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reputations are ruined by boarding than in any other way. Let a being be perfection itself, the faults lacking are easily supplied by fertile invention. I long ago resolved to judge for myself
, and have never repented the resolution. When envy and jealousy are banished the world, I will unstop my ears, and believe all Ì hear. Thus independent and contented, I devote my evenings to meditation on paper, orally or in profound silence. Oft-times a throng of memories will arise, some sad, others brilliant and meteor-like. In my profession many incidents naturally occur, and in
travels I have been an actor in certain adventures, the reading of which may entertain for an idle hour some who have had a less stirring life. Partly from selfishness, then, and with some true willingness to make others happy if I can, I commit these memories to paper, and waft them into the crowded mart of literature. The reminiscence that now occupies my thoughts I shall call, if you please,
AN EPISODE OF TRAVEL.
Among our fellow-passengers in the miserable steamer plying between London and Boulogne was a group
persons who attracted my attention, from the fact of their speaking my language fluently, although evidently not English. Their vivacity was not at all French, yet unlike our shy affability. The youngest of the group, which consisted of four persons, was a young lady not over nineteen, whom they called Anna. She was slender to fragility. Her pale, clear complexion contrasted strikingly with the dark hair that shaded, and still darker eyes that illuminated her expressive countenance. She was neither beautiful nor sickly-looking. Interesting she was, beyond any being I had ever seen. She had far more repose than the others, whose fine animal spirits surmounted all the désagrémens of our position.
A young lady, a few years her senior, had a bloom that defied the assaults of the most unstable of elements. Her features, eyes and hair betrayed the sister of Anna, but air, manners and expression were utterly unlike that interesting being. The other female was a finelooking matron, whose love for her husband had evidently not waned with her youth and beauty. He seemed to enjoy the circle of which he was the protector, and received their sallies of wit and sense with delight. I gradually neared them, and apparently absorbed in reflections of my own, caught much of their converse, which was not sottovoce. I was not long in ascertaining their birth-place, for they were speaking of their own dear home in Canada. This rivetted my attention ; for a deceased friend of mine had been a native of that place, and often during our intimacy at college had he expatiated on the loveliness of his country-women, whose manners, he said, were a bewitching blending of French sprightliness with English dignity. I now longed to speak to the strangers, but this seemed impossible. I roused myself, however, and by my manner endeavored to betray the interest I felt. The gentleman perceived it. With some hesitation, he asked how soon we should reach the opposite shore. I replied with great affability, and to my own surprise, continued the dialogue, owning that I had overheard that they were Canadians. I spoke of my friend. They knew him, and were intimate with many of his relatives, who frequently spoke of him, and mourned his early death. This was a sufficient introduction for me, and I was regarded as a friend immediately. When I mentioned Granville's name, my eyes were fixed on Anna's face, for she seemed to me a justification for his extravagant praises of the fair Canadians. I was startled at the deathly pallor of her countenance as I spoke his name, and the truth flashed on my mind as I noticed the anxious glance of her sister. In his eulogy of his country-women, Granville was thinking of but one.
The rest of our voyage was shortened perceptibly by the delightful conversation that ensued. When we parted at the wharf it was with the promise of meeting again at Amiens, and with a determination on my part to visit the country they loved so well.
At Boulogne, I hired the services of François Loohề, a Belgian courier, whose best recommendation was an open countenance and winning manner.
François informed me immediately after his installation as courier, that it was the fashion neither to stint nor stay a minute in the city without visiting the cathedral. I resolved to be odd, and postponed my visit until the next morning. Before breakfast, therefore, we sallied out. I was sincerely pleased with the venerable building; the kneeling forms around, silently absorbed in worship, moved my heart with sympathy and respect
. At some distance from me one figure rivetted my attention. Could it be ? Yes, it was certainly, Anna. proached softly, requesting François to remain where he was. From behind one of the vast columns I looked upon
devotee. She was kneeling before St. Genevieve. Upon the altar beneath the picture was a fresh chaplet of blossoms and a wreath of autumn leaves, preserved in all their brilliancy, and brought from her free forest-land as an offering of gratitude for her safe flight over the uncertain sea. Beautiful superstition ! She arose without perceiving me.
