
    And David Copperfield.

A bed, a table, and a chair,
    A bottle and a cup.
The landlord’s waiting even now
    For something to turn up.
The landlady is spiritless—
    They both seem tired of life;
They cannot fight the battle like
    Micawber and his wife.

But in the little open space
    That lies back from the street,
The same old ancient, shabby clerk
    Is sitting on a seat.
The same sad characters go by,
    The ragged children play—
And things have very little changed
    Since Dickens passed away.

Some seek religion in their grief,
    And some for friendship yearn;
Some fly to liquor for relief,
    But I to Dickens turn.
I find him ever fresh and new,
    His lesson ever plain;
And every line that Dickens wrote
    I’ve read and read again.

The tavern’s just across the ‘wye,’
    And frowsy women there
Are gossiping and drinking gin,
    And twisting up their hair.
And grubby girls go past at times,
    And furtive gentry lurk—
I don’t think anyone has died
    Since Dickens did his work.

There’s Jingle, Tigg, and Chevy Slyme,
    And Weevle—whom you will;
And hard-up virtue proudly slinks
    Into the pawnshop still.
Go east a bit from City Road,
    And all the rest are there—
A friendly whistle might produce
    A Chicken anywhere.

My favourite author’s heroes I
    Should love, but somehow can’t.
I don’t like David Copperfield
    As much as David’s Aunt,
And it may be because my mind
    Has been in many fogs—
I don’t like Nicholas Nickleby
    So well as Newman Noggs.

I don’t like Richard Carstone, Pip,
    Or Martin Chuzzlewit,
And for the rich and fatherly
    I scarcely care a bit.
The honest, sober clods are bores
    Who cannot suffer much,
And with the Esther Summersons
    I never was in touch.

The ‘Charleys’ and the haggard wives,
    Kind hearts in poverty—
And yes! the Lizzie Hexams, too—
    Are very near to me;
But men like Brothers Cheeryble,
    And Madeline Bray divine,
And Nell, and Little Dorrit live
    In a better world than mine.

The Nicklebys and Copperfields,
    They do not stand the test;
And in my heart I don’t believe
    That Dickens loved them best.
I can’t admire their ways and talk,
    I do not like their looks—
Those selfish, injured sticks that stalk
    Through all the Master’s books.

They’re mostly selfish in their love,
    And selfish in their hate,
They marry Dora Spenlows, too,
    While Agnes Wickfields wait;
And back they come to poor Tom Pinch
    When hard-up for a friend;
They come to wrecks like Newman Nogga
    To help them in the end.

And—well, maybe I am unjust,
    And maybe I forget;
Some of us marry dolls and jilt
    Our Agnes Wickfields yet.
We seek our friends when fortune frowns—
    It has been ever thus—
And we neglect Joe Gargery
    When fortune smiles on us.

They get some rich old grandfather
    Or aunt to see them through,
And you can trace self-interest
    In nearly all they do.
And scoundrels like Ralph Nickleby,
    In spite of all their crimes,
And crawlers like Uriah Heep
    Told bitter truths at times.

But—yes, I love the vagabonds
    And failures from the ranks,
And hard old files with hidden hearts
    Like Wemmick and like Pancks.
And Jaggers had his ‘poor dreams, too,’
    And fond hopes like the rest—
But, somehow, somehow, all my life
    I’ve loved Dick Swiveller best!

But, let us peep at Snagsby first
    As softly he lays down
Beside the bed of dying Joe
    Another half-a-crown.
And Nemo’s wretched pauper grave—
    But we can let them be,
For Joe has said to Heaven: ‘They
    Wos werry good to me.’

And Wemmick with his aged P——
    No doubt has his reward;
And Jaggers, hardest nut of all,
    Will be judged by the Lord.
And Pancks, the rent-collecting screw,
    With laurels on his brow,
Is loved by all the bleeding hearts
    In Bleeding Heart Yard now.

Tom Pinch is very happy now,
    And Magwitch is at rest,
And Newman Noggs again might hold
    His head up with the best;
Micawber, too, when all is said,
    Drank bravely Sorrow’s cup—
Micawber worked to right them all,
    And something did turn up.

How do ‘John Edward Nandy, Sir!’
    And Plornish get along?
Why! if the old man is in voice
    We’ll hear him pipe a song.
We’ll have a look at Baptiste, too,
    While still the night is young—
With Mrs. Plornish to explain
    In the Italian tongue.

Before we go we’ll ask about
    Poor young John Chivery:
‘There never was a gentleman
    In all his family.’
His hopeless love, his broken heart,
    But to his rival true;
He came of Nature’s gentlemen,
    But young John never knew.

We’ll pass the little midshipman
    With heart that swells and fills,
Where Captain Ed’ard Cuttle waits
    For Wal’r and Sol Gills.
Jack Bunsby stands by what he says
    (Which isn’t very clear),
And Toots with his own hopeless love—
    As true as any here.

And who that read has never felt
    The sorrow that it cost
When Captain Cuttle read the news
    The ‘Son and Heir’ was lost?
And who that read has not rejoiced
    With him and ‘Heart’s Delight,’
And felt as Captain Cuttle felt
    When Wal’r came that night?

And yonder, with a broken heart,
    That people thought was stone,
Deserted in his ruined home,
    Poor Dombey sits alone.
Who has not gulped a something down,
    Whose eye has not grown dim
While feeling glad for Dombey’s sake
    When Florence came to him?

(A stately house in Lincolnshire—
    The scene is bleak and cold—
The footsteps on the terrace sound
    To-night at Chesney Wold.
One who loved honour, wife, and truth,
    If nothing else besides,
Along the dreary Avenue
    Sir Leicester Dedlock rides.)

We’ll go round by Poll Sweedlepipe’s,
    The bird and barber shop;
If Sairey Gamp is so dispoged
    We’ll send her up a drop.
We’ll cross High Holborn to the Bull,
    And, if he cares to come,
By streets that are not closed to him
    We’ll see Dick Swiveller home.
He’s looking rather glum to-night,
    The why I will not ask—
No matter how we act the goat,
    We mostly wear a mask.
Some wear a mask to hide the false
    (And some the good and true)—
I wouldn’t be surprised to know
    Mark Tapley wore one too.

