ページの画像
PDF
[graphic]

She was an only cbild-her name Ginevra,
The joy, the pride of an indulgent father;
Aud in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.

Just as she looks there in her bridal dress
She was-all gentleness, all gaiety;
Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue.
But now the day was c
Now frowning, smiling for the hundredth time,
The nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum ;
And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast, When all sat down, the bride herself was wanting. Nor was she to be found! Her father cried,

Tis but to make a trial of our love!
Andfilled his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
"Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing and looking back, and flying still,
Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could any thing be guessed,
But that she was not!

Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking,
Flavg it away in battle with the Turk,
Donali lived and long might you have seen
An old map wandering as in quest of something,
Something he could not find be koew not what,
When he was gone, the house remained awhile
Silent and tenantless then went to strangers.

Full fifty years were past and all forgotten,
When on an idle day, a day of search,
'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,
That mouldering chest was noticed ; and 'twas saidy;
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,
"Why not remove it from its lurking place?"
'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo! a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a stired of gold,
All else had perished-save a wedding ring
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

LOVE OF BURIAL PLACES, MANY of the wisest and best of men have signalized their love of gardens and shrubberies, by causing them selves to be buried in them. Plato was buried in the groves of Academus; Sir William Temple gave orders for his heart to be enclosed in a silver casket, and then placed under a sun-dial, opposite bis library window Dercennus, one of the kings of Latium, was buried in a thick wood, on the top of a high mountain : Rousseau was buried in the island of Poplars, in the gardens of Ermenonville: Horne Took ewas buried in his own garden: and Napoleon Bonaparte often walked to a fountain in the island of St. Helena, and said to his confidential companions, 'If it is destined that I die on this rock, let me be buried in this place,' pointing to some willows near the fountain he so frequently visited.

HATRED. THE greatest flood has the soonest ebb; the sorest tem. pest the most sudden calm; the hottest love the coldest end; and from the deepest desire oftentimes ensues the deadliest hate.-A wise man had rather be envied for Providence, than pitied for prodigality.-Revenge barketh only at the stars, and spite spurns at that she cannot reach.

An envious man waxeth lean with the fatness of his neighbours.—Envy is the daughter of pride, the author of murder and revenge, the beginner of secret sedition, and the perpetual tormentor of virtue.--Envy is the filthy slime of the soul; a venom, a poison, or quicksilver which consumeth the flesh, and drieth up the marrow of the bones,-Socrates,

[graphic]

THE SOLITARY PHILOSOPHER. AMONG all the variety of interesting pieces with which you wish to entertain your readers, none please me more than those anecdotes that relate to originality of character.

On the side of a large mountain about ten miles from this place, in a little hut of his own rearing, which has known no other possessor these fifty-five years, lives this strange and very singular person, though his general usefulness and communicative disposition require him often to associate with the surrounding rustics; yet having never had an inclination to travel farther than to the neighbouring village, and being totally unacquainted with the world, bis manners, conversation, and dress are strikingly noticeable. A little plot of ground that extends round his cottage is the narrow sphere to wbich be confines bimself, aud in his wild retreat, be appears to a stranger as one of the early inhabitants of the earth, ere polished by frequent intercourse or united in society. In his youth being deprived of the means of education, and till this hour a stran ger to reading, the most valuable treasures of time are utterly unknown to bim, so that what knowledge he has acquired seems to be from the jojot exertious of vigorous powers and an unwearied course of experiments. He is allowed by the whole inhabitants around him to excel all, and his genius seems universal, and he is at once, by na ture, botanist, philosopher, naturalist, and physician.