As she walked away, a paper fell from her missal. I stooped for it, and as it unrolled, perceived it to be some verses, in a feminine hand. I followed her to the principal altar, where she rejoined her friends, who were admiring the fine picture above it. Our meeting was a joyous one, and it was decided that we should enter Paris in company. I told Anna of the waif I had found, and should claim. A deep blush convinced me that she was the author of the verses. After some opposition she yielded the point, and I read the artless effusion. Often do I read these gentle lines :
The first fresh blossoms of the spring,
The twigs of trees that earliest leave,
To deck the shrine of GENEVIEVE.
Oh, chide me not with learned guile,
Nor o'er the idol sternly grieve;
When bent before St. GENEVIEVE.
Like waters fresh’ning as they flow
Are thoughts which we of her receive;
So falls the smile of GENEVIEVE.
Cold hearts before it silent melt,
And bless its glow while yet they grieve;
That did not tempt St. GENEVIEVE.
Oh! mortal born, but heaven-nursed,
The triumph thou didst here achieve
As low it bends to GENEVIEVE.
Eternal ONE! great Power above,
Whom words can change not, nor deceive,
As filled the heart of GENEVIEVE!
However much my Protestant prejudices disapproved of these verses, I was touched by their sincere piety. They reminded me also of Granville, whose devotional tendencies had often won my admiration by their lofty purity. It was evident to me that I was an object of tender interest to Anna. I readily understood it, and she was to me invested with a more exalted loveliness.
We arrived in Paris soon after our meeting at Amiens. The route was new to us all, and elicited merry and sanguine remarks. Anna was quieter than usual, and I noticed the peculiar brilliancy of her eyes. Her cheeks had a feverish flush. Her companions regarded her with evident anxiety.
As I stood at the last post-house door, awaiting a change of horses and gazing with my new friend at a far-off glimpse of Paris, he sighed deeply and said : You are, I suppose, aware that Granville Wdied in yonder city ?'
* I am. It has long been a wish of mine to visit his grave at Pére la Chaise ; a wish soon to be realized
He touched my arm warningly just as Anna joined us, and pointed to the city. Paris ?'
She stood like Niobe there; no longer the joyous-looking girl, but a marble statue of grief. It was but a moment. With a sigh she said : • My pilgrimage is nearly ended, then!' The carriage came up:
We were soon seated and whirled away, while Anna leaned back in one corner, profoundly silent, with her face concealed by her veil.
The day after our arrival, as we were walking on the Champs Elysees, Anna pointed to a white speck in the distance, on a high ridge of land beyond the city.
• That is the chapel of Pére la Chaise, Mademoiselle,' said François, respectfully.
Anna sighed, and sadness rested on the countenances of all. • We will visit it soon,' said her brother.
•I shall rest there, ere long!' said Anna. As she spoke a bright flush passed into her cheek.
I looked at her brother wonderingly. He met my gaze. Placing his arm in mine, he led me away, as though to point out something in the distance.
• Are you aware of Anna's situation ? he asked, in a low tone. *Her lungs were tested this morning. There is no hope! I induced her to postpone a visit to the cemetery until to-morrow; she could not bear it before. I would have avoided this spot had I known of this view of the chapel. In fact, my friend, she was betrothed to Granville; and feeling her death certain, although we did not, begged to be brought here to die. We came to save her life ; she, to mingle her ashes with his !'
I could not speak.
We all returned silently homeward. I observed that Anna was paler than usual. To my inquiries she replied that she was fatigued. She retired to her room to rest. Two hours afterward I was summoned to her presence. She was lying on the parlor sofa, her friends beside her. She was still paler than before. As I approached, she smiled sweetly. A vase of salt was near her, and her handkerchief was stained with blood. She was dying! Gently she sank to rest ;
first visit to the renowned cemetery was as one of the mourners of the young Canadian.