We wear a mask called cheerfulness
    While feeling sad inside;
And men like Dombey, who was shy,
    Oft wear a mask called pride.
A front of pure benevolence
    The grinding ‘Patriarch’ bore;
And kind men often wear a mask
    Like that which Jaggers wore.

But, never mind, Dick Swiveller!
    We’ll see it out together
Beneath the wing of friendship, Dick,
    That never moults a feather.
We’ll look upon the rosy yet
    Full many a night, old friend,
And tread the mazy ere we woo
    The balmy in the end.
Our palace walls are rather bare,
    The floor is somewhat damp,
But, while there’s liquor, anywhere
    Is good enough to camp.
What ho! mine host! bring forth thine ale
    And let the board be spread!—
It is the hour when churchyards yawn
    And wine goes to the head.

’Twas you who saved poor Kit, old chap,
    When he was in a mess—
But, what ho! Varlet! bring us wine!
    Here’s to the Marchioness!
‘We’ll make a scholar of her yet,’
    She’ll be a lady fair,
‘And she shall go in silk attire
    And siller have to spare.’

From sport to sport they hurry her
    To banish her regrets,
And when we win a smile from her
    We cannot pay our debts!
Left orphans at a tender age,
    We’re happiest in the land—
We’re Glorious Apollos, Dick,
    And you’re Perpetual Grand!

You’re king of all philosophers,
    And let the Godly rust;
Here’s to the obscure citizen
    Who sent the beer on trust?
It sure would be a cheerful world
    If never man got tight;
You spent your money on your friends,
    Dick Swiveller! Good night!

‘A dissolute and careless man—
    An idle, drunken path;’
But see where Sidney Carton spills
    His last drink on the hearth!
A ruined life! He lived for drink
    And but one thing beside—
And Oh! it was a glorious death
    That Sidney Carton died.

And ‘Which I meantersay is Pip’—
    The voices hurry past—
‘Not to deceive you, sir’—‘Stand by!’
    ‘Awast, my lass, awast!’
‘Beware of widders, Samivel,’
    And shun strong drink, my friend;
And, ‘not to put too fine a point
    Upon it,’ I must end.

A Valentine

An Acrostic Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines!– they hold a treasure
Divine– a talisman– an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure–
The words– the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets– as the name is a poet’s, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto– Mendez Ferdinando–
Still form a synonym for Truth– Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

Analysis of A Valentine

What The Birds Said

A Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

The birds against the April wind
Flew northward, singing as they flew;
They sang, “The land we leave behind
Has swords for corn-blades, blood for dew.”

“O wild-birds, flying from the South,
What saw and heard ye, gazing down?”
“We saw the mortar’s upturned mouth,
The sickened camp, the blazing town!

“Beneath the bivouac’s starry lamps,
We saw your march-worn children die;
In shrouds of moss, in cypress swamps,
We saw your dead uncoffined lie.

“We heard the starving prisoner’s sighs
And saw, from line and trench, your sons
Follow our flight with home-sick eyes
Beyond the battery’s smoking guns.”

“And heard and saw ye only wrong
And pain,” I cried, “O wing-worn flocks?”
“We heard,” they sang, “the freedman’s song,
The crash of Slavery’s broken locks!

“We saw from new, uprising States
The treason-nursing mischief spurned,
As, crowding Freedom’s ample gates,
The long-estranged and lost returned.

“O’er dusky faces, seamed and old,
And hands horn-hard with unpaid toil,
With hope in every rustling fold,
We saw your star-dropt flag uncoil.

“And struggling up through sounds accursed,
A grateful murmur clomb the air;
A whisper scarcely heard at first,
It filled the listening heavens with prayer.

“And sweet and far, as from a star,
Replied a voice which shall not cease,
Till, drowning all the noise of war,
It sings the blessed song of peace!”

So to me, in a doubtful day
Of chill and slowly greening spring,
Low stooping from the cloudy gray,
The wild-birds sang or seemed to sing.

They vanished in the misty air,
The song went with them in their flight;
But lo! they left the sunset fair,
And in the evening there was light.

Read about John Greenleaf Whittier and What The Birds Said

Harvard Square

A Poem by Edward Smyth Jones

‘Tis once in life our dreams come true,
The myths of long ago,
Quite real though fairy-like their view,
They surge with ebb and flow;
Thus thou, O haunt of childhood dreams,
More beauteous and fair
Than Nature’s landscape and her streams,
Historic Harvard Square.

My soul hath panted long for thee,
Like as the wounded hart
That vainly strives himself to free
Full from the archer’s dart;
And struggled oft all, all alone
With burdens hard to bear,
But now I stand at Wisdom’s throne
To-night in Harvard Square.

A night most tranquil, – I was proud
My thoughts soared up afar,
To moonbeams pouring through the cloud,
Or some lone twinkling star;
And musing thus, my quickened pace
Beat to the printery’s glare,
Where first I saw a friendly face
In classic Harvard Square.

“Ho! stranger, thou art wan and worn
Of journey’s wear and tear;
Thy face all haggard and forlorn,
Pray tell me whence and where?”
“I came – from out – the Sunny South –
The spot – on earth – most fair,”
Fell lisping from my trembling mouth –
“In search – of – Harvard Square.”

“Here rest, my friend, upon this seat,
And feel thyself at home;
I’ll bring thee forth some drink and meat,
‘Twill give thee back thy form.”
And then I prayed the Lord to bless
Us, and that little lair –
Quite sure, I thought, I had found rest
Most sweet in Harvard Square.

“I came,” I said, “o’er stony ways,
Through mountain, hill and dale,
I’ve felt old Sol’s most scorching rays,
And braved the stormy gale;
I’ve done this, Printer, not for gold,
Nor diamonds rich and rare –
But for a burning in my soul
To learn in Harvard Square.

“I’ve journeyed long without a drink
Nor yet a bite of bread,
While in this state, O Printer, think –
No shelter for my head.
I mused, ‘Hope’s yet this side the grave’ –
My pluck and courage there
Then made my languid heart bear brave –
Each throb for Harvard Square.”