The place where he resides seems indeed peculiarly calcalated for assisting him in these favorite pursuits. With in a stone's throw of his hut a deep enormous chasm extends itself up the mountain for more than four miles, through the bottom of which a large body of water rages in loud and successive falls through the fractured channel, while its stupendous sides studded with rocks are overhung with bushes and trees, that meeting from opposite, sides, and mixing their branches entirely conceal at times the river from view, so that when a spectator stands above,

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

he sees nothing but a luxuriance of green branches and tops of trees, and hears at a dreadful distance below the brawling of the river. In this vale or glen innumerable rare and valuasle berbs are discovered, and in the harvest mooths this is his continual resort, be explores it with the most unwearied attention, climbs every cliff, even the most threatening, and from the perplexing profusion of plants, collects those herbs, of whose qualities and value he is well acquainted. For this purpose he has a large basket with a variety of divisions, in which he deposits every particular species by itself. With this he is often seen labouring home to his hut, after which they are suspended in large and numerous parcels from the roof, while the sage himself sits smiling amidst his simple stores. In cultivating his little plot of ground, he proceeds by methods entirely new to his neighbours. He has examined by numberless experiments the nature of the soil, watches

rv progressive advance of the grain, and so well is be provided for its defence against vermin, that they are no sooner seen than destroyed. By these means he has greatly enriched the ground which was by nature barren and ungenerous, while the crop nearly doubles that of his neighbours, the more superstitious of whom, from his lovely life and success in these affairs, scruple not to believe him in league with the devil. As a mechayic he is confined to no particular branch. He lives by himself, and seems in. clined to be dependent on none. He is his own shoe-maker, cutler, and tailor; builds his own barns and raises his own fences, thrashes his own córn and with very little as. sistance cuts it down. From his infancy he has enjoyed an uninterrupted flow of health, and there is scarce a neighbouring peasant around who has not, when wounded by accident or confined by sickness, experienced the salu. tary effects of his skill. In these cases his presence of mind is surprising, his application simple, his medicines within the reach of every cottager, and in effecting a cure he is seldom unsuccessfni. Nor is his assistance in physie and surgery confined to the human species alone; useful animals of every kind profit by his researches. In short, so fully persuaded are the rustics of his knowledge in the causes and cures of disorders to which their cattle are subject, that in every critical and alarming case he is immediately consulted and his prescriptions most carefully observed. I was the first that took any particular notice of this solitaire. He is known to many ingenious gentle. men in that place, and in the country, and has been often the subject of their conversation and wonder. Nor bas the Honourable Gentleman, whose tenant he is, suffered this rustic-original to pass unnoticed or unbefriended, but with his usual generosity, and a love of mankind that dignifies all his actions, has from time to time transmit ted to bim parcels of new and useful plants, roots, seeds, &c. a grateful sense of which the solitaire expresses by rearing them, and exhibiting them occasionally: .

About six montbs ago I went to pay him a visit along with an intimate friend inuch attached to natural curiosi ty. On arriving at his little hut, we found to our no smalt disappointment that he was from home. As my friend however, had never been in that part of the country before, I coaducted him to the glen to take a view of the beautiful romantic scenes and wild prospects which this place affords. We had not proceeded far along the bot. ion of the vale, when hearing a rustling among the bran." ches aboveour heads, I discovered our boary botanist with his basket, passing along the brow of a rock that hung al. most over the centre of the stream. Having pointed him out to my companion, we were at a loss for some time how to bring about a conversation with him. Having, bowever, a flate in my pocket, of which music he is exceedingly fond, I began a few airs, which by the sweetness. of tbe echoes, was beightened into the most enchanting melody. In a few minutes this had the desired effect; and our little old man stood beside us with his basket in his hand, On stopping at his approach, he desired us to proceed, complimenting us on the sweetness of our music, expressed the surprise he was in on hearing it, and leaning his basket on an old trunk, listened with all the enthusiasm of rapture. He then shewed the herbs he bad been collectiog, entertained us with a parrative of the discoveries he had made in his frequent searches through the vale, which,' said he, 'contains treasures that few know the value of.

He then began an account of the vegetables, reptiles, wild beasts, and insects, that frequented the place; and with much judgment explained their various properties. • Were it not,' said he, "for the innumerable millions of insects, that in the summer months swarm in the air, I believe dead carcases, and other putrid substances, might have dreadful effects; but no sooner does a carcase begin to grow putrid than these insects led by the smell, flock to the

« 前へ次へ »