The principal object of their visit to Europe being defeated, they were anxious to return. After a few excursions of my planning, they bade farewell to Anna's grave, and embarked at Havre for New-York. I promised to meet them again at Montreal ; but how easily prostrated are all human calculations! They never touched their native strand. The fate of the vessel was and ever will be enshrouded in mystery. Of that joyous group on board the steamer none survive. In four months they were swept into oblivion. Years have rolled away, but those kind beings are as dear as ever to my memory; and Anna, the young, the lovely Anna, one of the dearest of my recollections.
After my last interview with Anna's relatives, I was for many days overwhelmed with inert melancholy. To add to my sadness, the dark damp weather prevented a retreat from the uninviting sea-port, and the belt of masts encircling the quays recalled the winged ones now scudding westward with their precious freight. The third day of my stay at Havre, as I sat by my window reading a French edition of Cooper's • Last of the Mohicans,' to an accompaniment of rattling sashes, played upon by the fists of a rude north-easter, a cry of distress, piercing and agonized, and coming apparently from the next room, sent a chill, fore
boding of I knew not what, through my heart. The book fell from my hand, and trembling excessively, I made my way to the door. A waiter was hurrying past, but stopped to inform me that the lady in the next room had a singular fit. • She was,' he said, ' wife to the
captain with whom my friends had embarked.' This was all I could gather from the garçon; but just as he left, a lady stepped from the next room in great agitation. She motioned me toward her, and led me into the
Three or four ladies were endeavoring to hold the unfortunate wife in a large chair. Her dark hair fell in glossy masses to her feet. Her eyes were fixed wildly on the which was tossing before the
open window. One hand tightly grasped the landlady’s robe, the other was pressed to her heart. Her face was as rigid as marble, and as colorless.
· Let me go !' she cried; “I can save them. See! see! oh, why cannot you see! Hist! how the water gurgles, gurgles through the portholes ! 'Tis he, 't is he!- Harry, Harry!- here she shrieked fearfully, and struggled to free herself. He is sinking - I must save him! Let me go!' I aided the others in holding her, for they were quite exhausted. She turned her eyes, for the first time, from the water, as I grasped her form. She gazed into my face a moment. All gone!' she murmured faintly, shaking her head as she spoke; "the mast parted; she sunk! all swept down! Her hair looked like the sea-weed! Harry, my Harry! will no one save you? See! see! how the plank tosses!' She shook fearfully: I expected every moment to see her die with mental agony. For several minutes she trembled in this man. ner, without speaking, and her eyes fixed on the heaving sea. At length, with a sigh, she closed her eyes, and sank into a deep swoon, as she softly whispered: Gone, all gone!
The ladies retired to rest, leaving the patient with the doctor and myself. The former had just arrived. She laid motionless for two hours, then the color gradually came to lip and cheek, and a deep sigh heralded her returning consciousness. She opened her eyes, pressed her hand to her forehead, and said: •Such a dream — awful! She endeavored to rise, but in vain. The physician desired her to keep quiet, for she had fainted, and any exertion would make her dream again. As her strength returned, her frenzy became again apparent. On the second day of her illness, after the physician had reduced her by bleeding, she motioned me to her side. The tears fell fast on her pillow, and with broken accents she said: Was it a dream ?'
I shuddered: since her first frenzy a dread fear had haunted me. I had been, and was then, as now, a believer in spiritual foresight and prophetic admonitions. • A dream ?' I inquired ; what was a dream ? Of what are you thinking ?'
Oh, that terrific sight! – Harry and all sinking, sinking !' • Yes, dear creature, that was a sort of dream certainly.'
Have you heard? Are they safe? Is all well ?' • I have heard nothing to the contrary'
"You will you will!' she hid her face in the pillow. I could hear her praying softly for resignation. The landlady entered. She was deathly pale.
• The Oberon' has arrived,' she whispered. *They passed a