A sound soon hushed my heart’s rejoice –
“The watchman on his search?”
“No!” rang the printer’s gentle voice,
“‘Deak’ Wilson in from church.
O’er there, good ‘Deak’,” the printer said,
“The wanderer in that chair,
Hath come to seek the lore deep laid
Up here in Harvard Square.”

“It matters not how you implore,
He can no longer stay;
But on the night’s ‘Plutonian shore,’
Await the coming day.
I’m sorry, sir,” he calmly said,
“Though hard, I guess ’tis fair,
Thou hast no place to lay thy head –
Not yet in Harvard Square!”

“Good night!” he said, and we the same –
I sighed, “Where shall I go?”
He soon returned and with him came
An officer and – Oh!
“Now sir, you take this forlorn tramp
With all his shabby ware,
And guide him safely off the ‘Camp’
Of dear old Harvard Square.”

As soon as locked within the jail,
Deep in a ghastly cell,
Methought I heard the bitter wail
Of all the fiends of hell!
“O God, to Thee I humbly pray
No treacherous prison snare
Shall close my soul within for aye
From dear old Harvard Square.”

Just then I saw an holy Sprite
Shed all her radiant beams,
And round her shone the source of light
Of all the poets’ dreams!
I plied my pen in sober use,
And spent each moment spare
In sweet communion with the Muse
I met in Harvard Square!

I cried: “Fair Goddess, hear my tale
Of sorrow, grief and pain.”
That made her face an ashen pale,
But soon it glowed again!
“They placed me here; and this my crime,
Writ on their pages fair: –
‘He left his sunny native clime,
And came to Harvard Square!'”

“Weep not, my son, thy way is hard,
Thy weary journey long –
But thus I choose my favorite bard
To sing my sweetest song.
I’ll strike the key-note of my art
And guide with tend’rest care,
And breathe a song into thy heart
To honor Harvard Square.

“I called old Homer long ago,
And made him beg his bread
Through seven cities, ye all know,
His body fought for, dead.
Spurn not oppression’s blighting sting,
Nor scorn thy lowly fare;
By them I’ll teach thy soul to sing
The songs of Harvard Square.

“I placed great Dante in exile,
And Byron had his turns;
Then Keats and Shelley smote the while,
And my immortal Burns!
But thee I’ll build a sacred shrine,
A store of all my ware;
By them I’ll teach thy soul to sing
‘A place in Harvard Square.’

“To some a store of mystic lore,
To some to shine a star:
The first I gave to Allan Poe,
The last to Paul Dunbar.
Since thou hast waited patient, long,
Now by my throne I swear
To give to thee my sweetest song
To sing in Harvard Square.”

And when she gave her parting kiss
And bade a long farewell,
I sat serene in perfect bliss
As she forsook my cell.
Upon the altar-fire she poured
Some incense very rare;
Its fragrance sweet my soul assured
I’d enter Harvard Square.

Reclining on my couch, I slept
A sleep sweet and profound;
O’er me the blessed angels kept
Their vigil close around.
With dawning’s smile, my fondest hope
Shone radiant and fair:
The Justice cut each chain and rope
‘Tween me and Harvard Square!

Cell No. 40, East Cambridge Jail, Cambridge, Mass., July 26, 1910

Analysis of Harvard Square

The Watkinson Evening

A Humorous Short Story by Eliza Leslie

[From Godey’s Lady’s Book, December, 1846.]

Mrs. Morland, a polished and accomplished woman, was the widow of a distinguished senator from one of the western states, of which, also, her husband had twice filled the office of governor. Her daughter having completed her education at the best boarding-school in Philadelphia, and her son being about to graduate at Princeton, the mother had planned with her children a tour to Niagara and the lakes, returning by way of Boston. On leaving Philadelphia, Mrs. Morland and the delighted Caroline stopped at Princeton to be present at the annual commencement, and had the happiness of seeing their beloved Edward receive his diploma as bachelor of arts; after hearing him deliver, with great applause, an oration on the beauties of the American character. College youths are very prone to treat on subjects that imply great experience of the world. But Edward Morland was full of kind feeling for everything and everybody; and his views of life had hitherto been tinted with a perpetual rose-color.

Mrs. Morland, not depending altogether upon the celebrity of her late husband, and wishing that her children should see specimens of the best society in the northern cities, had left home with numerous letters of introduction. But when they arrived at New York, she found to her great regret, that having unpacked and taken out her small traveling desk, during her short stay in Philadelphia, she had strangely left it behind in the closet of her room at the hotel. In this desk were deposited all her letters, except two which had been offered to her by friends in Philadelphia. The young people, impatient to see the wonders of Niagara, had entreated her to stay but a day or two in the city of New York, and thought these two letters would be quite sufficient for the present. In the meantime she wrote back to the hotel, requesting that the missing desk should be forwarded to New York as soon as possible.

On the morning after their arrival at the great commercial metropolis of America, the Morland family took a carriage to ride round through the principal parts of the city, and to deliver their two letters at the houses to which they were addressed, and which were both situated in the region that lies between the upper part of Broadway and the North River. In one of the most fashionable streets they found the elegant mansion of Mrs. St. Leonard; but on stopping at the door, were informed that its mistress was not at home. They then left the introductory letter (which they had prepared for this mischance, by enclosing it in an envelope with a card), and proceeding to another street considerably farther up, they arrived at the dwelling of the Watkinson family, to the mistress of which the other Philadelphia letter was directed. It was one of a large block of houses all exactly alike, and all shut up from top to bottom, according to a custom more prevalent in New York than in any other city.

Here they were also unsuccessful; the servant who came to the door telling them that the ladies were particularly engaged and could see no company. So they left their second letter and card and drove off, continuing their ride till they reached the Croton water works, which they quitted the carriage to see and admire. On returning to the hotel, with the intention after an hour or two of rest to go out again, and walk till near dinner-time, they found waiting them a note from Mrs. Watkinson, expressing her regret that she had not been able to see them when they called; and explaining that her family duties always obliged her to deny herself the pleasure of receiving morning visitors, and that her servants had general orders to that effect. But she requested their company for that evening (naming nine o’clock as the hour), and particularly desired an immediate answer.

“I suppose,” said Mrs. Morland, “she intends asking some of her friends to meet us, in case we accept the invitation; and therefore is naturally desirous of a reply as soon as possible. Of course we will not keep her in suspense. Mrs. Denham, who volunteered the letter, assured me that Mrs. Watkinson was one of the most estimable women in New York, and a pattern to the circle in which she moved. It seems that Mr. Denham and Mr. Watkinson are connected in business. Shall we go?”

The young people assented, saying they had no doubt of passing a pleasant evening.

The billet of acceptance having been written, it was sent off immediately, entrusted to one of the errand-goers belonging to the hotel, that it might be received in advance of the next hour for the dispatch-post–and Edward Morland desired the man to get into an omnibus with the note that no time might be lost in delivering it. “It is but right”–said he to his mother–“that we should give Mrs. Watkinson an ample opportunity of making her preparations, and sending round to invite her friends.”

“How considerate you are, dear Edward”–said Caroline–“always so thoughtful of every one’s convenience. Your college friends must have idolized you.”

“No”–said Edward–“they called me a prig.” Just then a remarkably handsome carriage drove up to the private door of the hotel. From it alighted a very elegant woman, who in a few moments was ushered into the drawing-room by the head waiter, and on his designating Mrs. Morland’s family, she advanced and gracefully announced herself as Mrs. St. Leonard. This was the lady at whose house they had left the first letter of introduction. She expressed regret at not having been at home when they called; but said that on finding their letter, she had immediately come down to see them, and to engage them for the evening. “Tonight”–said Mrs. St. Leonard–“I expect as many friends as I can collect for a summer party. The occasion is the recent marriage of my niece, who with her husband has just returned from their bridal excursion, and they will be soon on their way to their residence in Baltimore. I think I can promise you an agreeable evening, as I expect some very delightful people, with whom I shall be most happy to make you acquainted.”

Edward and Caroline exchanged glances, and could not refrain from looking wistfully at their mother, on whose countenance a shade of regret was very apparent. After a short pause she replied to Mrs. St. Leonard–“I am truly sorry to say that we have just answered in the affirmative a previous invitation for this very evening.”

“I am indeed disappointed”–said Mrs. St. Leonard, who had been looking approvingly at the prepossessing appearance of the two young people. “Is there no way in which you can revoke your compliance with this unfortunate first invitation–at least, I am sure, it is unfortunate for me. What a vexatious contretemps that I should have chanced to be out when you called; thus missing the pleasure of seeing you at once, and securing that of your society for this evening? The truth is, I was disappointed in some of the preparations that had been sent home this morning, and I had to go myself and have the things rectified, and was detained away longer than I expected. May I ask to whom you are engaged this evening? Perhaps I know the lady–if so, I should be very much tempted to go and beg you from her.”

“The lady is Mrs. John Watkinson”–replied Mrs. Morland–“most probably she will invite some of her friends to meet us.”

“That of course”–answered Mrs. St. Leonard–“I am really very sorry–and I regret to say that I do not know her at all.”

“We shall have to abide by our first decision,” said Mrs. Morland. “By Mrs. Watkinson, mentioning in her note the hour of nine, it is to be presumed she intends asking some other company. I cannot possibly disappoint her. I can speak feelingly as to the annoyance (for I have known it by my own experience) when after inviting a number of my friends to meet some strangers, the strangers have sent an excuse almost at the eleventh hour. I think no inducements, however strong, could tempt me to do so myself.”

“I confess that you are perfectly right,” said Mrs. St. Leonard. “I see you must go to Mrs. Watkinson. But can you not divide the evening, by passing a part of it with her and then finishing with me?”

At this suggestion the eyes of the young people sparkled, for they had become delighted with Mrs. St. Leonard, and imagined that a party at her house must be every way charming. Also, parties were novelties to both of them.

“If possible we will do so,” answered Mrs. Morland, “and with what pleasure I need not assure you. We leave New York to-morrow, but we shall return this way in September, and will then be exceedingly happy to see more of Mrs. St. Leonard.”

After a little more conversation Mrs. St. Leonard took her leave, repeating her hope of still seeing her new friends at her house that night; and enjoining them to let her know as soon as they returned to New York on their way home.

Edward Morland handed her to her carriage, and then joined his mother and sister in their commendations of Mrs. St. Leonard, with whose exceeding beauty were united a countenance beaming with intelligence, and a manner that put every one at their ease immediately.

“She is an evidence,” said Edward, “how superior our women of fashion are to those of Europe.”

“Wait, my dear son,” said Mrs. Morland, “till you have been in Europe, and had an opportunity of forming an opinion on that point (as on many others) from actual observation. For my part, I believe that in all civilized countries the upper classes of people are very much alike, at least in their leading characteristics.”

“Ah! here comes the man that was sent to Mrs. Watkinson,” said Caroline Morland. “I hope he could not find the house and has brought the note back with him. We shall then be able to go at first to Mrs. St. Leonard’s, and pass the whole evening there.”

The man reported that he had found the house, and had delivered the note into Mrs. Watkinson’s own hands, as she chanced to be crossing the entry when the door was opened; and that she read it immediately, and said “Very well.”

“Are you certain that you made no mistake in the house,” said Edward, “and that you really did give it to Mrs. Watkinson?”

“And it’s quite sure I am, sir,” replied the man, “when I first came over from the ould country I lived with them awhile, and though when she saw me to-day, she did not let on that she remembered my doing that same, she could not help calling me James. Yes, the rale words she said when I handed her the billy-dux was, ’Very well, James.’”

“Come, come,” said Edward, when they found themselves alone, “let us look on the bright side. If we do not find a large party at Mrs. Watkinson’s, we may in all probability meet some very agreeable people there, and enjoy the feast of reason and the flow of soul. We may find the Watkinson house so pleasant as to leave it with regret even for Mrs. St. Leonard’s.”

“I do not believe Mrs. Watkinson is in fashionable society,” said Caroline, “or Mrs. St. Leonard would have known her. I heard some of the ladies here talking last evening of Mrs. St. Leonard, and I found from what they said that she is among the elite of the lite.”

“Even if she is,” observed Mrs. Morland, “are polish of manners and cultivation of mind confined exclusively to persons of that class?”

“Certainly not,” said Edward, “the most talented and refined youth at our college, and he in whose society I found the greatest pleasure, was the son of a bricklayer.”

In the ladies’ drawing-room, after dinner, the Morlands heard a conversation between several of the female guests, who all seemed to know Mrs. St. Leonard very well by reputation, and they talked of her party that was to “come off” on this evening.

“I hear,” said one lady, “that Mrs. St. Leonard is to have an unusual number of lions.”

She then proceeded to name a gallant general, with his elegant wife and accomplished daughter; a celebrated commander in the navy; two highly distinguished members of Congress, and even an ex-president. Also several of the most eminent among the American literati, and two first-rate artists.

Edward Morland felt as if he could say, “Had I three ears I’d hear thee.”

“Such a woman as Mrs. St. Leonard can always command the best lions that are to be found,” observed another lady.

“And then,” said a third, “I have been told that she has such exquisite taste in lighting and embellishing her always elegant rooms. And her supper table, whether for summer or winter parties, is so beautifully arranged; all the viands are so delicious, and the attendance of the servants so perfect–and Mrs. St. Leonard does the honors with so much ease and tact.”

“Some friends of mine that visit her,” said a fourth lady, “describe her parties as absolute perfection. She always manages to bring together those persons that are best fitted to enjoy each other’s conversation. Still no one is overlooked or neglected. Then everything at her reunions is so well proportioned–she has just enough of music, and just enough of whatever amusement may add to the pleasure of her guests; and still there is no appearance of design or management on her part.”

“And better than all,” said the lady who had spoken firsts “Mrs. St. Leonard is one of the kindest, most generous, and most benevolent of women–she does good in every possible way.”

“I can listen no longer,” said Caroline to Edward, rising to change her seat. “If I hear any more I shall absolutely hate the Watkinsons. How provoking that they should have sent us the first invitation. If we had only thought of waiting till we could hear from Mrs. St. Leonard!”

“For shame, Caroline,” said her brother, “how can you talk so of persons you have never seen, and to whom you ought to feel grateful for the kindness of their invitation; even if it has interfered with another party, that I must confess seems to offer unusual attractions. Now I have a presentiment that we shall find the Watkinson part of the evening very enjoyable.”

As soon as tea was over, Mrs. Morland and her daughter repaired to their toilettes. Fortunately, fashion as well as good taste, has decided that, at a summer party, the costume of the ladies should never go beyond an elegant simplicity. Therefore our two ladies in preparing for their intended appearance at Mrs. St. Leonard’s, were enabled to attire themselves in a manner that would not seem out of place in the smaller company they expected to meet at the Watkinsons. Over an under-dress of lawn, Caroline Morland put on a white organdy trimmed with lace, and decorated with bows of pink ribbon. At the back of her head was a wreath of fresh and beautiful pink flowers, tied with a similar ribbon. Mrs. Morland wore a black grenadine over a satin, and a lace cap trimmed with white.

It was but a quarter past nine o’clock when their carriage stopped at the Watkinson door. The front of the house looked very dark. Not a ray gleamed through the Venetian shutters, and the glimmer beyond the fan-light over the door was almost imperceptible. After the coachman had rung several times, an Irish girl opened the door, cautiously (as Irish girls always do), and admitted them into the entry, where one light only was burning in a branch lamp. “Shall we go upstairs?” said Mrs. Morland. “And what for would ye go upstairs?” said the girl in a pert tone. “It’s all dark there, and there’s no preparations. Ye can lave your things here a-hanging on the rack. It is a party ye’re expecting? Blessed are them what expects nothing.”

The sanguine Edward Morland looked rather blank at this intelligence, and his sister whispered to him, “We’ll get off to Mrs. St. Leonard’s as soon as we possibly can. When did you tell the coachman to come for us?”

“At half past ten,” was the brother’s reply.

“Oh! Edward, Edward!” she exclaimed, “And I dare say he will not be punctual. He may keep us here till eleven.”

Courage, mes enfants,” said their mother, “et parlez plus doucement.”

The girl then ushered them into the back parlor, saying, “Here’s the company.”

The room was large and gloomy. A checquered mat covered the floor, and all the furniture was encased in striped calico covers, and the lamps, mirrors, etc. concealed under green gauze. The front parlor was entirely dark, and in the back apartment was no other light than a shaded lamp on a large centre table, round which was assembled a circle of children of all sizes and ages. On a backless, cushionless sofa sat Mrs. Watkinson, and a young lady, whom she introduced as her daughter Jane. And Mrs. Morland in return presented Edward and Caroline.

“Will you take the rocking-chair, ma’am?” inquired Mrs. Watkinson.

Mrs. Morland declining the offer, the hostess took it herself, and see-sawed on it nearly the whole time. It was a very awkward, high-legged, crouch-backed rocking-chair, and shamefully unprovided with anything in the form of a footstool.

“My husband is away, at Boston, on business,” said Mrs. Watkinson. “I thought at first, ma’am, I should not be able to ask you here this evening, for it is not our way to have company in his absence; but my daughter Jane over-persuaded me to send for you.”

“What a pity,” thought Caroline.

“You must take us as you find us, ma’am,” continued Mrs. Watkinson. “We use no ceremony with anybody; and our rule is never to put ourselves out of the way. We do not give parties [looking at the dresses of the ladies]. Our first duty is to our children, and we cannot waste our substance on fashion and folly. They’ll have cause to thank us for it when we die.”

Something like a sob was heard from the centre table, at which the children were sitting, and a boy was seen to hold his handkerchief to his face.

“Joseph, my child,” said his mother, “do not cry. You have no idea, ma’am, what an extraordinary boy that is. You see how the bare mention of such a thing as our deaths has overcome him.”

There was another sob behind the handkerchief, and the Morlands thought it now sounded very much like a smothered laugh.

“As I was saying, ma’am,” continued Mrs. Watkinson, “we never give parties. We leave all sinful things to the vain and foolish. My daughter Jane has been telling me, that she heard this morning of a party that is going on tonight at the widow St. Leonard’s. It is only fifteen years since her husband died. He was carried off with a three days’ illness, but two months after they were married. I have had a domestic that lived with them at the time, so I know all about it. And there she is now, living in an elegant house, and riding in her carriage, and dressing and dashing, and giving parties, and enjoying life, as she calls it. Poor creature, how I pity her! Thank heaven, nobody that I know goes to her parties. If they did I would never wish to see them again in my house. It is an encouragement to folly and nonsense–and folly and nonsense are sinful. Do not you think so, ma’am?”

“If carried too far they may certainly become so,” replied Mrs. Morland.

“We have heard,” said Edward, “that Mrs. St. Leonard, though one of the ornaments of the gay world, has a kind heart, a beneficent spirit and a liberal hand.”

“I know very little about her,” replied Mrs. Watkinson, drawing up her head, “and I have not the least desire to know any more. It is well she has no children; they’d be lost sheep if brought up in her fold. For my part, ma’am,” she continued, turning to Mrs. Morland, “I am quite satisfied with the quiet joys of a happy home. And no mother has the least business with any other pleasures. My innocent babes know nothing about plays, and balls, and parties; and they never shall. Do they look as if they had been accustomed to a life of pleasure?”

They certainly did not! for when the Morlands took a glance at them, they thought they had never seen youthful faces that were less gay, and indeed less prepossessing.

There was not a good feature or a pleasant expression among them all. Edward Morland recollected his having often read “that childhood is always lovely.” But he saw that the juvenile Watkinsons were an exception to the rule.

“The first duty of a mother is to her children,” repeated Mrs. Watkinson. “Till nine o’clock, my daughter Jane and myself are occupied every evening in hearing the lessons that they have learned for to-morrow’s school. Before that hour we can receive no visitors, and we never have company to tea, as that would interfere too much with our duties. We had just finished hearing these lessons when you arrived. Afterwards the children are permitted to indulge themselves in rational play, for I permit no amusement that is not also instructive. My children are so well trained, that even when alone their sports are always serious.”

Two of the boys glanced slyly at each other, with what Edward Morland comprehended as an expression of pitch-penny and marbles.

“They are now engaged at their game of astronomy,” continued Mrs. Watkinson. “They have also a sort of geography cards, and a set of mathematical cards. It is a blessed discovery, the invention of these educationary games; so that even the play-time of children can be turned to account. And you have no idea, ma’am, how they enjoy them.”

Just then the boy Joseph rose from the table, and stalking up to Mrs. Watkinson, said to her, “Mamma, please to whip me.”

At this unusual request the visitors looked much amazed, and Mrs. Watkinson replied to him, “Whip you, my best Joseph–for what cause? I have not seen you do anything wrong this evening, and you know my anxiety induces me to watch my children all the time.”

“You could not see me,” answered Joseph, “for I have not done anything very wrong. But I have had a bad thought, and you know Mr. Ironrule says that a fault imagined is just as wicked as a fault committed.”

“You see, ma’am, what a good memory he has,” said Mrs. Watkinson aside to Mrs. Morland. “But my best Joseph, you make your mother tremble. What fault have you imagined? What was your bad thought?”

“Ay,” said another boy, “what’s your thought like?”

“My thought,” said Joseph, “was ’Confound all astronomy, and I could see the man hanged that made this game.’”

“Oh! my child,” exclaimed the mother, stopping her ears, “I am indeed shocked. I am glad you repented so immediately.”

“Yes,” returned Joseph, “but I am afraid my repentance won’t last. If I am not whipped, I may have these bad thoughts whenever I play at astronomy, and worse still at the geography game. Whip me, ma, and punish me as I deserve. There’s the rattan in the corner: I’ll bring it to you myself.”

“Excellent boy!” said his mother. “You know I always pardon my children when they are so candid as to confess their faults.”

“So you do,” said Joseph, “but a whipping will cure me better.”

“I cannot resolve to punish so conscientious a child,” said Mrs. Watkinson.

“Shall I take the trouble off your hands?” inquired Edward, losing all patience in his disgust at the sanctimonious hypocrisy of this young Blifil. “It is such a rarity for a boy to request a whipping, that so remarkable a desire ought by all means to be gratified.”

Joseph turned round and made a face at him.

“Give me the rattan,” said Edward, half laughing, and offering to take it out of his hand. “I’ll use it to your full satisfaction.”

The boy thought it most prudent to stride off and return to the table, and ensconce himself among his brothers and sisters; some of whom were staring with stupid surprise; others were whispering and giggling in the hope of seeing Joseph get a real flogging.

Mrs. Watkinson having bestowed a bitter look on Edward, hastened to turn the attention of his mother to something else. “Mrs. Morland,” said she, “allow me to introduce you to my youngest hope.” She pointed to a sleepy boy about five years old, who with head thrown back and mouth wide open, was slumbering in his chair.

Mrs. Watkinson’s children were of that uncomfortable species who never go to bed; at least never without all manner of resistance. All her boasted authority was inadequate to compel them; they never would confess themselves sleepy; always wanted to “sit up,” and there was a nightly scene of scolding, coaxing, threatening and manoeuvring to get them off.

“I declare,” said Mrs. Watkinson, “dear Benny is almost asleep. Shake him up, Christopher. I want him to speak a speech. His school-mistress takes great pains in teaching her little pupils to speak, and stands up herself and shows them how.”

The child having been shaken up hard (two or three others helping Christopher), rubbed his eyes and began to whine. His mother went to him, took him on her lap, hushed him up, and began to coax him. This done, she stood him on his feet before Mrs. Morland, and desired him to speak a speech for the company. The child put his thumb into his mouth, and remained silent.

“Ma,” said Jane Watkinson, “you had better tell him what speech to speak.”

“Speak Cato or Plato,” said his mother. “Which do you call it? Come now, Benny–how does it begin? ’You are quite right and reasonable, Plato.’ That’s it.”

“Speak Lucius,” said his sister Jane. “Come now, Benny–say ’your thoughts are turned on peace.’”

The little boy looked very much as if they were not, and as if meditating an outbreak.

“No, no!” exclaimed Christopher, “let him say Hamlet. Come now, Benny–’To be or not to be.’”

“It ain’t to be at all,” cried Benny, “and I won’t speak the least bit of it for any of you. I hate that speech!”

“Only see his obstinacy,” said the solemn Joseph. “And is he to be given up to?”

“Speak anything, Benny,” said Mrs. Watkinson, “anything so that it is only a speech.”

All the Watkinson voices now began to clamor violently at the obstinate child–“Speak a speech! speak a speech! speak a speech!” But they had no more effect than the reiterated exhortations with which nurses confuse the poor heads of babies, when they require them to “shake a day-day–shake a day-day!”

Mrs. Morland now interfered, and begged that the sleepy little boy might be excused; on which he screamed out that “he wasn’t sleepy at all, and would not go to bed ever.”

“I never knew any of my children behave so before,” said Mrs. Watkinson. “They are always models of obedience, ma’am. A look is sufficient for them. And I must say that they have in every way profited by the education we are giving them. It is not our way, ma’am, to waste our money in parties and fooleries, and fine furniture and fine clothes, and rich food, and all such abominations. Our first duty is to our children, and to make them learn everything that is taught in the schools. If they go wrong, it will not be for want of education. Hester, my dear, come and talk to Miss Morland in French.”

Hester (unlike her little brother that would not speak a speech) stepped boldly forward, and addressed Caroline Morland with: “Parlez-vous Francais, mademoiselle? Comment se va madame votre mere? Aimez-vous la musique? Aimez-vous la danse? Bon jour–bon soir–bon repos. Comprenez-vous?

To this tirade, uttered with great volubility, Miss Morland made no other reply than, “Oui–je comprens.

“Very well, Hester–very well indeed,” said Mrs. Watkinson. “You see, ma’am,” turning to Mrs. Morland, “how very fluent she is in French; and she has only been learning eleven quarters.”

After considerable whispering between Jane and her mother, the former withdrew, and sent in by the Irish girl a waiter with a basket of soda biscuit, a pitcher of water, and some glasses. Mrs. Watkinson invited her guests to consider themselves at home and help themselves freely, saying: “We never let cakes, sweetmeats, confectionery, or any such things enter the house, as they would be very unwholesome for the children, and it would be sinful to put temptation in their way. I am sure, ma’am, you will agree with me that the plainest food is the best for everybody. People that want nice things may go to parties for them; but they will never get any with me.”

When the collation was over, and every child provided with a biscuit, Mrs. Watkinson said to Mrs. Morland: “Now, ma’am, you shall have some music from my daughter Jane, who is one of Mr. Bangwhanger’s best scholars.”

Jane Watkinson sat down to the piano and commenced a powerful piece of six mortal pages, which she played out of time and out of tune; but with tremendous force of hands; notwithstanding which, it had, however, the good effect of putting most of the children to sleep.

To the Morlands the evening had seemed already five hours long. Still it was only half past ten when Jane was in the midst of her piece. The guests had all tacitly determined that it would be best not to let Mrs. Watkinson know their intention to go directly from her house to Mrs. St. Leonard’s party; and the arrival of their carriage would have been the signal of departure, even if Jane’s piece had not reached its termination. They stole glances at the clock on the mantel. It wanted but a quarter of eleven, when Jane rose from the piano, and was congratulated by her mother on the excellence of her music. Still no carriage was heard to stop; no doorbell was heard to ring. Mrs. Morland expressed her fears that the coachman had forgotten to come for them.

“Has he been paid for bringing you here?” asked Mrs. Watkinson.

“I paid him when we came to the door,” said Edward. “I thought perhaps he might want the money for some purpose before he came for us.”

“That was very kind in you, sir,” said Mrs. Watkinson, “but not very wise. There’s no dependence on any coachman; and perhaps as he may be sure of business enough this rainy night he may never come at all–being already paid for bringing you here.”

Now, the truth was that the coachman had come at the appointed time, but the noise of Jane’s piano had prevented his arrival being heard in the back parlor. The Irish girl had gone to the door when he rang the bell, and recognized in him what she called “an ould friend.” Just then a lady and gentleman who had been caught in the rain came running along, and seeing a carriage drawing up at a door, the gentleman inquired of the driver if he could not take them to Rutgers Place. The driver replied that he had just come for two ladies and a gentleman whom he had brought from the Astor House.

“Indeed and Patrick,” said the girl who stood at the door, “if I was you I’d be after making another penny to-night. Miss Jane is pounding away at one of her long music pieces, and it won’t be over before you have time to get to Rutgers and back again. And if you do make them wait awhile, where’s the harm? They’ve a dry roof over their heads, and I warrant it’s not the first waiting they’ve ever had in their lives; and it won’t be the last neither.”

“Exactly so,” said the gentleman; and regardless of the propriety of first sending to consult the persons who had engaged the carriage, he told his wife to step in, and following her instantly himself, they drove away to Rutgers Place.

Reader, if you were ever detained in a strange house by the non-arrival of your carriage, you will easily understand the excessive annoyance of finding that you are keeping a family out of their beds beyond their usual hour. And in this case, there was a double grievance; the guests being all impatience to get off to a better place. The children, all crying when wakened from their sleep, were finally taken to bed by two servant maids, and Jane Watkinson, who never came back again. None were left but Hester, the great French scholar, who, being one of those young imps that seem to have the faculty of living without sleep, sat bolt upright with her eyes wide open, watching the uncomfortable visitors.

The Morlands felt as if they could bear it no longer, and Edward proposed sending for another carriage to the nearest livery stable.

“We don’t keep a man now,” said Mrs. Watkinson, who sat nodding in the rocking-chair, attempting now and then a snatch of conversation, and saying “ma’am” still more frequently than usual. “Men servants are dreadful trials, ma’am, and we gave them up three years ago. And I don’t know how Mary or Katy are to go out this stormy night in search of a livery stable.”

“On no consideration could I allow the women to do so,” replied Edward. “If you will oblige me by the loan of an umbrella, I will go myself.”

Accordingly he set out on this business, but was unsuccessful at two livery stables, the carriages being all out. At last he found one, and was driven in it to Mr. Watkinson’s house, where his mother and sister were awaiting him, all quite ready, with their calashes and shawls on. They gladly took their leave; Mrs. Watkinson rousing herself to hope they had spent a pleasant evening, and that they would come and pass another with her on their return to New York. In such cases how difficult it is to reply even with what are called “words of course.”

A kitchen lamp was brought to light them to the door, the entry lamp having long since been extinguished. Fortunately the rain had ceased; the stars began to reappear, and the Morlands, when they found themselves in the carriage and on their way to Mrs. St. Leonard’s, felt as if they could breathe again. As may be supposed, they freely discussed the annoyances of the evening; but now those troubles were over they felt rather inclined to be merry about them.

“Dear mother,” said Edward, “how I pitied you for having to endure Mrs. Watkinson’s perpetual ’ma’aming’ and ’ma’aming’; for I know you dislike the word.”

“I wish,” said Caroline, “I was not so prone to be taken with ridiculous recollections. But really to-night I could not get that old foolish child’s play out of my head–

  Here come three knights out of Spain
  A-courting of your daughter Jane.”

I shall certainly never be one of those Spanish knights,” said Edward. “Her daughter Jane is in no danger of being ruled by any ’flattering tongue’ of mine. But what a shame for us to be talking of them in this manner.”

They drove to Mrs. St. Leonard’s, hoping to be yet in time to pass half an hour there; though it was now near twelve o’clock and summer parties never continue to a very late hour. But as they came into the street in which she lived they were met by a number of coaches on their way home, and on reaching the door of her brilliantly lighted mansion, they saw the last of the guests driving off in the last of the carriages, and several musicians coming down the steps with their instruments in their hands.

“So there has been a dance, then!” sighed Caroline. “Oh, what we have missed! It is really too provoking.”

“So it is,” said Edward; “but remember that to-morrow morning we set off for Niagara.”

“I will leave a note for Mrs. St. Leonard,” said his mother, “explaining that we were detained at Mrs. Watkinson’s by our coachman disappointing us. Let us console ourselves with the hope of seeing more of this lady on our return. And now, dear Caroline, you must draw a moral from the untoward events of to-day. When you are mistress of a house, and wish to show civility to strangers, let the invitation be always accompanied with a frank disclosure of what they are to expect. And if you cannot conveniently invite company to meet them, tell them at once that you will not insist on their keeping their engagement with you if anything offers afterwards that they think they would prefer; provided only that they apprize you in time of the change in their plan.”

“Oh, mamma,” replied Caroline, “you may be sure I shall always take care not to betray my visitors into an engagement which they may have cause to regret, particularly if they are strangers whose time is limited. I shall certainly, as you say, tell them not to consider themselves bound to me if they afterwards receive an invitation which promises them more enjoyment. It will be a long while before I forget, the Watkinson evening.”

Future Poetry

A Poem by Alice Christiana Gertrude Thompson Meynell

No new delights to our desire
The singers of the past can yield.
I lift mine eyes to hill and field,
And see in them your yet dumb lyre,
Poets unborn and unrevealed.

Singers to come, what thoughts will start
To song? what words of yours be sent
Through man’s soul, and with earth be blent?
These worlds of nature and the heart
Await you like an instrument.

Who knows what musical flocks of words
Upon these pine-tree tops will light,
And crown these towers in circling flight
And cross these seas like summer birds,
And give a voice to the day and night?

Something of you already is ours;
Some mystic part of you belongs
To us whose dreams your future throngs,
Who look on hills, and trees, and flowers,
Which will mean so much in your songs.

I wonder, like the maid who found,
And knelt to lift, the lyre supreme
Of Orpheus from the Thracian stream.
She dreams on its sealed past profound;
On a deep future sealed I dream.

She bears it in her wanderings
Within her arms, and has not pressed
Her unskilled fingers, but her breast
Upon those silent sacred strings;
I, too, clasp mystic strings at rest.

For I, i’ the world of lands and seas,
The sky of wind and rain and fire,
And in man’s world of long desire-
In all that is yet dumb in these-
Have found a more mysterious lyre.

The Passionate Reader To His Poet

A Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

Doth it not thrill thee, Poet,
Dead and dust though thou art,
To feel how I press thy singing
Close to my heart? –

Take it at night to my pillow,
Kiss it before I sleep,
And again when the delicate morning
Beginneth to peep?

See how I bathe thy pages
Here in the light of the sun,
Through thy leaves, as a wind among roses,
The breezes shall run.

Feel how I take thy poem
And bury within it my face,
As I pressed it last night in the heart of a flower,
Or deep in a dearer place.

Think, as I love thee, Poet,
A thousand love beside,
Dear women love to press thee too
Against a sweeter side.

Art thou not happy, Poet?
I sometimes dream that I
For such a fragrant fame as thine
Would gladly sing and die.

Say, wilt thou change thy glory
For this same youth of mine?
And I will give my days i’ the sun
For that great song of thine.

When Love Went

A poem by Susan Coolidge (Sarah Chauncey Woolsey)

What whispered Love the day he fled?
Ah! this was what Love whispered;
“You sought to hold me with a chain;
I fly to prove such holding vain.

“You bound me burdens, and I bore
The burdens hard, the burdens sore;
I bore them all unmurmuring,
For Love can bear a harder thing.

“You taxed me often, teased me, wept;
I only smiled, and still I kept
Through storm and sun and night and day,
My joyous, viewless, faithful way.

“But, dear, once dearest, you and I
This day have parted company.
Love must be free to give, defer,
Himself alone his almoner.

“As free I freely poured my all,
Enslaved I spurn, renounce my thrall,
Its wages and its bitter bread.”
Thus whispered Love the day he fled!